Plant Care Ponytail Palm

Ponytail Palm

4.7 out of 5 (194 experiences)

Ponytail Palm has a Survivor plant personality Survivor
Ponytail Palm has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower

About Ponytail Palm

Ponytail palm is not a true palm, but a plant with a thick swollen stem (caudex) that stores water and narrow dark green strappy leaves that gently curl toward the ends. It needs bright light and regular watering. They prefer dry winters and do well even with indoor heated air.

Taxonomy

Beaucarnea recurvata
Beaucarnea
Asparagaceae
Asparagales

Also known as

Nolina recurvata, Elephant Foot Tree and Bottle Palm Tree

How to care for Ponytail Palm

💦 Water

How often to water your Ponytail Palm

Water needs for Ponytail Palm
0.5 cups
every 12

Ponytail Palm needs 0.5 cups of water every 12 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Ponytail Palm

Water 0.5 cups every
12

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

5"
☀️ Light

Finding light for Ponytail Palm in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Ponytail Palm: 3ft from a window
3ft or less from
a window

Ponytail Palm may have difficulty thriving, and will drop leaves 🍃, without ample sunlight.

Place it less than 3 feet from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Ponytail Palm in your home 🏡.

🪴 Nutrients

How to fertilize Ponytail Palm

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Ponytail Palm: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Ponytail Palm after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Browse #PonytailPalm
💡 FAQs
⭐ Difficulty Level

Ponytail Palm is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!

Benefits of Growing Ponytail Palm →

Common Ponytail Palm Problems →


💦 Water Needs

Ponytail Palm thrives in dry soil and should be watered sparingly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Ponytail Palm Water Frequency →


☀️ Sunlight Needs

Ponytail Palm may have difficulty thriving and will drop leaves 🍃 without ample sunlight. Place it less than 3 feet from a window to maximize the potential for growth. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.

Ponytail Palm Light Requirements →

Ponytail Palm Direct Sunlight Needs & Tolerance →


🐶 🐈 👶 Toxicity

Ponytail Palm is not known to cause harm to humans or pets. Regardless, if you, a family member, a cat, or dog has ingested any plant material, please consult a doctor or a veterinarian.

Ponytail Palm Toxicity to Humans →


💨 Humidity

Ponytail Palm prefers dry environments. Providing extra humidity or misting your plant allows water to linger on leaves, which can create the perfect environment for harmful types of fungi.

Ponytail Palm Humidity Needs →


🪴 Soil

Ponytail Palm does best in well-draining soil. A good soil will contain lots of organic matter such as coco coir as well as perlite or vermiculite to help with drainage. Adding a handful of perlite to regular store-bought potting soil should do the trick!

When and How to Successfully Repot Ponytail Palm →


💩 Fertilizer

Ponytail Palm grows very slowly and doesn’t require added fertilizer. Replacing your plant’s potting soil once a year should provide them with more than enough nutrition. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!


🌎 Native Region

Ponytail Palm is native to Central America.


🌸 Flowers

Ponytail Palm produces flowers in the wild, but does not flower when kept as houseplants.

Ponytail Palm Flowers →


⬆️ ⬇️ Growth Pattern
🌦️ Growing Outdoors

USDA Hardiness Zone
Ponytail Palm can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-11b. Find your local hardiness zone here.

Ponytail Palm Temperature Tolerance →


🌱 Propagation

Ponytail Palm can be propagated by division into new individual plants.

  • Check to see if there is more than one plant. In some cases they may still be beneath the soil surface. If you feel confident, you may remove the soil to check for baby plantlets below!
  • If there are multiple plants growing, unpot the plant and gently tug the plants apart, being careful not to disturb too many of the roots. They may be connected by large root segments which you may need to break to free the plantlet.
  • Pot up the new plant in well-draining soil
  • Repot the parent plant back into its original pot

🍂 Yellow Leaves

Yellow leaves aren’t always a reason to panic, and can be a normal part of a plant’s life cycle. Unless brand new leaves are turning yellow or all the leaves change color at once, it’s likely just your plant shedding old leaves.

Overwatering and root rot are the most likely cause of problems in Ponytail Palm, since they are very sensitive to wet soil. The leaves may also appear to be curling or drooping. Less often, yellow leaves are caused by underwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or pests.

Replace soggy soil with fresh, dry soil and download Greg to make sure your plant never gets overwatered again!


🧐 Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting a sad-looking houseplant, start by checking for signs of distress in its leaves, such as yellowing, browning, or drooping, which can indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.

Inspect the soil moisture; too dry or too wet soil can cause problems.

Ensure the plant is getting the right amount of light, as too much or too little can stress it.

Finally, consider environmental factors like temperature and humidity, and adjust care routines accordingly to revive your plant.


