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Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:57 pm

Leaning Ponytail Palm

We have a Ponytail Palm that is probably 20 years old at least. Four years ago we moved to a house on a lake and ever since that move, the palm has been leaning A LOT in the direction of the lake. It is in a pot and has some serious Arizona late afternoon sun. If the trunk was not leaning so badly, it would most likely be about 7-8 feet tall. My questions are:
1. Should OR Could we try to straighten it up? The "arms" are about 4-5 feet long as they lean out.
2. What causes this? I would think water but they are in a pot or sun but it gets serious afternoon sun, so I have no idea why they are doing this? I have attached pictures for your viewing enjoyment.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1203
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:10 pm
Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

Re: Leaning Ponytail Palm

Your plant is reaching for the sun. The afternoon sun that it gets a heavy dose of is low in the sky, and the plant is growing horizontally towards the low-in-the-sky sun. If the sun exposure for this plant was high in the sky, the plant would grow more upright. I don't know this plant, but I have other plants that reach like that when they are in the shade or when most of their sun exposure is morning or afternoon sun.
If you turn the pot 180 degrees, it will grow the other direction and you would end up with an interesting trunk shape. You may or may not want that. I have a leaning rhododendron and I like it that way.

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