How to grow multiple trunks on a Ponytail Palm?

Discussion in 'Caudiciforms and Pachycaul Trees' started by ringangela, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    Exactly. It will do just fine. It is likely by the end of spring, you should have some new branches beginning to form.

    Mark
     
  2. Ekka

    Ekka Member

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    What's the go with this "tree pruning sealer" and "candlewax" idea on pruning cuts?

    Been pretty much dismissed as snake oil for 25 years now and may even inhibit natural defence systems and compartmentalisation.
     
  3. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    Thank you for pointing this out.

    It is true that if the plant is diseased or the cutting tool is contaminated one may actually seal in pathogens with the pruning sealer/wax. However, having used, and not used the products with semi-woody succulent plants over the years, I have found that sealing the wounds tends to inhibit insect attacks.

    The morphology of succulent plants is obviously different from trees, and as such, how they compartmentalize wounds, as well as their natural defenses against pathogens and pests are likely different.

    I certainly would agree with what you are saying about pruning sealer use on trees. Even the labels on such products may say it should be used on wounds greater than 2.5 inches/7cm in diameter. However, I have not seen any study comparing its use on large succulent plants. My 20+ years of personal experience has shown better outcomes sealing the wounds with these plants. Obviously, even this experience is with a relatively small sample of plants that have I have left large pruning wounds and felt the need to seal (10 plants, or so). Perhaps if you could show me a large sample study comparing the two methods on large succulent plants, I would change my ways.

    I am humble enough to say that I am still learning. I am a fairly educated person that would enjoy seeing any scientific papers you could share with me on the subject mentioned above.

    Mark

    Addendum: After doing several hours of internet searching on the subject, I was able to find some further information with regards to succulent plants. None of the information was in the form of a scientific paper although some sources claimed "scientific studies showed....", but did not reference the information. So take it for what it is worth. A bonsai site claimed that using pruning sealer on Crassula ovata may seal in moisture around the wound which may encourage rot. Another site claimed that using the black, asphalt-based sealer may heat up too much in the mid-day sun which may cause damage to the plant. Another site claimed that using asphalt-based sealer may, in itself, cause cellular damage and dieback. Another claimed, as I have, that sealing larger wounds may inhibit boring insects. Therefore, although I personally have not had any adverse effects by sealing wounds on large, semi-woody, succulent plants, and have actually had positive effects, there appears to be evidence towards not using it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2008
  4. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    Another photo update: July, 2008. A little over a year since I cut the main stalk of a small, 20-year-old B. recurvata.
     

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  5. Analogdog

    Analogdog Active Member

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    I would cut it straight across, and use some sealant on it. The wound can be a source of infection.

    Good luck.
     
  6. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    It worked so well with my other B. recurvata, I decided to try it with another. My plants have to be moved indoors during the cold weather, so this should, at least for a little while, reduce it's impact in my home.
     

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  7. nejlika12

    nejlika12 Member

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    Hi,
    If its just a plant that is inside an apartment, does it need tree prune sealer or candle wax then?
    I am thinking of cutting mine, but not sure if to use an agent on the cut or not?
     
  8. pockets of peace

    pockets of peace Member

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    After two unusual freezes in my area this past winter, my 6 yr. old ponytail palm has sustained some damage but I don't think it's dead as I see new sprouts coming out of the side of the trunk near the bottom. I have read where you all said that I might could prune the top of the palm to encourage more trunks. My question is: even though I was able to pull out the center of the new growth at the top of the plant, but see new growth at the bottom, is the plant still alive? I saved this plant from my son's funeral and would hate to loose it.
     
  9. cchmoore

    cchmoore Member

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    Don't despair - my 300lb, 30+ year old pony tail was damaged by the winter freezes even though I covered with sheets. It is coming back out new and in addition is producing 15-20 new sprouts. I recommend that if you have any shrived branches, just cut them and it will put out new sprouts. I live in Katy, TX and will be planting my ponytail in the ground soon.
     
  10. gboothe90

    gboothe90 Member

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    I have a ponytail that was knocked off the plant stand and the top was broken. The plant is 10 years old and has created 25 shoots. This thing is incredible. will post pics soon
     
  11. SloopyInLasVegas

    SloopyInLasVegas New Member

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    I am going to try that! I have two awesome Pontail Palms and they are dying! Or look to be that way. I have had them for six years and one is 4' tall the other is 2' tall. We had a bad freeze here in Vegas last winter and I think they caught a very bad "cold" LOL. They were beautiful and have weathered every season outdoors!
    Maybe cutting the trunks as you did just might be the answer. It certainly couln't hurt!
    Thanks for the info! I will update if it works, or if it doen't.
     
