How To Take Care Of Burro’s Tail Succulent

  • The burro’s tail can withstand drought (those pillow leaves retain water). Limit your watering to once per month. (Be sure to fully soak the soil, then wait until the topsoil is completely dry before watering again.)
  • Use potting soil made for cacti and a pot with a drainage hole for your container plant.
  • Burro’s tail is a perennial in USDA growth zones 9 to 11, and as it is a native of eastern Mexico and Honduras, it anticipates warm weather all year long in the garden.

Burro’s tail was found by American botanist Eric Walther in Mexico in the 1930s, and he brought it back to California where it has been grown ever since.

How much sun is required for a burro’s tail?

Burro tails require bright light or some sun for at least four hours each day. If your burro’s tail is an indoor plant, make sure it’s close to strong light but away from windowsills with full, intense sun. Full sun will turn the leaves pale green or yellow.

Does donkey tail enjoy the sun’s rays?

Like many succulents, donkey’s tail does best in a place with a lot of warm sunshine, though it will tolerate some shade. If you decide to keep your plant indoors, choose a sunny windowsill with enough of everyday light.

Do burros enjoy being in the sun?

The family of stonecrops includes a significant number of species under the genus Sedum (Crassulaceae). A tropical species of sedum known as Sedum morganianum has long been cultivated as an ornamental because of its unusual, evergreen foliage. Due to the pendulous stems’ similarity to an animal’s tail, it goes by numerous common names, including burro’s tail, donkey’s tail (also a traditional name for the hardy perennial Euphorbia myrsinites), horse’s tail, and lamb’s tail. This long-lived sensitive trailing sub-shrub, which is native to southern Mexico and Honduras, is often grown as a houseplant in most of North America because it is hardy only when it is consistently above freezing. It received the 1993 Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.

The trailing stalks and succulent, blue-green leaves of this delicate perennial plant have a silvery bloom that rubs off when touched. The stems begin by growing straight before slanting downward and lengthening to four feet; due to the water content of the leaves, they can become rather heavy. The lance-shaped, overlapping, smooth-textured leaves develop in a densely whorled, nearly swirling pattern to completely encircle the stem, giving it a braided-like look. The pointy ends of the short, thick, cylindrical leaves swell to become very plump when plants are adequately watered and will shrivel when conditions are too dry. Because the plant’s stems and leaves are fragile, it should be placed in an area where it won’t be accidentally knocked over or harmed by passing humans or animals. Branch formation may occur where the stems are lacking in leaves. ‘Burrito’ or ‘Baby Burro Tail’ has lime-green leaves that are smaller, more rounded, and on shorter stems—it is uncertain if this refers to a different species, a cultivar, or a hybrid.

Although burro’s tail planted indoors rarely blooms, in the summer terminal clusters of 1-6 flowers on slender pedicels may have tiny but stunning pink to crimson blossoms. The tiny, star-shaped flowers feature plump, lighter pink sepals and vivid yellow stamens. They produce a lot of nectar and entice flies and bees with it. Before the plants may flower, they must be fully grown, with stems that are at least 25 cm long. Moving plants outside in the summer and keeping them at milder temperatures (50°F and 60°F as opposed to room temperature) during the winter may promote flowering.

Burro’s tail grows best in containers where the stems can hang down vertically because of its trailing branches. The pendant stems can be displayed in hanging baskets, urns, or sizable pots on pedestals. Put enough material in a head-shaped container to resemble dreadlocks. Individual plants can live for decades under ideal conditions inside. They can be utilised as temporary hanging plants outdoors in wind-sheltered areas. There are multiple hanging baskets of these plants at Lotusland in Santa Barbara, California, each with a shade cover that gives them the appearance of a gigantic jellyfish.

The optimal conditions for burro’s tail growth are bright light to full sun; in low light, the internodes will be longer and the stems’ leaves won’t be as tightly packed. If the light is too strong, the leaves lose their blue-green colour and turn yellowish. It thrives in a growing medium with good drainage, like cactus mix or standard potting soil that has been liberally supplemented with perlite, pumice, baked clay granules, or even fine pea gravel (but not sand, which tends to fill the soil pores and hinder rather than enhance drainage). Only once or twice during the growing season, apply mild fertiliser. Repot in the spring, but only after the plant has completely filled the container. After repotting, wait about a week before watering again, and then water sparingly until the plant is established again. Mealybugs rarely infest the stems of this plant, which has minimal insect problems overall; root rot brought on by excessive watering is the most frequent problem. Wilting or mushy leaves could be a sign of excessive soil moisture.

Being a succulent, it cannot handle being overwatered, especially during the winter when it is dormant. Between waterings, the soil should be given a chance to almost dry out. During the growing season, water often, but less frequently in the fall and only enough during the winter to keep the potting media from drying up entirely. Indoor plants could only require watering once a month, depending on the environment.

In the Midwest, burro’s tail is typically grown as a year-round houseplant, but if the weather consistently rises above 40°F, the plants can be transferred outside for the growing season. They must gradually get used to the light circumstances outside to avoid being sunburned. In the fall, bring the plants back inside when it’s expected that the nightly low would be 40°F. Cuttings of stems or leaves can be used to easily propagate Sedum morganianum. Individual leaves cut from the stem will produce roots, but it will take more time to regenerate a plant of significant size than from stem cuttings. To root stem cuttings, push the stem ends down into the rooting media after removing the leaves from the lower end of the cut stem and letting it dry for a day or two. In order to keep long or heavy stem cuttings in place while the roots grow enough, they may need to be pinned or staked. Plants may not begin to root successfully for several months. You can also grow this species from seeds or divisions.

Donkey tails can be grown inside.

