Sedum burrito

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Sedum burrito Care Guide

Growing Season:
Winter

Dormant Season:
Summer

Sedum burrito (Moran, 1977) is different from Sedum morganianum ‘Burro’s Tail’ in that its leaves are shorter and rounded at the end and the flowers are completely different. 

I have been growing my Sedum burrito in my succulent fountain for about 3 years now and the biggest piece of advice I can give to people who are having problems with theirs is to LEAVE IT ALONE. Once you find a spot that it likes, Do. Not. Move. It. 

The leaves are super fragile and seem to pop off when you glance in its general direction much less touch it. This is definitely a succulent that will not do well if you fuss with it too much. 

Sedum burrito propagates super easily by leaf. The trick is to take a BUNCH of leaves, put them on top of the soil in its forever pot and keep it moist once roots start forming. Be sure to give it lots of ventilation at the same time. Sedum burrito roots are tiny and any movement damages them. All of the nurseries I’ve visited in San Diego propagate their pots this way. 

Protect them from frost and extreme heat. They must have lots of bright light to prevent etiolation and keep their compact, trailing shape. Not enough light and you’ll see lots of room between the leaves which means the stem is also weaker. 

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General Guide to Sedum Care

The key to sedum succulent care is leaving them alone. Seriously. Few succulents require less attention than sedum. They are a diverse genus native to higher elevations and thrive in rocky, mountainous environments where many other plants would die. Many sedum species are referred to as stonecrop because they appear to grow right out of the rocks. 

Their active growing season is in the cooler spring and fall months so be sure to water them regularly during this time. When they are dormant in the summer, don’t be surprised if they generally look kinda shabby or are more sensitive to excessive heat.

Sedums propagate freely by fallen leaves as well as by seeds and stem cuttings. They spread quickly on the ground, so they make covering slopes a breeze. Sedums typically have shallow root systems and grow best when crowded in groups. The best time to propagate sedum stem cuttings is after they have flowered.

If you are growing your sedum indoors in containers, be sure to give them as much sun as possible by placing them near a sunny window or under grow lights to prevent them from stretching. Most types of sedum can handle some shade, but do need lots of light.

Sedum are some of the hardiest succulents there are. Many sedum varieties can survive temps down to -10°F (USDA Zone 6) although they’d do best if kept in a frost free environment.

Sedum succulents thrive in gritty, inorganic soil mixes. The more grit, the better when it comes to sedum as their natural habitat is on rocky ledges in the mountains. Never let the soil your sedum is planted in become waterlogged and make sure your pots always have a drainage hole so you can properly water using the drench and dry method. See the Guide to Soil for Succulents for more information about the different amendments that people use for their succulents and where you can buy them.

They seriously are low maintenance and don’t like strong fertilizers. If you do fertilize them, do it while they are healthy, actively growing and dilute dilute dilute! Also be sure you choose a fertilizer which is low in nitrogen. Make sure to thoroughly water your sedum after you fertilize because they are susceptible to burning.

They can go longer between waterings than other succulent varieties as they store lots of moisture in their fat leaves. Make sure your pots have a drainage hole so that you can use the drench and dry method of watering. Avoid getting water on the leaves especially in humid areas because any trapped water can cause rot to occur. Sedum can be particularly susceptible to root rot when left in wet, soggy soil so make sure they are well ventilated and in gritty soil, especially in humid areas.

They aren’t very heat tolerant, but love the sun and need at least 6 hours of it every day. If you’re in a particularly hot area, protect them from the harsh rays of the sun during the hottest part of the day. They do need lots of light in order to maintain their colorful leaves. They will turn green if kept in low light. Keep them in the brightest light possible to avoid stretching as when they stretch out, or etiolate, they become weaker and susceptible to pests and disease. Do not expose your sedum to the sun abruptly. Doing so can cause irreversible sunburn. Slowly acclimate it over the course of a week or two. 

If you’re growing sedum indoors, be sure to provide it with lots of ventilation because stagnant air leads to a buildup of harmful bacteria and fungus which can lead to rot. A fan and open shelving would be helpful here.

They are prone to aphids, slugs and snails. Fungus gnats are also a pest that hampers sedum and is a sign that your soil is too damp.

Sedum comes from the Latin word “sedeo” which means “to sit.” This is a fitting name because sedum are fantastic ground covers and trail over rocks and walls.

Sedum comes in a huge variety of forms including long trailing types like Burro’s Tail or creeping ground cover like sedum spurium. Sedum dendroideum is even tree-like and grows upright. Their leaves range from thick and fleshy to small and thin. Their flowers generally have five petals and the are known to attract butterflies, bees and other pollinators.

No, sedum are not monocarpic succulents. See my guide to identifying death blooms.

Today, sedum succulents are being used as “green roofs” and are planted on top of buildings to provide insulation, a habitat for wildlife, and to lower urban air temperatures. They also reduce stormwater runoff.

Do you have Sedum burrito problems? Join the SUCCULENTdotCARE community below and share your experience with the group!

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