How to grow and care for Donkey's Tail Plant Indoors

Houseplant, Donkey's Tail Plant, Burro's Tail Plant

Botanical name: Sedum morganianum
Family: Crassulaceae

Donkey's Tail Plant also commonly called Burro's Tail Plant is a trailing plant which bears 2-3 ft long stems, completely clothed with blue-green cylindrical succulent leaves. The flowers are terminal, pink to red in color. With its spectacular cascading stems, this plant is ideal for a hanging basket. It grows well in very good light but not extreme heat. To enhance leaf coloration grow the plant in bright light with at least 8 hours of sunshine. Burro's Tail is native to southern Mexico and Honduras.

Other popular plants in the Sedum genus that are grown as houseplants include Sedum rubrotinctum (Jelly Beans Plant) and Sedum pachyphyllum (Blue Jelly Plant) among others.

How to Grow Donkey's Tail Plants

Light

Donkey's Tail Plant prefers bright light with some direct sunshine. Protect the plant from hot sunshine to avoid sunburn. Should you choose to take it outdoors, gradually acclimatize it and place in a shaded place. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants

Water

Water Donkey's Tail moderately throughout the growing season. Water very infrequently in the cold months. Avoid waterlogging as it may lead to stem-rot. Avoiding wetting the leaves as it can lead to rotting. Water from the bottom instead and use room temperature water to avoid plant shock. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

Temperature

Average warmth temperatures from 18-260C are ideal for Donkey's Tail Plant. A sudden change in temperature between day and night is excellent for this plant. Learn more on temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Average room humidity is adequate for Donkey's Tail Plant. It has no need for high humidity.

Feeding

Feed Donkey's Tail Plant monthly during the growing period with a water-soluble fertilizer. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal.

Repotting

Repot Donkey's Tail Plant only when the plant is pot-bound; take care not to damage the fragile leaves, they drop very easily but they can be used for propagation. Use a shallow rather than a deep pot as they have shallow roots. The pot should be only 1 size larger than the previous one. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole as waterlogging can lead to root-rot. Use sandy or rocky soil to avoid waterlogging.

Pruning

Pruning Donkey's Tail plant requires removal of dead or diseased leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy.

How to Propagate Donkey's Tail Plant

Donkey's Tail Plant can be propagated from leaf cuttings or stem cuttings at the beginning of the growing season. Allow the cuttings to dry (callous) for 1-3 days before planting. Lay the cutting on moist free-draining soil. Water lightly by misting, only when the soil is dry and avoid waterlogging as it can lead to rotting. Place the cuttings in a shaded placed, away from direct sunshine until there is new growth. Roots take about 3-4 weeks to develop.

Common Problems in Growing Donkey's Tail Plant

  • Brown soft spots
  • The cause of brown soft spots in Donkey's Tail is Leaf spot disease which is enhanced by poor air circulation. Ensure there is free air circulation at all times.

  • Rot at base followed by yellowing and shrivelled leaves
  • Rotting plant base followed by yellowing and shrivelled leaves in Donkey's Tail Plant is an indication of basal stem-rot disease which is brought about by overwet conditions. Avoid overwatering, ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining.

  • Shrivelled leaves
  • Underwatering is the cause of shriveled leaves in Donkey's Tail Plant. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely for too long.

  • Pests
  • Common pests in Donkey's Tail Plant are Mealy Bugs and Scale Insects. Isolate the affected plant to reduce spread to other houseplants.

Toxicity

Donkey's Tail Plant is mildly toxic to both humans and pets. It and may cause irritation when ingested or touched.


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