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Home » How to Grow and Care for Burros Tail

How to Grow and Care for Burros Tail

by Elyssa Goins
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

Burros tail is a popular houseplant usually grown in a hanging pot due to its natural trailing nature. It is an excellent choice if you are looking for an easy-to-care-for houseplant. The Royal Horticultural Society has awarded Sedum morganianum the Award of Garden Merit. The Award of Garden Merit is a mark of quality awarded after the Royal Horticultural Society has trialed a plant for one or more years.

Sedum morganianum, being a native of Mexico, naturally thrives in dry conditions. That being the case, the biggest problem you may have looking after your Burro’s tail is killing it with kindness. Watering is only required every few weeks, so careful not to overwater your plant is the main key to success. Only water in the summer when the compost feels dry to the touch; it requires even less frequent watering during the winter months.

Warmth is the other key to success; Burros Tail will not tolerate any degree of frost and grow best at an average temperature of 13- 23°C (50-75°F).

Sedum morganianum looks fabulous in a hanging pot where its hanging foliage can be shown to the best effect. Don’t hang it close to walkways, though, as the leaves and stems are brittle and can easily be broken.

Burro’s Tail is ideal for brightening bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, and studies. It is happiest in a well-lit spot out of direct sunlight but will also grow well in shadier rooms of the house.


Sedum, in general, is very easy to take care of, and Sedum morganianum, more commonly known as  Burro’s tail, is no exception. This succulent has trailing stems of overlapping blue-green leaves, ideal for growing in an indoor hanging pot.

Succulents are very similar to cacti which require very little watering and very little maintenance in general. They thrive on being kept on the dry side and can be left for weeks between watering.

If your Burro’s Tail is growing in a well-lit sunny spot, then you should be watering every 2 weeks if it is growing in a more shady area, then you can easily leave it for three weeks between watering. When there is less sunlight in the winter, you should leave a month between watering.

Overwatering can be an issue for Burro’s Tail because watering only once a month feels like you are neglecting it. Remember, Burro’s Tail is a succulent, which is native to southern Mexico and, with its fleshy leaves naturally holding water, can survive in the hottest climates will very little water.

Burro’s Tail is equally happy growing in a sunny position in darker rooms of the house. You will find the growth rate will be slightly quicker, the leaf coloration is improved, and you will have more flowers in the well-lit spot Burros Tail will equally thrive in low-light areas such as bathrooms but will grow slower and produce fewer flowers. Burro’s Tail is completely safe to have around your children and pets.

Potting Your Plant

Burro’s Tail likes to be kept dry, so you need free-draining compost. The ideal compost for potting Burros Tail is Cactus Compost. Cactus compost has lots of grit, which helps drainage and adds some weight to the dry compost, which helps keep dry pots from easily falling over.

Feeding Your Burro’s Tail

Succulents are slow growing, and because of this, they don’t need a great deal of fertilizer. You only need to feed your Burro’s Tail in the spring and early summer. When the day is shorter in winter, your Burro’s Tail will be dormant and won’t require any fertilizer.

Feed with a slow-release well, balanced cacti, and succulent fertilizer. This should be done once in early spring and once again in early summer. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you are neglecting your Burro’s Tail and end up overfeeding. Stick to feeding twice a year. When you first buy your plant, it will require feeding because the compost will add fertilizer. If you buy it in Spring, don’t feed until Summer, and if you buy it in the Summer, don’t feed until the next spring.

Watering Your Plant

Watering should be only done when the plant is very dry by drenching the soil and letting it drain. I like to stand the pot in the sink, let it soak, and then put it on the draining board and allow it to drain. Try to avoid getting water on the foliage. Burro’s Tail is sensitive to overwatering, so be sure to keep it on the drier side.

Foliage and Flowers

The distinctively plump, fleshy, blue-green foliage has a natural powdery white bloom which is more noticeable when growing in well-lit areas out of direct sunlight. Burro’s tail is perfectly suited to growing in a hanging pot which will show its trailing habit off to its best. The stems hang down the pot’s side, trailing up to 60cm (24 inches). It will produce small rose-pink star-shaped flowers from the stem tips during the summer.

Cacti and succulents need a rest period where they can go dormant to produce flowers. To have a better show of flowers, it is best to keep the plant cooler in the winter, allowing the temperature to fall to 13°C (75°F) and reducing watering. When the temperature increases in the spring and you increase watering, it will trigger the production of flowers.


It is very simple if you or a friend has a Burros Tail and would like to have a go at propagating it. They can be grown from just a leaf, but producing a good trailing plant will take a long while. The best way is to cut off a trailing stem.

The plant is quite brittle, so you may find a stem gets broken off by accident; if this happens, it is an ideal opportunity for you to have a go at propagating your own. Ideally, this should be done in Spring when the plant is actively growing; although it can be done at other times of the year, it will produce roots quicker in the spring.

Take your stem, if it has been broken off, then trim the end so it is a clean cut. Leave it in a sunny spot for 2 days to dry out a little. Then all you need to do is push the stem in Cacti compost deep enough, so it doesn’t easily fall out of the pot and firm the compost around it. All you need to do then is treat it like a fully grown plant and water it when it is dry.

They are so easy to propagate that just pushing it into a pot and giving it some water every couple of weeks, you will see roots appear in a few weeks, and in only a few months, you will have another trailing Burro’s Tail for your house or to give away as a present.


Origin: Southern Mexico

Names: Burro’s Tail or Donkey Tail (common). Sedum morganianum (botanical/scientific) .

Max Growth (approx): Height: 20cm (8in) Spread: 50cm (20in).

Poisonous for pets: Non-toxic dogs and cats.

Burro’s Tail Plant Care

These are ways you should consider in planting Burro’s Tail.


Room temperatures of 13- 23°C (50-75°F) are ideal. Try not to allow temperatures to decrease lower than 13°C (50°F)


Burros Tail is versatile; it thrives in a well-lit room out of direct sunlight but will survive well in less well-lit positions.


They are a succulent that requires very little watering. Only water when the compost feels dry, roughly every 2-3 weeks on average.


Cactus compost is the best compost to use; it has high grit content to help drainage.


Use cacti and succulent fertilizer once in early spring and again in early summer.


Re-pot when necessary in the spring using cactus compost

Air Humidity

Humidity isn’t an issue for Burro’s Tail, so n special care needs to be taken for this


Burro’s Tail is very easy to propagate. Basically, you can break a piece off and push it into some compost, and it will grow.

Grooming and Pruning

If the plants get any damage, removing the damaged parts is a good idea. Otherwise, Burro’s Tail needs very little care.

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