How To Care For A Ponytail Palm- Complete Growing Guide

caring for a ponytail palm

Ponytail palm prefers sandy soil in a location with direct sun. When grown outdoors, it is best planted in a cactus/succulent potting mix and placed in the sunniest spot you can find. In the right location, it is largely trouble-free, provided it gets a modest amount of water at regular intervals.

As an indoor plant, the ponytail is basically a “plant it and forget it” kind of plant, providing it has enough light to thrive and somewhat steady water throughout the growing season. But keep in mind that the ponytail palm is a very slow-growing plant, so don’t anticipate that your desktop plant will grow into a corner specimen in just one or two growing seasons.

Caring For A Ponytail Palm


Ponytail palms prefer direct or strong indirect sunlight. If you’re growing a plant indoors, put it in the brightest spot you can find, preferably by a window that receives plenty of indirect light or direct sunlight.


This plant is indigenous to semi-desert regions of Central America, and it thrives in relatively sandy but organically rich soil when planted outdoors. It thrives in a cactus/succulent potting mix that has peat added to increase its richness, just like an indoor plant.

caring for a ponytail palm


A ponytail palm should receive water for potted indoor plants every seven to fourteen days during the growing season. Don’t overwater it because the bulbous stem stores water. Reduce watering to once a month during the winter.

If you get any kind of regular rain, a ponytail palm planted in the garden hardly ever needs to be watered. A light watering once every two weeks is adequate in dry climates or during droughts.

Temperature And Humidity

Ponytail palms prefer warm, arid climates with temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperatures are not sustained, they can endure temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit.


Feed your plants once a week with liquid fertilizer throughout the growing season, or in the spring, use a slow-release pellet fertilizer. During the winter, feed less.

How To Repot A Ponytail Palm

  • If kept in a tiny pot, ponytail palms will not grow larger. Before needing to be repotted, they can last for many years. The only care a ponytail palm requires is repotting every other year at most.
  • The plant can expand its height and circumference by being moved to a larger container. However, if older plants are not kept in a smaller size, they may become difficult to manage because of their sheer size and weight.
  • Pick a pot that is big enough to give the ponytail palm’s trunk about an inch or so of space between it and the rim when choosing a new one.
  • Note: Ponytail palm leaves have very small serrated edges, so handle them with care.

How To Propagate The Ponytail Palm

Ponytail palms can be propagated from seed, but a more practical way to propagate them is to wait for a plant to produce a “pup,” which you can eventually separate from the parent plant. Cut it free from the parent with a clean knife once it has begun to grow roots, and then place it in its own pot. Ensure that the soil is consistently moist so that the young plant can continue to grow its own root system and receive adequate water.

caring for a ponytail palm

How To Prune A Ponytail Palm

The tips of damaged leaves should be cut off to expose healthy tissue. If the offsets (“pups”) send up secondary shoots, you can prune these away to maintain a central trunk and classic tree-like appearance. However, many people appreciate these additional shoots because multi-stemmed trees are frequently desirable.


  • Overwatering can result in stem rot. Withholding watering may allow the plant to address the issue on its own. Yellowing leaves and a soft or squishy caudex (the plant’s base and stem) are indicators of stem rot.
  • Spider mites occur on the leaves, but can be dealt with by rubbing a cloth of dish soap and water on the stems. Spider-like webbing on the plant is a sign that there are spider mites present.
  • Brown tips on leaves can be a sign of overfertilizing or underwatering, so adjust your husbandry practices appropriately. They might also indicate that the plant isn’t receiving enough water and is receiving too much direct sunlight.