Care Summary for Ponytail Palm

Ponytail Palm

Ponytail Palm


Greg recommends:

Water

0.5 cups every 12 days

Placement

< 3ft from a window

Nutrients

Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

What other plant parents say

Ponytail Palm has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 113
Ponytail Palm has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 44
Ponytail Palm has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 41
Ponytail Palm has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 24
Ponytail Palm has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 14
Ponytail Palm has a Blooms easily plant personality Blooms easily 10
Ponytail Palm has a Pest magnet plant personality Pest magnet 2
@cgimber avatar
@@cgimber
leaf-1 2 Plants
xp 47 XP
globe Los Angeles, CA
03/31/2022

Slowwwwww grower. Can live up to 100 years old

Survivor Survivor
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
@YouthfulMango avatar
@@YouthfulMango
leaf-1 1 Plants
xp 34 XP
globe Cincinnati, OH
03/07/2022

Low maintenance and gorgeous!

@YouthfulMango avatar
@@YouthfulMango
leaf-1 1 Plants
xp 34 XP
globe Cincinnati, OH
03/07/2022

Low maintenance and gorgeous!

@Roo12345 avatar
@@Roo12345
leaf-1 48 Plants
xp 1,517 XP
02/23/2022

My cat loves to eat the leaves on this ponytail plant, also after moving it from direct sunlight to indirect sunlight it grew back much faster

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Survivor Survivor
@MariansOasis avatar
@@MariansOasis
leaf-1 89 Plants
xp 17,398 XP
globe Solana Beach, CA
02/04/2022

Thought it was a weird looking plant at first but now one of my favorites! Long tendrils of leaves, likes sun ☀️, stores a lot of its own water 💦. What’s not to love! 🪴 💚

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
@Raydensmom avatar
@@Raydensmom
leaf-1 99 Plants
xp 1,866 XP
globe Auckland
01/18/2022

I bought lots of plant when I decided to decorate my house and I realised that I am a plant killer 😱😱😱 Not many of them survived and Pony tail palm is one of them!!
Don’t need to care much, and it looks great!!!
Very slow grower!

Survivor Survivor
@karlv93 avatar
@@karlv93
leaf-1 121 Plants
xp 7,980 XP
01/14/2022

Easy care plant, doesn’t need much care at all. Love how cute and tropical he looks!

Survivor Survivor
Meg avatar
@Meg
leaf-1 3 Plants
xp 153 XP
globe Providence, RI
01/08/2022

I’m not sure

@Seb123 avatar
@@Seb123
leaf-1 2 Plants
xp 288 XP
12/12/2021

I just love how easy it is to take care of this plant

Survivor Survivor
Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Fast grower Fast grower
@Teapott73 avatar
@@Teapott73
leaf-1 45 Plants
xp 3,918 XP
11/29/2021

This is my second ponytail palm. I love this plants because of it’s curly leaves. Decided to purchase a small size just so I can watch it grow from beginning to end.

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
Kass avatar
@Kass
leaf-1 10 Plants
xp 249 XP
globe Bellevue, WA
11/24/2021

Great!

Fast grower Fast grower
Blooms easily Blooms easily
Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
@Moshpitmarket avatar
@@Moshpitmarket
leaf-1 31 Plants
xp 449 XP
globe Dallas, TX
11/23/2021

You can really just let it chill and if the leaves get a little crispy, snip them off. It’s so cute!

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
Browns easily Browns easily
@CocoQueen avatar
@@CocoQueen
leaf-1 3 Plants
xp 135 XP
globe Madison, WI
11/08/2021

I don't know what I'm doing wrong but the ends of my ponytail palm are brown and I'm wondering what I need to do to make it not be brown? are they supposed to be brown?

Browns easily Browns easily
Gabriella avatar
@Gabriella
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 72 XP
11/02/2021

This plant is perfect for people like me who forget to water all the time.

Survivor Survivor
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
@Katy410 avatar
@@Katy410
leaf-1 34 Plants
xp 2,291 XP
11/01/2021

Easy to care for and doesn’t mind neglect.

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
@baobab_zig avatar
@@baobab_zig
leaf-1 123 Plants
xp 13,844 XP
globe Chicago, IL
10/18/2021

Conversation starter

Survivor Survivor
Louis avatar
@Louis
leaf-1 3 Plants
xp 37 XP
globe Hougang, Singapore
10/10/2021

Let soil dry out before watering.

Survivor Survivor
@thiago avatar
@@thiago
leaf-1 15 Plants
xp 1,714 XP
10/04/2021

Low maintenance. Seems to be always happy!

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Survivor Survivor
@R_L15748 avatar
@@R_L15748
leaf-1 76 Plants
xp 17,269 XP
10/04/2021

Resilient

Survivor Survivor

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