ponytail 'palm'

Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)April 23, 2008

This is a common houseplant, but i don't know why people here don't use it as a landscape plant. This is one of my two housplant rejects that i planted outside in January and it's already double as tall as when i first planted it. It even saw a night of 28F and many low and mid 30s with little, if any damage (mainly to the tips of the leaves), but it outgrew the damage quickly. It is an a completely exposed location and it looks great. I think the main thing is keeping them dry in the winter and they should do fine. Mine is on a sharp draining slope, you can kind of tell by the picture that it is on a slope. They are rated to zone 9, so my question again, why don't people use them outdoors if you can?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bestdankinftpiercefl

I have an 18 years old ponytail palm planted in my yard. It has never flowered or been groomed. I have named her Medusa and she has a perfectly straight slender trunk. Every person that comes to the house wants to take her home. Here is a pic of Medusa my ponytail palm.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 3:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
topher2006

That is cool ! I have one in a pot rootball about as big as
a jumbo pencil eraser. Been growing it for 3 years !

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 12:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

bestdank, that is one cool ponytail. Can't till mine gets to a noticeable size. I've read they're really fast growers here in our dry heat because it's similar to their native habitat.

Topher, i like the look of ponytails in small pots. It looks like one of those bonsai trees.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 12:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hosta_house(IL 6)

I posted this in the "Houseplant Forum" - Would be nice to set her free in the yard.

I bought this Ponytail Palm from a greenhouse in 1983 and it was about 6 to 8 inches tall.

It has moved with me to 6 different locations over the years and I have only repotted it 4 times, each time severly cutting back the pot bound root system. The roots did get rather long and I decided to put it in a larger pot and it has been in it's current pot for 9 years. I only fertilze it in the spring if at all and I use to put it out on a shaded porch with some sun in the summer (leaves get razor sharp when summered outside) but haven't done so in 6 years because of it's size and my back. As you can see this plant dominates the room and it only has about a foot left before touching the ceiling as my ceiling is only 10 feet tall. It is on a stand about 4 inces high and the pot is about 16 inches tall so I could cut back the roots and try a smaller pot. I want to hang on to this now memeber of the family but I realize I may have to donate her soon.
I hesitate topping this plant as it is too risky, could I cut the roots back every year to slow it's growth? Any advice appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 7:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stokesjl(5 IA)

that is one cool ponytail! looks like cousin it standing in the corner.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 4:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
qpwoeiruty

Ponytails are not palms. But they are pretty.
I live in Florida and I used to see wholesale nurseries import container loads of them from Mexico. I guess they were harvested wild in the dessert. They would come in like a giant onion with no leaves and no roots. The nursery guy would just bury them half way down in a pot and they would start growing.
I had some big ones and use to experiment. I found that if you made a small horizontal cut in the bark (about 1" wide by .25" deep) a sprout would grow just below the cut. The sprout would turn into a branch. I was told that the cut stopped the downward flow of some hormone that inhibits latteral growth. After a few years of cutting, my ponytail had dozens of branches on it.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 8:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
qpwoeiruty

Ponytails are not palms. But they are pretty.
I live in Florida and I used to see wholesale nurseries import container loads of them from Mexico. I guess they were harvested wild in the dessert. They would come in like a giant onion with no leaves and no roots. The nursery guy would just bury them half way down in a pot and they would start growing.
I had some big ones and use to experiment. I found that if you made a small horizontal cut in the bark (about 1" wide by .25" deep) a sprout would grow just below the cut. The sprout would turn into a branch. I was told that the cut stopped the downward flow of some hormone that inhibits latteral growth. After a few years of cutting, my ponytail had dozens of branches on it.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 8:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
qpwoeiruty

Sorry about the double posting. Not sure what I did wrong.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 8:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
connieb_grow

I bought a pony tail palm today that is about 1.5' tall and has 3 bulbs. They seem to be grown together. Does anyone know whether or not I can divide this and make 3 trees?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 8:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stanofh

