Aerial Roots on Succulents- What Can You Do About Them

Aerial Roots

You have your succulent for some time now and you start noticing some weird rooty things growing along the stem? Don’t worry, your succulent will be fine. However, if your succulent start to grow aerial roots (or simply, just air roots), this can mean that the plant needs some extra love from you.

Air Roots On Succulents

What Are Air Roots And Why They Grow?

First of all, air roots are basically roots that start growing on the stem of succulent instead in the soil. They’re mostly white or pink. Usually, your succulent will start forming air roots if it’s not getting enough water and when its surrounded by the humid environment. This way the plant can absorb water it needs from the air.

There are a few reasons why you succulent may be thirsty. First, if you’re not using the right soil, your succulent can’t absorb enough water from it. You should plant your succulent in soil with large particles to make sure it gets enough nutrition. Also, if your watering technique isn’t right, your succulent may form air roots to search for more water.

Also, if your succulent doesn’t get enough lightning, that can cause forming of air roots. That in combination with lack of water will result in a plant that is dried out at the bottom, extremely stretched out with air roots growing from the dried out parts. Forming of air roots while stretching for light is pretty common and can be easily fixed by placing the succulent in a better environment and some deeper watering.

Not All Succulents Grow Aerial Roots

Some succulents are more likely to grow air roots in the lack of water than the others. Some of the tender species, like Echeverias or Sedums, will quickly show you they’re thirsty, unlike Aloes and Haworthias, where you can rarely find any signs of aerial roots.

You’re more likely to see some air roots forming on quickly growing succulents in their active growing season. The best examples are Graptoveria “Fred Ives” and Graptopetalum paraguayense. These succulents grow quickly and tend to stretch out if they don’t have enough light.

Air Roots On Kalanchoe

What Should You Do With Aerial Roots?

Not Enough Light

You can remove them, but you don’t have to. Either way, they don’t harm your succulent. If air roots on your plant are getting too unsightly, you can easily pick them off. Just be careful not to harm the rest of the succulent. If you leave aerial roots attached to the plant, they may eventually harden or thicken and start looking like a small branch. This is completely normal.

While air roots aren’t a huge problem and don’t mean that your succulent is sick, they are a sign you should adjust the care of your succulent. If your plant is growing air roots, this is an early sign that it’s not as healthy as it should be. Make sure you’re deeply watering your plant, which doesn’t necessarily means more often, and that it’s getting enough sunlight to meet its needs.


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