Ask a Question forum: Ponytail Plant

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Lexington, Va. 24450
ToyeLane
Mar 14, 2018 2:33 PM CST
Hi. I have a ponytail plant that I have had for about 2 years. It used to be beautiful. Back in February I got the flu and was really sick for almost 2 weeks. I noticed, when I started to feel better, that the leaves on the plant had gone limp and I could just pull them out. It had a pup on the side, which gave me hope, but the leaves there are also gone. The trunk is still solid. Is there any hope for this plant, what can I do to help it back to life?
Thank you so much for your help. I would hate to lose this plant.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Mar 14, 2018 2:41 PM CST
Tell us what happened or didn't happen during the time you were sick. Did it go un-watered? Was it left sitting in water?

Please post a photo of your plant so we get a better idea what is happening.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Lexington, Va. 24450
ToyeLane
Mar 14, 2018 5:22 PM CST
Hi Will, thanks for the reply. Actually, neither was the case. I has watered the week before, it was not sitting in water or dried out. It looked like it was sick. I am sending a picture, it is not very good, but the best I could do. Thanks
Thumb of 2018-03-14/ToyeLane/a8123d

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Mar 14, 2018 7:02 PM CST
The photo is not clear enough for me to make a diagnosis. If it was watered properly, then the only other thing I can think of is that it did not get enough light. Ponytail Palms need to be right in a sunny window.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Lexington, Va. 24450
ToyeLane
Mar 14, 2018 7:57 PM CST
Now that may be possible. Will it come back if I move it to a sunny window? Or is there something else I can do to bring it back to life?
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
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sallyg
Mar 14, 2018 11:11 PM CST
If it's the low light, it's happened over a longer time frame than 2 weeks of your illness, or some other factor is complicating. My ponytail is indoors since November, and barely showing any ill effects of low light.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Mar 15, 2018 5:36 AM CST
I agree with Sally that the cause of the problem was long-term. That could be inadequate light or improper watering over an extended period of time.

No one can say definitively whether your plant will recover. All you can do is improve the light and allow the top quarter of the soil to dry in between thorough waterings. There are no quick fixes such as repotting, replacing the soil, plant food etc. It is all about the light and water.

Good luck and let us know if you are able to turn it around.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Lexington, Va. 24450
ToyeLane
Mar 15, 2018 6:57 PM CST
@ Sally, the plant was beautiful before I got sick. No problems at all, which is why I am so stumped and wondered about it being sick just from the germs in the air.
@Will, I am going to move it to in front of a window and see if it comes back. You really don't think repotting it would help?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Mar 15, 2018 7:13 PM CST
Plants are not infected by human viruses and bacteria. Your illness is entirely unrelated to the plant's problems. When plants don't get proper light or water for an extended period of time, it may take many months for symptoms to show up. Your plant was in trouble long before you got the flu.

Repotting is not a cure for anything other than a plant that does not have enough soil to hold water. That is not the case with your Ponytail. If you start disturbing the roots by repotting, you will only aggravate your already stressed plant.

There is no quick fix for your plant and maybe no fix at all. Improve the light and water. That is all you can do and it may not be enough.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Lexington, Va. 24450
ToyeLane
Mar 15, 2018 7:51 PM CST
Thanks Will, I guess it will get moved and I am hoping that takes care of the problem. Any idea how long before I know to give up?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Mar 16, 2018 5:10 AM CST
Its hard to give a time frame. Monitor the bulb; if it starts getting soft, then discard it. As long as it remains firm, there is still hope. You should see some signs of new growth emerging within a month or two. Crossing Fingers!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Lexington, Va. 24450
ToyeLane
Mar 16, 2018 4:25 PM CST
So today I pulled the dead stuff all the way off, and under that stuff it is kind of spongy. The bulb is still very firm, so I just watered it and sit it in front of a window. Here's hoping it makes a comeback!! Thanks for all your help. Thank You!

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