rooting ponytail plant

elsier(z6 KY)August 17, 2006

Does anyone have experience with rooting a cutting from a Beaucarnia? Can you tell me if it worked for you?



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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

What do you mean by 'cutting'? Let's get on the same page.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 10:30AM
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I assume that by taking a cutting you mean to remove the top portion of the plant and rerooting it for the purpose of propagation. I would assume that it would work. Why? Because Pony tail (Beaucarnea recurvata) are closely related to yuccas and I regulary take cuttings of my yucca. If you are going to do this, I suggest to use a sterile, sharp knife. Coat the base of the cutting with rooting hormone and plant in a sterile, perite/sandy mix. The bottom portion of your oringinal plant will also regrow (must likely with multiple shoots).
Good luck!:)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 10:39AM
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elsier(z6 KY)

Sorry I did not make myself clear the first time. I have a Beaucarnia that sent up numerous shoots from it's trunk. They are all at least 8 inches tall. I clipped one off, taking a bit of the mother trunk with it, just as an experiment. It has been in a pot for several weeks now; the leaves are still green and vigorous looking, but it does not seem to be developing roots.
Will it eventually establish roots and continue to grow?
Thanks again,

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 4:09PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Elsie, that's what I hoped you meant. ;-) Propagating Beaucarnia from offsets is the 'typical' method. Can't really imagine anyone lopping the top off!

Remember, these plants are pretty slow growing. The optimum time of year to remove those suckers (offsets) is spring, but yours may still root at some point. Remove them from the mother plant in the spring, and you don't need to take part of the trunk with them.

How many 'babies' are there?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 4:58PM
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elsier(z6 KY)

Thanks for the info, Rhizo. I did not think about how slow they grow when waiting for it to root. So I will just have to be a little patient.

As for the babies, there are 9 left on the main plant.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 6:08PM
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Why would anyone lop off the top? How 'bout if the plant is 14' tall and the eaves on the house are only 12'? Lopped mine off for the 2nd time in it's 25+ years of life in preparation for cold weather. 1st time was 12 years ago and formed five new heads afterwards. This time I removed the tallest of the 5 and will attempt to root it. The "cutting" is ~36" tall and calipered about 2". I left ~ 18" of the stalk of this head to break new heads in the spring.

Good luck with yours.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 11:35AM
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I have owned my ponytail 32 years. Two years ago it suffered extreme heat damage from a fire - it did not burn, but was very overheated. All of the green shoots fell off. It was repotted and it has remained green at the top, it has not grown any new shoots. I think that I have now overwatered it as it is very soft in the base area. Can this be cut and restarted or is it a lost cause?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 7:03PM
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In winter 2007-2008, I was in Texas and purchased 4 ponytail plants about 8" tall each. All 4 were in the same pot. I purchased soil, 3 clay pots and one plastic pot. All of them being 8" pots. When I returned to Missouri, I repotted them. Each in their own pot. Up until about a month ago, they looked good. But now they are all turning brown. I put two of them out on the porch, which faces the west thinking that maybe they needed more sun. The two that are still indoors are by the window with indirect sunlight in the evening.

I thought that maybe I was not watering them enough which was 1 cup every two weeks so I started giving them each the same amount every week. Didnt work. When I re potted them, I put the soil just a little over half way over the ball. Just as I was told to do by the person at the garden shop. I planted them in the soil that they told me to.

The ball seems solid but is shrively. Not firm and round anymore. And the ball is not tight in the soil anymore. Not that I can spin it around but it is movable to the touch.

Is there any saving my ponytails or should I give up on these and try another one?

Thank you

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 12:01PM
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The trunk of my ponytail palm gets pretty loose in the soil when I haven't watered it in a while, but the soil itself is fairly loose and I always assumed that was just a matter of dry soil not adhering to itself/the plant that well.

1 cup of water every week sounds like way too much. Mine plant's about a foot tall and in a much larger pot, and when it was inside, I'd only water it monthly -- about two cups of water when I did. It's not so much the amount of water but that it's staying wet more constantly, as far as I know.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 12:26PM
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