The sedum burrito plant is a cultivar of the Sedum morganianum. This succulent acts and looks like a trailing vine, and the stems will hang very low as it grows. The sedum burrito plant falls into the Crassulaceae family, and it’s native to Honduras and Mexico, but it’s not abundant in the wild today. You’ll only find this plant growing in a few limited locations, so it is widely considered to be a micro-endemic species. If the environment were to get wiped away, sedum burrito would be endangered.
People grow it around the world as a houseplant, and it’s common to put this succulent in hanging baskets to allow the vines to trail down the sides. It’s easy to grow, but it has delicate leaves that can break off if you’re not careful. Some people call this plant the burro’s tail or donkey tail.
But, the sedum burrito plant actually has shorter leaves than the burro’s tail plant. The leaves also have more blunt ends. Both sedum succulent types do come with the same care requirements, and it can produce stems up to 24-inches long. We’ll outline everything you need to know about keeping your sedum burrito healthy below.
This unique-looking succulent has a trailing habit that allows you to display the foliage to get the full effect.
Quick Care Guide for the Sedum Burrito
|Lamb’s tail, donkey’s tail, and burro’s tail
|Yellow, white, or red
|10 to 11
|One to two feet wide and one to four feet long
|Neutral to alkaline
|Partial to full
Sedum Burrito Flowering and Scent
The greenish-blue leaves on the sedum burrito are stunning by themselves, and they have a waxy coating on them that you can rub off with your fingers. The leaves won’t have a scent to them. However, they do produce flowers come spring, and the plant is much more likely to bloom when the weather warms up when the weather cools down during the winter months.
This plant can produce pretty star-shaped flowers in a magenta color during early spring. The flowers can grow in clusters of one to six on slender stems. They have light pink sepals with bright yellow stamens, and the nectar will attract pollinators like bees. They won’t flower until they’re mature, and the stems are a minimum of nine inches long.
Sedum Burrito Growth and Mature Size
Sedum burrito is what is known as a soft succulent. The green foliage is bead-like and plump, and the rounder leaves get packed tightly on the stems. The stems can top out at two feet long, and if you allow the plant to mature more than five years, they can get up to four feet long. You need to plant it in a very sturdy container as these plants can get decently heavy as the leaves store a lot of moisture. This plant isn’t ideal for lightweight hanging planters, and the stems are thicker and braided to look like cylinders. The plant will get up to eight inches tall before starting to trail down.
Sedum Burrito Care
Succulents that fall into the Sedum family can tolerate a large range of conditions to make them the ideal plant to have in different planting zones. The following are rough care guidelines to consider to keep your plant happy.
The sedum burrito is best planted in heavy-duty hanging baskets or in tall containers that allow the braided, long stems to trail down the sides and showcase the beads. Containers or pots that have an unglazed ceramic or terracotta are the best to help wick away excess moisture from the root system to prevent it from getting oversaturated.
When you pick out a pot, make sure that the drainage holes along the bottom are large enough to let the water out. You can also layer you container with an inch or two of rocks or gravel to prevent the roots from sitting right in the water.
You don’t have to fertilize the sedum burrito for it to grow and do very well, however, fertilizing it won’t do any harm either. In fact, it can help build nutrients up in the soil for the plant. When you use fertilizer, you should do so in the spring at the start of the growing season. It’s best to use a controlled-release fertilizer that has nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in equal parts, or an NPK ratio of 20-20-20.
More mature specimens might only need ¼ strength fertilizer, and younger plants will need fertilizer with less nitrogen. Also, the sedum burrito succulent might do better if you add worm castings or compost to the soil instead.
This succulent grows very well at moderate humidity levels. However, if the humidity level should go up, the plant can start to rot very quickly. So, you want to avoid keeping the sedum burrito in your bathroom or any other very humid environment.
In warm sunlight, this succulent will really take off and grow. If you want to put it inside, it does very well on a sunny windowsill, balcony, or patio that gets several hours of sun each day. If you want this plant outside, you’ll want to put your container in a spot that gets a lot of sunlight in the morning but has partial shade during the hot afternoon hours. This will prevent the sun from scorching or burning the leaves.
If you notice that your plant isn’t getting the normal greenish-blue coloring and it’s turning a dull gray or green, this means that you have it in a spot that gets too harsh of light. And, it’s common for this plant, with too much harsh sunlight exposure, to turn a chalky white with a very waxy look. This is the plant producing epicuticular wax to try and protect itself from the harsh sunlight.
