The Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum) is a succulent plant native to parts of Mexico. It gets its name from its small, fleshy leaves that cascade down from the plant in a trailing pattern. The triangular leaves stick to the stem in such a tight formation that you can’t really see the stem underneath without removing a few leaves. The end result strongly resembles multiple tails emerging from the pot.
Growth is slow, and it takes a long time for the plant to reach its ultimate height (four feet). In most cases, indoor plants can easily reach about 24 inches in a few years. Flowers blossom from the tips of the leaves in early summer, ranging from pink to red. You rarely see any of these indoors, but moving the plant outdoors over the summer can increase the chances.
Burro’s Tail Main Characteristics
|Common Name||Burro’s Tail, Donkey’s Tail, Horse’s Tail, Lamb’s Tail, Stonecrop|
|Botanical Name||Sedum morganianum|
|Native Range||Southern Mexico|
|Common Cultivars||Burrito, Baby Burro Tail|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||10 to 11|
|Mature Size||Height: 1 to 4 feet, Spread: 1 to 2 feet|
|Bloom Time||Summer (Rarely Indoors)|
|Propagation methods||by cuttings, by seeds, by division|
|Sun||Full sun to partial shade|
|Soil||Dry, Good Drainage|
Burro’s Tail Care Guide
Burros Tail is a succulent plant, which means having the ability to store water in its leaves. This helps the plant to survive in arid climates or periods of drought. It’s a popular plant to have indoors because it doesn’t require much maintenance.
Light and Location
The Burros Tail does well in bright conditions, from full sun to partial shade. However, it will grow the quickest and have the lushest appearance in direct sunlight. So, if you’re keeping your plant indoors, place it in a spot where it will receive several hours of sunlight each day.
In order to fully appreciate their trailing habit, hanging baskets are the best choice. Just make sure that the basket receives its fair share of sun before committing. Also, it’s best not to move the plant after it’s become established in a spot. It can easily get stressed in an unfamiliar spot.
Water moderately in the growing season but make sure that the soil dries out quickly afterward. These plants need even less water indoors; sometimes, once a month is more than enough. The leaves are a great indication of when the plant needs water. They plump up when sated and shrivel up when dry. Act accordingly.
Overwatering is an issue and should be avoided at all costs. The pot needs to have drainage holes, and the potting medium should be fast-draining. These are succulents, so err on the side of caution and hold off on watering if you’re unsure.
The Burro’s Tail can withstand a wide range of temperatures, optimally between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it’s best not to expose the plant to cold drafts or temperatures below 40 degrees.
The plant doesn’t require high humidity and can tolerate low levels just fine. Don’t pair the plant with any humidity-hungry plants. Avoid bathrooms.
Fertilize Sedum morganianum minimally, once in spring and summer. You can use a cactus fertilizer at half strength or just plain standard 10-10-10. It’s okay even if you don’t feed at all; these plants are not dependent on it.
Propagating Burro’s Tail
Burros Tail plants are easy to propagate from cuttings taken from the main plant. These plants multiply readily from cuttings. In fact, even leaves that fall off from the plant can easily grow into new plants without human interference. It’s just that it takes longer for the plant to mature when propagated from leaf cuttings than from stem cuttings. As such, stems are the preferred method for propagation.
- Pick a healthy stem and cut it off from the base.
- Remove the leaves near the cut end and allow the cutting some time to callus over. A couple of days is more than enough.
- Plant the cutting in a pot of fresh soil and secure it to the pot; stems with heavy growth tend to be hard to plant due to their weight.
- Wait for the cutting to take root; this might take a couple of months.
Propagating Sedum morganianum using seeds is also possible. Unfortunately, the plant rarely produces flowers indoors. But if you’ve been growing this plant outdoors, it might flower, and you can experiment with some seeds. Luckily, the process is relatively straightforward.
- Sow the seeds in a pot of cactus mix or a well-draining potting soil and cover lightly with sand or grit.
- Keep the pot in a warm spot with indirect sunlight and water very sparingly; the idea is to keep the potting mix moist but not wet.
- When seedlings emerge, give them more direct sunlight and start watering more frequently.
- Once they’re a few inches tall, you can transplant them to individual pots.
Division is also an option. When repotting, simply divide the root ball into two or more sections and pot each section in its own pot. Water the plant after a week and wait for the plants to re-establish themselves before giving them any fertilizer.
Potting and Repotting Burro’s Tail
The Donkey’s Tail can be potted in a wide range of pots. A clay pot with good drainage is ideal, but any pot will do as long as it has drainage holes. The potting mix should be fast-draining and gritty. You can use a cactus mix or make your own mix by combining one part potting soil, one part pumice, and one part perlite.
If the plant has outgrown its pot, it’s time for repotting. Do so in spring or early summer, before the plant starts growing actively. Note that these plants like to be pot-bound, so if possible, wait a year before repotting. These plants are exceptionally delicate, and if you’re not careful, you might end up causing a significant portion of the growth to fall off. Use a very gentle hand and don’t jostle.
Replant it in a slightly larger pot. Water well after a week or so and wait for the plant to re-establish itself before giving it any fertilizer.
Sedum morganianum is not toxic to humans and animals.
Burros Tail is relatively resistant to pests and diseases. However, aphids can be a problem. Get rid of them by using insecticidal soap. Although rubbing alcohol is safer, it isn’t an option with this plant as the leaves don’t react well to rough handling.
Everything You Need To Know About Burro’s Tail Plants (Video)
How To Propagate Burro’s Tail?
You can propagate Burros Tail by stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, or division. Seeds are also an option, but the plant rarely produces flowers indoors. Stem cuttings are the safest and fastest option. In comparison, division can be carried out while the plant is being repotted.
How To Care For Burro’s Tail?
Sedum morganianum is a relatively easy plant to care for. It prefers direct sunlight a few hours every day but can also thrive in bright shade. It needs moderate water in the summer and almost none in the winter. These plants are drought tolerant so err on the side of less water if you’re unsure. Fertilization isn’t needed, but you can if you want to. Don’t let the temperature fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and you should be fine.
How Often To Water Burro’s Tail?
Water this plant when the soil has dried out completely. You might have to water it once every two weeks to once a month in summer, depending on the plant’s needs. But in winter, only water to keep the soil from drying out entirely.