Sedum morganianum - Burro’s tail

Sedum morganianum - Burro’s tail

Sedum morganianum, or Burro’s tail, is a succulent perennial plant native to Mexico. The spindle-shaped leaves are about 1.25 inches (3.2 cm) long and have a grey-green cast to them. Pendulous branches may reach 3 feet or more. They are great plants for hanging baskets. Theses plants are hardy outside in USDA zones 9-11.

Blooming: In late spring the plants bloom in our greenhouse in terminal inflorescences. The flowers are reddish pink and are up to 0.50 inches (1.3 cm) long by 0.50 inches (1.3 cm) wide. The flowers present a striking contrast with the silver green foliage and are very showy.

Culture: Sedum morganianum need warm temperatures and full sun to partial shade. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of equal parts of loam and sand with small gravel added to increase drainage. During the growing season (March to October), they are watered on a weekly basis, and the soil should be allowed to dry thoroughly in between waterings. Fertilizer is applied only once during the growing season. During the dormancy period (November to March), water is only applied to keep the leaves from shriveling. Since I first wrote about Sedum morganianum in 2001, I have been trying to get the plants to bloom. We moved the plants to a cool room with the night time temperatures run at 48° F (9°C) and day time temps run about 55°F ( 13°C). In early March as daytime temperatures start to warm up, we started giving them more water on a regular basis and fertilized them with a 15-30-15 fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. Plants are only fertilized once during this period. As nighttime temps warm up, you can tell a difference in the plants. By the end of April, the plants start to make their inflorescences and are starting to show color. This has happened 2 years in a row now and I think we have found the way to force them to bloom. Also, a lot of readers have been asking why leaves are dropping off of plants. I found out that this was due to damage by the sharp edges of handing baskets cutting into the heavy stems. I recommend using split water hose over the edges of your hanging basket to prevent damage to the stem as its weight bears down on the edge of the basket.

Propagation: Sedum morganianum plants are propagated by division, leaf cuttings and stem cuttings.

Sedum morganianum was featured as Plant of the Week April 21-27, 2006.

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Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.