How to Grow Burro’s Tail – A Complete Guide

Burro’s tail plants, are a popular and low-maintenance choice for houseplants. Native to the mountains of Central America, these plants are known for their unique appearance, with long, thin stems that resemble a donkey’s tail and fleshy, succulent leaves. They’re easy to care for, requiring minimal watering and thriving in indirect sunlight.

In addition to their aesthetic appeal, burro’s tail plants are also believed to have air-purifying properties, making them a great choice for indoor gardening. They’re a great option for anyone looking to add a touch of greenery to their home without a lot of fuss.

If you’re interested in growing your very own burro’s tail plants, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ve got everything you need to know about these unique succulents and how to grow them.

What is Burro’s Tail?

a burro's tail plant in a hanging basket

Burro’s tail (Sedum morganianum) is a succulent plant native to the mountains of Central and South America. It’s known for its unique appearance, with thick, fleshy leaves that grow in a spiral pattern along thick, hanging stems.

The plant gets its common name from the way its leaves resemble a donkey’s tail, hence the name burro’s tail. Burro’s tail is a member of the Crassulaceae family, which includes a wide variety of succulent plants native to a variety of regions around the world.

The exact history of burro’s tail is not well documented, but it’s believed to have been used for centuries by indigenous peoples in Central and South America for a variety of purposes, including medicinal and culinary uses.

Burro’s tail was first introduced to Europe in the 19th century, where it became popular as a greenhouse plant. It was later introduced to the United States, where it quickly gained popularity as a houseplant due to its low maintenance and ability to thrive in a variety of conditions. Today, burro’s tail is widely cultivated and grown around the world as a popular ornamental plant.

What is Burro’s Tail Used For?

fresh burros tail plant

Burro’s Tail is primarily grown as an ornamental plant for its unique appearance and low maintenance requirements. It also has a number of other uses. It’s often used in rock gardens, hanging baskets, and as a ground cover in dry, sunny areas. It’s also a popular choice for drought-tolerant landscaping, as it’s able to thrive in dry conditions with minimal watering.

Here are some more uses of the plant:

  • Indoor plants
  • Outdoor gardens
  • Container gardens
  • Succulent gardens
  • Vertical gardens
  • Xeriscaping
  • Erosion control

Burro’s tail has been used medicinally in the past, although there is little scientific evidence to support its effectiveness for any particular health condition. The plant’s thick, fleshy leaves and stems are high in water content and are thought to have been used as a source of hydration in times of drought.

How to Grow Burro’s Tail

burros tail

Growing burro’s tail is easy, as long as you provide the right conditions for the plant to thrive. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to grow burro’s tail:

1.     Choose the Right Pot and Soil

The first step to growing burro’s tail is choosing the right pot and soil. Burro’s tail prefers a small pot with drainage holes to prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged. It is also important to use a well-draining soil mix specifically designed for succulents, as regular potting soil retains too much moisture and can cause the plant to rot.

2.     Choose the Right Location

Burro’s tail is a sun-loving plant, so it’s important to choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight. It’s also important to keep the plant out of direct afternoon sun, as this can cause the leaves to scorch and turn yellow. A south- or west-facing window is generally a good location for burro’s tail.

3.     Water Sparingly

Succulents, including burro’s tail, have the ability to store water in their leaves and stems, so they do not need to be watered as frequently as other plants. It’s important to allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again, as too much moisture can cause the plant to rot.

A good rule of thumb is to water the plant once a week during the growing season (spring and summer) and once every two to three weeks during the dormant season (fall and winter).

4.     Fertilize Sparingly

Burro’s tail does not require a lot of fertilization to thrive. In fact, too much fertilization can cause the plant to grow too quickly, resulting in weak and leggy stems. It’s generally recommended to fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.

5.     Prune as Needed

Burro’s tail is a low-maintenance plant, but it may need pruning from time to time to maintain its shape and prevent it from becoming overgrown. To prune the plant, simply cut off any stems that are too long or damaged using clean, sharp scissors. Be sure to wear gloves when pruning, as the plant’s stems can be sharp and prickly.

6.     Repot as Needed

Burro’s tail is a slow-growing plant, so it may not need to be repotted very often. However, if the plant becomes root bound or the pot becomes too small, it may be necessary to repot the plant into a larger pot. To repot the plant, gently remove it from its current pot, trim away any damaged roots, and plant it in a slightly larger pot with fresh soil.

This plant is a unique and easy-to-grow succulent plant that’s perfect for those who want a low-maintenance plant for their home or garden. By following these simple steps, you can successfully grow and care for a beautiful burro’s tail of your own.

