ajr432
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:06 pm

Pony Tail Palm Problems

I'm having two problems with my pony tail palm tree and I'm wondering if anyone here knows what is going on.
1. The plant will not grow taller - it has been in bush mode for over a year. I tried adding fertilizer about 3 months ago but it doesn't seem to have worked.
2. The truck of the palm has recently started pulling up from the ground and now you can see the roots - It almost looks as if the trunk is being eaten away from the bottom.
If anyone has any ideas on how to solve either problem - It would be much appreciated!
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Thanks,
Andrew

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Pony Tail Palm Problems

Repot and get it in more light. The soil looks to be shrinking and possibly compacting. When this happens to me, the plants have been in the same pot for awhile and sometimes the soil just becomes spent. The easiest solution has been to repot with new media and fertilizer. Trying to fix the old media is much harder as there are issues with salt buildup in the pot, compaction, dead roots, fungal spores in the soil and in my case usually there are slugs chewing away at the roots. Repotting is the easy way out.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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pinksand
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Re: Pony Tail Palm Problems

What is your watering schedule? Pony tails actually tolerate underpotting quite well and judging by the size of the plant I don't know that it necessarily needs repotting. They are fairly slow growers so you might need to be patient. I have one at home and a large one at my office that are about 5 years old and although they always have healthy perky new growth they haven't appeared too much larger than when first purchased. I agree that more light would help and you may be overwatering. They thrive on neglect and need to dry out between watering.
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
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imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Pony Tail Palm Problems

To clarify, I guess I should say to change the media if the roots are showing but pinksand is right that ponytail palms do like to be under potted. Under potting though does keep the plants smaller as well. If the goal is to get the plant bigger then give the plant a slightly bigger pot.

The plant looks healthy so it depends on what your goal is.

Pony tail palms are slow growers so there should not be great changes in size.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.



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