Ask a Question forum→Shallow roots

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Name: Lindsey fry
Pennsylvania
LRFry
May 16, 2020 9:13 PM CST
I have 2 ponytail palms here in and both seem to be just sitting on the top of the soil....I bought them.like that... I have a steak in the one pot to hold the plant up as they both are leaning...almost like they are top heavy. They wiggle when touched. Should I repot them in deeper soil?
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
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sallyg
May 17, 2020 6:40 AM CST
Hi,
I love my ponytail palm but have only ever owned the one.
Are the two in the same pot?
I guess it has lost some roots.
I don't know if you can add any soil to get some roots above the existing level.
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: Lindsey fry
Pennsylvania
LRFry
May 17, 2020 6:48 AM CST
They are in two different pots. They are home depo plants and that's is how I bought them. Would reporting them be beneficial to them? All the pictures I see a ponytail palms are all nicely seated in their soil. That's why I'm questioning away mine are.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 17, 2020 8:49 AM CST
Home Depot is not noted for the quality of their plants. It is normal for Ponytail Palms to be potted up high, as yours is. If the problem is the angle, then a slight repositioning in the pot may help, but not repotting.

However, if the plant is so wobbly that it is not able to support itself without a stake, then that means the roots are badly deteriorated from either under or over watering prior to your getting it.

If so, then very carefully take it out of its pot doing your best to leave the roots and soil intact. Do this shortly after you have watered it. Check to see if the roots are healthy. If they are dried and shriveled or if they are soft and mushy, then it may be difficult to salvage your plant. You would have to repot it very carefully and try to get it to develop new roots.

If the roots look reasonably healthy, then put it back into the same pot and add a bit of soil to the top surface to help support it. With good care, the roots may develop more fully and provide better support in the future.

If the issue is just the angle of the plant and it is able to stand up without support, then do NOT attempt to repot it. Just reposition it slightly. The less you have to disturb the roots, the better.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
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