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How to Propagate Burro’s Tail Succulents 3 Ways

Today we are going to discuss how to propagate a Sedum morganianum. You likely know this by one of its common names rather than it’s botanical name – the Burro’s Tail or Donkey Tail. This plant is a succulent and is one of the most  popular succulent plants around. 

Editor’s note: I have had my Burro’s Tail for years and love it! I actually discovered how to propagate it purely by accident. A leaf had fallen off into a pot next to it and after a few weeks it had sprouted roots. I was shocked! Since that happy accident I’ve propagated this plant numerous times. I’m excited we get to share how to do it with you today!

If you want to have more than one of them without the additional cost, propagation is a great way to get new plants!

How to Propagate a Burro's Tail Succulent 3 Ways

How to Propagate Burro’s Tail Plants

Before we get to the different propagation methods, one thing to know is that time of year can make a difference in your success rate. Your best time is during the growing season (I prefer late spring or early summer). Winter months can be harder to find success when propagating but it’s not impossible if you have to do it then.

Leaf Propagation

One of the easiest ways to propagate a Burro’s Tail plant is this – wait for the individual leaves to fall off the mother plant and let them grow in the soil beneath the plant! It is natural for leaves to drop off the mother plant. 

Once this happens, you can either leave them to grow right where they fall, or take them and put them into another container to root and grow. You can even collect several leaves directly from the mother plant. 

burro's tail propagation

However you choose to get your leaves for propagation, they should be undamaged whole healthy leaves. The damaged leaves will not grow because they need the meristematic cells that are responsible for root production. These cells are found at the base of the leaves. 

Find a shallow tray or dish to use for placing your cuttings into. Use a well-drained soil such as a cacti or succulent soil. You can also make your own with one part sand, one and a half parts perlite, and one and a half parts potting soil.

Once you have your soil prepared, lay the leaves on the surface of the soil. Place the tray or dish in bright, indirect sunlight. You may need to mist the soil to be sure it is moist, but don’t water it. You don’t want the leaves to rot before they develop new roots.

burro tail's propagation

Don’t let the soil dry out completely, but keep it moderately moist by misting it every few days. Sometimes the leaves will already have roots before you collect them, but you should begin to see roots develop after about two weeks or so.

As the roots develop, cover them lightly with soil to kind of anchor them. This will encourage them to grow down into the soil. Water them sparingly once they have rooted. Keep an eye on the cuttings to be sure the roots stay covered with the soil.

Eventually, you will begin to see a tiny Donkey’s tail plant growing from the end of the leaf. This can take quite a long time, so be patient! Once it happens, though, it is really neat to see! I have had many of these develop and am excited each time I see one sprout!

succulent propagation

Once you see some significant growth, you can carefully repot the cuttings into a larger pot. The original mother leaves may still be attached where the new growth has sprouted but you don’t need to remove it. It will eventually shrivel up and just die. 

You will know when to remove the original leaf when it is no longer plump and the new plant has used up all its nutrients and resources. The new plant will take on a life of its own once it starts growing in the new pot!

jen biswas with burro's tail plant

Stem Propagation

You can also propagate your Donkey Tail plants by using stem cuttings. If you want to do this, you should cut a healthy stem from the mother plant and allow the end of the stem to harden off for a few days. This is also called callousing

You can use rooting hormone powder to dip the end of the stem into to encourage more rapid growth. Just be aware that these plants are slow growers, so don’t expect them to take off growing right away!

If you want to put the new cuttings into your existing plant, this is a good way to get a fuller looking plant. You can encourage fuller looking plants by doing this. You can also take the stem cuttings and put them into another pot with fresh soil.

Because of the weight of these cuttings, you may need to pin them down once you put them into the soil. They tend to be very heavy. You can use a hairpin or bobby pin or lightweight piece of wire for this purpose. 

Water Propagation

Your Burro’s Tail succulent leaf cuttings can also be propagated in water. You will need to cut off a stem that is long enough to stand in water. I have read some people use a plastic straw to stand their cutting in the water so it will stand securely. 

You should change the water in your container on a regular basis. Once your stem grows roots, you will be ready to plant this stem into new well-draining soil in a new pot. Wait until the roots are at least one to two inches long before doing this. 

Propagation by Division

Another method of propagating your Donkey Tail Succulent is by division. This is typically only able to be done with larger mature plants, however. If you have a large Burro’s Tail, then you will be able to divide the stems and repot several of them for a new plant.

You will need to take the plant out of its container and separate the stems into the size of plants you want for your new pot. Be careful not to damage the roots as you are doing this. Some leaves may fall off, but you can still use them for soil propagation as we talked about earlier in this article.

I would recommend dipping the ends of the stems into rooting hormone powder before planting them in the new soil. This will help give them a boost as they begin to grow in the new pot.  Place the plant in a spot with bright indirect light and water once. Wait till you see new growth to water again.

burro tail

Burro’s Tail Care

Burro’s Tail plants are fairly easy to care for. These indoor plants need a good amount of bright light in order to grow healthy. Some plants can’t handle full sun but these do well with 4-5 hours of full sun. 

Be careful when watering them! Too much water can cause root rot which is deadly for this plant. Only water it when it’s dry or when the leaves are squishy. They hold water in their leaves so that’s a great sign to know when it’s time to water it. Also use a pot with a drainage hold to allow for good drainage.

Check out our full guide on taking care of a Burro’s tail succulent!

In Conclusion

When you decide to propagate your Burro’s Tail, there are several ways to accomplish this. All of them are relatively easy to do and will give you nice results. This is an easy way to get more plants for your buck! As always, keep on growing!

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  • Becky is a wife, a mom of four, and a grandma to 10 beautiful grandkids. She has always loved plants and never met a plant she wasn’t interested in. Her lifelong love of learning extends to her love of plants and she hopes to share that with others as she writes for Paisley Plants.

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