Ask a Question forum: Pony tail palm

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Name: Jennifer Earnshaw
Kansas City Ks (Zone 6a)
All advice welcome
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jenjan12345
Jan 2, 2016 8:14 AM CST
Can you tell me when these need repotted and how often to water?
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The New Gardner
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Jan 2, 2016 8:27 AM CST
No one can tell you what the proper watering schedule should be, @jenjan12345. That depends on what the potting medium is, humidity, heat, sunlight..........all the things that go into "growing conditions". These plants are built to survive prolong droughts. That bulbous trunk is a water-storage unit. My plants are about the same size as yours. When the soil is completely dry I then wait another week or even two to water. During the spring/summer months, I might water every month. During the fall/winter months, I will water once every two months. But when I water, I do so thoroughly, often sitting the pots in a sink of tepid water for 5-10 minutes, with 1/4 recommended ratio of 20-20-20 fertilizer in that water. My soil mix is not very water-retentive and drains very quickly. Ere on the side of dry rather than wet.

For me at least, the rule of thumb is to re-pot when the plant becomes unstable, tipping the pot over because of the height/weight of the top-growth. That could be every year or two or even only after five years of growth. These plants don't seem to mind being root-bound. I use only clay pots since that additional weight helps evaporate water and adds weight for better stability.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Jennifer Earnshaw
Kansas City Ks (Zone 6a)
All advice welcome
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jenjan12345
Jan 2, 2016 9:21 AM CST
Ok thanks this was bought over the summer and it has rocks on top of the soil very packed in I never repotted it. I haven't given it much water just because it's winter here but I do think I need to repot so I can feel the dirt a little
The New Gardner
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Jan 2, 2016 9:33 AM CST
Another way to tell is to let the plant announce it. When you begin seeing quite a few lower leaves going brown, and it seems they are doing so within days of each other, the plant probably is in need of water. That's the way they conserve water-loss in nature, losing lower leaves.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Jan 2, 2016 9:41 AM CST
Ponytail palms (Beaucarnea recurvata, not a palm at all) are drought tolerant and should not be overwatered. If kept in the pot it will stunt its growth; if you'd like it to get big soon, put it in a bigger pot (or in the ground, depending on your zone); otherwise in my experience they are happy enough to be rootbound.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Jan 2, 2016 9:57 AM CST
Jennifer's in Kansas City, Hetty. Like me, potting is the only way she can grow these.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Jan 2, 2016 10:08 AM CST
I know; I just wanted to give a general recommendation to any others that might be reading this post. Smiling
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 2, 2016 10:13 AM CST
Mine's in the ground so I can't advise you on re-potting.

But as far as watering goes, in summer here mine often gets a pouring rain shower every day. Our soil is pure sand so drainage is excellent, and this palm is growing near a big oak tree too, so that sucks away any excess water as well.

Very little water in the winter though, as it is not in a spot that gets any irrigation so since winter is our dry season, it survives on what it has stored. It's about 10ft. tall and the caudex at the base is around 18in. across now.

If you're growing it in a spot that gets cool at night, and good bright light during the day, I'd say to water it seldom, but do spray the leaves with water once in a while.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Jan 2, 2016 11:09 AM CST
Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Jennifer Earnshaw
Kansas City Ks (Zone 6a)
All advice welcome
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jenjan12345
Jan 2, 2016 2:22 PM CST
I did notice the tips browning. So is that where your telling me to look and see if it's browning to water
The New Gardner
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 2, 2016 3:25 PM CST
Perhaps the tips browning could be a tip-off, but I was referring to the lower leaves turning completely brown and literally falling off the trunk. The browning tips, particularly those on the lower half of the plant might indicate only a bit of drying out but not drought-induced leaf loss.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Jennifer Earnshaw
Kansas City Ks (Zone 6a)
All advice welcome
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jenjan12345
Jan 2, 2016 7:54 PM CST
Ok thanks
The New Gardner
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jan 5, 2016 5:47 PM CST
Sometimes leaf browning can either be too dry conditions or mineral content of water used. With my ponytail palm I just let it be, and cut off the brown tips. In time the plant grows new leaves anyways. I grow mine in a container and right now it is outdoors. It can take our mild winters here. You can repot it if you want, but do it in mid to late Spring. As drought tolerant this plant is, I keep the media very well draining so that if it rains, drainage is faster, I add pumice or perlite to my succulent media. My growing conditons here tend to be a long dry period so during those hot days, it can get twice a week watering. During winter, I just let Mother Nature handle its watering, again since our area has mild winter conditions. But if we do get frost warnings, I try to hide it overnight indoors. Since you grow it indoors, less watering for now in winter. Once a month thorough watering should be enough. Keep ambient temps as warm as possible.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jan 5, 2016 8:03 PM CST
I've had my ponytail palm for over 30 years, which would be 30 years of mostly neglect; it gets some water every couple of weeks, unless I forget... LOL. I trim off the brown ends of the leaves, and if any turn totally brown I remove them.

Have to laugh when I think about the time that I first got this plant... it was very tiny and I had no idea what it would grow into, almost planted it in a bottle terrarium. Thankfully I changed my mind for some reason.

My point is -- no need to overcomplicate your life to grow this plant, if mine is still alive and thriving, it must be next to impossible to harm it.
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 5, 2016 9:01 PM CST
Overwatering will kill it. Within reason, few other things can.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Jennifer Earnshaw
Kansas City Ks (Zone 6a)
All advice welcome
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jenjan12345
Jan 6, 2016 6:18 AM CST
Thanks for the help everyone
The New Gardner

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