You want to be very careful with the light as it’s relatively easy to scorch or burn the leaves with direct afternoon sun.
You’ll want to put your plant in well-draining, sandy soil. No matter if you plant your sedum burrito outside or keep it inside in a container, you should pick a soil mix that is suitable for succulents and cacti and is gritty. You can also make your own gritty cactus soil by combining potting soil with perlite or pumice. If you’re planning on putting your sedum burrito in the garden with other plants, you should make sure any space you pick doesn’t allow water to settle for long and it drains well. If you don’t, the plant can die from getting too much water exposure. You may want to mix sand into the soil to increase the drainage.
Outside, this plant will do well and stay healthy all year-round in places that have a more tropical climate. Although the plant prefers to be in warmer weather, it does well in cooler temperatures compared to other succulents. However, you do want to try and keep the temperature range between 65°F and 75°F, both indoors and outdoors. It can withstand cooler temperatures down to 40°F very briefly without any damage, but you want to bring it inside before the first frost hits and keep it away from drafty windows during the winter to keep it happy.
Unlike several succulents, this one needs a decent amount of water to keep the leaves plump and pretty. You want to soak the soil thoroughly and don’t water it a second time until the topsoil completely dries out, especially if you keep it inside because it does best in well-draining soil. For a more accurate way to water, stick your finger in the soil to see if it’s dry at least an inch down. If it is, it’s time to water again. Also, this is a drought-resistant plant, so you want to be very careful to not overwater or else rot will take hold. Mature plants will need water more frequently than younger ones, so you should check the soil often and plant to water every other week.
Make sure to give your plant a very thorough drink when you water it to wash the accumulated salts from the fertilizers out of the soil. During the growing season when the days heat up, water the plant more often, roughly once every nine days. Also, succulents in clay pots will dry out much quicker, so you want to ensure that you pay close attention when it’s hotter out.
Planting Sedum Burrito
When you plant the sedum burrito, you want to add the hydrophobic layer to your container first before adding a small amount of soil to the planting layer. Then, spread out the plant’s roots and put them in the pot. Cover the roots with a layer of planting soil and add a top decorative layer before watering it once. To plant it in the garden, you’ll dig a pit that is 1.5 to 2 times the size of the plant’s root system and then follow the steps above.
To make the plant grow faster and better, or if the roots are too unhealthy or dense, you need to repot it. Repot it in the spring months. But, before you do so, stop watering it a few days in advance. Once the soil dries out, you can gently remove it from the pot and then follow the instructions we outlined above.
You can plant different succulents together, you want to avoid planting succulents with different growth habits in the same pot. Some succulents need more water in the summer months while others like it much drier. If you plant them together, one will get sick due too excessive watering while the other may die due to insufficient water.
You have to be very careful when you plant your sedum burrito as it’s very easy to damage the vines and cause them to drop.
In order to keep this plant’s pretty shape, you may need to prune it. This depends entirely on your plant’s purpose and your personal preferences though as some people won’t prune it to get a more wild and unruly look. You may use scissors, knives, or shears to prune your sedum burrito.
One main reason people prune this plant is propagation because it’s easier to get a second plant from the healthy mother plant than it is to go out and buy a new one. You’ll prune it in the spring or fall to propagate new plants, and we’ll outline more below.
Since this plant will rarely flower, propagating it using seeds isn’t a viable option. But, like most succulents, this one is very easy to propagate using leaves. This is good news as they seem to break off at the slightest touch.
If you notice that your sedum burrito has shed some beaded leaves, you can put them aside until the skin scabs over in two or three days. Next, you’ll take the leaves and insert them in a new pot filled with a succulent or cacti soil mix, and make sure to leave ½ inch of each leaf exposed above the soil line. Water them roughly once a week until you see new growth start. Once you do, cut back on your watering and treat it as you would the established one.
Potting and Repotting the Sedum Burrito
Because this plant is so fragile, you should be very careful when you repot this plant and avoid doing so unless it’s 100% necessary. Keep in mind that doing so puts you at higher risk for losing many of the vines due to jostling them around. However, if you have to repot it, you’ll do better if you hold off until it’s warm. Make sure your soil is 100% dry before you start, and gently remove the plant from the current pot while removing any old soil from around the roots. Put it in a new pot and backfill it with soil, making sure to spread the roots out in the new pot. Give it a week to rest and settle before you water it.
