The Ponytail Palm Plant ‘Beaucarnea Recurvata’

Beaucarnea Recurvata Image

It is called a ponytail palm because its leaves curve at the top and then sprawl down like ponytails. The leaves are narrow and strap-like; even in a mature plant that is very considerable in size, leaves are only an inch wide. Though narrow, they are tough enough to cause injury to the skin.

Scientific Name:Beaucarnea Recurvata
Other Names:Pony Palm Plant, Elephant’s Foot Ponytail Palm, Nolina
Growth Season:Spring and summer
Preferred Temperature:It performs best in temperatures around 21oC (70oF), gives or take a few degrees. The Plant should not be kept below 7oC (45oF) because it will likely die under those circumstances.
Hardiness Zone:USDA Zone 9-10
Average Mature Height & Width:The plant can grow up to 9 meters in nature and 3.7 meters wide. However, when domesticated, it rises to between 6-8 feet and can also rise to between 3 and 5 feet.
Dormancy:It goes into dormancy in winter when temperatures are around 7oC.
Toxicity:It is non-toxic to pets and humans.
Beaucarnea Recurvata Summary

Ponytail Palm Physical Characteristics

When young, this plant looks like a massive rock on which leaves grow because the stem is bulbous. This swelling at the lower part of the stem is due to a caudex in which the plant stores water. When young, the palm usually has a single tree trunk, but it offsets younger ones as it matures (read more on how to grow multiple trunks on a ponytail palm). The top of the brown stem bark is crowned by a choke of leaves resembling ponytails, thus the plant’s common name.

The plant has long leaves that can get six feet tall. However, they are slender, never exceeding an inch thick, and demanding. These leaves have serrated edges and toughness, which can cut through the skin.

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Read more: A List of Plants Similar To Ponytail Palm.

Ponytail Palm Care

As a typical succulent, it has a caudex to store water and therefore doesn’t need too much water. Its roots are susceptible to root rot and should not be overwatered. Ensure water from the last drink has been used before watering it again.

Keeping humidity below 50% is advisable to protect your plant from fungal rot. This succulent can withstand some degree of shade, but it will give its best when grown in abundant light. Also, you can help it grow strong by feeding it with a liquid fertilizer every after watering it three times; it invigorates it.

DO YOU KNOW? Caring (propagating, pruning/trimming, beheading, watering, …) is a set of skills that is widely applicable to succulents. Read the in-depth guide here >>

Richard Miller – Succulent City

Beaucarnea Recurvata Growth

This plant produces pups when they mature. You can take one of these pups and propagate when they are about tout inches long. This succulent rarely overgrows enough to need pruning or trimming. However, you may need to cut off some of the dry leaves from the lower side of the crown.

It is necessary to repot this plant from time to time. It is a relatively slow grower, so repotting won’t be annual. Still, you can count on it outgrowing its pot several times before reaching maturity. Re-pot it every time its size doubles.

Pests are not a significant concern where this succulent is concerned. However, watch out for spider mites, scales, and mealybugs.

Before you leave …

There are more about different succulent plants in Succulent City. See all the succulent genera on Succulent City on this page!

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Richard Miller

Salute everyone. It's Richard, the author of this Succulent & Xeriscaping blog. I am a traveler and a nature lover looking for a connection with the wild green. In my journey, I found a love for succulents and xeriscaping. What attracts me is the long-lasting & unique beauty of every plant I have the chance to see with my own eyes. Welcome to my little blog and let's enjoy a good time together!

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