4.7 out of 5 (194 experiences)
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.
Also known as
Nolina recurvata, Elephant Foot Tree and Bottle Palm Tree
How to care for Ponytail Palm
How often to water your Ponytail Palm
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.
Water 0.5 cups every
Check the growing potential in your area
A plant's growing potential is determined from its location, the time of year, and current local weather.
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Finding light for Ponytail Palm in your home
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 🏡.
How to fertilize Ponytail Palm
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.
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!
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 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 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 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 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!
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!
Ponytail Palm is native to Central America.
Ponytail Palm produces flowers in the wild, but does not flower when kept as houseplants.
USDA Hardiness Zone
Ponytail Palm can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-11b. Find your local hardiness zone here.
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 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!
Care Summary for Ponytail Palm
0.5 cups every 12 days
< 3ft from a window
Repot after 2x growth
Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.