This publish shares all about how to care for a ponytail palm, together with whether or not you’ll be able to have a ponytail palm with cats, repotting, pruning, issues, one of the best soil, ponytail palm propagation, how to develop a number of trunks on a ponytail palm, and extra!
How to Take care of a Ponytail Palm
I’m a very unhealthy ponytail palm mother. I really shipped my beloved ponytail palm off to stay within the atrium at my work. We’re fortunate to have a beautiful atrium in my constructing that’s full of vegetation. So why did I ship my ponytail palm off to stay there? Nicely, my cat was obsessive about making an attempt to get to it and eat it.
Reading: How to take care of a ponytail palm
And whereas it isn’t poisonous, it was actually annoying. When he would get to it, he’d nibble on it after which barf it up. This would go away me with ugly nibbled-on leaves and cat barf to clear up. A lose-lose state of affairs.
This was again after we lived in an residence, and I used to be restricted on the place I may put my vegetation. Once I tried to transfer it out of attain, the temptation was nonetheless too nice. He would knock issues over, together with different vegetation, making an attempt to get to the ponytail palm’s delicious-looking curly leaves. I couldn’t blame him actually.
So I made a decision to let this infant stay in my workplace’s atrium for a bit. Suppose of it as a boarding faculty. I knew it could do nicely, and I wasn’t prepared to give him up but. Quick ahead to a few years later, we now stay in a home that has a bit extra room—and most significantly, I can dangle issues from the ceiling! So I made a decision to deliver this now fairly giant plant residence.
What Is This Stunning Creature?
Questioning what this stunning creature is and the way to care for a ponytail palm plant? Very like elephant ear vegetation and banana vegetation, ponytail palm vegetation are stunning tropical-looking vegetation that may enable you to deliver a contact of the jungle to your in any other case boring and lifeless suburban residence. Nonetheless, it’s a palm in identify solely—it’s not really a palm (Arecaceae household). It’s extra carefully associated to the yucca plant and is a succulent!
It’s formally named Beaucarnea recurvata, which you’ll actually by no means hear it referred to as. Nonetheless, you would possibly hear it referred to as an elephant’s foot or an elephant’s foot palm. That’s as a result of this plant has a tough trunk with an exterior resembling an elephant’s pores and skin. The trunk has a giant bulbous look at its base. This bulbous base resembles the elephant’s foot as a result of it tapers up into the vegetation stem or trunk.
The ponytail palm originates from the Asparagaceae household in jap Mexico. Its leaves develop from small rosettes that sprout from the stem/trunk. The leaves develop lengthy, inexperienced, and curly, giving the plant its “ponytail” look. They have a tendency to seem like perky ponytails.
Outside rising within the wild in Mexico, the ponytail palm plant is an evergreen perennial that may develop over 15 toes tall. Indoors as houseplants, ponytail palms keep smaller—although they will nonetheless develop to a number of toes tall, with leaves that may develop to many toes lengthy.
My mother has a big one, particularly for an indoor ponytail palm! It’s in her kitchen subsequent to a door. Right here’s a pic, however full disclaimer, she is aware of it wants a little trimming and tidying up and is getting cramped on this spot:
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Need extra plant care ideas? You’ll additionally love my guides on how to take care of monstera vegetation, how to take care of pothos vegetation, how to take care of rubber vegetation, caring for peperomia vegetation, and the way to care for philodendron.
How a lot mild does a ponytail palm want?
Like its succulent members of the family, ponytail palms like a lot of mild. Vibrant, oblique daylight will assist a ponytail palm thrive as a houseplant. Keep away from direct daylight. If you’d like to transfer your ponytail palm exterior through the summer season, undoubtedly keep away from direct daylight outside. It’s robust!
In case you don’t have the right spot indoors with heaps of vibrant oblique mild, you’ll be able to possible coax your ponytail palm to settle in to a average mild state of affairs. It simply received’t develop as shortly, which is simply as nicely contemplating these vegetation are cute when tiny!
Water, Temperature, and Humidity Wants
Water, temperature, and humidity wants are all simple when it comes to how to care for a ponytail palm plant. File this plant underneath the “avoid overwatering this plant, and you’ll probably be able to keep it alive” class. Overwatering will lead to root rot. Water completely and let the plant dry out between watering classes. Water once more as soon as the highest 2 inches of soil are dry (as soon as a week or so).
