Ponytail Palm Shoots

Dwayne_BereziukMarch 23, 2014

Good Morning

I pruned my palm back in Oct.2013. As the photo shows the palm has many new shoots appearing,

1) Should I apply pruning sealer to the pruned stem areas?

2) What is the recommendation on pruning the new shoots. Should I reduce the number of new shoots now or later?
I am concerned about the conjestion where the new shoots are close to the large older shoot.
What is the proceedure to remove the new shoots? Will the new shoots that are pruned continue to try and grow?

Thank you
Dwayne

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cactusmcharris

Dwayne,

Your Beaucarnea recurvata wants to grow, and that's its way of telling you.

1) No, it's not needed
2) Just cut them off as close as possible to the trunk, and repeat (at the same spot) as needed.

If allowed to grow, each of those would become their own head and limb, so you'd want to reduce the number of them while allowing a few to grow. What appears to be congestion is actually nature's way of encouraging the growth of the plant.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 10:39PM
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grrr4200(z3 MI)

id cut the two on the left of the shoot that has the biggest longest growth, the small nub on the right side of that large growth for now, after things get growing well you can thin out again to make room for the growing shoots. i'd also take out the shoot that has the leaves curling upward on the right (not the smallest one, but the one at 4 o clock, that will leave you with 5 heads. a nice star pattern that shouldnt impede growth from any other head, it'll be a very nice specimen, but its all your choice

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 3:04AM
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WendyB(5A/MA)

I would probably cut off the original shoot now and let the little guys get all that energy that was going to the big shoot. That will speed them up and keep the overall plant more balanced. Although a multi-tier look is not a bad thing in this plant. Personal preference I guess.

Think of it this way... all the growth is determined by the root system. There is x amount of energy in the roots and it will send it up the plant. Because the original shoot has more foliage that needs support (nutrients, water), it will get more and the young 'uns will get less.

I would also cut off that tiny shoot on the trunk completely unless you want a multi-trunk appearance (someday/year).

As long as there is enough foliage as a target for the energy being produced by the root system, you will not get more shoots. New shoots mean excess energy from root system. Of course, all plants produce new shoots eventually, but this explanation is to help understand what happens when a major renovation pruning takes place like you have done. The energy from the roots is going somewhere... you control where.

I agree with previous poster -- keeping 5 of them seems like a good number, but it is personal preference.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 8:07AM
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