Sherrie S
Sherrie S
  • Hometalker
  • Debary, FL
Asked on Mar 11, 2012

Ponytail palm is not a palm, but

Sherrie SSherrie SlabodaMary Cairns McAvoy
+26

Answered

I have a big ponytail that is at least 15 years old. It now has 4 baby palms and has produced flowers- big flowers. How do it remove the babies to replant them without hurting the original. This palm lived through hurricanes and freezes and a broken stem when an oak fell, crashed the shed & broke the main branch of the palm. It only made more big stems.
The Mama
The Mama
One of 4 babies
One of 4 babies
27 answers
  • Walter Reeves
    on Mar 11, 2012

    Ponytail palm, Beaucarnea recurvata, is not a true palm but is related to yucca and agave. It loves bright light and well-drained soil. The swollen base is used to store water. Once the round offsets at the base of the mother plant have a few leaves they can each be gently pulled off and put into a pot of their own.

  • Erica Glasener
    on Mar 11, 2012

    I have one in a pot as a houseplant, takes me back to my childhood in Miami, Florida where they have large plants at Fairchild Tropical Gardens.

  • Southern Trillium LLC
    on Mar 11, 2012

    I can share of an experience with a ponytail palm. My grandmother had a large ponytail palm that she kept in a large pot for many years, and would move it outside for the summer, and into the garage for the winter. After she passed away in 1998, we kept moving it back and forth each season at the old family house. A couple years ago, it was just left in the garage for almost an entire year, as no one lived in the house. After an entire year with no water and no care, the ponytail palm was still alive. To this day, it is still alive and doing well. It split open the plastic pot many years ago, but it just refuses to die.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Mar 12, 2012

    Now's the perfect time to do this, Sherrie. Make sure the planting material for the offsets is well-drained. You may want to use a little rooting compound.

  • Sherrie S
    on Mar 12, 2012

    Walter, the picture on the right is the smallest of the four "baby" plants and it has plenty of leaves. Is it bad to leave some of them attached? Do you really mean I should just pull them off? Gently, of course.

  • Walter Reeves
    on Mar 13, 2012

    yes - if you want to do it, pull the offset off gently and push the base into a pot of moist1:1 perlite and potting soil. It will root like a pineapple would.

  • Sherrie S
    on Mar 13, 2012

    Thank you Walter. I'll be trying that today.

  • Leida R
    on Jun 23, 2012

    I have 3 very small pony tail palm trees. Sherrie S, thanks for sharing this with us. I did not know they grow to be so big. Walter, & Douglas THANK u both so much for ur knowledgeable input. I LOVE IT!!!

  • Marg C
    on Jun 23, 2012

    Walter, I'm going to pick your brain ;) can she pull off the baby and place the bottom of it a plastic bag filled with peat moss until it gets roots? I've heard of this but don't know if it's true with the pontytail palm.

  • Sherrie S
    on Jun 23, 2012

    When we had hurricanes a big oak fell on top of my shed and on top of the ponytail. It crushed the shed and the top of the plant. I thought it would die but it came back even prettier than before. Since then I haven't seen the ponytail flowers but expect to see them again. Flowers are huge.

  • Leida R
    on Jun 23, 2012

    Sherrie, OMG!!! I did not know this palm flowers. WOW!!! Please post a picture when you get one. I WILL LOVE TO SEE IT. I love plants. I have an album on my FB full of PRETTYFUL FLOWERS. I have a question, were all those branches once babies, or do the babies look different then the branches when small/young?

  • Walter Reeves
    on Jun 23, 2012

    @Marg - yes, this is one technique to grow new roots

  • Erica Glasener
    on Jun 23, 2012

    I grow a ponytail palm as a houseplant, ignore it, water it once in a while, give it indirect light and it thrives!

  • Sherrie S
    on Jun 23, 2012

    Leida R, I have a picture before the ponytail got smashed. I'll send later today. I don't know when it will do it again.

  • Leida R
    on Jun 23, 2012

    Sherrie, thanks for that response, and I sure will be waiting for that (those) pic(s). what about the other part to my last comment? Please let me know as one of my little pony tails does have 3 things growing on it, and I don't know if they are babies, or branches coming out of it.

  • Sherrie S
    on Jun 23, 2012

    Leida R, no those branches were not babies that grew into branches. Branches started when the ponytail got smashed by the oak & then ponytail grew extra branches and then it grew babies. Sorry, I don't know enough about this except what happened. I'm still looking for my ponytail flower pics BEFORE smash. Coming Soon!

  • Leida R
    on Jun 23, 2012

    Sherrie, ok. Thanks for the response. Maybe Walter Reeves will help me out here. Let's see if he reads the comments.

  • Marg C
    on Jun 24, 2012

    Leida, I believe they're babies which in turn grow into branches.

  • Leida R
    on Jun 24, 2012

    Marg, ooh. I see.

  • Sherrie S
    on Jun 24, 2012

    Leida R, I'm still looking for picture with flower on ponytail. I never used to label them so this is a little chore. I want to find it because it is so unusual (to me).

  • Leida R
    on Jun 24, 2012

    Sherrie, THANKS!!!

  • Sherrie S
    on Jun 25, 2012

    I thought I posted this picture yesterday - guess not.

    q ponytail palm is not a palm but, flowers, gardening, Ponytail Flower the flower was over 2 high First flower after about 14 years A real surprise
  • Sherrie S
    on Jun 25, 2012

    The flower is over 2' high. Hope to see flowers again.

  • Leida R
    on Jun 25, 2012

    Sherri, that is AMAZING to me as I did not know they flower!!! THANKS!!!

  • Mary Cairns McAvoy
    on Sep 3, 2015

    My pony tail palm first flowered when it was 9 years old; the following year it produced 2 blossoms. Then, 2 years later, for some unknown reason,it suddenly died. One day it looked fine, 5 days later it was totally dead. To this day, I have no idea what killed it.

  • Sherrie Slaboda
    on Sep 4, 2015

    @Mary Cairns McAvoy I would be sad if something happened to my ponytail. Mine only had flowers one time. I'm sure it will surprise me again someday.

  • Sherrie S
    on Feb 20, 2016

    @Esther Angerbrandt I know how you and @Mary Cairns McAvoy must feel losing the Ponytail. Mine only bloomed once in the 18 years I've had it and I'd like to see the big flowers again. Now I will just be satisfied having the ponytail.

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