These vegetation are very drought tolerant as a result of they will retailer water. Like different houseplants, you’ll be able to water much less through the winter (as soon as each month or so). They tolerate the conventional vary of family temperatures nicely.
Ponytail palms make nice houseplants for a lot of causes, not the least of which is their capacity to thrive in low humidity. It may be tough to preserve houseplant that want excessive humidity glad indoors. Not this plant.
What’s the greatest soil?
Ponytail palms are fabulously unpicky when it comes to soil and potting. They take pleasure in a well-draining soil like a succulent soil. You may choose up a bag at any backyard retailer, or you’ll be able to lower some prices and make your personal in bulk utilizing a DIY succulent soil recipe.
Since ponytail palms don’t like their roots sitting in water, pairing well-draining soil with a pot that has enough drainage is greatest. In case you’re planting in a pot that doesn’t make a drainage gap, ensure you construct a layer of drainage into the underside of the pot. And don’t overwater!
Development Charge and Repotting a Ponytail Palm
Ponytail palms hardly ever want repotted. They develop fairly slowly, and you may preserve them in a single pot for fairly a few years if you happen to’d like. That’s as a result of ponytail palms, like snake vegetation, are glad when they’re cosy of their pots. Their development can be constricted by their pot measurement.
Selecting a pot that’s about 2 inches wider that then bulbous base of the plant is greatest. To repot, loosen the basis ball and plant in recent soil shallow sufficient in order that the highest of the basis ball is on the soil degree. Burying even a small half of the stem can lead to rot.
Ponytail Palm Issues: Brown Recommendations on the leaves
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Whereas the ponytail palm is a very simple plant to take care of, it’s not with out its issues. If the information of your in any other case stunning curly leaves are browning, it might be a quantity of issues. Sorry—no simple reply right here! Begin ruling issues out one after the other.
First, verify in case your plant is getting an excessive amount of solar; direct solar can “burn” the information. Second, verify your watering habits. In case you’re underwatering, brown tips about a ponytail palm might be a signal that the plant is simply too dry.
Lastly, if you happen to fertilize your vegetation, ensure you’re not giving your ponytail palm an excessive amount of fertilizer. Fertilize solely in accordance to your succulent fertilizer’s directions, and don’t method it with the mentality that “more is better.”
As talked about earlier than, overwatering can lead to root rot. Leaves which can be turning yellow or a trunk/stem that’s starting to look mushy or rotted is a signal of root rot induced by overwatering. I can’t emphasize it sufficient—as with all succulents, don’t overwater!
If the leaves on the underside begin to brown and die off as within the picture beneath, you’ll be able to simply trim them. I did this whereas repotting the plan. I had it the other way up and it was very simple to trim off all of the lifeless foliage.
Pruning and How to Develop A number of Trunks on a Ponytail Palm
Ponytail palms usually are very low upkeep and don’t require pruning. Don’t clip the ends of the leaves—they’re one of the best half! Nonetheless, in order for you to develop a number of trunks on a ponytail palm, you’ll be able to take the drastic motion of slicing off the plant’s rising tip.
Doing so will power your plant to develop a number of trunks that can start to emerge on the soil degree throughout the unique base of the plant. I don’t suppose I’d ever have the center to do that!
How to Propagate Ponytail Palm Vegetation
Talking of pruning and rising, if you happen to’re questioning how to propagate ponytail palm vegetation, it’s apparently simple! These vegetation sprout “babies” across the base of the unique trunk/stem. These infants turn out to be vegetation of their very own, however keep in mind, this plant is a gradual grower. So this doesn’t occur in a single day.
You may lower these infants off, allow them to heal over for a few days, dip in rooting hormone, after which replant in their very own pot. I’ve by no means personally propagated a ponytail palm plant, however I’m planning to work on it and replace this publish once I can.
Need to learn extra about plant propagation? Try my guides on propagating pothos vegetation, snake vegetation, peperomia, string of pearls, succulents, monstera deliciosa, and prickly pear cactus pads. Additionally try my DIY take a look at tube propagation station—and a model with glass jars.
Are Ponytail Palm Vegetation Secure for Cats?
Sure! Nicely, they’re very tempting for a lot of kitties, as I outlined. The most important aspect impact I skilled was Henry nibbling the leaves and barfing as a result of they aren’t meant to be eaten. The ASPCA says they aren’t poisonous to pets. As with all houseplants, I don’t advocate adults, kids, or pets ingest them. 🙂
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