How Long Does It Take for a Burro’s Tail to Grow?

Succulents come in many shapes and sizes, so no matter what you’re looking for you’re bound to find something that appeals to you!  One very interesting succulent is the burro’s tail, or “donkey’s tail.”  This succulent is quite common among succulent lovers, but many people ask, “How long does it take for a burro’s tail to grow?”  

A burro’s tail plant is considered fully grown at about 6 years old.  Some burro’s tails can grow to be 4 feet long, but most are around 2 feet long.  Their “tails” can be around 2 feet wide.

The burro’s tail plant is such an interesting and beautiful plant.  These plants can be grown inside or outside depending on the climate.  If you’re looking to add a new succulent to your collection, learn about this beautiful choice below.

In What Type of Climate Do Burro’s Tails Best Survive?

Since burro’s tails are succulents it is expected that they require warm climates to live in.  What one might not expect are the lower temperatures that they can tolerate.  If your burro’s tail is going to be an indoor plant, make sure to put it in a partially shaded area with indirect sunlight.  If the succulent is placed in a very brightly lit place with direct intense sunlight, the plant is likely to wither away.  You might very well want to place this lovely plant in a pot on your patio.  If you do, make sure that you don’t let it sit outside in temperatures below 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit.  Burro’s tails prefer a mild, temperate climate since they’re native to Mexico.  No matter where you live though, a burro’s tail can thrive if given the proper conditions.

What Does a Burro’s Tail Look Like?

A burro’s tail is a perennial plant which means that it grows throughout the year and comes back after a dormant period.  The most striking part of what this lovely succulent looks like is its trailing “tails.”  These tails are characterized by their overlapping blue-green leaves.  The leaves are short and thick with a cylindrical shape.  Then ends are slightly pointed.  They can become fuller with watering or shrivel without watering.  These leaves are very sensitive as they are prone to falling off with just the gentlest of touch.  

The burro’s tail also blooms in some situations.  Indoor plants rarely bloom.  In summer, though,  small but bright pink to red blossoms could occur at the end of the tail in a cluster on one to six flowers.  The flowers are small and star-shaped with the middle part being brightly yellow.  These make great snacks for your local honey bees.  In order for your burro’s tail to flower, it must be mature enough with tails being at least 25 cm long.

How Do I Make Sure My Burro’s Tail Grows Successfully?

Taking care of your burro’s tail is quite simple compared to some other plants.  One concern to look out for when placing your plant is the ease with which leaves will fall off.  Make sure that your plant is placed in an out of the way area so that its leaves will not be knocked off by the rambunctious pet or running child.  

Due to the hanging tails of the burro’s tail, it is best that you place your plant in a container that will allow the stems to hang down.  Some options could include large pots on pedestals, an urn, or a handing basket.  

The type of soil that suits the burro’s tail best is a well-drained type.  A cactus mix or a regular potting mix supplemented with things like small pea gravel would well suit your plant.  Be careful not to overwater any type of succulent, including the burro’s tail.  You should only water when the plant is almost dried out.  An indoor burro’s tail may only need to be watered once per month. 

How Do I Safely Prune and Propagate My Burro’s Tail?

Burro’s tails are relatively simple to prune! Determine your desired length and snip with a pair of sharp, gardening shears.  That’s it! 

If you want to propagate what you’ve just trimmed, that’s not very difficult either.  Take one tail and strip the stem of leaves off of the bottom one-third of the tail.  Once this is done you should let your stem callus over.  This can be done by lying out to dry.  Depending on where you live, the time this takes varies.  On average, this takes about five days.  In a brighter, sunnier place, it could take one.

Once the stems have healed, you’re reading to re-pot.  Fill a container with a cactus mix or a similar soil leaving it about one-fourth of the way full.  Using something like a chopstick or a popsicle stick you should poke holes in the soil.  Place your cut stem into the hole and fill it back in with the soil mix.  Let your newly potted burro’s tail be in the bright sun for one to three days before watering.  

What Are Common Issues That Burro’s Tails Have?

Although the burro’s tail plant is quite easy to care for, it is susceptible to several problems.  They are:

  • Pests: The most common pest that this plant deals with is mealy bugs.  While there doesn’t seem to be much to help prevent mealy bug infestation, there are several ways to get rid of one.  You could place mothballs in the plant and cover the plant with a bag overnight.  The mothballs should dry the bugs out.  You could also use 70% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle to kill the bugs.
  • Leaves Turning Yellow: When a succulent’s leaves turn yellow, this is a sign of overwatering.  Adjust how much water you’re giving your plant and this issue should clear right up.
  • Leaf Withering: Extreme leaf withering is most likely caused by overwatering during winter.  If you see this happening, you should allow it to dry up.
  • Dry Leaf Spots:  Dry leaf spots are usually caused by underwatering during summer.  Make sure you are watering your burro’s tail more during the summer months.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Burro’s Tail?

The burro’s tail is low maintenance but a high-impact plant that can be grown indoors or outdoors.  In addition to these aspects, it also has other benefits like:

  • Non-Poisonous to Pets or Children:  Unlike some houseplants, this succulent has been tested to show that it is zero percent poisonous.  This alone makes it a great choice for a house plant.
  • Easy to Care For: The burro’s tail requires very little care.  Occasionally water, provide enough sunlight, plant in the right soil, and you’re guaranteed to have a lovely succulent.  If you tend to be a little forgetful about caring for your plants, then this is the plant for you.
  • Beautifying Your Home: The burro’s tail is a uniquely beautiful succulent.  The draping tails offer interest to any pot that is sure to catch the eye of everyone.  Having a beautifying area to relax in simply cannot be overlooked.


Growing a burro’s tail can be very rewarding and in no time your plant will be full-grown.  In only six years you will have a fully grown and matured burro’s tail.  These plants are some of the most interesting succulents you can choose for your indoor enjoyment.  These are perfect to add to an existing succulent pot for something that is unique and captivating to view.   


I enjoy all things outdoors and I love plants! I've never considered myself to be one with a green thumb, but it's my mission to learn, so I figured I would bring you along for the ride. :) Happy planting!

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