Practical step-by-step instructions for Sedum morganianum ‘Burrito’ leaf propagation
(Scroll down to skip to my leaf cutting tutorial).
Burro’s Tail plants are a really popular choice amongst houseplant and succulent collectors. They go by many common names including Donkey’s Tail, Horse’s Tail and Lamb’s Tail. They have distinctive, trailing stems covered in small, plump, mint-green leaves which grow packed along the stems, which can grow to nearly a metre long given the right conditions. They can be enjoyed outdoors with winter protection (if you live in the UK or anywhere with freezing temperatures), or indoors with sufficient light. Sedum ‘Burrito’ thrive in as much light as you can give them, so hang them in a bright spot in your home, garden or conservatory, to prevent them from looking yellow.
Burritos are very easy to propagate by leaf or stem cuttings. Today I am going to tell you in detail how to take leaf cuttings, but stem cuttings are really easy to do too. To propagate your Burrow’s Tail by stem cutting, cut a stem from the parent plant, allow the end to callous and plant in a free-draining potting mix (it will root and start to grow!).
Propagating Sedum ‘Burrito’ by leaf –
Burrito plants naturally drop their leaves from time to time*, and these can be used for propagating. Succulent plants are amazing as many of them naturally propagate this way on their own – individual leaves fall onto the soil’s surface and root, or they start to develop roots as it they come away from the parent plant. Leave them to do their own thing or pot on these emerging babies into new containers. This is the most intriguing, magical way of growing more Donkey’s Tails!
Here’s how to grow Burro’s Tail from individual leaves –
- Collect fallen leaves to propagate or gently remove the leaves you would like to use. Make sure you obtain the whole leaf as damaged leaves will not grow - this is because the meristematic cells responsible for root production are found at the base of the leaf.
- Prepare a tray or small pot to “plant” your cuttings:
- Fill your container with a free-draining growing medium (use specialist cacti and succulent compost or make your own e.g. 1 part sand : 1.5 parts perlite : 1.5 parts soil.)
- Gently firm down the soil.
- Wet the soil.
- Lay the leaves flat on the surface of the soil.
- Place the tray/container in bright, indirect sunlight.
- There is no need to water the soil (as you’ve already wetted it), but don’t allow it to dry out completely. If it does, lightly mist the cuttings. They may already have roots if you collected fallen leaves, but if not, you will begin to see any roots developing after two weeks or more.
- As the roots develop, cover them really lightly with soil to help to “anchor” the cuttings. This will encourage them to root down into the soil.
- Water your leaf cuttings sparingly when they need it and they have rooted. You may need to occasionally recover the tiny roots with soil and gently firm them back in now and again.
- Eventually, you will see a tiny plant growing at the end of the leaf. This can take quite a long time, so patience is key here. Treat your mini plant with care and decrease the frequency of watering - allowing the young plants to dry out between waterings.
- When you see significant growth, your cuttings can be repotted carefully and given normal care. The “mother” leaves will naturally shrivel up and die, so there’s no need to remove them. If a mother leaf remains, you can gently remove it. Only do this when it's dry and is no longer a plump, fleshy leaf (this is when the new plant has used all of its nutrients and resources).
These plants are large enough to handle and can be carefully repotted, or left until the "mother" leaf dries out or falls off.
That's all there is to it! If you have any questions about taking your own Sedum 'Burrito' leaf cuttings, please get in touch in the comments below or send me photos so I can do my best to help you (email email@example.com).
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Señor Sloth is enjoying his new home in my sunny bathroom. N.b. This stem cutting has taken one season to grow this much (compared to the earlier photo of him).
*Sedum ‘Burrito’ also drop their leaves when they have received too much water, so make sure you are not overwatering your plant and causing unhealthy leaf-drop.