Ponytail Palm, Beaucarnea recurvata

The Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) is a commonly grown houseplant in temperate latitudes. The plant is often referred to as the a palm, although it is not truly a palm. In order to successfully cultivate this plant, winter minimum temperatures must remain above 50°F, and rise to temperatures of around 86°F in summer. States of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, and San Luis Potosí in Mexico make a native home to the Ponytail Palm.

The Ponytail Palm thrives best in full sun to slight shade, with a well drained soil mix. A successful mixture consists of 2 parts loam to 1 part peat moss to 2 parts sand. Adding soil to this mixture will help ensure good drainage. When plants are grown in a container, they only require watering every three weeks during the growing season and fertilizing only once during this period. During the winter months, the plants should be watered just enough to prevent the foliage from wilting. Over-watering is the single most common reason for failure when growing the Ponytail Palm. The tree is very slow growing. If one of the branch “crowns” is broken, it takes about one month for new growth to appear.

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