Ask a Question forum: Ponytail palm question

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Diannacbea
Jun 11, 2015 8:57 AM CST
I have a double bulb (or is it called a foot?) pony tail palm that lost the tops of the plants. The bulbs have now sprouted dozens of baby pony tail palms from their bulbs/foot. So what do I do now?
Thank you.
Dianna
Thumb of 2015-06-11/Diannacbea/15d717

Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jun 11, 2015 9:08 AM CST
Hi Dianna, Welcome to All Things Plants!

I love the looks of your Pony Tail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata). You could divide each fat bulb and and pot them up separately or leave them all together in the same pot. I've heard that Pony Tail Palms are slow growers but I think eventually those leaves will grow up and the new branches will appear, like in this photo:
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~



Diannacbea
Jun 11, 2015 9:26 AM CST
Thank you for the advice. Since there are so many "pups", I'm thinking I need to separate. I haven't done this before. I assume they will have to be cut apart with a knife?
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Jun 12, 2015 7:42 AM CST
Hi & welcome! Hey, that's a cool come-back story! I think I would wait until there's some stem under the leaves at least, until each top has formed a little trunk. Trying 1 to start with would be reasonable, at any time you decide it's time to experiment. Not a plant I've taken cuttings of, but I'm sure somebody around here has (if that's possible for this plant.) I think, eventually, you'll have a much more unique plant if you leave it alone, but encourage & support whatever you would decide. I like to "play" with plants too, to see what happens. Good vibes! Definitely following this...
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
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drdawg
Jun 12, 2015 8:48 AM CST
I don't know how one would go about dividing these plants. It does not seem that the pups have any sort of root system but are dependent on the "mother" plants for water and nourishment. Perhaps I just don't see the roots. Shrug! If this were mine, I think I would divide the two mother plants, potting them up separately. At least that way, as the pups grow, you will only have half the size you have now. Then you could "experiment" with one of them and grow the other as-is.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.

Diannacbea
Jun 12, 2015 9:37 AM CST
Actually I was referring to dividing the "mother" plants....but something to think about as I have wondered about it before.
More research is required! Will keep you posted. Thanks to all.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
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
Jun 12, 2015 9:51 AM CST
Oh, I forgot to tell you, Dianna Welcome!
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Jun 12, 2015 10:16 AM CST
My thought is that Dianna's plant was originally two or more planted together in the same pot which is how nurseries/garden centers sometimes grow and sell them. I can see what look to be roots above the soil line on both of those large bulbs which are probably two separate plants that were just potted close together. I'd cut right along the center line between each of them and pot them up separately in shallow pots, using a well draining soil and remember they don't need a lot of water; those bulbous bases store needed water for when the plants need it.

Here's a pot of 5 small Pony Tail's that's been sitting out amidst heavy shrubbery in my yard for the past year ... suffering with powdery mildew from lack of air circulation but you can see where it's different plants all potted together. Maybe I'll try to get up enough energy in the near future and get the bunch out of this pot and separate them.
Thumb of 2015-06-12/plantladylin/20b802

~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Jun 12, 2015 10:18 AM CST
Oops ... I missed Dianna's earlier post about dividing them! Green Grin!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~



Justwantaknow
Oct 31, 2017 10:55 AM CST
What do I do with these
Thumb of 2017-10-31/Justwantaknow/0c91ba

Ohio (Zone 5a)
Deryll
Oct 31, 2017 12:59 PM CST
After about 20 years each one of those will become a stem like your big one and you will have a multi-
trunked tree like in the photo above from Lin.
Out in the wild, these things will eventually become huge. Mine is now 40 years old and is getting to the
point where it is really hard getting it inside for the winter. One more year and it won't go out the door any longer.

I so wish I could find it a new home!
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Oct 31, 2017 2:03 PM CST
Deryll : Hi ! After having it 40 yrs, boy, i wouldn't want to get rid of her. Id repot her to same pot, triming roots some. They like crowded roots. Cut her off some, and let her branch off where i like.
If possible ?
I would take her. But it would be a fortune to send her to California.
Id like to see how big she is.
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Oct 31, 2017 2:11 PM CST
I had one that's 40 years old. It ran out of room at my house and it now lives with my daughter.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Ohio (Zone 5a)
Deryll
Oct 31, 2017 2:50 PM CST
We have a garden center here, and they have one that is planted in the ground inside the greenhouse
that is nearly 100 years old, and they used a chainsaw to cut it down to size. After a year or so it got
all of the leaves back and it looks amazing. Mine was once one of those tiny potted things about 6"
tall from a souvenir place in Florida. It has just turned into a monster and it weighs a ton. All I can do
is scoot it out the door to the porch every year, and threaten to leave it there every fall. It would be happy
being planted in a yard somewhere, and I think this will be it's last year coming back inside.
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Oct 31, 2017 5:53 PM CST
Justwantaknow, that is the coolest looking Ponytail Palm I've ever seen; very unique with all those offspring poking out of the base ... must be a happy mama plant to produce so many babies! I'd leave it alone and let it do it's thing. Thumbs up


I have two that I've been planning to put in the ground for a few years and still haven't done it ... maybe next spring I'll get it done ... and I still have that little pot somewhere around here with the 4 or 5 all planted together.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~



Justwantaknow
Nov 1, 2017 4:59 AM CST
Plantlady
Thanks for your comment. Here's the problem. My husband dosn't like the look of many offshoots. He wants only one tall tree. He's from Germany and says thats the way they like them. I'm from the states and we live in Spain. So actually growing them seems easy. The job of plants fall on my shoulders. So as he sees this it's my problem to fix. Without killing the plant. This makes me nervous. So seriously what do I do?
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Nov 1, 2017 10:48 AM CST
Leave 1 or a few at highest point, and cut the rest off. Plant ones you take off. If so desired.
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Nov 1, 2017 4:05 PM CST
@Justwantaknow, once a woody entity has entered a mode of forming side branches, it can be difficult to stop. Imagine trying to cultivate an oak tree to have just 1 branch. It's a sign that your tree is progressing past baby/toddler-hood.

Maybe you and your husband can find an appreciation for that aspect, a fine accomplishment, and lovely tribute to the strength of the good vibes in your home. A blessing, a gift from your very happy plant, more of itself, and more stems of lovely, vigorous new leaves to grace your environment.

... but if you or he think that's a bunch of hooey, rubbing them off with your thumb while they are so small could make them stop, or it might not. Best luck & enjoyment! :+)
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Nov 1, 2017 4:48 PM CST
Rubbing them off might work. Cutting them off will encourage more to grow.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Nov 1, 2017 5:29 PM CST
If you are the caregiver, then I think you should keep it the way that you want. It is not a "problem that needs to be fixed!"
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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