Ponytail Palm: Care And Growing Guide For Beginners


The ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) is a desert plant native to Central America and Mexico. It is also known as elephant foot or ram’s horn. This plant gets its name from the long, thin leaves that grow out of the top of the trunk and look like a ponytail.The ponytail palm tree can grow as tall as 12 feet. This is a slow-growing tree, and it will take some time for it to reach this height. However, it will only grow as tall as you allow it to grow.

One of the most common houseplants you’ll see is the ponytail palm. In fact, you’ll see it so often that you might not even think about how to take care of it! Ponytail palms can seem easy to care for, but it’s important to know what they need to stay healthy.

What is a ponytail palm?

The ponytail palm, or Beaucarna ponytail palm, is an unusual houseplant that is popular for its low maintenance needs. This palm is native to Mexico and Central America, and gets its name from the long, hairy “ponytail” that grows out of its top. The ponytail palm is a slow grower, but once it reaches maturity it can be quite a large plant. It is a great choice for anyone who is new to plant care, as it is very forgiving and does not require a lot of water or light.

Highlights of Growing Ponytail Palm

The ponytail palm is a great indoor plant to consider if you’re looking for a low-maintenance option. This palm thrives in bright, indirect light and doesn’t require a lot of water. In fact, it’s best to water it sparingly and only when the pot’s topsoil feels dry to the touch. You’ll also want to make sure your ponytail palm is in an area with good air circulation, as it doesn’t like to be too hot or too cold. If you’re looking for a place to put your ponytail palm, consider a spot near a window with indirect light or in a room with a moderate climate.Follow these simple tips and your ponytail palm will be thriving in no time!

How to effectively grow and care for Ponytail Palm

What soil is best for a ponytail palm?

The best soil for ponytail palms is a light, sandy loam. This soil type is free-draining and will not hold water for long, which is perfect for a plant that prefers dry conditions. Avoid using heavy soils or soil that is high in clay, as they will not drain well and will likely cause root rot in your palm.

You can either mix your own soil or purchase a pre-made mix from your garden center. One of the benefits of using this type of soil is that it retains moisture for a longer period of time. This is important, as the ponytail palm does not like wet feet and can easily die if it’s constantly wet. The soil will help to regulate the moisture levels in the pot, keeping the plant healthy and looking good.

How often should you water your ponytail palm?

You should water your ponytail palm whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Checking the soil frequently is the best way to ensure that your plant doesn’t get too thirsty – and, as we all know, nothing is worse than a wilted plant. In general, you should water your ponytail palm about once a week. However, if you live in a particularly dry climate, you may need to water it more often. Conversely, if you live in a humid climate, you may need to water it less often.

What is the best way to water a ponytail palm?

When watering a ponytail palm, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, make sure to use tepid water as cold water can shock the plant. Secondly, give the plant a good drenching but make sure to allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Too much water can kill a ponytail palm, so make sure to only water when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. Lastly, try to water the plant in the morning so that any excess water can evaporate before nightfall.

What type of humidity does a ponytail palm need?

A ponytail palm is a tropical plant that does well in high humidity environments. The ideal humidity range for a ponytail palm is 60-70%. If the humidity is too low, the leaves will be dry and brown. If the humidity is too high, the leaves will be wet and moldy. You can increase the humidity around your ponytail palm by using a humidifier, placing it near a water source or grouping it with other plants that release humidity. You can use a humidity gauge to monitor the humidity in your home and make necessary adjustments.

How to fertilize ponytail palms

Fertilizing your ponytail palm is an important part of keeping it healthy and looking its best. In order to fertilize your palm, you’ll need to find out its feeding requirements. This includes the NPK ratio, or the levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the fertilizer. You can purchase a fertilizer that is specifically designed for palm trees, or you can use a general-purpose fertilizer that has medium concentration of nitrogen.

You should fertilize your palm at least twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. It’s best to use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer that’s specifically designed for orchids or palms. When you’re fertilizing, make sure to apply the fertilizer evenly to the soil around the plant—you don’t want to fertilize the leaves, as this can cause damage.

Also Read: Difference Types of Palm Trees

Best Ponytail Palm Temperature

One of the most important factors for plant growth is temperature. The right temperature ensures that your plant is growing as healthy as possible. The optimal temperature range for Ponytail Palms is 68-80 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature falls outside of this range, you may begin to see problems with your plant’s growth. Keep in mind that temperature can vary depending on the time of year, so be sure to check the temperature regularly.

For winter, aim for a temperature of around 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit. In the summer, your plant will thrive at temperatures of around 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to keep your plant out of direct sunlight, as this can cause the leaves to burn. Aim to keep your Ponytail Palm in an area where it will get indirect sunlight instead.

When should a ponytail palm be re-potted?

A ponytail palm should be re-potted when the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot becomes clogged. This will prevent the water from draining properly and could eventually lead to root rot. When the pot is re-potted, it’s important to use a pot that is only slightly larger than the original pot. You should also be sure to use a potting mix that is specifically designed for succulents.

