Ponytail Palm not doing well

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by BettyNiles, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. BettyNiles

    BettyNiles New Member

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    My 42 year old Ponytail Palm, recently repotted isn't doing that well ! Perhaps wrong type soil, so ( after approximately1 year) I did a re-pot. The ball and neck are fine, but top 1/2 inch is soft (perhaps rotten) the shoots on top fell off during the second "trauma". What's wrong with my old emerald beauty? Should I cut the top? Will top "heal"? Can I save it? Any advice or help would be most appreciated. Thank you. Betty
     
  2. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    I don't know what's bothering the plant, but I'm far enough south that ponytails (Beaucarnea) live happily outdoors and can reach perhaps 15-20 feet tall. I still haven't taken a picture of the huge one at the Garden Club. Older plants typically show signs of damage from freezes or windstorms, so they obviously can regrow. Outdoors, they seem happy in ordinary sand soil with good drainage.

    I'm sure someone will have clearer ideas about keeping yours happy in its pot, but my guess is that it would like excellent drainage and would also like plenty of light.
     
  3. BettyNiles

    BettyNiles New Member

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    Thank you for your encouraging words, but perhaps I'm too late! The base of the plant seems to have some " rot" around it! If anyone can suggest a way to take a graft from one of the shoots...Please do so - post haste! I'm afraid I'm loosing my oldest plant! She's been around for a very very long time:(
     
  4. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    Monocots, alas, are rarely very good for cuttings (I can think of one exception: some palms can be persuaded to grow roots from the trunk, so you can take an over-tall palm and shorten it).

    Maybe fungicide treatment?
     
  5. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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  6. RSudar1

    RSudar1 New Member

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    I have a Ponytail Palm that has white fungus growing on it. It is starting to cover most of the trunk and all of the branches. It is in a very wet location, (my front yard in Florida) which is un-relocatable. Pictures attached. Does anyone know what this is, how dangerous it is for the health of the plant, and how to get rid of it and prevent it from happening? Thank You,
    Robert
     

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  7. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    I think that's harmless lichens. They show up pretty readily--I've got some on the delivery box for newspapers, not to mention branches on young trees.

    I doubt that ponytails like wet conditions, and I've seen a fairly large one get sick and die, but for the most part, they grow well in southern Florida. I neglected to take photos of big one in our town when it flowered a few months ago.
     
  8. RSudar1

    RSudar1 New Member

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    Thx Dave,,, Do you know of a way to get rid of it? It seems to be cracking & peeling the branches. I'm afraid a strong wind might snap off one the branches, if they don't get healthier.
     
  9. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    The lichens aren't the problem. Possibly doing something to improve drainage....maybe a dry well near the plant?
     
  10. vonketner

    vonketner New Member

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    Location:
    Monticello, Jefferson County, FL
    I live in North Florida. My two ponytail palms are are over 10 feet ( including pot) & no longer fits in the house. I built a sort of greenhouse over the pots & leave them outside. Unfortunately they are need to be re-potted and I was wondering if I could just plant them in the ground? I don't know of anyone around here that has tried to do this. Any advise.
     

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