Getting the Plant to Bloom
This plant is a very infrequent bloomer, especially when you grow it inside, and they’re not likely to produce any flowers until they’re mature. The small red, pink, or lavender flowers bloom in the late spring months or early summer when they do decide to make an appearance. The flowers aren’t extremely showy, but you can stimulate them to bloom by exposing the plant to slightly cooler temperatures. They also need plenty of sunlight to bloom with minimal fertilizer.
Sedum Burrito Disease and Pest Precautions
Soil bacteria are very active in high humidity and temperatures,and they can easily infect succulents with fatal sooty mold, black rot, powdery mildew, and so on. To avoid this, sterilize the soil a month before summer. You can do this by mixing carbendazim with water at a 1:1,000 ratio. Spray this on your sedum burrito’s stems and leaves. You can treat the underground parts using the root filling method. Submerge your container in sterilization liquid and wait for the soil to absorb it. Apply the carbendazim twice with two weeks between applications. For any succulents you plant in the garden, you can spray the liquid right on the plants and soil.
Once you find the first traces of diseases, you need to isolate your sedum burrito. Cut off any diseased parts and smear sulfur powder on the wound to avoid another infection. Then, spray the entire plant with the mix of water and carbendazim. If the whole plant is already rotten or black and the leaves look transparent, it’s better to remove your plant and get rid of it.
Aphids are a big issue for succulents, especially if you don’t catch them straight away and they settle into your plant.
Pests are also a big issue for succulents. When you buy your sedum burrito plant and the soil, make sure it doesn’t have pests. Common pets include scale insects, aphids, white butterflies, and spider mites. Pests tend to attack the plants during the summer, but they’re usually more manageable with this type of plant. If you only see a few, wash the plant with water and pick them off. For bigger outbreaks or pests that are in areas that are hard to get too, apply a pesticide for succulents. Neem oil is also an option.
Generally, you want to apply any pesticides you use in a ventilated environment, and apply it every two weeks. If you don’t see any obvious signs of pests after you apply it once, you don’t have to do the second application. If there are pests in the soil, change it out. While you do so, carefully separate the roots and put the plant in the new soil.
General Seasonal Precautions
There are several ways you can ensure that your plant gets enough ventilation during the summer months. First, you want to use a very light, loose soil medium, and it doesn’t hurt to use a ceramic pot that has great air permeability. You should also put your plants in a space that is well-ventilated.
During the summer months, avoid putting your plant in direct light. Move your plants indoors and provide shade for your outdoor plants. You also want to avoid direct sun after you water as this can lead to scorching.
Sedum burrito is also a succulent that has thicker leaves for a higher water storage content, but it can easily dehydrate in the heat. Reduce the plant’s water supply to ensure that the plants can smoothly enter a dormant period to avoid issues with higher temperatures during the summer.
Sedum Burrito Frequently Asked Questions
Even though sedum burrito is an easier succulent to care for, it’s common to have questions about it. We rounded up the most common ones below.
1. How can you use sedum burrito plants in a landscape design?
This plant is most commonly used in containers, especially in heavy-duty hanging baskets where the trailing stems show the plant’s unique look. Potted plants are easy to move back and forth between outdoor and indoor locations when the seasons change. In warmer areas, they can make a great garden plant to trail over banks or retaining walls. When you use it as a hanging plant, you should place it out of the way so you don’t damage it by bumping it.
2. Why is your sedum burrito starting to droop?
If you water your plant with the soil still being wet from the previous watering session, you’re overwatering it. This will make the plant droop and leaves will fall off. To fix it, you should cut back on the watering and make sure you have good drainage.
3. Does sedum burrito make a good ground cover?
Because it looks a lot like many types of sedum that are commonly used as ground covers, people can plant this with this purpose in mind. However, this is a very delicate plant that won’t stand up to foot traffic.
- How fast do sedum burrito plants grow?
This succulent will grow very slowly and steadily until your plant matures at roughly six years. In six years, the plant can get up to four feet long if you take care of it correctly. However, it only gets around 24 inches high on average.
5. Are there other sedums that are cold-hardy but look similar?
There are a few different sedums that look very similar to the sedum burrito plant but can survive down to zone four. Try planting S. reflexum, S. album, or S. divergens. As a bonus, they all work well as groundcovers.
So, you now know that the sedum burrito plant is a very popular houseplant that usually has a space inside to grow where it can undisturbed. It’s easy to maintain and grow, and these stunning greenish-blue, trailing, long succulents are sure to add beauty to any room you have them in.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.