Ponytail Palms

Beaucarnea recurvata
Article by wikipedia
Beaucarnea recurvata (often called the ponytail palm in English, even though it is not a true palm) is a species of Beaucarnea often grown as a houseplant in temperate latitudes. Successful cultivation requires winter minimum temperatures of above 10°C, rising to around 30°C in summer. The ponytail palm is native to the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, and San Luis Potosí in Mexico.

Beaucarnea recurvata needs full sun to light shade, with a well drained soil mix. A soil mix consisting of 2 parts loam to 1 part peat moss to 2 parts sand has been used successfully. To this mix, small gravel may be added to ensure good drainage. In a container, plants are very slow growing and very drought tolerant. Plants can be watered every three weeks during the growing season and fertilized once during this period. During the winter months, the plants should be watered only enough to keep the foliage from wilting (this usually equates to 1 dose of water during the winter). Over-watering is the single most frequent cause of failure when growing Beaucarnea. The ponytail palm is a very slow growing tree. If you break off one of the branch "crowns", new growth will appear in about a month.

Ponytail Palms

Ponytail Palms
Article by RPT
This medium sized Ponytail Palm tree (Beaucarnea recurvata) is really not a palm but a member of the Lilaceae (lily family), and is known by several names such as: Pony Tail Palm, Bottle Palm, Monja, Palma Culona, Elephant-Foot Tree and Elephant’s Foot. It has earned the name "elephant’s foot" because of its large round base sometimes appearing as an elephant’s foot. It will survive almost any lighting conditions but does best in a bright light. The Ponytail Palm is native to Mexico.

Beacarneas are closely related to Yuccas and thrive under the same conditions. Beaucarnea recurvata’s are very easy to maintain and keep healthy. They are very slow growing sometimes rarely reaching the heights of 15-20 ft. The maximum average height of most Ponytail Palms is 10 ft but taking many years to do so. It is advised not to anticipate much growth of the ponytail palm when grown indoors or out. The Ponytail Palm trees have dark green, grass-like leaves that are close to 1 inch wide and can be up to 6 feet long. They’re swollen bases are more for water storage and can store water up to 6 months to 1 year. The drought tolerant Ponytail palm is a great palm for ornamental placing in the home or office or landscape. The Ponytail palm does not enjoy being over watered. It is also one of the easiest palm trees to take care and suitable for xeriscaping

Latest Ponytail Palm Entry

Article by hplants

I don't like it when people call it an "Elephant's foot", it ruins all the elegance of this graceful plant. I think it looks more like a beautiful ballet dancer. From my experience, Beaucarnea recurvata is one of the easiest plants to grow. It will survive almost any lighting conditions (although it's better to keep it in a bright light) and won't complain if you forget to water it.

However, there can be some problems with ponytail palms. One of the most common - is overwatering. You see, its roundish thick trunk can keep the moisture in itself for "in case" if you didn't water it in time, but it doesn't have anything to protect the plant from excessive water. Especially it can be lethal for Beaucarnea recurvata in winter, when temperature is a bit lower.

The ponytail will rot in no time. Another problem with Beaucarneas indoors - it is prone to the insect attacks. Check often the undersides of the plant's leaves to make sure there are no mealybug symptoms. The good thing about ponytail palm is that if it's foliage doesn't look good for some reason, you can cut it back to the base. The new fresh growth will appear pretty quickly. Some people cut it to make the trunk bulb larger. As any plant that doesn't like overwatering, Beaucarnea recurvata will appreciate light well-draining soil - the cactus potting mix will do great.

Ponytail Palm Quick Stats

Ponytail Palm Care - All You Need To Know

Article by ArticleBase.com

Essentials of Ponytail Palm Care are very important to comprehend in order to cherish this beautiful looking ponytail like appearing plants. It is considered to be the easiest growing indoor home plant. The attention required for executing the care of the palm is very miniscule. One important aspect is that they grow very slowly and hence it is advised for the growers to not anticipate more spurts every year. The appearance of Ponytail Palm is treasured by many people due to its long leafages, as well as bottle fashioned trunk. By giving appropriate care to the ponytail palm, it can survive for several years.

