Pony Tail Stem Is Becoming Soft. - Knowledgebase Question

Ferguson, NC
Question by dalton_e
January 22, 2000
I have a pony tail fern a friend in Texas gave me and I
moved to the North Carolina Mtns. I'm afraid the climate may
be one of the big problems. The stem is becoming soft but
I haven't overwatered it because she said they need a lot of water. I sure don't want it to die on me. What can I do for it? I have a sun room but I was afraid that it would be too cold out there for it so I brought it in and put it in a warm room where there is a lot of light. Do you think that was a good idea? When I saw that the stem was getting soft I repotted it. Please tell me what I can do for it.

Answer from NGA
January 22, 2000


Your Pony Tail plant (Beaucarnea recurvata) sounds unhappy and I suspect it's from overwatering. The bulb-like base of the plant stores water, so the soil can become dry between waterings without harming the plant. Here are some basic guidelines for care:
Provide average household warmth with a minimum of 50F in winter. Place in a brightly lit spot - some sun is beneficial. Water thoroughly, then leave until the soil is moderately dry.

When give proper conditions, your plant can reach up to 6' tall.

Since you've recently repotted the plant, place it in a warm, bright area and allow the soil to dry before watering again. If the stem gets really soft and mushy, cut it back to the top of the bulb. If the bulb is healthy it will produce new stem and leaves. If not, you'll have to replace the plant.

Hope your pony tail regains its health!

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