If you’re looking to add a plant to your collection that will catch people’s attention, check out the Burro’s Tail. This beautiful succulent, also known as Sedum morganianum, got the name from its appearance, which is unique and trails.
I love plants named after random things they look like! I never would have thought of a donkey’s tail when looking at this succulent, but I can kind of see it.
This plant is also incredibly easy to grow, which is great news for those who want an easy-care routine for their houseplants or garden! I’ve owned mine for over 2 years now and it’s thriving!
Before we dive into how to take care of this plant, let’s talk about its history and where it comes from.
Background and History
The Burro’s Tail is native to southern parts of Mexico and Honduras. There are many names for this plant, including the Donkey’s Tail, Lamb’s Tail, and Horse’s Tail. The plump leaves are what gives it its name, and they vary from being a lime-green to a blue-green depending on the plant’s health and level of sunshine and watering.
This plant trails and has beads of leaves that are often known for being chubby. Burro’s Tail generally grow to no more than 24 inches in length, but the size depends on the pot and the available space to grow. This plant can normally live up to 10 years in the right environment, growing to maturity in about five years in the right conditions.
Some people mistake this plant for a cactus, but it’s technically a different type of succulent. Burro’s Tails are heat- and drought-tolerant, making them easy to care for. They also grow best in warm temperatures, as will be discussed further on.
They can be grown indoors or outdoors. For those looking to add these to their gardens, here is how to best look after your new Burro’s Tail.
Your watering schedule will depend on the climate where you live. There is no set timing or schedule, so you have to measure this by your environment and the condition of your plant. In the hotter months, it is best to water your plant more, and refrain from watering as much during the colder winter months.
If you live in a more humid environment, you won’t need to water as much. The plant will be able to absorb some of the humidity and use it for nutrients. In the winter, you may even be able to rely on rainwater to help with your plant’s watering schedule.
You can get away with only watering your Burro’s Tail every two to three weeks in the colder months. Wait for the soil to be completely dry and then water your Burro’s Tail.
*Check out my favorite water cans here!
This succulent thrives in plenty of bright sunlight. If you have this plant indoors, you should find the brightest place in your home for your Burro’s Tail.
A south-facing window is best, but even an east- or west-facing window will do the trick. As long as your plant has at least five hours of solid sunlight, it’ll be healthy.
If you live in an area where there’s not a lot of sunlight, you might consider an artificial option. There are ways to fabricate the sunlight, such as grow lights, that work just as well for your plants as sunlight does. However, if possible, find a proper sunlit window for your plant to use.
I have mine perched on a windowsill in a south facing window and it’s doing great! In the summer months I put it in our screened in porch where it goes a mix of south and west light and it thrives there.
Unfortunately, these plants cannot tolerate frost in any capacity. You will have to protect these plants from the frost and extreme weather conditions, if this occurs in your area.
In the winter if you experience snow and freezing temperatures, it is best to keep your Burro’s Tail indoors. In the summer, you can bring your plant back out again to enjoy the uninhibited sunshine.
Generally speaking, this plant should be kept in temperatures that are well above freezing. Cold temperatures can permanently damage your plant. The best temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
As mentioned, this plant is pretty drought resistant. You will not need to mist or water your plant frequently when the moisture in the air disappears. Instead, you can refrain from watering your plant until the soil is dry.
These plants are great for any sort of location inside, but to keep them safe, it’s a good idea to keep them out of humid locations and near the windows where they can access the sunlight.
Because this plant does not need a lot of humidity and moisture, you should keep it in a well-draining soil. People often are able to use a cactus potting mix and add some more draining substances, such as perlite or others. There is no exact measurement; the only requirement is to make sure your soil can drain!
Sandy soil is another option as well, and you can even DIY this part. There are dozens of mixtures for soils online, making it easy for you to select the soil that seems the most appropriate for your needs and your climate.
Propagating your Burro’s Tail is easier than you think! The best way to propagate is to take some of the stem cuttings.
You can also take the leaves, but it’s a little more complex than other methods that are available. It takes longer, and the results aren’t as great compared to stem cutting.
The best way to propagate stem cuttings is to follow these steps:
- Take the stem cuttings from plump and healthy parts of the plant.
- Let them dry for one day or until the wound from cutting has healed up. Make sure they are in a dry and dark place.
- Prepare your pot with well-draining soil.
- Stick the cuttings into the soil.
- Wait for the plant to root and new growth to display, which can take up to three weeks.
- Keep it away from the sunlight until it has properly grown.
- Water when the soil is dry. As time passes on, decrease the watering process.
As long as you follow these steps, you will propagate your plant and have more Burro’s Tails to enjoy around your space.
If you want to take a little more time caring for your Burro’s Tail, you can prune some of the yellow or dying leaves. This will help keep it healthy over the years.
The most important thing is to make sure you don’t use unclean shears or cut through yellow tissue. This can contribute to some diseases and pests.
Diseases and Pests
With that in mind, your Burro’s Plant definitely has a few issues to be mindful of. There are some bacterial and fungal diseases that your plant can contract. Being mindful of pruning and looking after your watering habits helps prevent these diseases and keep the plant healthy and beautiful.
Some of the most common pests that people see in their Burro’s Tail are mealybugs, scale, fungus gnats, whitefly, vine weevils, and root mealybugs. Keep an eye out for these pests to catch them early so that they don’t affect the plant significantly.
Concerning diseases, there are many to be aware of:
- Root rot
- Leaf-spot disease
- Powdery mildew
- Southern blight
Like all other Sedum varieties, the Burro’s Tail is considered poisonous. Eating this plant will cause vomiting, nausea, and a loss of appetite.
If a person or animal ingests large amounts, seek emergency medical treatment as soon as possible to handle the situation.
Do Burro’s Tail Leaves Grow Back?
The good news is that if your plant’s leaves fall off, you can repot them and grow them again! These Burro’s Tail pieces are important for growing and keeping the plant healthy.
As long as you don’t cut through the leaves significantly, you will be able to watch this plant grow. Once a few leaves fell into a pot below it on the shelf without me noticing. A few weeks later I noticed it had rooted and was growing babies already!
The only thing that might cause the plant to stop growing would be drought conditions, in which the plant begins to drop its shriveled leaves and shrink in size. With proper watering, this shouldn’t happen.
If you’re looking for an easy trailing succulent, the Burro’s Tail is a great option to add to your garden. Just make sure to keep young kids and pets away from it since it is poisonous. With simple care, your Burro’s Tail can be one of the most robust plants in your garden!
Now that you know all there is to know about Burro’s Tails, check out the best soil for succulents to ensure you have the right potting soil for your new plant!