Share your love!

How to Care for Ponytail Palms (Beaucarnea recurvata)

How to Care for Ponytail Palms (Beaucarnea recurvata)

Meet the Author and Your Future Designer: Julio Arco is a passionate architect with years of experience in architecture, interior design, urban design, and housing. He studied at prestigious universities across North America and Europe. 


If you’re looking to add Ponytail Palms to Your Home and Care for Them, hire me or my colleagues to help you. Our collaboration will be a seamless online process, from idea boards to detailed layouts, renderings, and a curated shopping listClick here to learn more and work with me with 25% off! Learn more About Me, or visit my Portfolio

How to Care for Ponytail Palms (Beaucarnea recurvata)

10 Interesting Reasons to Have a Ponytail Palm

Like what you see? Check out my Portfolio & work with me or any Havenly designer, & spruce up your home with Havenly, the platform that has revolutionized online interior design since 2013! Offering online interior design services & home decor from the best online interior designers at an affordable price! Take 25% off your first design TODAY!

About Ponytail Palms

Ponytail palms (Beaucarnea recurvata)are fascinating desert plants with a unique palm-like appearance. They are actually not true “palms,” but rather desert plants in the Agave and Yucca genera (such as Joshua trees). Ponytail palms are native to eastern Mexico and can reach up to 30 feet in height!

Most landscape plants don’t usually get to be more than 10 feet tall, so this is quite impressive. When kept indoors, they are rarely taller than 4 feet. Ponytail palms are easy to care for and make a great addition to any home.

Ponytail palms store water in their bulbous trunks, and their long, hair-like leaves grow from the top of the trunk like a ponytail, hence their name. These plants are drought-tolerant, slow-growing, and only require very little care. Ponytail palms are a sleek and unique addition to any home. They make a great conversation starter and add a touch of elegance to any room.

Additionally, research has shown that having plants in your house will have amazing benefits for you! Visit our article Amazing Psychological Effects of Nature in Pet-Friendly Interiors to find out more!

How to Care for Ponytail Palms (Beaucarnea recurvata)

Costa Farms Ponytail Palm Bonsai, Live Indoor Plant

Selecting soil for Pony Tail Palm

Ponytail palms (Beaucarnea recurvata) are one of the best plants you can have around. Your indoor ponytail palm doesn’t need much water, enjoys well-draining soil, and doesn’t mind if its roots get a little crowded. In fact, Ponytail palms are fabulously unpicky when it comes to soil and potting.

Ponytail palms don’t like their roots sitting in water, so pairing well-draining soil with a pot that has adequate drainage is the best way to go. And as long as you have a well-draining soil mix, such as cacti and succulent potting mix, your Ponytail palm will be happy as can be.

How to Care for Ponytail Palms (Beaucarnea recurvata)

Ponytail Palm – Live Plant in a 6 Inch Growers Pot

Selecting the right pot for Pony Tail Palm

First, Ponytail palms (Beaucarnea recurvata) like to be a little crowded in their containers, so select a pot that is no more than 2 inches wider all around the plant’s base. It should also have a drainage hole.

Second, Ponytail palms don’t like to sit in moist soil for very long, so use a clay pot if possible; the porous material will absorb some of the water, drying out the soil more quickly (a good thing for cacti and succulents).

Third, Ponytail palms like bright, indirect light, so choose a spot for your plant that receives plenty of sunlight but isn’t in direct sunlight. And finally, Ponytail palms are drought-tolerant plants, so don’t water them too often; once every week or two should suffice. Just be sure to select a pot with a hole in the bottom, so that excess water can be drained off. With these tips in mind, you.

How to Care for Ponytail Palms (Beaucarnea recurvata)

Costa Farms Ponytail Palm Bonsai, Live Indoor Plant

Best Lighting Conditions for Pony Tail Palms

Ponytail palms are a type of plant that needs bright light in order to grow properly. Ponytail palms prefer direct sun or bright, indirect light, with ideal temperatures above 45° F (7° C) at night. However, even though Ponytail palms need full sun to grow the best, they can also tolerate lower light conditions and grow more slowly.

Ponytail palms are known to be easy to grow, and they like bright light but can also handle medium- and low-light spots. When growing Ponytail palms, it is important to remember that they need bright indirect sunlight during the afternoon period and while they also need 2 to 3 hours of morning sunlight.

Taking care of a Ponytail palm is not difficult as long as you provide them with the correct conditions that they need in order to grow.

