My potted ponytail palm

SmurfishyFebruary 23, 2012

I have had these palms for years and they first started out as a bonsai arrangement. Once they got big enough I separated them into their own pots and they seem to be thriving. A couple weeks ago though my ferret somehow got up to the high point I put my plants and fished one of them out of the pot and had a good chew on the bulb. Can it survive this? I am not sure if it is ok yet but it hasn't died.

Also, I bought one of those pony tail palm trees the ones with a long curved trunk, the top was cut off and surrounding the cut is a bunch of outgrowths. It looks like this: https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-GFp8diwoSUM/TXZQv-xgwoI/AAAAAAAAEaw/-Gn5KUsjX_U/IMG_0703.jpg

Its not as lush as before I was wondering what could I do to help it, I am assuming my soil is inadequate and it could use fertlizing.

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It probably will hardly miss a beat. It would have been better if you'd let the wound callus for a while before watering, and used some powdered sulfur or cinnamon on the wound, but if you keep it on the dry side my guess is it'll be fine.

Prolly need to know more about the other plant, but concentrating on getting things right from the outset will save a lot of work (trying to fix things) in the long run. A really good soil, good light, and a good nutritional supplementation plan & you have 90% of what your plants need, in hand.

Al

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 11:30PM
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birdsnblooms

Smurfishy...I don't have an answer, 'except I agree w/Al sprinkling Cinnamon on the wound.' Is the Ponytail in the pic one you repotted?

It's a beautiful specimen..how many years did it take for the bulb to get so large?

When you asked if it will survive, I thought you were talking about your ferret? lol.
How's the little guy doing? Toni

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 11:26AM
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Smurfishy

I use miracle grow potting mix and water every week or two. Tapla, I think you were giving me advice on my ficus, is the potting/fertilizer stuff similar?

Hopeful, the pic is of the non chewed up one. It is pretty, my local Walmart has a lot of them right now, maybe yours does too? They sell them $10-15. I bought it like that, at that size last year, but that particular plant is not mine but very similar. Oh, the ferrets are sneaky lil devils as usual. I had to move my plants, wasn't happy about it but you got to do what you got to do.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 10:50AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Yes - the advice is similar, except that the ponytail will tolerate being allowed to go completely dry before the next watering better than Ficus will, though it's better to water either before that occurs. Still, with the PT it's better to err on the side of 'too dry to be ideal' than it is 'too wet to be ideal', especially with the wounded caudex. You'll also need to be much more careful to avoid over-watering the ponytail in MG soil because of how water-retentive it is. Both of these plants prefer a well-aerated fast draining soil, and MG really doesn't fit that description.

I use the gritty mix for all my succulents (& cacti), for all my houseplants, in fact, and I fertilize everything with a 3:1:2 ratio fertilizer, more specifically, with Foliage-Pro 9-3-6, which has a number of advantages other than it's NPK ratio over most other commonly used soluble fertilizers.







Al

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 12:25PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

Al,
What is the pot that looks like it's carved from rock? Did you make that?

Rob

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 3:10PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It's a naturally formed piece of lava brought back from Hawaii. I has a couple of small depressions in it, filled with Turface fines and peat, but many of the succulents are rooted right IN the rock. There are at least 8 different plants on it, some of which many would say can't/shouldn't be grown in the same container because of their varied needs. You wouldn't normally think of growing Hedera (ivy) and Carissa (natal plum) in the same container as Aeonium, Sempervivum, or most other succulents, but ..... I think it speaks to how similar the needs or wants of most plants commonly grown as houseplants are, instead of how dissimilar most think they are.

Actually, if you have the right soil, you can grow succulents right alongside (same pot as) Pothos or even Impatiens if you wish. The point is clear, though light wants would be an issue, of course, but the soil would be no problem if it drained freely and was very well aerated. Almost everyone would warn you against expecting anything other than disappointment should someone entertain those combinations ..... if they took for granted you were using a commercially prepared water-retentive soil.

I still have that rock. Enough people have commented about the picture that I think I'll see what I can do about planting it up again this summer & trying to make something interesting of it.

Al

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 3:45PM
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Smurfishy

What is that second to last plant? Its pretty cool lookin. I loved the lava rock thing too, what happened to the plants in it? Is there anything that I can plant with my sad ficus to add some levels to it? I am buying the materials tonight, I hope I find everything OK.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 4:48PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

That's Fockea edulis, a succulent that's grown mainly for its unique caudex, which increases in size much faster when it's grown in, rather than above, the soil.

Al

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 4:56PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

Al,
Thank you. I feel like a broken record, but I love looking at your plants. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 9:33AM
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krikit

incredible plants!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 7:01PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

You guys are very kind. Thank you!

Al

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 7:21PM
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maryannconnors

We have a large pony tail that has been outside in a very large pot we recently planted in the ground. How often should we water to assure it will root .

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 8:59AM
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faby68

Hello Al. I love your plants and thanks for sharing the photos. I would like to know the name of the 2nd plant in your first set of pics. Thank you.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 4:44PM
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birdsnblooms

Mary, your Pony Tail hasn't roots?

Faby, Al's second plant is Aeonium.

Pony Tails that's been in the same pots for years.

Toni

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 6:07PM
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retsec

tapla, what is the plant in the picture you posted on March 1?
Nancy
retsec

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 9:03PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

That's a pilea, common name is probably variegated artillery plant or something close to that. Look it up under Pilea microphylla 'Variegata'. I found another one this spring and have it in a similar container. I'll try to take a pic once it fills out nicely. If you like it, I can send it to you when it starts to cool off. I don't have room to over-winter, though I've over-wintered the green species plant. I wouldn't let it loose in my garden though, if I was considering that option. ;-)

Al

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 5:08PM
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