Just pull them apart-as simple as that. Re pot.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 9:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
saragw

Is ponytail palm the same thing as elephant palm? I call ours "ponytail", but it does look a bit different from "bestdank"'s palm. Ours has a much broader lower half sorta like an elephant's foot and the strands of leaves (?) are not so wavy/curly and looks fuller like a fountain-top effect. The plant has given us several babies, but they seem to have grown about a foot high off the soil, on the side of the mother plant. I'd like to re-pot them, but will it hurt the base plant? Wish I had a photo (or know how to submit one!)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 8:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sharbear50(6a Bella Vista)

Medusa is very cool! I have a ponytail palm in my back yard landscape. It has a wide base but has three trunks, not one. I love these plants/trees. My friend has a bonsai ponytail palm which I would love to learn how to start and grow.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 2:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jamesmaloy

hosta house. reading your post of last year in regards to pony tail palm almost reaching ceiling. I only have 8 foot ceilings and my pony tail was near it last year. So since I had seen many over the years that had been cut I knew it would grow a new top so in early summer I made the cut and about cried, even tried to root top but no luck. But after just a few weeks after cut had sorta of healed. I saw growth buds emerging just below where the plant had healed, it took a while for buds to actually become new long growth but now about one and a half years later it has a full new top with two large trunks and one small one. Only thing I wish I had known to do was put some sealing wax on cut probably would have helped it heal faster. But at least now I can enjoy this same plant for another 10 or more years before having to do it again.

James Maloy

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 11:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
succulentfan2010

HELP! A friend gave me several clippings from her very mature and beautiful ponytail palm. It looks like she just sawed off "branches" of the plant. They clippings look like a piece of sugar cane with lots of green ponytail palm growth on top. There are no roots and no bulb on bottom. Is it worth my time and expense to try planting these? I live in a mildly warm and fairly dry part of So Cal. Any advice for a ponytail palm novice?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 2:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lzrddr(91360)

time and expense? What expense is there to root a cutting? And time is only a few seconds. If this cutting has more than a few inches of woody material, it is very likely it will root eventually. I have not tried one in water, but I know others have. I just remove most of the greenery at the top (peel away the lowest leaves until only a dozen or more leaves left). Then stick the other end in some rooting hormone (I rarely actually do this and it does not seem to be a necessary step, but might be a bit of 'insurance'). Then stick the woody end 2"-4" into some dry, extremely well draining soil (half or more pumice is nice, or you can just mix some perlite to cactus soil). Put this pot in a place where it does not get any full day sun (morning or late afternoon sun is OK) and do not water for a few weeks.. .then water thoroughly periodically (you can always take the cutting out and see if any roots- if none at all, not really worth your time to water it well yet). I have done this dozens of times now and it really only takes a second. I shove the woody end into a pot with another already established plant in it but one in where there is still plenty of soil (not all roots). That way there is no time or expense taken. But if I notice the plant is established, or rooted, I then move it to its own pot (or it will take over the other plant and out-compete it for water... unlikely really as Beaucarneas have pretty wimpy roots).

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 2:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
neonrider(USDA 8A ^ Sunset 31 ^ Mid-SC)

Mine all browned (indoors).

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 1:04PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Sickly windmill palm
We have a 6ft windmill palm that is about 6-7 years...
Diane2115
Mexican Fan Palm - Getting a wee to close to the pool.
We are recent transplants to the southwest so not much...
ranquet91
Germinating Bismarckia nobilis in cool subtropical climate
Hi, I am on Pico island in the Azores and there is...
PicoAzores
How to trim a half dead palm..
Hello! I have a large palm that has been in my house...
thrghbrdjmpr
Mexican Fan Palm Frond Tips are Black/Brown
Hello, I noticed yesterday that my Mexican Fan Palm...
eemedrelyt
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™