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How To Work With Hanging Succulents Without All The Leaves Falling Off

Many leaves can break off when you plant hanging succulents like Burro's Tail & String Of Pearls . Here's how to work with them to prevent too many of those leaves from falling off.

You can see Trailing Jade & Fishhooks Senecio in this beautiful mixed succulent planting.

Hanging succulents are the cat’s meow, and if they’re happy, will trail like crazy. I’ve gotten a few questions from Youtube viewers about how to work with them without all the leaves falling off. This shows you a little trick I use to minimize the amount which falls off and has always worked like a charm for me.

I was simultaneously filming a video and taking pictures for the post about repotting a large Ponytail Palm and forgot to take snap a few shots of this project. As usual, it’s all in the video below so best to give that a looky-loo. The hanging succulent you seeing me transplanting is a Burro’s Tail Sedum which is one that the leaves fall off of simply by touching it. This planting, both Ponytail Palm and Burro’s Tail, came with me in the back seat of my not so big car along with quite a few other plants and cuttings. It’s a wonder they all made it 9 hours across the desert!

How to work with hanging succulents:

This method works just fine for other trailing succulents whose leaves are prone to falling off. Popular ones besides the Burro’s Tail include String Of Pearls, Trailing Jade, String Of Bananas and Fishhooks Senecio. You can always propagate succulents from leaves but I prefer to keep as many on the one I’m working with as possible.

Here’s how I keep too many leaves from falling off:

1. I carefully put the succulent trails in a pillowcase & clip it closed at the top. If you’re working with a small plant, you can use a dish towel.

2. Dig the succulent out of the pot it’s in being mindful to get as much of the root ball as possible.

3. Put the succulent in its new pot. Because I was also working on transplanting the 3-headed Ponytail Palm, I lowered the Burro’s Tail into a pail until I was ready to plant it.

4. Plant the hanging succulent, with the pillow case still encasing it, as you normally would. Unclip the pillow case & carefully take it off.

Closeup of burros tail where you can see it's leaves

This little trick is nothing fancy but has always kept a lot of leaves from falling off. It also helps prevent any of the trails themselves from breaking off too. I love my trailing succulents and want them to grow as long as possible, and I’m sure you do too!

Want some succulents of your own? Mountain Crest Growers has a great selection of trailing & vining succulents (including the ones I talk about here) as well as many others for you to choose from.

Happy gardening,




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  1. glenda williams

    I had one of these for several years. Widely admired, I let the cold weather get to it this past winter & lost it. Could’t find another one anywhere. I found your site today and there was the beautiful “burros tail”. So happy I found it! . Ordered it & can”t wait till it arrives!

  2. Hi Glenda – I love the Burro’s Tail too! Last year, I moved from CA to the AZ desert. I took cuttings of my plant with me & they’re doing fine. Not quite as plump as they were on the CA coast, but growing like crazy & lookin’ good. Nell

  3. Thank you for the great tip! I love the Burro’s Tail and grow it pretty successfully in Auckland, New Zealand – even with all our rain, succulents do really well, amazingly. I also enjoyed your video on string of hearts which is also a favourite. I am going to try it outdoors. I wish I had a string of bananas – I have never seen that one but now I’m on the search! Thanks again.

  4. Hi Christine – You’re very welcome! My Strings of Pearls, Bananas & Hearts are all flowering now. The SOH’s & SOB’s smell oh so sweet. Nell

  5. Would Burro´s tail do go in a MN bedroom During the winter

  6. Hi Weber – It would depend on how bright the bedroom is & how many windows it has. They need as much bright, natural light as possible. And, back off a bit on the watering frequency in winter. Nell

  7. Nell, thank you for the tip! I have a couple of burro’s tail to transplant and I’m going to try your trick. Wish me luck. Thank you! Isabel

  8. Hi Isabel – You’re welcome! The pillow case trick always works for me with these plants. And, good luck! Nell

  9. Hi there Nell! We just got a burros tail Sedum, along with several other sedums. I plan to put the morganium in a hanging pot but am concerned about the others that I planned to put in a rock garden here in SE AZ. Seems the birds around here Love to eat them!! They have managed to pull up, eat & kill several plants we had already planted & I hate to lose more- any suggestions???

  10. Hi Mo – Oh those birds! I had several small pots (2″ & 4″) of succulents underneath my grapefruit tree & the pack rats had a feast 1 night. Most survived okay & I’m going to plant them in 1 large pot soon. Other than some sort of netting or wire protection, I’m not sure what would work. Nell

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