To grow a new plant, many gardeners have rooted the top half of cactus. The strong stem of the ponytail palm resembles a cactus and even swells to store water, however a piece broken from the base of the plant will not take root. Even though the damaged piece is permanently lost, the plant can still survive and grow. The ponytail palm will split into multiple segments at the point of the break if the diameter of the trunk there is less than 6 inches, and it will then continue to develop. Similar to how a ponytail will divide and continue to develop if it breaks off from a mature plant’s branch. Keep in mind that plants grow very slowly and exercise patience.
What can I do to revive my ponytail palm?
Watering your plants excessively might cause root rot, which is terrible for ponytail palms. A ponytail palm that is exhibiting symptoms of root rot can be attempted to be saved, but results are not guaranteed.
You’ll see symptoms like discolored and mushy roots when your ponytail palm has root rot or stem rot. The leaves may also wilt and turn yellow.
When a ponytail palm is suffering from rot like this, the only way to save it is to cease watering and work to dry it off. When you first notice stem and root rot, it’s frequently already too late.
How can a ponytail palm grow new growth?
- By separating them from the parent plant and repotting them, you can grow more ponytail palms.
The ponytail palm (Beaucarnea), which is easy to cultivate indoors and has a long lifespan, is not a palm tree at all. It’s a succulent in its place. Ponytail palms belong to the agave family, but despite having rough-to-the-touch leaves, they lack the stiffness and thorns that one would often associate with agaves. Those leaves have a ponytail-like appearance and shoot from the stem’s apex in a fountain-like fashion. Ponytail palms are frequently referred to as because of the plant’s broad, dingy base with peeling bark “trees with elephant feet. One common name for this plant is the “ponytail palm,” since each one has a base that tapers up to a slender, graceful trunk “container palm Ponytail palms are native to Mexico and may be grown outdoors in well-drained, sunny locations where they can grow up to 20 feet tall by gardeners in zones 10 and 11.
Where to Grow Ponytail Palms
Ponytail palms require intense light, so place them near windows but out of direct sunlight in the house’s sunniest room. They thrive in dry environments and are ideal for the low humidity seen in most indoor environments.
During the summer, you can move your ponytail palm outside to give it a vacation from the house. Place it in a safe spot, perhaps on a porch or patio close to the home, to give it a few days to adapt. Then, if desired, move it to an outdoor area that gets indirect light. When it is at its brightest, outdoor light—which is significantly stronger than inside light—can hurt plants that are accustomed to growing indoors.
How to Plant Ponytail Palms
Choose a pot that is no wider than 2 inches around the plant’s base because ponytail palms prefer to be a little crowded in their containers. It ought to have a drainage hole as well. Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm & Citrus Potting Mix should be poured into the container up to a third of the way; this will provide the plant the ideal drainage it requires. Once the root ball has been gently teased loose, place the plant in the pot with the bottom of the stem and the top of the root ball meeting about an inch below the rim. The plant will rot if any part of the stem is buried. More potting mix should be added to the area around the root ball. Before relocating the plant to the location where you want it to flourish, give it a thorough watering and let it drain.
How to Water Ponytail Palms
Ponytail palms are succulents and can endure for extended periods of time without water. You shouldn’t overwater them, but it doesn’t imply you should never water them. Between waterings, let the top 2 to 3 inches of soil dry up. Then, give the plant a vigorous soak. This means that if you have a ponytail palm indoors, you’ll probably need to water it every three to four weeks. If you’re letting your plants spend the summer outside, keep an eye on the weather forecast and bring them inside if several inches of rain are expected. Don’t let plants stand in water that is still.
How to Feed Ponytail Palms
Ponytail palms should be fed Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food a month after planting since it delivers immediate nourishment and is especially developed to promote succulent plant growth. Use one pump for small pots and two pumps for larger pots (those with a diameter of over 6 inches), directly on the soil, and then water as usual. Make sure you adhere to the label’s instructions.
