Pony Tail Palm

Discussion in 'Caudiciforms and Pachycaul Trees' started by Loves Plants, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. Loves Plants

    Loves Plants Member

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    Last November I knocked over my 25 year old bottle palm (begun as a palm the size of a green onion) and the fronds snapped off. Seeking help from you, I replanted the fronds in cactus soil, left it in the same location where it had been thriving, and am now wondering how I can tell if it has taken root. A few of the very bottom fronds are brown and dry, but the rest seem to be okay. I just don't know how long it will take to see a bulb or determine whether it will grow/is growing.
    Also, nothing seems to be happening on the old stalk...is it too soon to tell.....?
    Any suggestions?
     
  2. toutlan

    toutlan Active Member

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    i am sorry for you.i love pony tails,i have a couple in my garden.i have only heard that propagation can come from seeds only,i do believe its a goner.my simpathies
     
  3. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    Re Pony Tail
    The pony tail is a member of the lilly family, and just might 'take' for you. I would not abandon the original plant. Continue to nurture the broken stem(low on the watering) as though nothing happened. As they age, pony tails tend to 'branch' and the broken top might activate some of the lateral growth buds to start throwing branches. Good luck.
     
  4. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Hi Loves Plants,

    With your climate it would be helpful if you fertilize the parent plant and water generously in the hot weather. That should encourage growth.

    I would think if all was lost with these plants they would completely turn brown and shrivel up. I think your pony tails are alive. To see if the top portion has rooted you might want to gently remove some of the soil around it to see if there are roots.

    Btw, pony tail palms - Beaucarnea recurvata are not palms at all and are related to agavae and are succulents. They don't have fronds, but leaves.
    http://www.maasnursery.com/ponytailpalm.htm

    Here's a conversation I found to a similar situation to yours.
    http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/tropical/msg0601101126926.html

    Newt
     
  5. Loves Plants

    Loves Plants Member

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    Thank you so much for the tips...I'll try these and keep you posted.

    Hi Loves Plants,

    With your climate it would be helpful if you fertilize the parent plant and water generously in the hot weather. That should encourage growth.

    I would think if all was lost with these plants they would completely turn brown and shrivel up. I think your pony tails are alive. To see if the top portion has rooted you might want to gently remove some of the soil around it to see if there are roots.

    Btw, pony tail palms - Beaucarnea recurvata are not palms at all and are related to agavae and are succulents. They don't have fronds, but leaves.
    http://www.maasnursery.com/ponytailpalm.htm

    Here's a conversation I found to a similar situation to yours.
    http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/tropical/msg0601101126926.html

    Newt[/QUOTE]
     
  6. Loves Plants

    Loves Plants Member

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    Thank you for the tips. I'll give them a try this weekend and keep you posted. This plant is outside in a sheltered cove, receives light but not sunlight.....it's still chilly at night here, so I hesitate to move it....plus it has done so well in that same spot for the past 10 years. Do pony tail palms mind being relocated, like some plants do?
     
  7. Loves Plants

    Loves Plants Member

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    It's Alive!

    Hi all....I am so thrilled to report that my 30-year-old pony tail palm--some may remember that I knocked it over last fall and broke off all the fronds until I only had the tall, main stalk left--well....it is now putting out 5-6 new pups around the very top edge of the broken off stalk. I took all the advice I got and just watered it and left it in the same spot it was used to....and here it is, 4 months later and showing signs of life...just in time for Spring! The old fronds that I tried rooting in cactus soil, I gave up on....too soon, I'm sure....Now I wish I still had a chance at rooting them .....several of you told me to kiss them good-bye; others said to hang in there. Listened to the wrong group.....sorry. But for future......everybody just hang in there and give 'em a chance. Loves Plants.
     
  8. greenmary

    greenmary Member

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    I have had my ponytail palm since 1972. Over 10 years ago, I had a naughty dog who ate the top off. I kept it and it came back with three babies on it (which are full sized now on the same base root). Now, two more babies are on it. What I want to know is, how do you divide this plant? If I pop off the babies and put them in the ground, will they grow? If I break off one of the full sized babies, how much base do I need, and will the original base look ok? This plant has such thick leaves, you don't see the unusual base root. It's in a huge pot and it's busting out of it, so I need to divide it to make it more manageable. (It weighs about 75 lbs. and had to be moved recently, ouch). Any help out there? greenmary
     
  9. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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  10. greenmary

    greenmary Member

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    Thanks for all the info. I really have had this plant since 1972. It's very big in the pot. I'm going to have 5 of them when I'm done. Time to pass the babies on to family and friends. greenmary
     
  11. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Greenmary, that's great that you've had it so long! Good luck with the propagation.

    Newt
     
  12. Loves Plants

    Loves Plants Member

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    Last fall, I wrote to you about my pony tail palm ....30 years old, and I knocked it over and the fronds all broke off, leaving me with the bulb and stem. Several of you wrote that it was a goner....to get another and start over. Others, whose advice I took, told me to give it a little water, leave it in the same location, and forget about it. I did just that, and I am so pleased to report that it has "pups" (is that what they're called? pony tails?) growing from both sides, about 6-8 inches in healthy, bushy length. There are 5 "threatening" to grow out of the very top that was broken, but for the past many weeks are just showing a tiny bit of green with no apparent progress.

    Anyway, thank you to all who advised me so well. It's hard to lose something nurtured from the size of a green onion bulb to my beauty. When it gets a bit better, I may try posting a pic....Thank you, thank you, my new friends.
     
  13. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Loves Plants, that's great news! And handy info for us to know. Thanks for coming back to let us know.

    Newt
     

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