Select Page

Succulents offer plenty of benefits if you only pay close attention to them. It doesn’t matter if it’s stylish faux succulents or real ones; these plants have a lot to offer to their avid supporters and growers. You can just let trailing succulents hang free and experience fresher air. 

They can make you happy merely at the thought and sight of something green and colorful invading your personal space. You would also be pleased to know that they’re there to clean your air, keeping you free from toxic substances in the air. The even better news about these plants is that they’re easy to grow and maintain. You don’t need to check on them all the time to see them thrive. Hence, they’re perfect for people who don’t have much time growing plants. 

One of the drawbacks people point out about succulents is that most of them are ground-crawling or low-thriving plants that don’t stretch upwards. Some are good as garden carpets and seldom grow upwards. Some people think that they’re limited to landscape gardens and indoor spaces and couldn’t give shade. Though this is partly true, it’s not always the case since various succulents grow as high as 15 feet and higher. And this is the variety that we discussed in today’s article. So, if you still don’t know if this variety exists, this is your cue — it does. 

What Are Tall Succulents

According to experts, succulents stretch out when they don’t get enough sunlight. This process is called etiolation. Some succulent growers often complain when they see their plants stretch upward and drastically change their look. Since these plants are sunlight lovers, they thrive when they spend time under the scorching heat of the sun than when they’re under the shade. The moment they spend more than indoors, they experience physical changes that alter their characteristics and stunt their average growth.

Though etiolation is a regular occurrence among succulents, we’re not talking about this kind of tall succulents. Instead, we’re talking about the varieties that generally stretch upwards as part of their natural growth. They are still succulents, but they are bound to grow upwards instead of sidewards. They love the abundance of sunlight and consider this as the ideal environment where they thrive. Later in this article, we’ll get to know some of these succulents. 

Benefits of Succulents That Grow Tall

Offer Shade

One of the best benefits of having a tall succulent in your garden is enjoying the shade they offer. Since they grow up, they can provide shade to you or the other plants growing below them. This is ideal if you want tall but low-maintenance plants in your garden. 

Break the Monotony

Tall succulents also break the monotony and offer a specific type of character into your garden. Let’s admit it – looking and keeping succulents in uniform sizes, height, and arrangements might be neat to look at, but it can get tedious because it lacks realness and character. However, if you vary your arrangement and mix and match collections, you’ll see the beauty and uniqueness in variety. This will not only upgrade your property’s look but can also improve your outlook too. 

Easy to Grow and Maintain

Tall succulents are easy to grow and maintain. Since they need abundant sunlight to rise as high as they’re designed to develop upwards, you can just let them bask in direct sunlight, and they’ll grow. They’re not picky and difficult to deal with, so you’re more likely to have fun while you’re growing them. 

Improve the Air Quality

And lastly, you can also count on them to clean your air and make it not toxic. Whether you place them in your garden or your living room, they offer more capacity to disinfect the air and make it more breathable and less polluted. 

You can transform your living room by merely placing your tall succulents in strategic places of your room. They can serve as complementary pieces to your existing furniture and fixtures. They can even serve as the main highlight of your living spaces, especially when you’re aiming for a continuous indoor and outdoor living experience. 

How Do Tall Succulents Work

How Do Tall Succulents Work

These tall succulents can also serve as your natural air purifier as they work well in indoor and outdoor settings. They need the carbon dioxide that we exhale as food before they revert it into oxygen that we inhale. Just be careful in ensuring that they get the amount of sunlight they need to grow taller. 

Tall succulents can also add value to your property by giving your landscape garden a significant facelift. Add taller succulent varieties to your crawling succulents, potted ones, carpeted varieties, and even those in arrangements, and see how the variation in height uplifts the facade of your property. When you resell your property later, you can peg a higher price for it because of your fantastic garden. 

Why Do Succulent Stretches and Grow Tall

As you already know, succulents need ample sunlight to thrive. If they don’t get the right amount of sunlight they need, they stretch and grow tall. It may seem odd to hear about plants growing higher when, in fact, they’re not getting the sunlight they need to grow. Unfortunately, this is their reality, and their growth in height also comes with weakness in structure and more translucency in their color. 

Aside from that, changes in season also affect the growth of your succulents. If there are shorter days and longer nights, you can also expect them to grow taller than ever. If you want to keep them in their current height, the best remedy is to prune them and repot the new cuttings in a new container. Afterwhich, make sure that the fresh trimmings get the sunlight they need. This time, you’ll be sure that in whatever direction they grow, they’re color-enrich and healthy.