How to Prune Ponytail Palms
The terse response is, “Don’t!” Ponytail palms are slow-growing and shouldn’t require pruning when cultivated inside. However, you can clip off the growing tip and let the plant re-sprout if you want to encourage it to grow several trunks. Small stems will start to sprout anywhere outside the clipped edge.
How to Grow More Ponytail Palms
At the base of the stem, ponytail palms may generate offsets, or young plants. You can break or chop these off if you’d like to replant them (chances are, they will already have roots). After a few days of drying out, pot the cut sides like you would fresh plants (see above), being careful not to bury the stems.
Getting ready to plant ponytail palms? Click on any of the product links above for more information, to purchase the product online, or to find a retailer near you.
How Fast Do Ponytail Palms Grow?
Ponytail palms usually don’t grow more than 12 inches a year, and more often than not, it takes a while for a one-foot plant to grow to a two-foot plant.
How Long Can Ponytail Palms Live?
Your ponytail palm will probably live for a number of years, and it can even outlive you because some plants can live for over a century.
Can you cut down a palm with a ponytail?
Let’s define the distinction between pruning and trimming. Shears can be used for trimming, which mainly refers to cutting off the tips of leaves. In order to rejuvenate or restore a plant, pruning is done to remove the woody base material.
The ends of the ponytail palm leaves often get dark and they are delicate to damage. Ponytail palm leaves can easily be pruned back to maintain the plant’s aesthetic. Just the discolored portions can be removed using strong, sharp scissors or yard snips.
How does a ponytail palm look as it ages?
Overwatering is the most frequent reason for Ponytail Palm death. The leaves turn yellow and the base feels mushy, which are signs of root and stem rot. A trunk that is dehydrated will be limp and have leaves with brown tips. Ponytail Palms can die off prematurely due to improper soil conditions, an overabundance of fertilizer, or even the inappropriate pot size.
Why do the palms of a ponytail tan?
- Often, over or underwatering causes this. Insufficient water causes the leaves to turn brown and brittle, while too much water can result in brown tips with noticeable yellowing. With a fresh pair of sheers, trim the leaves and then assess the soil to determine the appropriate watering schedule.
- Most likely not! Simply said, these plants grow extremely slowly. There is nothing to be concerned about as long as your plant appears to be in good health.
- The first symptom of overwatering is the yellowing of the leaf tips. If this occurs, stop watering the plant until the soil is completely dry and then cut back on the amount of water you give it. Other symptoms of overwatering include drooping leaves and a soft, squishy base to the plant.
- Fertilizing indoor plants from spring through fall generally results in their thriving. Use an organic houseplant fertilizer once a month, dilution and application instructions on the container. In order to ensure that your plant doesn’t require fertilizer within the first six months of receiving it, Greenery NYC employs an organic potting mix with a slow release fertilizer in the soil.
- We advise repotting smaller desktop plants every 12 to 18 months. In order to allow for growth, you need often use a potting vessel with a diameter that is 1- 2 bigger. Selecting a pot that is significantly larger than the previous one could drown the plant’s roots. Repot your plant into the same container, add additional soil, and remove some roots and foliage if you’d like to keep it at its current size. Repotting should be done in the spring or summer when the plant is at its healthiest.
My ponytail plant is withering; why?
Ponytail palms behave more like succulents than palm trees, despite their appearance. Nevertheless, your ponytail palm has a good chance of recovering from whatever ails it, especially if you can identify the issue.
The following are some potential causes of your ponytail palm’s appearance of imminent death:
Root and Stem Rot
One of the main causes of a ponytail palm appearing to be dying is rot that is occurring at the root or stem level.
Unfortunately, one of the more significant causes and one that can be challenging to remedy, particularly when it’s advanced, is rotting of the roots and stems.
The plant may tolerate a certain amount of watering neglect, but if it goes without water for an extended period of time, it will get dehydrated.
The stress brought on by dehydration might make the plant appear to be dying. The leaves of a severely dehydrated ponytail palm will be curled and crisp.
