Ask a Question forum: Baby succulents not growing

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Jan 29, 2018 2:17 PM CST
I have a variety of baby succulents that I have had for a year and they grew to about an inch tall and then stopped growing! Why did they stop growing and how can I help them to grow? They are planted in an inside pot with 8 hours of sunlight from a plant light. They are planted in succulent soil and they were all propagated the same way.
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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Jan 29, 2018 3:22 PM CST
They look healthy. Maybe they somehow know that it is winter and that succulents don't grow in winter...?
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Jan 29, 2018 4:53 PM CST
Succulents don't grow in winter...?

I don't use artificial light (so couldn't give advice on the subject) but it seems like they are not getting enough light in the current setup. Artificial light is not sunlight. I realize you don't have a lot of the latter in the Wisconsin winter, so do what you need to do, but with the return of more natural light in the spring you may see a general rejuvenation of the whole planter. Put it right by your sunniest south-facing window when there's enough sun to make a difference.

The low light may explain why some plants are growing a relatively long stem (for example the Echeveria leaning to the right) but it would not explain why the smaller plants are not doing anything... maybe you need to be more patient, watch and wait? Typically small plants just starting out and not super fast growers. They look fine to me. They're going to crawl along until they have enough root mass to take up water and nutrients.

Does the pot have drain holes? How often are you watering?
Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Jan 31, 2018 8:08 AM CST
Just to add whats already has been said, IMHO I think trying to start baby succulents in that large container is not helping the roots , maybe if you were to put the babies into tiny pots then into the window box will be better for the roots to get established, hope that makes sense to you. Also for the size of them I would use a mister bottle and just give the base of the plants a few shots of water. Smiling

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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Jan 31, 2018 10:34 AM CST
Hi & welcome to NGA!

Another thing to consider is soil temperature. In my experience, anything below 70° slows them down considerably - soil temps below 65° puts them to sleep.
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[Last edited by Xeramtheum - Jan 31, 2018 10:35 AM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Jan 31, 2018 10:45 AM CST
Air temps down to 45° will not slow down those plants much if the daytime temps get into the 60s.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 31, 2018 1:26 PM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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Jan 31, 2018 10:58 AM CST
Hello hacker3, indoor conditions are not always as ideal for the succulents. It is good to safely bring them indoors when it is winter time, when conditions are really too cold for them to handle. They will naturally slow down but will still do a very, very slow growth process while indoors, so watering should be limited.

Now for them to grow much better later on, it is nicer to have them outdoors during Spring to Fall. However, we have different warm weather conditions, yours maybe way too rainy than my area where it gets very bone dry. But they will start perking up much more outdoors as it experiences the daytime and night time temperature variances and longer light levels which it enjoys. Positioned outdoors in morning sun and protected with some shade in the afternoon is best. Once temps hover to 90F and higher, it may slow down again.

There are succulents that thrive in cool weather as long as it is kept dry, and can endure up to 30F, while there are some whose threshold is nothing below 50F. Some can take much drier and hotter conditions, some can take a bit dry but humid conditions. It varies from one type to another. Temps in the range of 65F to 80F is what I find really good for them, not too hot and not too cold, but must get good bright light, not too much direct sun. Then making sure they grow in very well draining soil since I leave most of them outdoors.

Your plant still has good potential of growth, so try to improve their ambient growing area when your winter conditions are over, try to bring them out to enjoy the outdoors. There is more gas exchange happening at night for them, and they really need that.

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