All About Succulent Roots (Including Succulent Aerial Roots)

About succulent root featured image

Succulents are plants that are known for their thick and fleshy leaves. However, their roots are also an essential part of their survival. Succulent roots have unique adaptations that allow them to thrive in arid conditions.

Important Succulent Root Features

succulent root features

1. Storing Water Effectively

One of the most remarkable features of succulent roots is their ability to store water. Since succulents grow in dry environments, their roots have adapted to absorb and store water whenever available. This feature allows the plant to survive extended periods without rainfall.

2. Growing Closer To The Surface

Another adaptation of succulent roots is their ability to grow shallowly. Succulent roots tend to grow closer to the surface. How deep are succulent roots? Typically the length of succulent root ranges from 2 to 4 inches deep, depending on the size of the plant. Some large succulents have robust and deeper roots.

This feature allows them to absorb water during rainfall or when available quickly. However, it will avoid root rot naturally once the water absorbs deeper.

3. Support Quick Propagation

Succulent roots are also known for their ability to propagate quickly. Most succulent varieties can grow new roots from cuttings, which makes them easy to propagate. Some succulent species can also produce aerial roots that grow from the stem, allowing them to absorb air moisture.

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How To Better Care For Succulent Root

If you get everything right, you will never see root rot or any problem with your succulent root. Here is how:

keep your succulent root safe

1. Choose The Right Soil

If you want to grow succulents, choosing the right soil type is essential. Succulent roots require well-draining soil to avoid waterlogging, which can cause root rot. A good soil mixture for succulents should contain a mix of sand, perlite, and peat moss to provide adequate drainage while retaining some moisture.

2. Water sparingly

Succulent plants are adapted to dry conditions and do not need to be watered as frequently as other plants. Overwatering can directly lead to root rot and other issues. It is crucial to allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.

3. Provide adequate sunlight

Succulent plants need plenty of sunlight to thrive. However, avoiding direct sunlight during the hottest day is essential.

The intensive sunlight can scorch the leaves and damage the roots. A bright, sunny window or a spot outdoors with partial shade is ideal.

Read more: Do Succulents Need Sunlight? How Much Sunlight Do Succulents Need?

4. Repot as necessary

Succulent plants should be repotted every year or two, depending on their size and the condition of their roots. Be sure to use fresh soil and a pot with adequate drainage. If the roots grow out of the drainage holes or the soil is compacted and not draining correctly, it is time to repot.

By following these tips, you rest assured that your succulent plants have healthy, thriving roots.

Succulent Aerial Roots

Succulents sometimes grow extra roots above the soil, called aerial roots. These roots are thin, and tend to look like little pink or white threads, reaching out from the stem or the base of leaves. If you see these roots, it’s a hint that your succulent might need more water or is trying to find its way to the soil, as the plant is searching for more water or support. They’re not harmful but can be a sign that your plant is telling you to check your watering routine.

If everything else looks good, and you don’t like them, you can just snip them off. Or you can start a propagation to make more plants and reduce the size of the current plant.

My Short Guide On Succulent Aerial Roots Propagation

Aerial roots on succulents aren’t typically the roots used for propagation. Here’s how you can use the presence of aerial roots for propagation:

  1. Choose a Healthy Part: If your succulent has a stem with aerial roots and also has healthy leaves, it’s a good candidate for propagation.
  2. Cutting: Using a clean pair of scissors or pruning shears, cut off the part of the succulent that has the aerial roots with a clean 45 degree angle. If you’re propagating a rosette-style succulent, you can even take the whole rosette.
  3. Let it Dry: Allow the cut end to callous over by leaving it out for a day or two. This helps prevent rot when you plant it.
  4. Planting & Rooting: Once the cut end has dried, you can plant it in a well-draining soil mix. Initially, don’t water right away. Wait for a few days to a week before watering lightly. The aerial roots themselves may not grow deep into the soil. However, as the cutting establishes itself, it will start to grow new roots that will anchor into the soil. This process can take a few weeks.
  5. Watering: Once the cutting has rooted successfully, you can gradually transition to your regular succulent watering routine.

It’s important to note that not all succulents with aerial roots will be successful in propagation this way, but many are.

Learning different parts of a succulent by following these posts: 

Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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