  12. Momzillaaaaa

    Momzillaaaaa New Member

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    RE: Growing your shoots 'off' the plant...

    One of my 3' ponytail palms had a problem last year whereby the fat part of the trunk seemed to be shrinking on the inside (hard to explain) and was losing its foliage so I cut the only 4 shoots? (2.5 ft each) off leaving them just a foot or so tall. Doing all I know how to do... I stuck them in a plastic soda cup filled a third way with water and covered with the plastic lid that I cut 4 notches out of (to evenly distribute as to not fall over). That's it. I never filled it any more than a third way. A few weeks later there they were a beautifull network of roots. I waited till the roots were a half fist size (I have small hands) then I put them in potting soil in their own pot. They are doing fine.
    Now to try making it multiply trunks!! I don't want an 8' stick with green hair :)
     
  13. bobo1rambo2

    bobo1rambo2 New Member

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    I am a 72 year old widow and had a large ponytail plant in my front garden. The base was about 15" in diameter. I cut the top off close to the bottom and was left with a base about 9" high which had a diameter of about 9". I kept watering it once a week or so. I kept getting comments from neighbours and passersby saying "what a shame" and "it will die".

    It took about 3 months then to my surprise I ended up with 25 shoots all around the outside edge of the top.

    I cut the top section into three and just planted them after dipping the bases in rooting hormone all of which have survived and looking good. I watered these once a week as well.

    Now, everyone is commenting not only on how beautiful it is but also how completely unusual it looks. I've called it "stumpy". Small base with fronds about 1 ½ metres across and ½ metre high.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2016
  14. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member

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    Hello I am impressed How many years is your Ponytail palm
    I just got 12 babies +-1" across and found out they were Ponytail babies
    I had 2m tall ones in South Africa but purchased already 1+meter
    I am in Vancouver so would you say one can keep them outdoors in late spring till mid automn. Michigan is not warmer than here in Winter but much warmer in Summer. I am afraid of winter as we only have ONE big south facing window and there is electric heating and NO plant has liked that..I can't see myself growing 12 of them..
    Thanks for your opininon
    PS: what is the amazing plant in the middle in front of your Jadetree?
     
  15. Aeaton44

    Aeaton44 New Member

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    I want to thank everyone for sharing their ponytail palm experiences. I have found the info really useful.

    I wanted a multiple headed small palm for my pot and my friend said it's a specific species that makes more heads and I can't get it off a single head palm.

    I took a chance and found a pot with 3 palms in it - thinking perhaps the 3 bulbs will merge together.

    Thanks to the poster who confirmed this theory and I can't wait to have my triplets grow up so pretty .

    Mark, your head-topping experiment looks gorgeous.
     
  16. Ray M

    Ray M New Member

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    126640-3f3f116446cba923d806e0276c7ea6df.jpg 126644-059d0e59f96336a4b2874e608599b7a1.jpg 126643-f3fa8d833990847cc70e63fd84ff72d6.jpg 126642-06537349135cb65f4bae412f53b6b06b.jpg 126641-3beae38317cbf7136fa4a46aad0dc1aa.jpg
    I have a plant in my front yard that I planted from a pot about 2 years ago.
    It was about 3-4 foot tall when I planted it. It started blooming around the middle of this July.
    It started out as a triple with growth only on the top of the three main stems.
    Now it has at least 5 new growths on one of the main stems and 7 new growths on the other stem.
    Here are a few pics.
     
  17. Sue Ross

    Sue Ross New Member

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    I had a ponytail growing in a very dark corner of our home and it grew multiple trunks probably so it could produce more food in the dim light. Its leaves became quite pale and long. I moved it to a lighter spot and it has kept its multiple trunks and long hair. I call it Rapunzel and it is magnificent!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2017
  18. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member

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    YOU ARE NOT IN CANADA are you! :-)
     
  19. Sue Ross

    Sue Ross New Member

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    No my daughter is there at the minute with her 1/2 Canadian boy friend. We actually live in Brisbane, Australia where we have had our hottest summer for yonks. It is cooling off now but we escaped down to Tasmania for 6 weeks over Xmas.
    Pony tails grow well here and we have several in the botanical gardens in open soil that must be over a metre in diameter . I have lots in pots but they tend to crack the terracotta ones so now they are in plastic pots. We live inner city so don't have much land but I grow lots of citrus trees mangos avocados ginger. Possums are a big problem here. They travel along the power lines at night and eat everything in sight.
     

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