Ponytail Palm Care
Palm,  Plant Care

Ponytail Palm Care

The key to ponytail palm care is to treat it as a succulent, give it plenty of light and make sure it is not sat in water.

Ponytail Palm Care Summary

Light needs:Bright indirect sunlight.
Watering needs:Let the top layer of soil dry out before watering it again. 
Fertilizer:Feed once a month in summer with a multipurpose household plant fertilizer, diluted with twice as much water as normal.
Soil:A cactus and succulent mix.
Humidity:Do not need high humidity.
Temperature: Will tolerate a wide range of temperatures.
Where to buy:Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.
Other names:Elephant foot tree, beaucarnea recurvata.
Common issues:Overwatering.


Ponytail Palm aka beaucarnea recurvata, originally from Mexico, is a beautiful palm named for it’s ponytail-style foliage. They look great with their thin plumage of leaves and big trunk. Welcome to out ponytail palm care guide…

See also: Chamaedorea Elegans (Parlor Palm), Majesty Palm Care.

Tip: we recommend Etsy for buying plants. Look for the best rated seller you can, and try to buy as close to your home as possible so the plant does not travel too far.

A note about affiliate links: when you buy a plant, pots, soil, or other goods through links on this article we sometimes earn a commission. It doesn’t cost you anything, but it really helps us out if you do use them. Thanks a lot! An example of this is if you buy a plant on Etsy using this link. Read our privacy policy for more information. Thanks again.

Light Needs

Ponytail Palms love light – they are palms after all – put them the brightest spot of indirect sunlight in your home.

How Often to Water A Ponytail Palm

Let the top layer of soil dry out before watering it again. I go to water mine every week, but I test it with my finger and if the top layer is still wet I leave it for another week. You want to check it weekly as part of your water schedule but only water it if needed.


Feed your pony tail palms once a month in Spring and Summer with a multipurpose household plant fertilizer but dilute it down to twice as much water as the instructions on the packet.


Pony tail palms need very well draining compost, a cactus and succulent mix for example, will do them well.

When To Repot A Ponytail Palm

You can repot the palm up a pot size in spring if they have outgrown their current pot. They are slow growing so will not need repotting each year.


They are originally from arid dessert-like conditions so do not need high humidity.


Ponytail palms will tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but they should be allowed to get down below 5°C (40°F). The ideal ponytail palm temperature range is 15° to 27°C (59-81°F).

How To Propagate Ponytail Palm

You can propagate a ponytail palm by removing the smaller pup plants from the base of the plant. You’ll need to take the plant out of it’s pot, remove the soil and then use a knife to carefully break the pup off from the main plant, making sure to keep as much of the roots intact as possible. You want to limit damage as much as you can and take away an entire plant with rotos and stems. Then pot it up in its own pot.

Ponytail Palm USDA Zone

You can keep these outdoors in zones 9-11

Where To Buy a Ponytail Palm

There are lots for good prices on Etsy.

Majesty Palm USDA Zone

You can grow these outsid all year in zones 9-11.

Other Names for Ponytail Palm

Elephant foot tree, beaucarnea recurvata.

Ponytail Palm Care FAQs and Common Problems

Overwatering is a common problem, make sure it does not stand in water.

Majesty Palm Vs Areca Palm

Areca plans have much lighter, grass-like fronds, the majesty’s loeaves/fronds are stronger.

Why Is My Ponytail Palm Turning Brown?

Overwatering and underwatering, as well as erratic watering will cause a ponytail palm’s leaves to brown. Maintain a regular watering schedule (water when it is totally dry) to keep your leaves healthy, check the soil weekly but only water if it needs it.

Why Is My Ponytail Palm Dying?

Ponytail palms need regular watering, but waiting until they are dry first. Underwatering and overwatering a common killers of these plants. If it is underwatered you can revive it with a good soaking. If they are overwatered, take it out of the soil and let it dry out before potting it back in dry soil, then water only once it has dried out.

Why Is My Ponytail Palm Turning Yellow?

Yellowing is a sign of root rot, which happens from overwatering. Take the plant out of its current soil, let the roots dry out, then plant it into drier soil.

Ponytail Palm Outdoors

You can grow ponytail palms outdoors as long as the roots are in a well draining medium and their other needs are cared for. So don’t let them get down to freezing, bring them in if you expect cold temperatures.

Does Ponytail Palm Like Full Sun?

Ponytail palms can tolerate some direct sun early on in the day, but do not let them get full on midday summer sun.

Does Ponytail Palm Like To Be Root Bound?

They are ok to be a little root bound, they are not fussy in this regard, but they may grow slower. I would pot it up a size when it gets crowded.

Can Ponytail Palm Grow In Water?

No they need to grow in a soil based medium.

Is Ponytail Palm Toxic To Cats?

It is not toxic to cats (source).

Is Ponytail Palm A Succulent?

Ponytail palm is a succulent.

Ponytail Palm Vs Elephant Foot

They are both names for same plant, the beaucarnea recurvata.

Other Articles You Might Like

Hope you enjoyed this guide to Ponytail Palm Care, please see our other plant care articles too.

For regular updates and pictures please join us on Instagram

Comments Off on Ponytail Palm Care