Ponytail palm re-pot?

darcydeuceMarch 27, 2014

Hi Everyone,

Occasional reader, new member here. After seeing some posts about ponytail palms, I got to wondering, should I upgrade my plant's pot and how. I've had this plant probably 5 years. The little pot it's in has the pebbles and rocks glued in I think??? They are solid in there and don't budge. I just assumed that's the way it was supposed stay? After seeing other PT's, I realized they were bigger and fuller (also never knew they could live so long!). So, I'm wondering if I should just leave this guy alone, he seems happy enough... But how the heck would I even get this thing out of its pot when the time comes?
Thank you!

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Photo Synthesis

I would go ahead and repot them. You can probably run a knife along the sides to loosen those rocks from the pot. Then the whole plant can slide out much easier. Even though the rocks are glued together, I doubt that they're really stuck to the plant itself, so you can probably pull them off carefully in small chunks until you remove them all
When I repotted my little ponytails, the roots were all tangled up. I just worked my fingers into the soil, breaking up the soil and loosening up the roots somewhat. Knocking away as much soil as possible. After that, I held on to the trunks of each plant and kinda wiggled them back and forth while gently pulling them apart, until their roots came free. Then you just go about repotting them like any other houseplant. Preferably using a fast draining potting mix. Ponytail palms are pretty resilient and don't mind their roots being disturbed. Just try not to break them, if you can. They're pretty forgiving, so don't fret about that.

My little ponytails were crowded in their old pot, and the trunks were pressed right up against one another too, which flattened the sides of them where they were touching. But once they were repotted and had more room, their trunks rounded back out into their natural shape.

Well, good luck on your repotting. Your ponytails will enjoy having more room to grow and will thank you for it.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 3:51PM
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darcydeuce

Thank you tommyboy, that was very helpful! I will get this guy in his new home this weekend.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 5:20PM
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Photo Synthesis

You're welcome. :)

These are tough little boogers, HaHa. I bought mine when they were real tiny, five little palms in a 3" pot. When they outgrew that pot I repotted them. I left them outside during Spring, which is tornado season here in Tornado Alley. Which means plenty of thunderstorms. That washed away most of their soil, leaving their roots exposed to the harsh Summer sun. I left them that way all year, thinking they wouldn't make it. They only cost a $1.50, and I already owned a large ponytail palm. My neglect of them didn't phase them one bit. When Fall came around, I brought them back in and potted them back up properly. The next year, they outgrew that pot, and I potted them up again. They started to out grow that pot too, and I had to repot them yet again just a few weeks ago. They now have plenty of room to grow even more, since they simply refused to give up on me, lol.

This pic shows the pot they were previously in. I've since repotted them into a pot one size larger, which should last them for another year or two.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 6:19PM
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darcydeuce

Wow what beautiful plants! They really are resilient! No wonder mine lasted as long as it did in my house. I don't even remember how I acquired this one, but it was when house plants were new to me and I killed just about everything. This one lasted however! Well now I'm curious to see how it does in some new soil and bigger pot. It lasted 5 years with little attention and lots of moves with varying light exposure, I'm a little scared to give it too much attention! Do you ever give yours a "haircut"? I trim mine from time to time because the fronds (?) break under too much weight. Other PT's I've seen are more wild and free.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 6:54PM
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Photo Synthesis

I don't trim the leaves themselves. Their ends tend to naturally turn brown, and if you trim those tips back, the trimmed edges will just do the same. So it's best to just leave them as they are. Looking at your photo, you can pull off those lower, older leaves that are pruned back. They'll come right off very easily, and won't affect your plant one bit.

Ponytail palms do best with lots of light. When I put mine outside, they get full direct Sun all year long with no problems. If they don't get enough light, their newer leaves will be limp. Mine sat on this glass table all Winter with no direct light, and do just fine. I don't water them as much when they're inside and they don't seem to mind that either. Yours look happy and healthy already, so just keep doing whatever it is that you're doing.

This post was edited by ToMMyBoY69 on Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 20:28

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 8:26PM
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darcydeuce

Excellent, thank you so much for all the great info :)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:08AM
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