1) - Water: The trunk is similar to the shape of a bottle. The shape of the bottle actually makes the task of caring simpler. The water is stored in the trunk for longer time periods and hence, it needs not to be watered quite frequently. Usually, water the ponytail palm when the soil appears to be dry. Excessive watering can drown the roots and let the tree decay.

2) - Soil: At the time of repotting, an essential ponytail palm care tip is to remember that soil for the plant needs to be an excellent blend of sand and soil. A proper mixture for repotting will ensure the water from grouping in the region of root ball.

3) - Light: The caring of Ponytail Palm is very simple for people desiring to grow the palms indoors. In order to provide the appropriate sum of light required by the plant it is suggested to place it near a sunny window. This program of the ponytail palm care usually requires bright light.

It is very important for the plant grower to decide the desired size of the plant. A grower who is living in small apartment or perhaps in a condo is advised to have a small tree. How can this be accomplished? Simple, just repot the plant once or twice. Subsequently, if a grower repots the plant in a much bigger pot, its trunk expands and hence the tree is encouraged to grow up tall. A best ponytail palm care advice is to stop this practice of repotting the plant after 2 years, in order to maintain it in a moderate size. It will grow around 2 feet, which is an average and proper height for a ponytail palm tree. Irrespective of whether the palm is small or big, it is very simple to take ponytail palm care and hence even a beginner can start gardening with this plant.

Ponytail Palm Latest Article

Article by hplants

I don't like it when people call it an "Elephant's foot", it ruins all the elegance of this graceful plant. I think it looks more like a beautiful ballet dancer. From my experience, Beaucarnea recurvata is one of the easiest plants to grow. It will survive almost any lighting conditions (although it's better to keep it in a bright light) and won't complain if you forget to water it.

However, there can be some problems with ponytail palms. One of the most common - is overwatering. You see, its roundish thick trunk can keep the moisture in itself for "in case" if you didn't water it in time, but it doesn't have anything to protect the plant from excessive water. Especially it can be lethal for Beaucarnea recurvata in winter, when temperature is a bit lower.

The ponytail will rot in no time. Another problem with Beaucarneas indoors - it is prone to the insect attacks. Check often the undersides of the plant's leaves to make sure there are no mealybug symptoms. The good thing about ponytail palm is that if it's foliage doesn't look good for some reason, you can cut it back to the base. The new fresh growth will appear pretty quickly. Some people cut it to make the trunk bulb larger. As any plant that doesn't like overwatering, Beaucarnea recurvata will appreciate light well-draining soil - the cactus potting mix will do great.

Ponytail Palm Bonsai Care

Article by joebonsai

A native of southeastern Mexico, the Ponytail Palm is not a palm at all. It is actually a member of the lily family and, also goes by Bottle Palm and Elephant’s Foot. One of the Ponytails unique features is the swollen base of the trunk. The texture of the trunk looks and feels like an elephant’s foot. Clusters of long strap-like leaves that arch and droop extend from the trunk giving the impression of a palm. Ponytails make great indoor Bonsais and, are ideal for beginners. They are easy to care for and slow-growers.

LOCATION For A PonyTail Palm:
Where to place your Bonsai depends on what species of Bonsai tree you have. The Ponytail Palm is an excellent choice for home, office or anywhere. Considered extremely hardy, they do well in either bright indirect or full sun. They are ideal plants to use for rock gardens because they like, warm, dry climates.

WATERING The Ponytail Palm:
More Bonsai die due to improper watering than any other cause. The Ponytail Palm’s extraordinarily thick trunk serves as a reservoir, storing water against dry spells and, making it very drought tolerate. This feature allows the tree to last up to four weeks without water causing no ill effects. Ponytails generally need to be watered every couple of weeks, but there is no set schedule. Check your Bonsai regularly by sticking your finger into the soil. Do not water the tree if the soil is damp or cool. Allow the soil to dry out between watering. When the topsoil feels dry, water thoroughly and deeply. If yellow foliage begins to appear, allow several days to pass before watering again.
An old Bonsai watering trick is to place the entire pot in a sink of water an inch or two deep. Let the water absorb from the holes in the bottom of the pot. An inexpensive moisture meter takes the guesswork out of watering. We sell them.

