Maintaining Your Older Succulent

Are you depressed because the succulent your friend gave you two years ago looks like this? That's what our friend Kathy told us when she brought this guy in. Never fear, we (and by we, I mean Sara) can help! 

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First, Sara diagnosed Kathy's succulent as being generally healthy, but may have suffered from some frost bite in the past (darker areas on the stalk). Also, it could use some more light as the stem looks a bit stretched with the leaves farther apart than normal. Other than that, Kathy has done a great job as a succulent owner over the past two years.

Here's what we did to help out Kathy's succulent and what you can do to help yours:

Cut the succulent stem to your desired height (could be in multiple pieces afterwards). Each piece should at least be 2-3 inches tall. Everywhere a leaf used to be has potential to become a root. 

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Place a layer of rocks at the bottom of your container. Plant your succulent pieces in dry new soil. You may need to pull off lower leaves to get the stem deep enough in the new soil. You should aim to have equal amounts of the stem below and above the soil. 

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Keep your succulent in indirect light for the next two weeks. Especially avoid direct afternoon sun. Also, do not water it. This treatment gives your newly planted succulents a chance to grow roots. After two weeks, give your succulent a little bit of water (less than you would normally water it). You may also move it into more direct sunlight if you'd like.

The best time to do this maintenance process is from early spring through fall. Don't do this in the winter because the succulents are dormant and won't grow.

Your baby's going to look awkward for a while, just like we all did in middle school, but eventually it will turn out perfectly normal–new leaves will begin to grow and it will fill out nicely!

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