Ponytail Palm problem

kim211July 27, 2014

Purchased two "double" ponytail palms 2 years ago at a big-box store and transplanted them into large ceramic pots that sit on either side of our patio, and raised on pavers for drainage. Full sun all day. They did great until this year. One palm in each container both have the new center growth broken off ... like someone cut them with a knife. I can't find any information at all searching the internet. I have no idea what is happening and am wondering if I should take them out of the pots and plant them in the ground. Any help is appreciated! I should mention, I do not have a green thumb. Also, all four palms have a lot of yellow leaves, but I see no bug infestation.

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In my experience, pony tail palms are really sensitive to too much water and/or having too much mulch near their trunks. Have you mulched them recently? Have they gotten more rain than they need? That might leave them vulnerable to bugs/slugs.
I had one in a pot for several years and put it out into the yard about a year ago. One of the three stems went great guns. It's four-feet high now, from six inches. The other two did not like their conditions and I think both have died.
I do think they're really sensitive to getting too wet or having mulch too close to their trunks/being planted too deep.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:01PM
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Something chewed on the new growth. Probably snails. As far as the overall condition of the plants, make sure the pots are well-drained and the soil is mostly sand. Ponytail Palms suffer quickly from too much water.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:36PM
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Thanks for responses. Didn't mean to disappear; I went away for 2 weeks.

No, they have no mulch; but we used potting soil and the original dirt they came in. Have had a lot of heavy rains, but no puddling, so seem to be draining ok.

I will just watch them and see what happens, and will decide what to do next spring.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 12:52PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Wondering if lubber grasshoppers like that tender new growth?

Alternately, some caterpillars or other insects can get into the center of plants & a small nibble becomes very dramatic-looking as the leaves enlarge & emergeâ¦.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 2:07PM
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