MISTING The PonyTail Palm:
Leaves want humidity to keep them green and healthy. Any time your tree is inside, the air is very dry. Ponytail Palms originate from the dry climate of the Mexican dessert and can handle the dry, low humidity climate indoors. This is also a good indication that they can handle dry winter heat. Avoid putting your Bonsai near a draft or vent, which dries out the foliage. A humidity tray is a great way to increase humidity. These shallow trays filled with small stones have water in the bottom of the tray. Make sure the water does not reach the bottom of the Bonsai pot. As the water evaporates, it creates a moister environment.

FERTILIZING Ponytail Palm Tree:
Fertilizing a Bonsai is essential to its health because nutrients in the soil are washed away with each watering. Fertilizer is like vitamins and minerals for a plant. When new growth appears in the spring, it’s time to start feeding your Bonsai. Use an organic liquid fertilizer or a chemical fertilizer diluted to one half strength. Ponytail Palms should be fertilized once or twice per month during the growing season and once a month in the winter. Water your tree BEFORE fertilizing. DO NOT FERTILIZE A WEAK OR FRESHLY REPOTTED TREE! This will cause stress to the tree by burning the roots.

PRUNING The PonyTail Palm Tree:
To keep a Bonsai miniature, it needs to be trimmed and pruned as new growth appears. Never remove all the new growth at one time. Ponytail Palms are generally pruned by cutting the top to force foliage to grow from the sides of the trunk, thus the ponytail look. Sit at eye level with your Bonsai tree and use Bonsai trimming shears. Your cuts should be smooth or slightly concave so the wound will heal quickly. If the cut surface is brown, add pruning paint to the surface. Palms can be nipped throughout the year.

WIRING Ponytail Palm:
Good wiring techniques are used to train Bonsai trees into different shapes and styles. The Ponytail Palm does not need training like some Bonsai. Regular pruning should be all that is needed to keep your Palm in shape.

REPOTTING The Ponytail palm:
A Bonsai should be repotted periodically to supply the plant with fresh soil. When the roots can be seen growing out the sides of the Bonsai container...it’s time. For most Bonsai this occurs every two years in early spring. Use good quality soil with a neutral pH level of 6.6 or 75. After repotting, water thoroughly. DO NOT FERTILIZE FOR 3-4 WEEKS.

INSECTS & DISEASE of Ponytail Palms:
Insects such as spider mites and scale are common Hawaiian Umbrella pests. Small moving pinpoints of red or brown on branch tips identify mites, severe infestations leave “spider webs on branch tips and yellow leaves all over the tree. Scale is identified by brown or black bumps on the branches. These bumps contain insects under a protective waxy shell. A very sticky secretion that discolors the branches may also be present.

You should inspect your tree several times a week to look for problems. These can be attacked with the use of insecticides and fungicides in the form of sprays, soapy rinses, or systemic poisons. Spraying your Bonsais once every month or two with a non-toxic insect spray should keep the tree clean and healthy. Soaps should be rinsed of the next day. DO NOT SPRAY WHEN SOIL IS DRY

Plant of the Week

Ponytail Palm
Latin: Nolina (Beaucarnea) recurvata
Article by arhomeandgarden

Over the years houseplants have come and gone through my home. My wife prefers the verdant look of lush, green foliage while I fancy the oddities that nature serves up, especially desert plants. On one plant we both agree, the Ponytail Palm (Nolina recurvata).

The ponytail palm, also known as Bottle Palm or Elephant Foot Tree, is a member of the agave family and is native to southeastern Mexico. In its native habitat it grows as a 30 tall tree and looks like an oddly branched palm.

What makes ponytail palm stand out is its distended base which can reach four feet across. The gray, swollen base flares up with the graceful sweep of a piece of modern sculpture. The inflated trunk is for water storage and will see the tree through extended periods of drought.

The leaves of ponytail palm are long, narrow and scratchy to the touch, but without serrate margins. On landscape trees they can be as much as six feet long but on houseplants usually are a third that length. Flowers are produced in large white panicles but only occur on really old plants and then only in tropical climes.

