Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Succulents stretching???

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Med93
Dec 22, 2017 12:20 PM CST
I have several young succulents propagated from leaves and several young cuttings that are rooted. They have direct sunlight in a South facing window basically all day. I don't understand why they are stretching so much. Does anyone have any advice? Poor soil by chance?
Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Dec 22, 2017 12:36 PM CST

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This time of year (in the northern hemisphere) the light is at its annual minimum. 3 aspects of this relate to the succulent garden, where light is very important. The day is shorter overall, so there are fewer hours of light. The sun reaches a lower angle in the sky, thus is more likely to be blocked by trees or objects close to the horizon. And the sun does not travel as far across the sky (east to west) so it is more likely to be blocked by whatever southerly objects might be in the immediate vicinity.

A warm spot right in front of a sunny unobstructed southerly-facing window is exactly what you want for most indoor succulents this time of year, and that's where I keep them. I can say from watching at different times of year that my plants get sun for half the day max no matter what the time of year. I don't see any windowsill plant getting much more than that unless it's in a sun room where sunlight can also enter from the sides or the top.

And for what it's worth, indoor sunlight (that is, sunlight which has passed through regular window glass) is not direct because the glass filters out most of the harmful UV rays, making it kinder to plants. You can see this effect in action if you move a succulent from a bright indoor location out into direct overhead sun, and even though it might be getting the same number of hours of sun each day, the added UV can be enough to shock, stall, or kill it.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Dec 22, 2017 12:44 PM (+)]
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Med93
Dec 22, 2017 12:46 PM CST
That was all my understanding as well as far as lighting goes. They receive as much direct light as possible. Not objects causing shaded times or such. The only thing the sun passes through is the window glass and the glass through the aquarium I have them shelved in and the window blinds bc when I first moved them inside, they were burning from the sunlight.
I'm wondering if poor soil might play a part or them also being young plant.
Name: Karen
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plantmanager
Dec 22, 2017 12:53 PM CST
If they are actually sitting in an aquarium, that isn't a good spot for them. They need air movement and a drier environment to prosper. They aren't suitable for terrarium plant and the aquarium is acting like a terrarium.
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Dec 22, 2017 1:04 PM CST

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Open the blinds. It is impossible to give your indoor succulents too much natural light this time of year (in the northern hemisphere).
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Dec 22, 2017 1:33 PM (+)]
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Med93
Dec 22, 2017 1:57 PM CST
Ok. Makes sense. I will give it a try and move them asap. Suggesting too much humidity and poor air circulation?
Is that most likey going to be my problem for their stretched growth?
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Dec 22, 2017 2:43 PM CST
They should do better with less humidity and more air circulation. Opening the blinds will help them not stretch as they grow. If you wanted to, you could get a grow light bulb and train it on the plants. I use a little extra light in winter to keep my plants growing well.
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Tisha
Dec 22, 2017 2:46 PM CST
@Baja_Castero,
Thank you for the sun`s seasonal positions information. Less sun and increased cloud cover almost killed my succulents last year. TX for your insight!
@plantmanager
I never considered the importance of air flow. Good to know. TX !
You guys are really great.

Tisha
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
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plantmanager
Dec 22, 2017 2:53 PM CST
I never considered the importance of air flow. Good to know. TX !
You guys are really great.

I've found that my plants do better if I have a small fan on them most of the time. In the greenhouse they run full time. I used to have a lot of problems with insects on my plants, but the fan has made a big difference. I don't have as many insect problems now.


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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Dec 22, 2017 2:59 PM CST

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Med93 said:Suggesting too much humidity and poor air circulation?
Is that most likey going to be my problem for their stretched growth?


The stretching is due to low light, primarily.
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ShadyGreenThumb
Dec 23, 2017 9:52 AM CST
I put a plant in frontof my window forgetting it has a unblocking screen on it. It had problems obviously. I fed it. Repotted it. It never occurred to me about the lack of sun and UV rays.. It died from getting no light.
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purpleinopp
Dec 29, 2017 7:52 AM CST
This is one reason to love the old windows in my house, single panes of plain, clear glass. This reason is kind of lonely though...! Smiling

These young leaf-babies live as close to a S window as they can get w/o touching the glass and are already somewhat stretched.
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[Last edited by purpleinopp - Dec 29, 2017 7:55 AM (+)]
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