Extreme cold or exposure to frost can also cause temperature shock. When this occurs, the leaves on your ponytail palm will get droopy or yellow and may even begin to fall off.
Pest problems, particularly mealybugs that consume the ponytail palm’s sap, are another stressor. Mealybugs can take control of your ponytail palm and erode its defenses if they are not controlled.
Although by no means a heavy feeder, it’s simple to overfertilize this plant, especially when using fertilizers made specifically for cacti and succulents.
Use fertilizer sparingly and only during the growing season to avoid fertilizer burn. Dilute it to half strength. During the winter, the ponytail palm doesn’t require fertilization.
The browning of the leaf tips on your ponytail palm is a sign that you’ve been overfertilizing it.
In the summer, can I leave my ponytail palm outside?
The good news is that because of their modest growth rate, plants don’t require repotting very frequently.
Yes, they can live somewhere with a climate like the coast of Central or Southern California. In Santa Barbara, I had two growing in the afternoon sun and one in the morning sun. They were both in perfect health.
They appear to be better protected from the heat here in Tucson, Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, especially during the intense afternoon sun. Mine grows in bright light, but not in the direct sun, on the side patio.
Others that are sprouting in the afternoon sun have been spotted here in town. The plants appear dried out, and the leaves are yellow. A lack of water may also be the cause of this. As you can see below, mine appears considerably greener and healthier.
Before I replanted it in its current pot, my 3-trunked Ponytail Palm. The Burro’s Tail Sedums were lovely and vigorous back then!
How Often Should I Water My Ponytail Palm?
Ponytail palms are succulents, as I already stated. The plant stores water in both the trunk and its onion-shaped bulbous base (caudex) (stem). The bulb and trunk will rot away if you water it too frequently. The bulb is delicate on the inside and vulnerable to bacterial root rot despite its robust exterior.
Every three weeks in the summer and every five to six weeks in the winter, I water my Ponytail in a big pot. Although they were in smaller pots in Santa Barbara, I gave mine roughly the same amount of water.
Use the information above as a broad reference, and alter it as necessary. Your ponytail might require less frequent watering. In general, yours will need it more frequently the more light, warmth, and pot size there is.
Less frequent watering is required for larger specimens and those in temperate climates. Take note of the soil mixture it is in—more on that below.
Are Ponytail Palms Cold Hardy?
Not quite They won’t endure a prolonged period of freezing. If temperatures rise, they will be harmed. drop to 20–22F.
There is no need to worry because Santa Barbara’s winter lows rarely fall below 40°F. My well-established Ponytail Palm has not been affected by Tucson’s winter temperatures, which have only dropped to 27F.
Can I Grow my Ponytail Outdoors in Summer?
If your Ponytail Palm grows indoors during the winter, it would prefer to be outdoors during the summer. Just watch out that it doesn’t get too hot or stay too wet. So, if you live in a region with a lot of summer rainfall, you should grow it under cover (but in a bright location).
What Kind of Soil is Best for a Ponytail Palm?
one that is aerated and drains nicely. This reduces the possibility of overwatering and root rot.
I currently make my own succulent and cactus mix, but if you can’t locate one locally or don’t want to build your own, I recommend any of the mixes listed below.
Some online retailers for succulent and cactus mix include Hoffman’s (more affordable if you have a lot of succulents, but you might need to add pumice or perlite), Bonsai Jack (extremely gritty; perfect for those prone to overwatering! ), and Superfly Bonsai (another fast draining 1 like Bonsai Jack which is great for indoor succulents).
A Ponytail Palm can be planted in potting soil (with some pumice or perlite added), but you must be very careful not to overwater it. Keep in mind that the bulbous base is prone to decay. Alternately, you might use a mixture of succulent and cactus soil and potting soil.
More information on the mix I used and how I transplanted my huge Ponytail Palm here in Tucson.