Since it was first described back in the mid 19th century, botanists have had trouble deciding what to call this plant. Here in the US we have mostly used the name Beaucarnea recurvata to describe it while in Europe Nolina recruvata was preferred. So in the current climate of botanical detente, we are migrating towards the European use of Nolina. The genus name is after C. P. Nolin, a French agricultural writer who coauthored a treatise on farming in 1755.

Ponytail palms are grown from seed which germinates readily with no special treatment.

Given good growing conditions seedlings can produce two foot tall stems with grapefruit size bases in a couple years. Under lower light conditions it’s growth slows, but it will persist for years becoming more impressive with each passing season.

Big pots ultimately produce big plants with big bases. But because of ponytail palm’s aversion to over watering, pot size should be increased gradually.

As a houseplant ponytail palm is a godsend for the disorganized, seeming to thrive on mistreatment that would kill most houseplants. The tip browning seen on leaves can be caused by too dry conditions, too much fertilizer or high a fluoride content in the soil. Trimming off the burned tips tidy’s the plant up.

This is a desert plant adapted to bright light conditions, so it should receive as much light as possible inside the home. But, it has a forgiving soul and will tolerate six months of low light conditions without flinching. If light conditions are poor during the winter months, a vacation outdoors to the patio will insure new growth each season. Fertilizing monthly during these summer vacations will be of benefit.

The usual houseplant pests - scale and mealybugs - can attack ponytail palms but it does not seem to be their first choice when selecting a plant to attack.


By: Gerald Klingaman, retired
Extension Horticulturist - Ornamentals
Extension News - March 29, 2002

Ponytail Palm in different language

Esposizione Mangia fumo, NolinaSole pieno
Posizioniamo le piante dove possano godere di una buona luminosità, evitando però il sole diretto, che potrebbe causare antiestetiche scottature al fogliame. Queste piante temono il freddo, quindi in primavera è bene porle all'aperto solo quando le temperature sono superiori ai 15°C.Coltiviamo la Mangia fumo, Nolina in luogo luminoso, con luce solare diretta.

Annaffiatura Mangia fumo, NolinaTenere asciutto
Ricordiamo di provvedere, dopo l'annaffiatura, a vuotare i sottovasi delle piante, per evitare che la presenza di acqua stagnante possa essere dannosa alle radici. Annaffiare solo sporadicamente, circa una volta ogni 1-2 settimane con 2-3 bicchieri d'acqua , lasciando il terreno asciutto per un paio di giorni prima di ripetere l'annaffiatura; quando si annaffia si consiglia di evitare gli eccessi, ma di bagnare bene in profondità il terreno.

Concimazione Mangia fumo, Nolina
Durante questo periodo dell'anno è bene concimare le nostre piante ogni 15-20 giorni; scegliamo un concime adatto, per piante da appartamento da fiore o verdi, da aggiungere all'acqua delle annaffiature. Si prediligano concimi ricchi in azoto e potassio, per favorire le fioriture e lo sviluppo della nuova vegetazione.

Generalità Mangia fumo, Nolina
La Mangia fumo, Nolina è di taglia piccola , e può raggiungere i 10 m di altezza; in inverno assume una colorazione verde . Si tratta di piante sempreverdi, che quindi mantengono le foglie per tutto l'arco dell'anno. La Mangia fumo, Nolina ha sviluppo eretto e, con il passare degli anni, diviene un albero. La Mangia fumo, Nolina è di taglia piccola , e può raggiungere i 10 m di altezza; in inverno assume una colorazione verde . Si tratta di piante sempreverdi, che quindi mantengono le foglie per tutto l'arco dell'anno.

Trattamenti Mangia fumo, Nolina
Generalmente in questo periodo dell'anno è consigliabile un trattamento preventivo con insetticida ad ampio spettro e con un fungicida sistemico, in modo da prevenire l'attacco da parte degli afidi e lo sviluppo di malattie fungine, spesso favorite dal clima fresco e umido.

Common Names for Ponytail Palms

Ponytail Palm Info

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