How To Care For A Ponytail Palm Indoor & Outdoor?

How to care for ponytail palm
Botanically known as the Beaucarnea recurvata,Ponytail palms are prevalent houseplants. It is native to eastern Mexico and is quite easy to grow.


Moreover, the ponytail palm plant care is pretty straightforward among different palm types. Low ponytail palm maintenance is the reason for their massive popularity amongst inexperienced gardeners with no prior experience. It is a forgiving succulent, growing 6 to 30 feet tall depending on the location and living some 100 years.


Despite being referred to as the Ponytail palm, it is not a palm. Moreover, it is also not a plant. In fact, it is succulent. This is why the ponytail palm tree care is quite similar to the desert-dwelling plants, such as cactus.


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Further, their cute, perky ponytail top gives it the name: Ponytail palm. So, regardless of whether you are a seasoned gardener, a novice planter, or a hobbyist grower, the ponytail palm can be a beautiful welcome addition to your home.


Here’s how to care for a ponytail palm and some fun facts about this cute and funky houseplant.


Even though the ponytail palm maintenance requirements are minimal, you must know the right ponytail palm care guide for the plant to thrive. This is the focus of this article.


Related: Growth Guide for European Palm, Pygmy Palm, Date Palm

How To Take Care Of A Ponytail Palm?

How To Take Care Of A Ponytail Palm

This section will detail all the tips to properly care for your ponytail palm.


1. Ponytail palm pot size

Well, the pot size holds a special place in the care drill. You should plant them in a pot, which is only about two inches wider around the plant’s base. Further, make sure that your pot has a drainage hole in it.


2. Soil for ponytail palm

A vital aspect in the ponytail palm care guide is the soil wherein the ponytail palm is planted. Ideally, your palm needs well-draining and sandy soil with a neutral pH of – 6.5 to 7.5. The idea should be to give this arid desert plant the same soil naturally found in the region.


Overall, organically rich soil is what your palm needs. In addition, you can invest in a succulent or cactus potting mix amplified with peat to elevate the soil’s natural quality for right ponytail palm care indoors & outdoor.

3. Ideal temperature for ponytail palm

For good ponytail palm care outdoors, you must provide it with the right temperature. For proper ponytail palm tree care, dry conditions are the best. However, the succulent is not highly fussy about the temperature.


So, a bright, warm temperature is preferable to know

how to care for a ponytail palm, but never expose the plant to extreme cold or hot weather.


In addition, ponytail palm plant care also involves keeping the plant away from furnaces, vents, and drafts to dry the leaves. Ideally, above 60-degrees Fahrenheit is suitable for the ponytail palm care indoors and outdoors, and anything below 50-degrees can be problematic if continued for long.


4. Ponytail palm light requirements

Sun has a vital role in ponytail palm care outdoors and indoors. For ponytail palm types indoors, you must place the plant in the spot wherein it will receive ample sunlight.


So, for the proper ponytail palm maintenance, you must securely place it around the western-facing or the southern-facing window in your home. It is an essential aspect of ponytail palm indoors as this succulent requires at least eight hours of sun every day.


On the other hand, you can plant it under sunlight or a spot with medium or indirect light for the ponytail palm outdoors. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves, and low light conditions are not preferable for ponytail palms.


5. How to take care of a ponytail palm humidity requirements

For proper ponytail palm care indoors and outdoors, it is advised to keep the plant away from super dry regions, for instance, around the working radiator. Overall, humidity is not key to ponytail palm plant care. However, the idea is to keep the plant wherein the humidity is not extremely low.


6. How often to water ponytail palm?

Well, you can take care of your ponytail palm by watering it right. For indoor ponytail palm tree care, you must water the plant wisely in the growing season. Ideally, a good ponytail palm indoors would need watering the plant once every week or two weeks.


In contrast, you need to change the care routine in the winters, as you will need to water the plant only once a month. The ponytail palm care outdoors is different if your plant is planted in the regions that receive ample rain. As it is getting abundant water from the rain, you do not need to water it as much.


On the other hand, the ponytail palm plant care prerequisites change in the dry or drought-prone regions. Therein, you can water your palm once in two weeks.


7. How to care for a ponytail palm repotting?

For ponytail palm tree care, repotting frequently is not a must. However, naturally, when your plant outgrows its current pot, you will need to repot into a pot about two sizes bigger than the current pot. Ideally, repotting must be done in the spring season. Also, if you aspire for your palm to grow tall, you must repot it very frequently, say every two or three years at most.


8. Ponytail palm fertilizer

A necessary aspect of ponytail palm plant care is providing the plant with the proper nutrients. This need of the plant can be met by using a good fertilizer.


