Leaves Far Apart

Leaves Far Apart

Want to learn more about Symptoms: Spindly plant (Leaves far apart)

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Why is the leaves far apart?

Spindly plants and sparse foliage can occur for a few different reasons. These issues can lead to further health problems with your plants.


  • Spindly growth

  • Sparse foliage

  • Leggy

  • Etiolation

  • Top-heavy

Spindly Growth

Common causes

Most commonly it's that your plant isn't getting enough light or might be underfertilized. If your plant is kept in a spot where it lacks sufficient light, it will stretch itself out to try and reach any available light source nearby, leaving it looking long and thin. This is a survival technique that is called etiolation and is very common on succulent plants that are kept indoors without ideal lighting conditions.

Additionally, if your plant isn't getting enough light (or enough nutrients through fertilization) then it won't have sufficient energy to grow healthy foliage, which is why it can start to look leggy and sparse.

Climbing and vining plants can start to etiolate and produce vines without any leaves if they are lacking something to attach to and climb on.

What to think about

It's important to note that some plant types may actually become spindly regardless of their health. For instance, plants that die back in the winter can look a bit leggy when they experience a growth spurt in springtime.

Although this isn't always necessarily a problem, it can affect the appearance of your plant and, if left unchecked, could eventually cause your plant to become top-heavy and at risk of toppling over. If this is the case, it's probably a good idea to repot, prune back or propagate your plant since etiolated growth won't recover. Also, if your plant doesn't have enough leaves then this may affect its ability to photosynthesize properly.