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ponytail 'palm'

Posted by central_cali369 z9b/Sunset 9 CA (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 23, 08 at 21:43

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?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: ponytail 'palm'

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.


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RE: ponytail 'palm'

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


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RE: ponytail 'palm'

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.


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RE: ponytail 'palm'

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.
P4261244
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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.


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RE: ponytail 'palm'

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


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RE: ponytail 'palm'

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.


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RE: ponytail 'palm'1

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.


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RE: ponytail 'palm'2

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


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RE: ponytail 'palm'

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?


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RE: ponytail 'palm'

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


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RE: ponytail 'palm'

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!)


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RE: ponytail 'palm'

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.


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RE: ponytail 'palm'

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


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Ponytail Palm Clippings...worth keeping?

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?


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RE: ponytail 'palm'

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).


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RE: ponytail 'palm'

Mine all browned (indoors).


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