Why Is My Donkey Tail Succulent Faded? Causes & Solutions

Disclosure: As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

Please note that while we always strive to provide 100% up to date and accurate information, there is always the small possibility of error. Therefore, we advise conducting further research and due diligence before consuming any plants or exposing pets to anything mentioned on this site. Kindly refer to the full disclaimer for more details here.

Donkey tail succulents, scientifically known as Sedum morganianum, are popular houseplants known for their cascading, trailing stems and plump, teardrop-shaped leaves. They’re generally low-maintenance, making them a favorite choice for both beginner and experienced plant owners. However, if you’ve noticed that your donkey tail succulent has started to fade or lose its vibrant color, you might be wondering what’s causing the problem and how to fix it.

Fading in a donkey tail succulent can often be attributed to inadequate light and environmental conditions. Like all succulents, donkey tails thrive in bright, indirect sunlight and warm temperatures. When they don’t receive sufficient light, their leaves may fade and lose their vibrant green color. Additionally, it’s essential to take care of their watering needs by only watering when the soil is completely dry and ensuring proper drainage to prevent rot and other issues. In the paragraphs that follow, we’ll delve into these causes and discuss how to address them to bring your donkey tail succulent back to optimal health.

Why Donkey Tail Succulents Fade

Sunlight Exposure

Donkey Tail succulents often fade due to insufficient or excessive sunlight. While these plants thrive in bright but indirect light, too much direct sunlight may lead to sunburns and fading leaves. On the other hand, if your Donkey Tail is not receiving enough light, its leaves will lose their vibrant color and appear faded. To prevent fading, ensure your succulent gets enough indirect sunlight.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Another factor that contributes to fading Donkey Tail succulents is nutritional deficiencies. These plants are not heavily dependent on fertilizers but still require proper nutrition to maintain their vibrant green color. Feeding your plant with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season will ensure it receives essential nutrients to maintain healthy growth. Keep in mind that fertilizing should be done sparingly, not more than once a month.

To provide your Donkey Tail succulent with optimal care, monitor its sunlight exposure and be mindful of its nutrient requirements. Creating a healthy environment for your plant will help prevent any faded appearance and stimulate stronger growth.

Caring for Donkey Tail Succulents

Donkey tail succulents, also known as Sedum morganianum, are beautiful, low-maintenance plants. To keep them healthy and vibrant, it’s essential to provide proper care. In this section, we will discuss the essential factors in caring for donkey tail succulents: proper watering, sunlight requirements, and fertilizing.

Proper Watering

One crucial aspect of caring for a donkey tail succulent is providing adequate water. Wait until the leaves curl up and shrink, indicating the plant needs water. Water the plant thoroughly, enough to saturate the roots, usually every 2-3 weeks. Be cautious not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot and other problems.

Sunlight Requirements

Donkey tail succulents prefer indirect, bright sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause the leaves to fade or burn, especially in new cuttings that store less water than mature plants. To maintain vibrant colors and promote healthy growth, ensure your succulent gets indirect, bright sunlight.


Fertilizing your donkey tail succulent can provide essential nutrients for growth. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, ensuring not to exceed the recommended dosage. Fertilize the succulent during the active growing season, usually from spring to summer, but avoid over-fertilizing, which can cause harm to your plant.

By following these simple guidelines for proper watering, sunlight requirements, and fertilizing, you can ensure your donkey tail succulent remains healthy, vibrant, and beautiful.

Reviving a Faded Donkey Tail Succulent

Assessing the Damage

A common issue with donkey tail succulents (Sedum morganianum) is their color turning dull or fading, which can happen when the plant is exposed to harsh sunlight. When the vibrant blue-green color turns gray or dull green, it’s an indication that the plant needs attention.

The first step to revive the plant is to carefully observe the leaves and roots. Check for any signs of root rot, such as mushy or blackened roots that result from overwatering, too much fertilizer, or insufficient drainage.

Pruning and Repotting

Once you’ve assessed the damage, you can start reviving your donkey tail succulent by following these steps:

  1. Remove the plant from its pot and gently shake off any excess soil from the roots.
  2. Trim away any damaged or rotting roots with a clean pair of scissors or pruning shears.
  3. Allow the plant to dry for a day or two, giving the freshly cut roots time to heal and reduce the risk of further infection.
  4. Choose a well-draining soil mix, rich in organic matter like perlite or coarse sand, to encourage healthy root growth.
  5. Repot the plant in a container with drainage holes, ensuring the bottom is filled with a layer of aggregated material, like gravel or pebbles, for added drainage.
  6. Water the plant sparingly once repotted, then wait for the soil to dry before watering again.

After repotting and pruning, it’s essential to adjust the environmental conditions to help your donkey tail succulent regain its vibrant color:

  • Gradually move the plant to a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight, as direct sun exposure could cause further fading and sunburn.
  • Maintain a consistent watering schedule, being careful not to overwater the plant. Donkey tail succulents thrive on minimal water, and too much can cause yellowing and mushy leaves.

By following these steps, you can help your donkey tail succulent regain its health and vibrant color, ensuring it continues to thrive in your space.

Preventing Future Fading

Creating a Caring Routine

To prevent your Donkey’s Tail succulent from fading, it’s essential to establish a proper care routine. Start by providing well-draining cacti or succulent soil to ensure your plant’s roots aren’t sitting in damp soil for too long.

Next, make sure your Donkey’s Tail gets bright indirect light. Find a spot with enough light but not too much direct sunlight, as it can cause harm to the plant. Keep the temperature between 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit (18-26 degrees Celsius).

Watering is crucial for your Donkey’s Tail health. Water it every 14-21 days, allowing the soil to dry completely between waterings. Over-watering can lead to root rot, while under-watering may cause the plant to dry out and fade.

Also, consider providing some fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer months. Make sure to use a fertilizer specifically designed for succulents.

Monitoring Plant Health

Regularly monitoring your Donkey’s Tail succulent is essential for catching any early signs of trouble. Keep an eye out for:

  • Discolored or fading leaves
  • Leaves falling off the plant without any physical contact
  • Mold or pests on the plant or in the soil

Addressing these issues early on can help prevent future fading and ensure your Donkey’s Tail remains healthy and vibrant. Remember that this particular succulent is quite fragile, and it’s best to avoid handling it repeatedly, which might cause it to lose leaves.

In summary, a proper caring routine, balanced light and temperature conditions, and regular monitoring are vital to prevent your Donkey’s Tail succulent from fading in the future. By giving the plant the right care, you can enjoy its beauty for many years to come.

Helpful Video