Pests and Diseases

burros tail leaves

The burro’s tail plant is generally a hardy and low-maintenance plant, but it can be affected by a few pests and diseases:


One common pest that can affect burro’s tail plants is mealybugs. These insects are small and covered in a white, waxy substance, and they can cause damage to the plant by sucking the sap out of the leaves and stems. To control mealybugs, you can try wiping the affected areas with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol, or you can use an insecticidal soap or neem oil.


These small, soft-bodied insects can also damage the plant by sucking the sap out of the leaves and stems. To control aphids, you can use the same methods as for mealybugs, or you can try introducing natural predators such as ladybugs or lacewings into your garden.

Root Rot and Fungal Infections

Root rot is caused by overwatering or poor drainage, and it can cause the roots of the plant to rot and the plant to wilt and die. To prevent root rot, make sure to plant the burro’s tail in well-draining soil and avoid overwatering. If the plant is already infected with root rot, it may be necessary to remove the plant and start over with a new one.

Fungal infections can also affect burro’s tail plants, causing leaf spots or other damage to the foliage. To prevent fungal infections, make sure to water the plant at the base to avoid getting the foliage wet, and avoid overcrowding plants to allow for good air circulation. If the plant is already infected with a fungal disease, you can try treating it with a fungicide according to the product’s instructions.

Overall, the best way to prevent pests and diseases from affecting your burro’s tail plant is to keep it well-maintained and healthy by providing it with the right amount of light, water, and nutrients, and by keeping the area around the plant clean and free of debris.

Temperature, Light, and Humidity Needs

fleshy burro's tail leaves

Burro’s tail is native to Mexico and well adapted to hot, dry conditions. It prefers temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (15-24 degrees Celsius) and can tolerate a wide range of humidity levels.

In terms of light, the burro’s tail plant prefers bright, indirect sunlight. It can tolerate some direct sunlight, but it’s best to avoid placing it in a location that receives intense, direct sunlight for extended periods of time, as this can cause the leaves to become scorched or discolored.

In terms of humidity, the burro’s tail plant is relatively tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels. It can thrive in both low and high-humidity environments, as long as it’s not subjected to extreme fluctuations in humidity. If the air is particularly dry, you can increase the humidity around the plant by misting it with water or using a humidifier.

Propagating Burro’s Tail

burro's tail plant

The burro’s tail is relatively easy to propagate from stem cuttings. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Select a healthy stem from the burro’s tail plant that has at least a few leaves on it. Make sure the stem is at least a few inches long.
  2. Cut the stem off of the plant using a sharp, sterilized pair of scissors or pruning shears.
  3. Remove the lower leaves from the stem, leaving just a few at the top.
  4. Dip the cut end of the stem into the rooting hormone to help promote root growth.
  5. Fill a small pot with a well-draining rooting medium, such as perlite or vermiculite.
  6. Place the stem in the rooting medium, making sure that the leaves are above the surface.
  7. Water the rooting medium lightly to moisten it, and then cover the pot with a plastic bag or wrap to create a humid environment.
  8. Place the pot in a warm, bright location out of direct sunlight.
  9. Check the stem regularly and water it as needed to keep the rooting medium moist, but not soggy.
  10. After a few weeks, the stem should begin to produce roots. Once the roots are a few inches long, you can carefully transplant the stem into a larger pot or into your garden.

It’s important to note that the burro’s tail plant can also be propagated from offsets or by dividing the plant. However, stem cuttings are generally the easiest and most reliable method for propagating this plant.

Burro’s Tail FAQs

1. What is burro’s tail used for?

Burro’s tail has many uses. It’s mostly used as an ornamental plant for hanging baskets, as a ground cover, and for erosion control, to name a few.

2. Is burro’s tail easy to take care of?

Yes, burro’s tail is an easy plant to take care of as it requires minimal care.

3. Is burro’s tail toxic to humans?

No, burro’s tail is not toxic to humans or animals.

4. How fast does burro’s tail grow?

A mature burro’s tail plant can grow to about 4 feet in length, taking about 6 years to reach this size.

5. How often does donkey’s tail need to be watered?

In the spring and summer, water the plant when the soil feels dry to the touch. This is about 1-2 times a month. Water more frequently in the fall. In the winter, you’ll find that you need to water it only once a month.

Wrapping Up

Burro’s tail plants are a beautiful and low-maintenance addition to any home. With their unique appearance and air-purifying properties, they are a great choice for indoor gardening. If you’re looking to add some greenery to your space without a lot of fuss, consider adding a burro’s tail plant to your collection.