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How Fast Do Succulents Grow? Ooh!

How Fast Do Succulents Grow? Ooh!

When I got my very first succulents, I was so thrilled. Some were of the echeveria species and the others were lithops.

In my excitement, I continuously checked my plants every few hours, and me being me, I even had my measuring tape, notebook, and pen ready to write down the progress of my succulents and my care plan.

I’m sure you can imagine my elation when my echeveria grew beautifully and I could easily track its progress, as well as my disappointment when my lithops just seemed to never grow, not even a teeny-tiny micro-inch.

They were growing, just really, really slowly.

I learned there are succulent species that grow faster than others; clearly, my lithops fell in the slow category. So just how fast do succulents grow?

 

How Fast Do Succulents Grow?

The growth rate of a succulent depends on 3 factors, namely the species, the growing conditions, and what you define as “fast.” Technically, succulents grow slower than other plants, but there are some faster varieties, like echeveria, which grow 4-6 inches annually (10-15 cm) while Haworthias may only grow 2-3 inches (5-7.6 cm) in a year or longer. 

 

What Are Fast-Growing and Slow-Growing Succulents

In general, succulents can be divided into fast-growing and slow-growing varieties.

Examples of faster-growing succulents where you can see considerable growth in 4-6 months are:

  • Crassula
  • Mother of thousands
  • Graptosedum
  • Stonecrop, or sedum
  • Echeveria
  • Aloe Vera
  • Agave, or century plant

With slow-growing succulents, you may never really see any development since they grow so slowly; examples include:

Even though there are slow and fast-growing succulent plants, if you don’t take proper care of the fast-growing variety, they may grow like their slow-growing counterparts.

 

How Long Succulents Take to Grow

I’ve grown my succulents via seed and propagation methods. However, I’ve found that growing them by seed is the slowest and it feels like watching a new baby grow.

The seeds, depending on the species, may take about 10 days to 2 weeks to germinate.

I once planted a few sempervivums. Some of these seeds took only three weeks to germinate, while others took up to a year!

When I felt more comfortable caring for my succulents and they had an established root system, I also propagated them.

I saw new sprouts forming as early as 2 weeks when I took leaf cuttings to grow my new succulent babies. It took about 8 weeks to a few months for leaves to start forming.

My Crassula ovata grew really well when I wanted new succulents to grow from leaves from the mother plant.

When I did stem propagation, some succulents started growing roots around 4 weeks, but some species took longer. With root propagation, new leaves and roots generally form in 3-4 weeks.

However, when I took a baby plant from its mother (offset propagation), it could take up to 10 weeks for the new roots to grow.

Another method of measuring how fast succulents grow is by looking at when they flower from when they are planted.

Here’s a list of popular succulents and how long it takes for them to grow, mature, or new plantlets to appear, provided they are carefully looked after:

  • Mother of thousands: 2-5 years to mature
  • Jade plant: 2 weeks to 2 months for new plantlets to appear; grows 2-8 inches in a year
  • Aloe vera: 1-1.5 years to mature
  • Echeveria: grows 4-6 inches in a year
  • Agave: 6-10 years to mature
  • Lithops: flower in 3-4 years
  • Air plants: 2-3 years to become a small plant, and then a further 3-5 years to mature
  • Barrel cactus: 10 years to grow to 10 inches in diameter

 

How to Get Your Succulent to Grow Faster

To get your succulents to grow optimally or faster start with proper plant care. Some succulent species can be opportunistic and they grow their best when they are well taken care of.

Ensure that your pot, soil, watering schedule, and lighting conditions are tip-top for your succulents to grow faster.

Here’s what I do:

 

The Pot

For succulents to grow faster, I ensure mine are all planted in well-draining pots where their root systems can breathe and where excess water doesn’t collect as this can lead to root rot.

Terracotta pots with a big drainage hole at the bottom work really well.

 

The Soil

Next is the soil. This needs to be well-draining, as well as of good quality. I like to use a potting mix that’s best for succulents and cacti.

However, I sometimes mix my own potting soil to grow my succulents in.

My recipe involves mixing 3 equal parts of coarse sand with standard gardening soil, and then I add ½ a part of pumice or perlite.

 

Water

How you water your succulents will either aid or hamper how fast they grow. I’ve found that while succulents don’t need a lot of water or can go without being watered for quite a while, it is best to water your plants regularly.

I follow the “rule” that says that you should water the succulents only when you’re sure that the soil’s totally dry.

I usually stick my finger in to check, and if it is dry, I give my plants a good watering, completely drowning the soil.

 

Light

How much light your succulents require depends on the species. If your plants need more sunlight, then they’ll start to stretch where the light is.

Most succulent varieties need about 4-6 hours of indirect sunlight as too much direct sun can burn the leaves.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about How Fast Succulents Grow

 

How can I speed up my succulent growth?

A nutrient-rich, well-draining soil will help your succulent grow faster. It also needs to be watered regularly. However, you should only water the plant once the soil is dry.

 

How much do succulents grow in a month?

This is dependent on the type or species of succulents, as well as the watering schedule, fertilization, type of soil, sunlight, humidity, and climate. The varieties of succulents that grow slowly, like air plants and barrel cactus, give the impression that they don’t grow. Those that grow faster, such as Irish rose, aloe vera, and jade plants, can increase significantly in size during their growing season.

 

The Final Growth

Some succulent species grow quite fast, from 3 days to several weeks when you planted the seeds. Others take years to mature or bloom.

Taking care of your succulents with good soil that drains well, together with a pot that drains excess water, a regular watering schedule, and the right amount of sunlight ensures your succulents grow optimally, or faster.

Happy growing!