The Ponytail Palm Plant

The Ponytail Palm Plant

Last Updated on September 10, 2020 by Paul Guzman

What is The Ponytail Palm Plant? (Beaucarnea recurvata) Is it really a palm plant?  It is native to Eastern Mexico and they will get large and live past 300 years.

This plant is not in the palm tree species but it does look like a miniature palm tree. Actually it is a succulent plant this means it stores its own water on its large trunk.  It’s basically a good looking easy to care for houseplant for those who want low maintenance indoor houseplants.

How to water the Ponytail Plant

The biggest question I get on this plant is this…” how much water does it need “? It needs little water this means about 2-3 times per month or when the soil in its pot becomes dry.  This plant likes to dry out before watering again.  The one big sign that you are over-watering is that the bark starts to look wrinkled.  It is important that your pot or container drains well.

The Ponytail Palm Plant

In its native habitat, it is an evergreen plant that is easy to grow.  At our nurseries, it does well indoors with lots of artificial light or sunlight from the windows.  It can tolerate some shade but too much and it will not grow well.

Where to place the Ponytail Palm

Best to keep it in a pot and use cactus soil mix this will help from over-watering.  Cactus soil does not hold water well and is one reason why you should always use Cactus soils for all your succulent and all desert plants.  It does not mind shade so placing it in the middle or corner of a room and it will do well.

What type of problems does it have?

Like many succulents, it is susceptible to mealybugs.  These insects are small they produce a white substance and attache themselves right on the stems or where new growth starts.  A heavily infested plant should be thrown away as it is almost impossible to remove when they are covered with these nasty insects.  However, it treated at the first sign of mealybugs the plant will recover easily.  One way to ill organically is to use 70% isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab or use a spray bottle with about 50% water and your isopropyl alcohol.  Spray thoroughly and you will kill them.

Learn more about Insects and Diseases on plants. 

Our nurseries will normally have this plant but it is a plant that people purchase often.  So they go fast during the spring months.

The Ponytail Palm in its natural habitat is an evergreen plant that will grow up to 15 ft. or so and will if treated correctly will live up to 300 years.  Learn more over at

The Ponytail Palm Plant


Palm Trees of the Southwest

Here is a list of more houseplants

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