Ask a Question forum: Ponytail palm dying

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Slovenia (Zone 8a)
zuirti
Jan 22, 2017 12:28 PM CST
Hello, a friend of mine sent me this problem. A 7 year old plant is dying. Is there any chance of reviving it? Thank you for advice :-)
Thumb of 2017-01-22/zuirti/bf1d38

Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jan 22, 2017 12:36 PM CST
Hello zuirti, can you tell us something more about the growing conditions of this plant.
Like, has this been repotted recently? Where is it normally growing, indoors or outdoors. If indoors where is it being positioned. This plant loves lots of good light and can ably stand being outdoors. How was it being watered? Location of your friend's place, is it here in the US or elsewhere. Does that container have drainage holes?

For now, as long as the entire trunk and caudex of the plant is staying firm, there is hope for it. I still see some leaves, so to me there is hope for it.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jan 22, 2017 2:47 PM CST
The dark lower trunk looks like it may be overwatered.
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jan 23, 2017 11:38 AM CST
Hi! It's not possible to tell from this pic if the foliage is shriveled from simple lack of available moisture in the soil, or because the roots rotted in regard to an abundance of moisture in the soil but without any oxygen to use it. Roots need moisture and oxygen at the same time to function.

Hopefully there was just a very long interval when nobody added any water. Unless the tree is completely dead, adding water should cause a recovery in this case.

If the roots have rotted, recovery seems unlikely to me from the current appearance.

I was also hoping the darkness at the base was a shadow...

Being exposed to frost/freezing temps could damage foliage. Your friend should know which of these situations applies. Best luck!
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Slovenia (Zone 8a)
zuirti
Jan 23, 2017 1:14 PM CST
Thank you all! The tree was moved frim the outside to the basement in the winter, because of their child, who is a plant destroyer Smiling maybe it would be better of with the infant Smiling
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jan 23, 2017 1:40 PM CST
Hello zuirti, okay so it was moved to the basement. So it maybe a combination of things. Depending how late it was moved during winter from outdoors to indoors, it could have been exposed to cold. Then if light is not sufficient at the basement, plant suffers even more. Too soggy media when it does not dry out quick enough, root rot.

Basement growing is done by a lot of gardeners during winter, but they augment it with artificial light, and got to be mindful of watering, it takes longer for water to dry out indoors, so easy to get rotted roots. Rotted roots- plant cannot take in moisture, no light-then photosynthesis is hampered, plant suffers a lot.
[Last edited by tarev - Jan 23, 2017 1:41 PM (+)]
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