Burro’s Tail Sedum: a Trailing Succulent for Bright Windows

burro's tail sedumVirtues: Burro’s tail sedum is an easy-care houseplant with a trailing habit that makes it a good plant for a hanging basket or elevated pot.

Common name: Burro’s tail, donkey’s tail

Botanical name: Sedum morganianum

Exposure: Bright light with some direct sun.

Season: Year-round for foliage as a houseplant.

Flowers: Small, dark pink flowers may appear at the end of the trailing stems in spring or summer.

Foliage: Thick, triangular, bright green or grayish green leaves line the stems of the burro’s tail sedum, with an overlapping pattern that gives the plant its colloquial name. The fleshy leaves store water.

Habit: Burro’s tail sedum has a trailing habit, with stems that will cascade over the sides of its pot. This makes it a good subject for a hanging basket, a tall pot or a smaller container elevated by a pedestal.

Origins: Sedum morganianum is native to southern Mexico.

How to grow burro’s tail sedum: Pot in a soil mix that is light and offers excellent drainage, such as a commercial cactus mix. This plant has shallow roots, so it does not need a large or deep pot. (If you plant it in a tall, narrow pot to show off its trailing habit, fill the bottom half of the pot with packing peanuts, craushed aluminum cans or other filler to conserve potting mix, lighten the pot and avoid soggy soil.) Place burro’s tail sedum in bright light with several hours of direct sun each day. Allow the soil to dry between waterings. Fertilizing is not necessary. Be careful handling the plant, because if the leaves fall off they will not grow back, resulting in a burro’s tail with bald spots. This sedum is not frost hardy; keep it in temperatures above 45˚F. Warm temps encourage its growth. A cool, dry rest period in winter may encourage the plant to bloom in spring.

Image credit: Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

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