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Ponytail Palm help

Posted by hostaholic2 MN 4 (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 18, 06 at 23:54

I "inherited" a very sick looking ponytail palm. I know nothing about them and very little about bonsai. The person who gave it to me said it hasn't been repotted in a long time(about 4 years). Can anyone give me some suggestions. Light needs, watering, repotting, soil etc. I have heard that you should submerge the pot in water to water the plant. Is this correct? Thanks for any help you can give me.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Ponytail Palm help

Hi, unfortunately submerging is not right for various reasons, and watering from above like nature does is correct - just tap water, not distilled, or bottled or from a 'softened' system (too salty!). If you could post a picture of the tree on this forum's gallery (with a note here to alert us) it would go a long way to helping it.. something showing the interface of the soil and plant (but not TOO close-up). Four years is a long time without repotting, but not knowing more makes it hard to advise. One thing for sure is that they are better off almost drying right out between waterings than otherwise, and the most usual problems arise with too frequent waterings. They also need a lot of sun all day, however 'bonsai' anything is pretty irrelevant now as it's a plant that needs help first, and they are not really traditional bonsai subjects anyway despite being sold as such all over!


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RE: Ponytail Palm help

Thanks for your input. Unfortunately my digital camera is on a trip with my daughter right now. I'm thinking maybe I should repot it into a regular pot in a well draining mix( Maybe using a cactus/succulent mix and not try to keep it as a bonsai specimen. I guess I'd have nothing to lose. The potting medium it's in now appears to be grit. Thanks again!


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RE: Ponytail Palm help

No, grit is good! Peaty potting soil (cactus or otherwise) is definitely inferior for any plant that needs fast drainage and a sick plant will only be stressed further in any case by repotting now.


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RE: Ponytail Palm help

So maybe I should just leave it in the pot it's in for now and put it under my lights in the basement. Maybe it just needs a good dose of light.


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RE: Ponytail Palm help

I bought a 6 inch ponytail palm about 5 years ago. I've had to repot it 3 times. Including pot it's about 3 feet tall. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
For 5 years its been on my kitchen counter which is a southern window in the morning. I just moved it. Only about 6 feet away but not as much sun there. I don't know if I will keep it there. It's in the way.
My question is, will it survive outside on my patio in a pot? In the summer it can get up to 95 degrees here. Winter....it might get to freezing.
I love this plant. It has grown fast. It now it putting out a baby on the side of the trunk.
Any suggestions? I'd hate to hurt my blessed ponytail.


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