The Ponytail Palm is an ornamental plant with a thick trunk that retains water. This evergreen perennial is native to Eastern Mexico and can grow as tall as 30 ft in its maturity.
Other Common Names: Elephant Foot Palm
Bionomical Name: Beaucarnea recurvata
Care Level: Easy
Light: Direct – Indirect Bright Light. Can handle low light conditions in the summer.
Water: Water 1 – 4 weeks depending on the size. The larger the pot size the less watering it will require.
Pet Friendly: Yes. Although some cats enjoy eating the plant foliage.
Looking for something out of the ordinary? Look no further. With its unique otherworld appearance, the Ponytail Palm is the perfect conversation starter. Originating from Easter Mexico the thick bulbous trunk is designed to survive hot dry conditions with little water. If you forget to water your plants often, consider this guy as your new roommate. The long grass-like leaves cascade over and twist.
PlantX Top Tip:
Overwatering will cause root rot and the new growth will turn brown.
Ponytail Palm - Care Practices
Light: Can tolerate bright light conditions with 4 hours of direct sunlight
Water: Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again
Humidity: Tolerates low humidity below 24%
Temperature: Average from 18°C to 24°C (65°F - 75°F)
Fertilizer: Follow a monthly fertilizing schedule when the plant is actively growing. In most cases, this is in the spring and summer. Use a balanced fertilizer - this means a ratio of NPK that is all the same. Ex: 10-10-10.
Soil: Use a Succulent and Cacti Soil mixture.
Propagation: Division. Best in early spring and summer.
Repotting: Can be done every 12-18 months. Choose a pot that is 2” larger in diameter than the original pot.
Cleaning Tip: Remove yellowing older leaves by firmly grasping the leaf base and gently tugging. Use a microfiber towel on the leaves to remove dust.
Toxicity: Non-toxic. Always keep plants out of reach of pets and children.
Ponytail Palm - Common Problems
My Ponytail Palm has brown leaf edges...
Check the humidity periodically. This is usually an aesthetic problem and can be dealt with by increasing humidity and trimming off brown leaf edges.
Why is my Ponytail Palm stem shriveled?
This problem is usually associated with underwatering. It will be accompanied by crispy, brown foliage. Not to be confused with stem rot.
Help! I think my Ponytail Palm has stem rot!
When the stem of the ponytail palm begins to rot, this is a symptom of overwatering. Be sure to pot your plant in the suggested soil medium and reduce watering. The ponytail palm is semi-succulent and can hold water in its stem.
Signs of Overwatering:
New growth becomes soft and brown.
Check for mealy bugs, scale, and spider mites.
Can Ponytail Palm take full sun?
The Ponytail Palm will be perfectly happy being watered every couple of weeks and left alone to soak up the sunlight. They’re fairly drought-friendly so sun exposure is something they can handle fairly well.