When it was much smaller, my 3-trunked Ponytail Palm. Oh, you’ve developed into such a lovely specimen!
When Should I Repot my Ponytail Palm?
My three-headed Ponytail Palm, which I purchased at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market 11 years ago, has undergone three repotted plants. I won’t repot it again for a very long time, if ever. It is currently growing in a 22 pot.
You might need to repot it into a larger pot at some time to keep everything in scale because the bulb grows as the plant grows. Other justifications for repotting include the difficulty of providing enough oxygen and water to the roots of a plant that is too tightly containerized. And occasionally, the soil simply ages, loses its nutrients, and needs to be refilled.
Do Ponytails Need Pruning?
My Ponytail Palms have never required pruning since they haven’t needed it. As the plant matures, the lowest leaves progressively turn yellow and die off (this happens very slowly). Since they are so simple to remove off the trunk, I don’t prune them.
Can You Cut the Top Off of a Ponytail Palm?
You can divide a Ponytail Palm by cutting off its head and trunk (stem). The bulb will produce new growth in the form of several sprouts if enough of the trunk is left on the bulb. Otherwise, they’ll come off the bulb. On the bulb and trunk, fresh growth can occasionally be seen.
A few Ponytail Palms were planted in my Santa Barbara neighbor’s sidewalk strip. Two of them had their skulls severed and decapitated. The end outcome was the appearance of 3 or 4 sprouts, all of which grew into healthy-sized heads.
Straight cuts frequently result in multiple sprouts and, occasionally, a few at the base.
Be advised: new growth may not show any evidence for several months, so be patient.
How Do I Grow Multiple Trunks on a Ponytail Palm?
Because three little plants were put together, My Ponytail has many trunks. You will see several sprouts if you cut off your single head and trunk.
As the sprouts grow, they will eventually develop heads and trunks. Do not anticipate the development of a specimen plant any time soon because this is a very long process. And there will only ever be one bulb in this situation.
How Are Ponytail Palms Propagated?
They are spread by the growers from seeds. Or I could divide my three-headed ponytail palm to grow more of it.
They can also be multiplied by cutting off the pups (babies or sprouts) at the root. I must admit that I haven’t done this very often and lack a lot of experience. Using clean, sharp pruners or a knife, you can either remove the puppies away from the bulb or chop them off.
I made sure to get some roots with the baby plant when I made the cut. I put it in a four-pot arrangement with a succulent and cactus mix and maintained the soil moist until the roots became more firmly established.
Are Ponytail Palms Safe for Pets?
They are thought to be safe for both dogs and cats. For this information, I always refer to the ASPCA website.
While I can’t speak for dogs, some cats adore chewing on the crunchy leaves. Just be aware that it can make them sick.
Why Are the Tips of my Ponytail Palm Turning Brown?
Ponytail palms respond to dry air by developing brown tips. Here in the desert, mine has a lot more of them than it did in Santa Barbara.
If it affects more than just the tips, it’s probably due to either over fertilization or insufficient watering.
Do I Need to Fertilize my Ponytail?
Every spring, I feed mine with worm compost and compost. I add one layer of worm compost and two layers of compost to a huge pot like mine.
I have never fertilized my ponytail palm. If you decide to fertilize yours, take careful not to overdo it because salts can build up and damage the plant’s roots. On the leaves, this will appear as brown dots or sizable brown tips.
Because your plants need to rest in the late fall and winter, you shouldn’t fertilize them during those seasons.
Do Ponytail Palms Flower?
I’ve observed plenty of these outdoors in bloom. The plants that bloom in the spring or early summer are the older ones. The blossoms are visible here.
This is the way to purchase one if you want a tall Ponytail Palm right away. They grow so slowly, that a specimen like this will set you back quite a bit of money.
Because Ponytail Palms are so simple to care for in containers while still being quite intriguing, I adore them. They thrived on being ignored and handled the dry air like champions. Why not try 1 if you don’t already have 1? You’ll feel the same way!