Repotting a Burro's Tail

mrssw(GA zone7)July 25, 2006

I bought a burro's tail about six weeks ago. It's in a 3" hanging pot - the branches are just beginning to curve downward.

~How long can it be left in that little pot? It seems to me if it is going to be repotted now is the time, before the branches are hanging down completely. At the rate the plant is growing that won't be long!

I would like to get it permanently settled so I can hang it someplace where it can live undisturbed for quite some time.

~What should I use for a potting medium? All I have is regular potting soil and really don't want to buy an entire bag of special soil for one plant if there is an alternative. From what I've read I gather adding sand-box sand to regular soil based potting mix would be of no benefit?

Thanks for any info you can share.



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dufflebag2002(Calif. 91607)

Be careful when transplanting. You can overpot with succulents if in a three inch pot do not put into a 6 inch pot. If done the wrong time of the year the leaves will fall off. Carefully take it out of the pot by laying it on it's side, then pull the pot away from the roots, gently ease it into the new soil and gently pack down with a eraser on the end of a pencil. Then water in, they have roots so you may water. Wait a week then water again if dry, check and see by putting the pencil or chop stick at least half way down in the soil. Norma

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 9:40PM
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You should be able to use potting mix but just be careful when watering to allow the soil to dry between waterings. Potting mix tends to hold the moisture more than free draining mix and there is a chance or root rot if it stays moist for too long.
Sand would not help much if at all. Pumice or perlite mixed in would help but this may mean you would have to buy a bag of it, which would mean you may as well buy a bag of cactus potting mix anyway. HTH.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 5:26PM
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What is the right time of the year to transplant? When leaves fall off, can you just lay them on top of the soil or do you have to put the end down in the soil to start a new plant? Thanks. Janice

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 10:13PM
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there is no telling how long it has been in that little pot so I would just leave it there until you are sure there is a good amount of roots...I am saying this because I got the same size plant (little plastic terracotta colored hanging pot, right?) and when I went to repot it, the whole thing fell apart because there was no real root system holding it together. It never recovered! I still have it, but it's pretty sad looking.

Leave it be for a while, let it grow a bit-it should do ok in a smaller pot!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 9:02AM
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You can repot anytime over spring or summer. They are quite tolerant plants.
Any broken leaves will sprout roots whatever their orientation on the soil but they root at the stem end so if you plant them in the soil, the roots can grow into the soil easiest. HTH.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 3:46AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

No one seems to be saying it, but it's the nature of these plants to hang down, that's what they do.

I'd advise against repotting it. These plants drop leaves at a mere touch. Those leaves can be thrown right back in the pot & they'll sprout anew, but it makes handling these plants quite difficult.

These plants can live a long time tight in the pot: I have mine in a 3" pot for a while now, after some of it had dropped off from being handled roughly, I threw all the leaves back in the pot & it's filled back in nicely. I plan on leaving it there for some time to come.

You might as well buy some C&S Mix & then perlite or pumice (even if a whole bag, jkust look for a smaller one). This mix can be used w/ all things of succulents, ALoes, Jades, almost anything.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 2:24PM
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Pirate Girl, if you read the first poster's posting carefully, you will realise that she is aware of the nature of growth of this plant. The reason she wants to repot is so she can grow it undisturbed in a larger pot so damage won't occur later if it had to be repotted then. Better some damage as a small plant, which would grow and recover quickly, than as a larger plant which might be left with more obvious bare stems if damage occurred.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 3:45PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Yes, Sheila, I'm sorry I read too fast!

Thanks Steve, I seem to have gone too fast over her 2nd paragraph, thanks for catching that, I stand (sit) corrected!

Yes, Steve makes a good point that perhaps a bit of damage now, while it's relatively easily managed is probably preferable to trying to repot when it's got lots of long branches w/ loads more growth to knock off.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 5:44PM
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mrssw(GA zone7)

Thank you all for your replies - I appreciate the input.

Yes, Ines, it is a little plastic terracotta-colored hanging pot - which is part of the reason I want to repot it. :)
Did yours look like it was in regular potting soil? That's what mine looks like so I think I am going to go with that again.

The point that burro's tail doesn't get much of a root system is noted - I will be careful during the repotting. And I would think just one pot size up will be sufficient - forever.

Since spring/summer is the optimum time to repot I will do so now. Hopefully damage will be minimal.
Thanks again for taking the time to reply to my questions.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 7:31PM
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ashcls(ON Canada)

Last summer I purchased my first burro's tail. I repotted it when I got it home because it was in a horrible pot.

Leaves fell off. That is what this plant does. I was as careful as I could be be but...leaves fall. I throw them back in the pot when they fall off and they root themselves.

Mine gets indirect sunlight never disturbed. Most of the leaves that fell off during transplant last summer have come back.

It is scary when all those leaves start to come off...the key is to move it as little as possible when transplanting (having an extra set of hands around helps).

Here is a pic of mine 1 year later.

Here is a link that might be useful: Burro's Tail

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 12:59PM
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Was googling 'transplanting burro tail', great search engine on Garden Web, brought this right up...

A neighbor gave this to me recently and was wondering if it's best to just leave it as it is or 'risk' transplanting it. Ideally I would love to CAREFULLY replant this in some fresher soil but at the same time don't want see it fall apart in the process.

Trying to eat my cake without cutting it ----- do you think it would be a good idea to leave it alone and simply put some new soil on the top of the plant and let it get fed that way??? Any opinions/suggestions would be more than welcomed...

Or should I just cut the cake and hope to replant it without too much damage? Or just leave it be ;-) ?? Oh, the joys of walking the fence!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 12:38PM
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