How to Care for Ponytail Palms (Beaucarnea recurvata)

5″ Ponytail Palm – Live Plant Indoor in Natural Bamboo Pot

How to Water Pony Tail Palms

Ponytail Palms are one of the most popular houseplants around, and it’s easy to see why. They’re distinctive-looking, relatively low-maintenance, and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. One of the things that makes Ponytail Palms so low-maintenance is their ability to go long periods without water.

In fact, the number one reason behind the death of Ponytail Palms is overwatering. If you’re thinking of adding a Ponytail Palm to your collection, here are a few tips to help you keep it healthy and happy.

Allow the top 2 to 3 inches of soil to dry out between waterings, and then give the plant a good soak. You may need to water your Ponytail Palm more than once every two weeks during the growing season. However, it’s important to make sure that you are letting the soil thoroughly dry between waterings.

Ponytail Palms are susceptible to root rot, so it’s very important that you do not water the plant if you detect any moisture in the soil.

How to Care for Ponytail Palms (Beaucarnea recurvata)

American Plant Exchange Ponytail Palm Single Trunk Live Plant

How to Fertilize Pony Tail Palm

Ponytail palms should be fertilized once or twice a month during the growing season and once a month during the winter. Miracle-Gro® Succulent Plant Food is a great option, as it provides instant nutrition and is specially formulated for succulents. Simply apply it directly to the soil, using 1 pump for small pots and 2 pumps for larger pots (over 6 inches in diameter).

Once you’ve applied the fertilizer, water as normal. You can start fertilizing your Ponytail Palm in late spring, continuing through summer. In autumn, slowly reduce the amount of fertilizer you’re applying until you’re only fertilizing once a month.

How to Care for Ponytail Palms (Beaucarnea recurvata)

5″ Ponytail Palm – Live Plant Indoor in Natural Bamboo Pot

Best Temperatures and Humidity for Pony Tail Palm

Ponytail palms are unique plants that thrive in warm, arid climates. Because they come from desert environments, they do not need to be in high humidity areas to survive. In fact, your home’s humidity levels should suffice. To create optimal growing conditions for your ponytail palm, spray it weekly with water, fertilize it monthly, and keep indoor temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ponytail palms are also tolerant of higher temperatures as long as they are watered often. However, they do not enjoy temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. When choosing a location to place your Ponytail Palm, it is important to find a semi-dry climate that is not too humid or too dry.

How to Care for Ponytail Palms (Beaucarnea recurvata)

Brussel’s Live Pony Tail Palm

How to propagate Pony Tail Palm

Ponytail palms are one of the easiest plants to propagate and produce baby plants. All you need is a pup that is 4 inches tall, and you’re good to go! Spring is the best time to divide ponytail palm shoots, but you can really propagate them anytime. To do so, excavate around the parent plant base to expose the pups’ base and cut the pup away from the adult plant.

Then, use a cactus mix or sand-based potting soil and place the rooted end of the pup in a moistened medium in a well-draining container. Cover the container with a plastic bag lightly secured around the edges of the pot and place it in a warm room in moderate light.

Uncover the pot and mist the Ponytail Palm with water every few days to keep it moist. In about 6-8 weeks, your Ponytail Palm should be rooted and ready to transplant into your garden!

How to Care for Ponytail Palms (Beaucarnea recurvata)

5″ Ponytail Palm – Live Plant Indoor in Natural Bamboo Pot

Pony Tail Palm Potential pests and diseases

Ponytail palms are a beautiful addition to any home, but they can be susceptible to spider mites, mealybugs, and scale. Any damage to the delicate roots of a Ponytail Palm hinders nutrient delivery. Diseases include stem or root rot, sooty mold, and botrytis blight. Sooty mold can give your plant a black sooty appearance, and Botrytis Blight is a Gray Mold that can kill your Ponytail Palm.

The best way to prevent these problems is to keep your Ponytail Palm healthy and happy. Make sure to water it regularly and give it plenty of sunlight. If you see any insects on your plant, remove them immediately.

When should I repot my Pony Tail Palm?

Ponytail palms are a type of plant that many people like to have in their homes. These plants are easy to take care of, and they don’t need much attention. You will eventually need to do for your ponytail palm to repot it or transplant it into a larger pot. The best time to do this is in the early spring or summertime.

This will give the plant enough time to establish new roots before winter. Ponytail palms don’t need to be repotted very often. In fact, they can go for many years without needing a larger pot. If you want to keep your houseplants small and manageable, then you should keep your ponytail palms in small pots. As the ponytail palm pot size increases, so will the size of the plant. Big pots will eventually produce big plants with big bases that can be hard to move about.