You will probably agree that a donkey’s tail is a challenging plant to grow, especially indoors, if you have one in your collection of succulents. Despite being a member of the hardy sedum family, this succulent is delicate and loses its leaves easily.

This succulent, sometimes known as a burro’s tail, may thrive in sandy soil and morning sunlight. However, in order to give donkey’s tail the greatest care possible, you must be aware of the ideal growing conditions. Here are the perfect circumstances for your burro’s tail to grow.

How Fast Do Donkey Tail Succulents Grow?

If properly cared for, donkey tail succulents can reach maturity in about 6 years and grow up to 4 feet long during that time. They grow slowly and consistently. However, the donkey tail plant typically reaches a length of 24 inches.

Why Is My Donkey Tail Succulent Losing Leaves?

Due to its fragility, leaf loss is the most frequent issue with donkey tail succulents. Because the plant’s beaded leaves are so delicate, handling it needs to be done with extreme care. Therefore, it is preferable to set the plant down and forget about it, and to avoid continuously handling it.

Always water the plant wherever you have it and try to avoid moving or disturbing it frequently. Your donkey tail plant should ideally be placed in a spot where it won’t be disturbed, such a windowsill or hanging pot in a corner. As far as you can, refrain from repotting the succulent, and keep it away from children and pets.

The donkey tail or burro’s tail succulent is a well-liked indoor plant that is extremely common. These magnificent long, trailing, grey-green succulents are simple to grow and care for and can bring elegance to any area of your home.

Why is the tail of my burro spilling leaves?

Burro’s tail plants tend to be delicate and sensitive, unlike other succulents. Some of its beads may even fall off as a result of severe winds or movement.

However, something must be awry if you start to notice numerous leaves falling constantly. You want to save the beauty of your burro’s tail as much as you can, and figuring out what’s causing the leaf drop may help you find the correct way to stop it from shedding additional beads.

The most frequent reasons for leaf drop in a burro’s tail are listed below.

Part of the natural life cycle

Because burros’ tails are naturally delicate, even healthy ones can lose their beads. Check for offsets forming beneath the plant if you observe your plant’s leaves rapidly disappearing because falling leaves can also be an indication of new growth.

It’s possible that the infrequent bead dropping is just a normal component of your plant’s life cycle. If so, you can let your burro’s tail hang out without having to worry about it.


The main adversary of the majority of succulents, including the burro’s tail, is overwatering.

There is no need to provide the burro’s tail with more water than it actually requires because it can store water in its stems and leaves. Furthermore, too much water might damage the roots and prevent your plant from absorbing nutrients. Your burro’s tail will not be able to live without strong roots.

Additionally, excessive watering can make the soil moist, which promotes the development and spread of germs and fungi. Even while succulents like the burro’s tail are tough, improper hydration can make them susceptible to illness.


In general, burros like sparse amounts of water and dry soil. However, very dry soil can also harm a plant’s roots and make them wither.

Again, for your burro’s tail to flourish and remain intact, a strong root system is crucial. Even though it doesn’t require much watering, letting a plant dry for an extended period of time could limit its lifetime and eventually lead it to lose its beads.

Using a pot or soil mix with poor drainage

Poor drainage in a pot or the soil can be just as harmful as overwatering. Even a small amount of water can soak the soil and destroy the roots if there is improper drainage.

Check the soil quality and the container if you find your burro’s tail is losing its beads and otherwise looking unwell because these factors may be to blame. Even if the topsoil is perfectly dry, digging down could reveal a damp bottom and some roots that have already begun to decompose.

Exposure to hot, direct sunlight

Sunlight is ideal for succulents. However, your burro’s tail may suffer if it is directly exposed to the sun’s extreme heat.

A burro’s tail should be able to survive with only a little sun exposure. Its stem may start to turn from blue-green to pale green and finally lose most of its leaves if you keep it in the direct sunshine.

Using a container too small for the plant

This delicate plant may experience stress if its container is too small for its tail, which could result in leaf drop.

Over time, burro tails frequently get heavier and larger. You’ll notice that your plant’s stem lengthens as it matures. So it seems sense that your plant will require a larger and more durable container in order to thrive. The majority of gardening experts strongly advise using a hanging basket or container to offer the plant adequate room to develop more fully.

Procedure to Propagate a Burro’s Tail Succulent

Burro’s Tail’s ease of reproduction is one of its best qualities. When completely developed, which can take up to six years, they can reach lengths of roughly 4′ and beyond.

My Burro’s Tail was growing long and many of the stems were barren in the middle. I carried it from Santa Barbara to Tucson as little cuttings. It’s time to prune and multiply!

Before pruning, the burro’s tail By summer, a number of the stems would have fallen to the ground. In addition, I intended to remove most of the middle stems that were left barren.

Step One:

Start by trimming the stems with your Fiskars clippers or a tool of a similar design to the appropriate length. Make sure they are tidy and well-cut. Peel off the bottom third of the leaves after trimming the stem to the proper length. Additionally, you can grow new plants by using these leaves.

Give the stems up to five days to recover so that the cut ends callus over. Tucson is currently hot, so I just needed to cure my wounds for one day.

Step Two:

It’s time to plant after the stems have recovered from the wounds. Fill the pot with your succulent and cactus mixture to prepare it. I often fill the pot to a quarter of the way below the top rim with smaller stemmed cuttings like these.

3rd step:

Use a chopstick, pencil, or popsicle stick to make a hole in the mixture after the pot and mix are ready. When working with cuttings that have thinner stems, these are fantastic to use. Insert the cuts into the newly formed hole, then re-fill it with the mixture. Using the flower pins, secure the stem in place. If they are not fastened down, the weight of the stems could pull them out.