Pros and Cons of Succulents That Grow Tall

Pros

When you talk about the advantages of tall succulents, you can’t miss the aesthetic value it gives to your room, garden, or entire property. They’re one of the more pleasant-looking succulent varieties, so there’s no denying how much they can improve the look of any room they’re decorated in. And since they can also grow more prominent as they rise higher, they can reasonably compete with large decors and fixtures in terms of giving your indoor space bolder pieces as accents. 

Tall succulents can also serve as mediums that you can use to model or showcase your vintage, fine-looking vases and pots. They can best stretch more in more significant and roomy pots that you can use to decorate your space since they grow higher. With this simple addition to your living room, you can add a touch of life and nature that will break the monotony brought by concrete and wood.

Cons

While these plants are suitable as decors, they can also get more demanding as they get bigger and leggy. As they grow higher, it’s also highly likely that their roots and legs will again flourish. Given this, you might have a hard time having to prune them before repotting the new cuttings. Their smaller counterparts are not demanding to take care of, so if you switch to taller ones, you need to brace yourself for occasional repotting and trimmings. To carry out these tasks carefully, you need to know how to prune and replant fresh trimmings appropriately. 

The taller varieties can also branch out faster, making your plant look bushy. If you have limited space, you can expect this plant to make your space even narrower – something not ideal for people who live in smaller areas. 

Types of Tall Succulents

Fishhook Barrel

This globular succulent can grow as high as 12 feet if all the conditions for its unstinted growth are satisfied. This variety can be found thriving in Mexico’s rocky and mountainous areas, Northern Sinaloa, Northwest Chihuahua, Sonora, and Western Texas regions. They are low-maintenance and easy to propagate since they only need minimal care and attention. They’re also thriving in cold and hot environments, making them ideal as home decor or garden plants.

Fishhook Barrel Tall Succulent

Golden Barrel Cactus

This globular succulent variety could grow as high as 40 inches and wide as 24 inches. It’s best known for its golden yellow, thickly spine that surrounds its moss green cacti body. The good news is though this plant will grow tall, they don’t increase in height that fast. Hence, you can enjoy watching it reach its full height and width potential.

Ocotillo 

If you’re looking for a succulent that can spread over 15 feet, then Ocotillo might be what you need. This succulent grows to form tiny stem clusters that can go as high as 30 feet tall. Its branches are so slim that you can mistake them for a magician’s wand. Experts suggest digging deep before transplanting to make sure that the plant’s roots are stable. 

Palmer’s Agave

This may retain the small succulent’s rosette form, but it can go as high as four feet. They grow and thrive in oak woodlands, but they can also be brought home to your garden. They are drought-resistant and can thrive even in low-temperature environments. 

Saguaro

If you think 30 feet is tall, think again as this variety shows you that a succulent can grow as high as 50 feet. Known as Arizona’s state flower, this succulent is not shy in showcasing its beautiful yet resilient nature. 

Hedge Cactus/Queen of the Night

If columnar bushes are what you’re at, you need this succulent that can also grow as high as 30 feet. This is thriving in Rio de Janeiro and the Southern parts of Brazil. They are also seen in adjacent countries like Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina. 

Senita, Old Man Cactus or Whisker Cactus

This 20-feet plant grows with columnar stems with a flower that sits on top of it. They usually have a gray-green or bluish-green stem and white spine. As they grow older, their color also turns darker. 

Hedgehog Cactus

This cactus grows abundantly in areas with a dry and arid climate. Its dark brown spine is its distinguishing feature. With its clustering shape, this cactus can grow up to 18 inches.

Arizona Fish Hook Cactus

Black, hooked, and thin short spines characterize this cactus. You can also expect to see magenta or pink flowers sitting on its stem when in full bloom. They can grow as high as nine inches. 

Burbank’s Spineless Cactus

Burbank’s Spineless Cactus

Also known as Burbank Prickly Pear, this is common in the Southern parts of America. As its name suggests, this cactus is spineless and could grow as high as 15 feet. 

How to Save Succulents that Stretch and Grow Tall

Step 1 – Prune them

Start cutting at the top with the use of a pair of sharp scissors. Make sure to leave at least two to three leaves two inches from its base. This will help your fresh trimmings absorb more sunlight. Also, make sure that’s there’s enough stem on your cuttings for planting later. 

Step 2 – Allow your trimmings to dry

Let the base and the cutting dry out for a couple of days. Once they’re thoroughly dried, you can plant them in a new pot or directly to the soil. Afterwhich, water it. Wait for them to put off roots. This may last for a couple of days, but not over three weeks. Once the roots are more established, cut back on the frequency of watering. Succulents will be just fine if left alone after repotting.

