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Ponytail Palms

Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

Fresh arrivals in the houseplant department include a variety of sizes of Ponytail Palms. Contrary to their common name, these plants are not really palms but are in the Agave family which means they are actually succulents.

Native to the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz and San Luis Potosí in eastern Mexico, Ponytail Palms feature a bulbous trunk which is used to store water, and long, hair-like leaves that grow from the top of the trunk like a ponytail. They grow slowly up to a couple of feet tall and are perfect for just about any room in the house.

Grow your ponytail palm in bright light for best growth, but it will tolerate medium- and low-light spots, as well. Because it stores water in its thick trunk, the ponytail palm can survive extended periods with no water – making it the perfect houseplant if you tend to travel a lot or are a forgetful waterer. However, this houseplant will grow best if watered regularly – when the top inch or so of the potting mix starts to dry.

Ponytail palms only need to be fertilized two or three times per year – spring and summer is best. Any more than this and the plant may develop brown tips on the leaves. If leaf tips do turn brown, simply clip off the brown parts with a sharp scissors to keep the plant from looking unsightly.