How to Make Your Succulents Grow Faster and Bigger
Do you love the look of large succulents but find that they seem to take forever to grow? I was shocked when I saw how big some succulents become over the course of many years.
But who has time to wait 20 years for a plant to grow huge? Not me! I want my succulents to be as big as possible in the shortest amount of time.
If you’re patient yet persistent, there are a few things you can do to speed up the growth process and get bigger plants in the shortest amount of time. Here’s a complete guide on how to make succulents grow larger faster.
10 Ways to Grow Big Succulents Quickly
You could wait a lifetime for your succulents to grow big. But the truth is that there are certain conditions that play a huge role in the size and rate of your succulent’s growth. Here are some things you can do to supersize your succulents and help them grow fast, too.
1. Give Them More Sun
Succulents need plenty of bright sunlight to grow large, so if you live in a cloudy climate or don’t have a sunny spot in your home, consider making a change. Get creative and install mirror panels to reflect more sunlight onto your succulents. Plants can soak in the much-needed sunlight for more hours of the day, and mirrors can easily add to the aesthetics of your home.
You could also rearrange the furniture to open up window space for your plants. I was racking my brain trying to think of ways I could get more sunlight to my succulents when it dawned on me (no pun intended)–I decided to remove a couch from my living room and use two chairs to frame my large window. Now there is plenty of room to display my succulents in front of the window and give them more sun.
Succulents enjoy a south-facing window, but can also do well when acclimated to an east or west-facing window. Make sure to rotate your plants to encourage even growth, or they can begin to stretch in search of sunlight and become leggy during the cloudy seasons.
Related: Best Succulents for Full Sun (Drought Tolerant Species)
2. Add a Grow Light
You could also try using a grow light, which is an artificial light source that simulates the sunlight succulents need to help them grow faster. Grow lights come in different shapes, sizes, and strengths, so you’ll need to do some research to find the best one for your needs.
I was propagating succulent leaves for a long time and wondering why they were growing so slowly. When I finally decided to purchase another grow light specifically for my baby succulents, they started growing so quickly.
With a grow light, it’s important to acclimate your plants to the light to avoid scorching them. Start with two-to-three-hour increments and increase to 12-14 hours a day. Once your plants are used to the extra light each day, you can then slowly move the light closer to your plants. This allows them to soak in more rays and provide more nutrients for the succulents to grow faster.
3. Water Them More Often
It may seem counterintuitive, but succulents actually need more water than you might think. When the weather is hot and dry, succulents can actually experience water stress, which can lead to slower growth rates.
To avoid water stress, make sure you’re watering your succulents regularly (about once a week). Check the soil before watering to see if it’s dry, and only add water if the soil is dry to the touch.
I like to use a spray bottle to mist my baby succulents instead of pouring water directly onto the leaves, which can cause them to rot. I find that the tiniest plants can demand the most water, simply because their roots are so small and can’t take in much water before the soil dries.
There is a fine line between overwatering your succulents and giving them enough. Most succulent enthusiasts will say that less is more when it comes to watering, but underwatering could ultimately lead to slow, stunted growth.
4. Get Them Outside
Succulents also love being outdoors, so if the weather is warm enough, consider putting them in a sunny spot in your garden, on your porch, or on a table in your yard. They’ll get plenty of bright light and fresh air, both of which will help them grow faster and bigger.
Rainwater can also do wonders for your succulents. It’s naturally softer than tap water, so it won’t shock your plants’ roots and leaves. Plus, the minerals in rainwater can actually help fertilize your plants and encourage growth.
Just be sure to bring your succulents back indoors before the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, they could die from the cold weather, or they may go dormant and stop growing until spring.
5. Put Them in a Greenhouse
If you have the yard space to set up a pop-up greenhouse, that’s the perfect place to put your succulents. They’ll get all the sunlight they need, plus the added benefit of being protected from severe weather conditions like strong winds or heavy rains.
In my area, some of the biggest succulents I’ve seen are those I find growing in local greenhouses. The structures stay hot like the desert but don’t dry the plants out. As long as you monitor your succulents and keep them properly watered, they can flourish and even stay outside year-round in warmer climates.
6. Fertilize Them
Give your succulents fertilizer regularly to help them grow faster. Look for a fertilizer that’s high in nitrogen, which is an essential nutrient for plant growth. You can apply fertilizer once a month during the growing season, or as needed if you notice your plants are starting to look pale or stunted. Be sure to follow the directions on the package so you don’t over-fertilize, which can damage your plants.
Worm castings are an excellent source of nutrients for succulents, and they can help your plants grow faster and bigger. You can find worm castings at your local garden center or online. Just add a few handfuls to your succulent’s potting mix, and they’ll start to see the benefits right away.
7. Clip Off Dead Leaves
As your succulents grow, they’ll start to produce new leaves and stems. But some of the existing leaves and stems may die, which can drag down the overall health of your plant.
It’s important to monitor dying leaves and clip them off as soon as they no longer hold moisture. Dying stems can be clipped even sooner to avoid spreading issues to the rest of the plant. This will help your succulent redirect its energy to new growth, which will promote faster growth overall.
8. Clip Off the Flowers
When your succulents bloom, they’ll produce beautiful flowers. But once the flowers die, they can actually sap energy away from the plant and slow its growth.
So, if you want your succulent to keep growing strong, clip off the dead flower stalk close to the plant as soon it starts to wilt. This will help your plant focus its energy on producing new growth.
9. Re-pot Them Every Year or Two
Succulents need room to grow, so repot them every few years to give them a fresh start. Choose a pot that’s only a few inches larger than their current one, and add fresh potting mix to the new pot. This will give your succulents the space they need to grow, and a fresh, well-draining soil mixture will provide them with new nutrients.
You can also divide your succulents when you repot them. This is a great way to propagate new plants or simply give existing ones a boost. Just carefully divide the roots and replant them in separate pots.
10. Check for Bugs
Bugs can wreak havoc on your succulents, so it’s important to check them regularly for pests. When I found bugs on some of my succulents, it helped me put together the pieces and realize why certain plants were growing slowly. As soon as I got control of the bugs, my succulents started growing super fast!
Common succulent pests include aphids, mealybugs, scale, and spider mites. If you see any bugs on your plants, remove them with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. And make sure to keep any new plants away from your existing ones for about a week until you know for sure if they have bugs. They can spread to your other succulents quickly.
You can also spray your plants with an insecticidal soap to get rid of any bugs that are hanging around. Just be sure to follow the directions on the package, as succulents can be easily damaged.
Growing Big and Beautiful Succulents Doesn’t Need to Take Years
By following these simple tips, you can help your succulents grow bigger and faster. Just remember to give them plenty of sunlight, water, and fertilizer, and they’ll reach their full potential in no time. With a little patience and care, you’ll be rewarded with big, beautiful plants that you can use to create your dream room.
It’s important to understand that growth of any kind takes time and energy. Unless you’re willing to invest in your plants to give them more sunlight or artificial light, there’s no way for them to increase their growth rate. Once you understand that faster growth requires action on your part, you can be growing huge succulents in no time.
And finally, the type of succulents you grow matters. There are some species that grow slowly no matter how much sun, water, and nutrients you provide. If growing big succulents quickly is important to you, consider filling your garden or windowsill with the fastest growing succulents.