Houseplant of the Week: Ponytail Palm

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Ponytail PalmThis week’s Houseplant of the Week, the Ponytail Palm Tree is definitely beautiful, but it has a secret. It’s neither a palm nor a tree.

In fact, the Ponytail Palm actually is a member of the Agave family, which makes it a succulent.

It’s popular for many reason. First is that expansive beauty that just makes it a great addition to a home or other indoor space.

Another plus for our little imposter is that it’s super easy to care for. It can go some time between waterings, making it a favorite of folks who don’t have a lot of time for plant maintenance or who travel on a regular basis. (We realize that, right now, traveling on a regular basis isn’t a part of our lives, but it will be again some day.)

Caring for Your “Ponytail Palm”

  • Light – Technically, the Ponytail Palm needs sun, sun and more sun (or some form of bright light). However, did we mention this is a very forgiving plant? You could give it low light for half a year and then bright sunlight the other half and it would still be happy. That’s really helpful during the winter.
  • Water and Humidity – As mentioned above, you can wait two or three weeks between waterings. Make sure to let the soil dry out completely in between waterings. Also, they like their air dry.
  • Temperature – Don’t leave your Ponytail Palm out in the cold. They are a bit sensitive to temperature and thrive when it’s anywhere from 60 to 80 degrees. But definitely keep it away from the A/C vents!
  • Fertilizer – A general fertilizer works, but only once in spring and once in the summer. Too much food may lead to brown leaves. If you get brown leaves, use sharp scissors to just off the discolored part of the leaf.