How to Style Ponytail Palm

Some people like to keep their ponytail palm in a pot on a stand or on a windowsill. If you’re one of these people, make sure to style it in a way that showcases its natural shape. We love using plants to add greenery to a space, and the ponytail palm is no exception. It’s perfect for adding a natural touch to any room. Plus, it’s a forgiving plant—if you’re not the best at taking care of plants, the ponytail palm is a good one to start with.

Problems Associated With Growing a Ponytail Palm

Things to look for on ponytail palms to tell they’re not healthy

It’s important to be able to identify when a ponytail palm is not healthy so you can treat it in time. There are a few common signs to look out for: if the leaves are yellowing, curling up, or browning at the tips, that’s a sign the plant isn’t getting enough light. If the leaves are drooping, that’s a sign of overwatering. If there are brown spots on the leaves, that’s a sign of a fungus or insect infestation. Finally, if the trunk is becoming bare or the plant is losing its leaves, that’s a sign it’s not getting enough nutrients. If you’re noticing any of these signs, it’s time to fertilize your ponytail palm!

How do you treat a ponytail palm that’s turning yellow?

The leaves of a ponytail palm will start to turn yellow when the plant isn’t getting enough water. When this happens, you’ll need to water it more often. Make sure the pot has a drainage hole so the water can easily flow out. You can also place the pot on a tray filled with gravel or stones so the water won’t sit in the pot and damage the roots.

What should you do if your ponytail palm is falling over?

If your ponytail palm is starting to fall over, you’ll need to prop it up using a stake or wooden pole. Make sure the stake is firmly in the ground, and be careful not to damage the root system. You may need to water it more often, especially if it’s hot and dry outside. In general, you should water your ponytail palm every 7-10 days, making sure to drench the soil. Be sure to avoid getting water on the leaves, as this can cause them to rot.

Other Problems

Slow Growth

Ponytail palm is known for its slow growth rate. While this may not be a problem for some, others may find it frustrating that their plant is not growing as quickly as they had hoped. There are several things you can do to help your plant along, including providing adequate light and water, and fertilizing it regularly. However, keep in mind that the growth rate of ponytail palm is largely dependent on the climate and growing conditions.

Drooping Leaves

One of the problems associated with growing ponytail palm is the leaves drooping. This happens when the leaves are not getting enough light. If your plant is drooping, you will need to move it to a brighter spot. You can also try giving it a little light boost with a grow light.

Inflorescence/Fruit Problems

One of the most common issues with ponytail palm is problems with the inflorescence or fruit. The inflorescence is the stalk that holds the flowers, while the fruit is the seed-bearing structure. Both of these can be affected by a variety of problems. For example, the inflorescence may not form properly, or the flowers may not open. The fruit may not develop properly, or it may drop off prematurely. All of these can be frustrating problems to deal with, and unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to correct them. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, it’s best to consult with a gardening expert to see if there’s anything you can do to salvage your plant.

Weak Stems

Ponytail palms are popular plants because they’re low-maintenance and can adapt to a variety of environments, but even they have their share of problems. One of the most common issues is weak stems. When the stem is weak, the plant is unable to support its own weight, which can lead to it toppling over. In severe cases, the stem may even snap. The good news is that this problem can often be corrected by providing the plant with more support. You can do this by gently attaching it to a stake or another sturdy object. Just be sure not to wrap the stem too tightly around the support, as this can damage it.

Crown Deaths

Ponytail palms are popular plants because they’re low-maintenance and can add a bit of texture and interest to a room or outdoor area. While they’re mostly easy to care for, there are a few problems you may encounter while growing ponytail palms. One is crown rot, which is a fungal infection that affects the root system and causes the death of the plant.

Ponytail palm pests to Watch Out For


Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that can be found on the underside of leaves. They often congregate in colonies and can be identified by their dark color, small size, and the presence of two tubes on their back. Aphids feed on the sap of plants, causing leaves to yellow and wilt. They can also transmit harmful viruses to plants. If you notice aphids on your ponytail palm, take steps to get rid of them before they cause too much damage.

Spider Mites

If you are like me and you love your ponytail palms, you will want to keep an eye out for any pests that may be attacking it. The 5 pests I will be discussing in this post are spider mites, scales, mealybugs, whiteflies and aphids. These pests can do a lot of damage to your plant, so it is important to be able to identify them and take action as soon as possible.


The third most common pest you’ll find on your ponytail palm is scale. Scale is a small, sap-sucking insect that can be difficult to get rid of. They can cause leaf damage and stunt the growth of your palm. If you notice scale on your plant, take action right away! Scale can be treated with a horticultural oil or insecticidal soap. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label and wear gloves and protective clothing when applying any type of insecticide.

Red Palm Aphids

Red palm aphids are tiny, red insects that feed on the sap of the ponytail palm. They can quickly multiply and can cause serious damage to the plant. If you notice small, red insects on your ponytail palm, you most likely have an infestation of red palm aphids. These pests can be difficult to get rid of, so it’s best to take action right away.


The basics of ponytail palm care are pretty simple. Give it a bright, sunny spot in your home and water it regularly. In the summer, water it every other day and in the winter, water it once a week. Make sure the pot has a drainage hole and that you are using a potting mix that drains well. You can also fertilize it every other month with a balanced fertilizer. If you follow these simple tips, your ponytail palm will be a happy and healthy part of your home.