Step 3 – Let them bask under the sun

As you already know, the main reason why they stretch and grow tall is that they lack sunlight. So, since you’ve given its offshoots a new chance to thrive, make sure to expose them to the sun more often. Also, water them sparingly — never drown its roots. 

How to Prevent Succulents From Growing Tall 

The steps to control the growth of succulents are quite similar to what we have discussed above, so for your reference, kindly take note of the three-step guide in the preceding article. The key here is to give them as much sunlight as they need.

 

Does More Spending Mean More Quality

When we talk about succulents, you don’t have to spend as much as you should when buying expensive plant varieties. For one, most of these taller succulent varieties are propagated by seeds, and these seeds don’t cost that much. If you want to have more succulents at home, you can replant the cuttings you trimmed from other cacti and succulents. Taking care of them also doesn’t require much effort since they thrive in cold or hot environments. Overall, you don’t need to spend much to have a thriving and healthy succulent. 

Do’s and Don’ts With Succulents That Grow Tall

Do’s

Don’ts

  • Don’t hide it from sunlight and keep it in the dark areas for too long. 
  • Don’t overwater your succulent. 
  • Don’t plant succulents even if you don’t know the basics to make them thrive. 
  • Don’t soak the soil completely when watering succulents.

FAQ About Succulents that Grow Tall

What is the tallest succulent?

Baobab is currently the tallest succulent variety in the world. It can grow as high as 92 feet, and it can develop tree-like characteristics because of its sheer height and width. 

What succulents grow tall?

Here are some of the tall succulents in the whole world: 

  • Arizona Fish Hook Cactus
  • Burbank’s Spineless Cactus
  • Fishhook Barrel  
  • Golden Barrel Cactus
  • Hedge Cactus/Queen of the Night 
  • Hedgehog Cactus
  • Ocotillo
  • Palmer’s Agave
  • Saguaro
  • Senita, Old Man Cactus, or Whisker Cactus 

Why did my succulent grow so tall?

FAQ About Succulents that Grow Tall

As discussed above, succulents stretch out when they don’t get enough sunlight. This process is called etiolation. Since these plants are sunlight lovers, they thrive when they spend time under the scorching heat of the sun than when they’re under the shade. The moment they spend more than indoors, they experience physical changes that alter their characteristics and stunt their average growth.

What do I do if my succulent is too tall?

To recapitulate, we itemized the steps to help you deal with succulents that are suddenly growing tall and against their nature. More often than not, your overgrown succulents lack sunlight, so you need to give them what they need for the trimmings to survive. Remember, overgrown succulents won’t go back to their original size, so there’s no way of shortening the stretched ones. 

The remedy lies in pruning and replanting the trimmings. Start cutting at the top with the use of a pair of sharp scissors. Make sure to leave at least two to three leaves two inches from its base. This will help your fresh trimmings absorb more sunlight. Also, make sure that there’s enough stem on your cuttings for planting later. Next, let the base and the cutting dry out for a couple of days. Once they’re thoroughly dried, you can plant them in a new pot or directly to the soil. 

Afterwhich, water it. Wait for them to put off roots. This may last for a couple of days, but definitely not over three weeks. Once the roots are more established, cut back on the frequency of watering. After this, let them enjoy the sun more often. 

As you already know, the main reason why they stretch and grow tall is that they lack sunlight. So, since you’ve given its offshoots a new chance to thrive, make sure to expose them to the sun more often. Also, water them sparingly – never drown its roots. 

Can I cut a succulent that is too tall?

You need to trim the stem by following the steps we enumerated above. After that, replant the trimmings to grow better and healthier new succulents. 

Can I cut the top off my cactus?

Yes, you can do so. After cutting it off, you can again replant it and let it thrive by satisfying all its growth conditions.

Conclusion

The best succulent ground covers captured many hearts because of their color and ability to tile the garden landscape. Some also admire the beauty of rose succulents originate from the Canary Islands and unique black succulents because they’re rare. All these succulents share one thing in common — they’re of the shorter varieties. If you’re searching for the types that could resemble trees and other high-growing plants, then tall succulents are for you. 

They’re fun to experiment and play with because of their uniqueness. On top of that, they’re also not hard to grow and maintain as they are resilient and resistant to harsh environmental conditions. And lastly, regardless if you don’t have a green thumb, basic knowledge of their needs and desire to cultivate them is enough to allow them to thrive.

Photos from: Ramann / depositphotos.com, mikemakarenko / depositphotos.com, HanjoHellmann / depositphotos.com, hecos / depositphotos.com and MatrixReloaded / depositphotos.com.