How to Care for Ponytail Palms (Beaucarnea recurvata)

5″ Ponytail Palm – Live Plant Indoor in Natural Bamboo Pot

How to Prune my Pony Tail Palm

Ponytail palms are a type of single-stemmed plant, which means that if you want to prune any base or woody material, you would literally be removing the trunk. Cutting back the ponytail palm is not an effective maintenance method and would expose the stem to mold and mildew and it would cause stem rot. A ponytail palm’s leaves are prone to injury and sometimes turn brown or black at the tips.

Since the plant is a single stalk, pruning it would not be beneficial. The only time a ponytail palm should be pruned is if you are removing a pup from the mother for planting. Ponytail palms are easily propagated by pups, or offshoots, which form at the base of the plant. If you want to remove a pup for planting, simply cut it away from the mother plant with a sharp knife. Be sure to water the pup well and keep it in a warm, sunny location until it is established. With a little care, your ponytail palm will thrive for years to come.

How to Care for Ponytail Palms (Beaucarnea recurvata)

United Nursery Ponytail Palm

How to care for Ponytail Palms – FAQ

Do Ponytail Palms need direct sunlight?

Ponytail palms do best in bright, indirect light but can tolerate some direct sunlight. If the leaves start to turn yellow or brown, that is a sign that the plant is getting too much sunlight.

How often should I water my Ponytail Palm?

Ponytail palms should be watered when the top inch of soil is dry. During the winter, they can be watered a little less often. Over-watering can lead to root rot, so be sure not to water too often.

What type of soil does a Ponytail Palm need?

To grow Ponytail palms, you’ll need well-draining, sandy soil. If your soil is heavy or clay-like, you can mix in some perlite or sand to help improve drainage.

My Ponytail Palm’s leaves are turning brown; what should I do?

If the leaves are turning brown or black at the tips, it is a sign that the plant is stressed. This can be caused by too much sunlight, too much water, or not enough nutrients. Try to improve the conditions and see if the leaves start to recover. You may need to trim off the affected leaves if they don’t.

Do Ponytail Palms need to be fertilized?

To grow Ponytail palms, you don’t need a lot of fertilizer. In fact, too much fertilizer can burn the roots. You can fertilize your plant once a year in the spring with a balanced fertilizer. Be sure to follow the directions on the package.

Is it easy to care for a Ponytail palm?

It is very easy to care for a Ponytail palm and doesn’t need much attention. They are a great choice for beginner gardeners or anyone who wants a low-maintenance plant. You will eventually need to do for your ponytail palm to repot it or transplant it into a larger pot. Other than that, they are very easy to care for and can thrive with just a little bit of attention.

Do Ponytail Palms grow fast?

A ponytail palm is a slow-growing, long-lived species. It may take five years or more for a 1-foot-tall plant to double in size. 

Do Ponytail Palms have different names?

A Ponytail Palm is sometimes referred to as a Bottle Palm tree or Elephant’s Foot Palm.

My Ponytail Palm has spider mites; how can I get rid of them?

Spider mites are a common problem with Ponytail Palms. They are tiny, spider-like pests that suck the sap from the leaves, causing them to turn yellow or brown. If you think your plant has spider mites, you can try spraying it with a mixture of water and dish soap. You can also try using a horticultural oil or insecticidal soap. Be sure to follow the directions on the package.

Should I use a rooting hormone to grow ponytail palms?

If you are propagating your ponytail palm from a cutting, you can use a rooting hormone to help encourage root growth. To grow ponytail palms, this is not necessary, but it can be helpful. Be sure to follow the directions on the package.

How to Care for Ponytail Palms (Beaucarnea recurvata)

Hire an Online Interior Designer at Havenly

There are several online interior design websites, but Havenly is your best option to hire from a robust list of interior designers that will help you in decorating and creating the perfect dog-friendly home. 

When you sign up for Havenly, you will take a short quiz about your design style and what you are looking for in a designer. Havenly will then match you with a designer who will help you select paint colors, furniture, and accessories that are both stylish and safe for your furry friend.

In addition, your Havenly designer will be able to provide tips on how to create a space that is both comfortable for your dog and inviting for guests. With Havenly, creating a beautiful and functional home that your dog will love is easy and stress-free.

Click here if you want to learn more about Havenly or book an interior designer and get 25% off your design package if you click here!

Share your love!
M.Arch. Julio Arco
M.Arch. Julio Arco

Bachelor of Architecture - ITESM University
Master of Architecture - McGill University
Architecture in Urban Context Certificate - LDM University
Interior Designer - Havenly
Architecture Professor - ITESM University

Articles: 584