Propagation

How to Propagate a Burro’s Tail

In this post, we’ll go through each of the methods of Burro’s Tail propagation to help you choose which is right for you and your plant.

How to Propagate a Burro’s Tail

Burro’s Tail plants are one of the easiest plants to propagate so are great for beginner plant parents. You’ll have plenty of new Burro’s Tail plants before you know it. The other great thing about Burro’s Tail propagation is you can propagate your plant no matter how big, small, young or old it is. 

In this post, we’ll go through each of the methods of Burro’s Tail propagation to help you choose which is right for you and your plant. You’ll also find a list of tools you’ll need as well as how to diagnose and fix any issues you might come across along the way.

Why propagate a Burro’s Tail plant?

Before we get into the step by steps of all the different methods of Burro’s Tail propagation, we thought it’s important to go through the different reasons why plant parents choose to propagate their plant.

Burro’s Tail plants are quite delicate so you’ll notice that they often drop leaves. This is totally normal and nothing to worry about if the number of new leaves is more than the number they are losing. It can also happen that full stems fall off the plant, either because they are knocked or simply due to natural ageing. Instead of throwing away these incredible leaves and stems, why not propagate them and create new plants. 

Another reason you might want to propagate your Burro’s Tail is to reshape your plant. During the dark winter months, growth can become quite leggy and uneven. Pruning your plant can help encourage bushier growth and also help your Burro’s Tail fit into the space better (sometimes they can grow too long and hit the floor or other furniture). Like with the stems that fall off naturally, it’s a waste to throw them away so propagate them. 

The other reason a lot of plant parents are actually forced into propagating their Burro’s Tail is if it sadly starts to develop brown, yellow, mushy or dry leaves. At Fiddle and Thorn, we are strong believers in always diagnosing the issue and attempting to fix it before propagating or giving up on your plant. But if things don’t start to improve you might need to propagate a healthy part of the plant to keep it alive. When doing this you need to make absolutely sure that the stem(s) you are propagating are still completely healthy. Any issues with the cutting will actually affect the cutting a lot more as they are more sensitive than mother plants.

What tools will I need to propagate my Burro’s Tail plant?

It’s important to make sure you have all the right things before you start propagating your Burro’s Tail.

  • Healthy Burro’s Tail plant

  • Sharp scissors/shears

  • Spare pot(s)

  • Fresh soil and water

  • Newspaper or plastic sheet if you’re propagating indoors

What different methods can I use to propagate my Burro’s Tail?

There are two main methods of propagation for Burro’s Tail plants; stem cuttings or leaf cuttings. Stem cuttings is the main method which not only has quicker results but is also slightly more successful in our experience. But as your plant will often lose a few leaves, it’s a great experiment to try and propagate these as you have nothing to lose. Leaf cuttings are probably the preferred method for plant parents with quite a young Burro’s Tail plant, as they might not want to take off a whole stem. 

We will go over each different method in detail below so you can figure out which is the best for you and your plant!

How to propagate a Burro’s Tail plant using stem cuttings

This is the main method of propagating Burro’s Tail plants as it’s quicker than growing individual leaves and is also more successful.

  • 1

    Locate a healthy stem

    When taking a stem cutting you want to make sure that the part you are cutting is healthy to give you any chance of success. Avoid using stems that show any sign of disease or pests as they will be transferred onto your new cuttings and very quickly take over your new plant.

  • 2

    Make the cut 

    Using sharp scissors or a knife make the cut across the stem. Make sure your tools are clean as you don’t want to pass on any direct, bacteria or pests to the wound in your cutting. We recommend cutting diagonally across the stem to increase the surface area for root growth.

  • 3

    Remove the lower leaves

    You want to carefully remove the leaves at the lower third of the cutting. You will be growing it directly in potting mix to this ensures there is plenty of space for root growth. The lower leaves will also start to rot if they are growing in often damp potting mix so best to remove them.

  • 4

    Let the stem cutting callous over 

    Before placing in potting mix, you want to leave your stem cutting out in a warm but dry place for a few days. This will ensure the cutting wound callouses over and will help prevent any bacteria from getting into your plant.

  • 5

    Pot your cutting in soil 

    Now that your Burro’s Tail stem cutting has calloused over, it’s time to pot it into soil. Use a fresh high-quality potting mix that is designed for succulent plants. This will not only ensure that your Burro’s Tail cutting gets the right balance of nutrients, but it also means the mix will contain perlite and other ingredients to help with drainage. Without these, the risks of overwatering and root rot are much higher. 

    Sometimes when the cuttings are quite long and heavy, you’ll have a difficult time keeping it in the soil. If this happens then you just need to use plant ties to keep it in the soil.

  • 6

    Resume normal Burro’s Tail care

    That’s it – your Burro’s Tail propagation is complete. Now all you need to do is resume usual care and keep an eye on your new plant to spot any signs of unhappiness. With the right care and environment, your new Burro’s Tail will soon be long enough to propagate again!

How to propagate a Burro’s Tail using single leaf cutting

Whilst this method can take quite a while to actually create new Burro’s Tail plants, it’s a great one to try as you can do it with just a few single leaves. We recommend trying about 5-10 individual leaves at the same time to give you the best chance of success.

 

  • 1

    Remove the leaves from your Burro’s Tail

    You’ll want to start by collecting a few leaves from your healthy Burro’s Tail plant. You can simply snap these off with your fingers, but if you want to be a little more accurate we advise using some small scissors or shears. It can often happen that leaves naturally fall off your Burro’s Tail. You can use these leaves if they look healthy, just avoid any that are dry, shrivelled or faded in colour.

  • 2

    Let the leaves callous 

    Lay your single Burro’s Tail leaves on a piece of paper towel to dry out. Over time the leaves will slowly callous over the cut end which helps to avoid bacteria getting into the leaf cutting. This should take about 3-5 days.

  • 3

    Lay your Burro’s Tail on potting mix 

    Gently lay your individual Burro’s Tail leaves on top of fresh succulent soil. Press them in ever so slightly but you don’t want them to be dug into the soil.

  • 4

    Mist your leaves occasionally

    Burro’s Tail leaf cuttings really don’t need much water as they will rot and wilt. However, giving them the occasional mist will help the potting mix retain some moisture which will encourage root growth. 

  • 5

    Be patient 

    Now all you have to do is wait. With the right care and environment, you should start to see the individual leaves grow some roots and eventually even new leaves. It looks pretty cool when this starts to happen, so it is 100% worth the wait.

  • 6

    Resume usual Burro’s Tail care

    Now that your individual leaf cuttings have taken root and have started to develop their own leaves, your propagation process is complete! Continue your usual Burro’s Tail care routine and you’ll have plenty of new healthy stems in no time!

Burro’s Tail Propagation FAQs

Propagating your Burro’s Tail plant can sometimes feel a bit daunting because the process is slightly different to a lot of other houseplants. But don’t worry, we have all of the answers to your questions below to make sure that your propagation is a success and you come away with plenty of new healthy and happy Burro’s Tail plants.

Common problems when propagating a Burro’s Tail

We always recommend keeping a close eye on your Burro’s Tail cuttings to help you spot any issues early as this will give you the best chance at bringing your plant back to full health.

Hopefully, this complete Burro’s Tail propagation guide has given you all the information you need to create plenty of new happy and healthy plants. It will require a bit of patience though so it’s not something that will happen overnight. 

Check out our detailed Burro’s Tail care guide for more information on how to continue to care for your new Burro’s Tail plants once they have matured.

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