Ideally, you must get a soil inspection done before picking the fertilizer for ponytail palm maintenance. The idea should be to find the fertilizer that can provide the soil with the nutrients that the ponytail palm needs but the soil lacks.


You need to feed the plant with a liquid fertilizer once every week in the growing season. However, if you want the plant to thrive in the growing season, you can also add a slow-release fertilizer during the spring. In winters, use the fertilizer sparingly.


9. How to take care of a ponytail palm propagation

It is not easy to propagate a ponytail palm as it is majorly done via the offsets it periodically yields. The significant issue here is that the offset depends on the parent plant, and the plant does not quickly establish new roots.


Therefore, it implies that if you take the offset early, it will be forced to depend solely on the things you immediately make available for the plant, which might not be possible every time.


10. Should I cut the brown tips off my ponytail palm?

An essential step in the ponytail palm care guide is to provide the plant with the right amount of water. Underwatering or overwatering the palm can cause serious problems. If you give the plant too much water, the tips can get brown with distinct yellowing.


On the other hand, the leaves may turn crispy and brown if you don’t water the plant adequately. Regardless, anytime you see discoloration in the leaves, you must chop them off. Further, you should always check the soil before rewatering it for good ponytail palm plant care. Only if the top two inches appear decent dry should you rewater the palm.


11. How to care for a ponytail palm and protect them from pests & diseases

Protecting it from diseases and pests is essential for ponytail palm care outdoors. Pests, such as spider mites, scales, etc., are quite common among ponytail palms.


You can see them as the tiny moving pinpoints of brown or red on the tips of the branch. If the plant is severely affected, it can result in yellow leaves all across the tree.


Likewise, scales appear as black or brown bumps on the branches. To get rid of the pests, you can use neem oil or horticulture soap.

Related: Care Guide for Majesty Palm, Date Palm, Areca Palm


Ponytail Palm Tree Care – FAQs

Ques 1. Are ponytail palms safe for pets?

Ans. The ponytail palms are non-toxic. Hence, they are safe for the pets, such as cats, dogs, or horses. So, with ponytail palm care indoors, you can enjoy them inside the house.


Ques 2. Can I put my ponytail palm outside?

Ans. Above, we have mentioned all the palm care guidelines for the ponytail palm. If such conditions can be provided outside, you can surely place this variety of palm outdoors.


Ques 3. How tall do ponytail palms get?

Ans. Ponytail palms are a slow-growing plant native to eastern Mexico. Typically, the plant can grow up to about 30-feet. But, if you are planting them indoors, ponytail palm will be short at most 5-6 feet.


Ques 5. How do you save a dying ponytail palm?

Ans. One of the easiest ways to save a dying palm is understanding the root cause. For example, if the plant is drooping because of underwatering, you must water it thoroughly.


On the other hand, if the plant’s leaves start yellowing because of overwatering, you can avoid watering for a while and let it sit in the spot where the plant gets good, bright, but not direct sunlight for a few days.


Further, fertilizer overdose can also cause the plant to die. So, anytime you add fertilizer, always read the packaging guidelines, and ensure that you only feed in the stated ratio in the requisite frequency. Anytime you end up overfertilizing, it can cause the plant to develop brown tips.


However, unlike dehydration, in over-fertilization, the leaves do not curl. So, over-fertilization can be noted with the brown tips and the straight leaves of the plant. If that has happened, ponytail palm plant care needs change. So, how to take care of a ponytail palm

that has been overfertilized?


Water the plant thoroughly to help it get rid of excess fertilizer and avoid rewatering for the next couple of days.


Another way to save the dying palm is by repotting it. Again, you should select the pot, bearing in mind the plant’s maturity and ponytail palm growth. Also, while repotting, the potting mix used should be fast-draining. Typically, it will take about two months or even longer for you to save the plant after correcting the issues.


Ques 6. Why is my ponytail palm drooping?

Ans. When you see the leaves of the ponytail palms curling inwards or drooping, it may be a sign of dehydration. Further, it might also mean a stressed plant. So, it might be an issue, but not necessarily a disease or sickness. If you do not water the plant as per its watering needs, the browning might give an impression of a dying plant. So, to perk it up, just watering it thoroughly will suffice.


Ques 7. How long do ponytail palms live?

Ans. With correct ponytail palms care outdoors, they will mostly outlive you as most of ponytail palms can live over 100 years.


Ques 8. Should you mist a ponytail palm?

Ans. Even though the ponytail palms are not water lovers, ponytail palm care indoors with some daily misting can be good. However, of course, you must not overdo it. Misting helps the leaves get rid of the dust particles sitting on them.


In addition, you can mist the palms with the rainwater or the water sitting overnight. This can help improve the foliage.


Hope this guide helped you understand how to care for a ponytail palm the right way and enjoy them indoors and outdoors.