Thursday, February 13, 2014

How to grow a Ponytail Palm

My husband first started growing this Ponytail palm when its trunk was no larger than a small rubber ball. It has taken many years to grow this size, but with the little effort it has required, it became a living showpiece. It is rewarding to discover that the right instructions for growing a specific plant does produce beautiful results.

Its botanical name is Beaucarnea recurvata. This intriguing plant appears like a fountain of life with a rosette of long, green,concave and pendulous leaves flowing from the very top of the plant. This handsome native of Mexico can grow in its natural setting to 30 ft. (10 cm+) or more!  However, they do grow slowly indoors and are an easy-to-grow plant.

Another slow grower which is related to the ponytail palm is the yucca, another hardy indoor plant. As they grow, they will lose lower leaves and that is how a ponytail palm produces its trunk and yuccas produce their canes.  

This unusual wonder, known as the ponytail palm, has also been called a bottle palm and it is actually considered a succulent, not a palm.

Care Instructions---
  • Some direct sun is best but bright indirect light should work.
  • Let the soil dry out 1" or so from the soil line. If you have a plant in a 10" container or larger it should probably dry out more.  
  • They are a succulent and are tolerant of sitting dry for a little while but will thrive if they are watered as soon as they are ready to be watered.
  • For a plant in a 6" (15cm) container give your plant up to a pint of water when ready.  For a 10" (25cm) container, water with about 2 quarts of water.
  • Fertilize regularly  

*** To see a video clip from my 90's TV series on plant care featuring the ponytail palm, click here:


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