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How Fast do Succulents Grow?

How fast a succulent or cactus grows will depend on the variety of the species, its growing conditions and, of course, what you consider fast or slow. Succulents come in large and diverse varieties, and while some are considered slow-growing, there are also many succulents that can grow relatively quickly. In some succulents, you may see growth advances in a matter of weeks, while others may grow for decades. Some varieties within a species will grow faster than other variations within the same species.

What conditions increase the growth rate of succulents and cacti?
Two conditions will affect the growth rate of a succulent.

Growth period: A succulent will grow faster during its growing season than it will during its dormant season. Some succulents do not grow at all in their dormant season, and some others will grow but much slower.

Environment: How fast a succulent grows will also depend on environmental conditions. Sunlight, temperature, soil, and humidity can affect the growth rate of a succulent. If the plant has its ideal amount of light, heat, and moisture, and is grown in the right soil, it will grow at an optimal rate.

Succulent and fast-growing cacti

Some examples of succulents and fast-growing cacti are as follows:

Echeveria can grow very fast during the Spring and Summer months, as this is their growing phase. They will likely bloom around this time. A cool tip to instigate plant growth is to cut the bloom off. The energy it would have taken to push out the bloom will be used to grow the plant. Most Echeverias overgrow. When you see new leaves forming in the center of the plant, then it means that it likes its surroundings and grows as fast as it can. One 2 inch plant can widen up to 6-8 inches in optimal conditions in a year.  

Graptoveria is a close relative of the Echeveria species as they are a hybrid of Echeveria and Graptopetalum. These will likely have a bloom as well. You can cut the bloom off to instigate growth of the Graptoveria in its growing season, which typically is Spring and Summer. A 2 inch plant can easily get up to 5-7 inches within a year.  

Extremely fast growers. These go from small seeds or cuttings to rooted plants in weeks. Some Kalanchoe proliferates and in some cases can be considered invasive. Among the fastest growing are Kalanchoe diagremontana, Kalanchoe tubiflora, Kalanchoe pinnata, Kalanchoe tormentosa and Kalanchoe marmorata. These are very fast growers and can easily grow new plants with little-to-no effort on your part. One 2 inch plant can make a dozen new plants (maybe more) and grow fairly rapidly within a year.  

Aloe includes many species, but some of them are relatively fast growing and quite adaptable. The most famous and fast-growing Aloes include Aloe arborescens, Aloe barbadensis, and Aloe vera. In the right conditions some can grow from 2 inch to 6 inches within a year.  

There are hundreds of species of Sedum, and they hybridize with each other. Therefore, they come in great variety. Sedum can proliferate, occupying any bare spot and are quite resilient. One 2 inch plant can occupy and cover 1 foot of area in the course of a year.  

A hybrid of Sedum and Graptopetalum, these are medium fast growers. Some varieties will sprawl like a sedum, others will grow wide like an Echeveria. They can go from 2 inch to 4 inch in less than a year. If they sprawl, one 2 inch plant can cover 6-9 inches around it within a year.  

Crassula can be both fast and slow growers. Outdoors, these will thrive and grow rapdily. A 2 inch crassula will easily become a 5-6 inch plant within a year, almost doubling in size. Indoors, some crassula like Jade will have slow growth. Indoors you can expect these to keep their compact size and grow an inch a year.  

 Slow Growers

Haworthias are extreme slow growers. To go from a 2 inch size to 4 inch, it can take up to a year, sometimes longer.  

Another slow grower, these can take up to a year to go from 2 inch to 3-4 inches.