How To Keep Succulents Small

How To Keep Succulents Small featured image

Succulents are one of the most common house plants because of their small size. If you don’t have much space and patience, having a succulent plant at home might be something for you. With a decent small spot in your home, infrequent watering, enough indirect sunlight, and minimum attention, indoor succulents can add character to your space. Part of proper plant care is to ensure how to keep succulents small. A succulent that gets bigger is an unhealthy sign for your plant.

Why Succulents Get Bigger?

If you ever wonder why your succulents are starting to stretch out, you’ll probably need to check if you are providing them enough sunlight. Lack of sunlight is the initial and most common reason why your succulents might tend to get bigger. Succulent etiolation is the process wherein the plants grow in the partial or complete absence of sunlight. Given this explanation, you will probably notice that indoor succulents had the tendency to grow bigger. Longer and weaker stems and smaller leaves with yellow color characterize etiolation. The succulents stretch out as they tend to bend toward the light source.

A related post: 10 Cute Mini Succulents For Indoor Decoration.

Choosing The Small Succulents

  • Lithops – This genus of succulent comes from the ice plant family, Aizoaceae, and is native to South Africa. Lithops is also commonly known as Living Stones due to their stone-like appearance. It comes in a variety of colors that camouflages the environment. Lithops produce yellow and white flowers during the fall season. It prefers bright sunlight for at least four hours a day.
  • Echeveria Minima – This genus comes from the Crassulaceae family and is native to Northeast Mexico. It has blue-green leaves arranged in a rosette pattern and pink tips. Typically, Echeveria Minima is only three inches tall and four inches in diameter. It produces pink and yellow bell-shaped flowers during the spring season. Echeveria Minima are non-toxic and low maintenance, making them a perfect indoor succulent. >> The Echeveria Genus
  • Sedum Petite Bicolor – This succulent variety is called Sedum Little Missy and comes from the Crassulaceae family. It is native to South Africa. Sedum Petite Bicolor is a known succulent that is planted in hanging containers. It has bright green and white variegated leaves and blooms tiny pink flowers during summer. >> The Sedum Genus
  • Kalanchoe pumila – This genus comes from the Crassulaceae family. It is also known as Flower Dust Plant and is native to Madagascar. Kalanchoe Pumila can grow up to 7.8 inches tall and 17.7 inches in diameter. It produces clusters of petite pink flowers during late winter and early spring and has broad silvery-white leaves.
  • Haworthia – This genus is native to South Africa and is commonly known as Zebra Plant due to its stripes of white bumps on its leaves. It is often compared to aloes due to the shape of its leaves. Haworthia is a slow grower and requires little watering. Aside from being tiny, this succulent is a perfect indoor plant as it can thrive in indirect sunlight.

How To Keep Succulents Small?

So, how to keep succulent small? Pruning & beheading the succulents is a must as it prevents the plant to grow too big. It’s also good for making new plants (propagation). Is it the only tip? There are more below:

#Tip 1. Keeping succulents in sunny places for 4-6h/ day

Typically, a succulent requires four to six hours of sunlight per day. When placed indoors, make sure to put your succulents by the window or in an area wherein they can get enough indirect sunlight. With a good source of sunlight, your succulents won’t need to stretch and grow bigger.

#Tip 2. Regular pruning

Pruning helps keep your succulents in shape and organized and therefore one of the simplest ways to keep succulents small. It prevents succulents from getting leggy while keeping a fuller appearance. However, make sure that you are not over-pruning your succulents. It is safe to say that you may prune your succulents twice a year.

#Tip 3. Beheading the succulent

Aside from keeping your succulents small, beheading is usually performed to replant or propagate your succulents. Beheading will result in having a central head and limit your plant’s growth. Cutting off the top part of your succulent’s rosette can prevent branching out. Beheading is also the solution to get rid of pests on your succulents caused by insufficient sunlight.

#Tip 4. Limit the root space

Limiting the root space is a natural way to keep succulents small. The bigger the root space of your succulent, the bigger it can grow. This means that with no space to root, you are basically limiting the size of your succulent.

#Tip 5. Less watering and feeding

Feeding your succulent and having rich soil promotes growth. So if you want to keep your succulents tiny, it is not advisable to take extra care and attention to feed them. Naturally, a regular potting soil mixture has enough nutrients from your succulent to thrive. Using fertilizers is only an additional source of nutrients for your plant.


1. Do small succulents stay small?

Deciding to put your succulents indoors is a significant factor in keeping succulents small. Generally, small succulents will remain small. But proper succulent care will contribute to how to keep succulents small.

2. How long can small succulents stay in small pots?

Small succulents can last six to twelve months when placed in small pots with proper succulent care. Also, since most succulents are slow growers, they would likely remain small for the rest of their lives.

3. How long do small succulents live?

On average small succulents can live from three to four years. What’s good about this type of plant, though, is that it can be easily propagated.

We have compacted 27+ commonly-asked questions about succulent in 1 single article. You can visit the page here and feel free to contribute any question that you have 🙂 Happy planting!

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Final Words

Succulents are known to be every new plant lover’s choice. It doesn’t take much attention, space, and even resources to keep a happy and thriving succulent at home. All you need is enough sunlight, regular pruning, and some patience. We hope that through the different succulent care tips discussed in this article, you know how to keep your succulents small.


Richard Miller

Salute everyone. It's Richard, the author of this Succulent & Xeriscaping blog. I am a traveler and a nature lover looking for a connection with the wild green. In my journey, I found a love for succulents and xeriscaping. What attracts me is the long-lasting & unique beauty of every plant I have the chance to see with my own eyes. Welcome to my little blog and let's enjoy a good time together!

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