A few years ago I took a cutting from a friend’s sedum morganianum (donkey tail plant). It was cute and it grew fast, but boy did I grow to hate that thing. The fat, pointy-little leaves (what do you call the leaf-like parts of a succulent?) would fall off at the slightest touch and make a mess. I threw the plant away at the beginning of this season, but kept one stem rooted in a mixed planting.
On Saturday afternoon, we visited Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, NY. Among all the grand, formal gardens at this 90-acre estate, the plant that really spoke to me was a donkey tail. The focal point in a border of hostas and astilbes, it was potted in a tall urn, with long stems that cascaded down the sides. Ah, that’s what a donkey tail plant is supposed to look like!
The next morning I just happened to be in a Home Goods store, where they happened to have a tall “Gardener’s Eden” fiberglass urn on sale for $14.99. I grabbed it and potted it up (in 1/3 each topsoil, vermiculite, perlite) with the donkey tail. After top-dressing it with some black river stones, I stuffed in a few of the leafy things, pretty confident that they’ll root and trail down the sides just like the one at Caramoor. Stay tuned. Yes, I will make sure it gets at least four hours of sun daily, I’ll let the soil dry out between waterings, and not handle it!