How to take care of your Ponytail Palms

This is where the Ponytail palm tree retains its water.
This is where the Ponytail palm tree retains its water.

Ponytail palms, also known as Beaucarnea Recurvata or “Elephant’s foot” makes a great houseplant or office plant, as it requires little attention with water and grows in different light conditions.Their name given due to their appearance, with its bulbous base and thin trunk.

Although these Ponytail Palms can reach up to 6 feet tall, they generally have a very small growth rate. Ponytail Palms like bright indirect sunlight.

Ponytail Palm Plant Care

Recently introduced early Summer, Horty Girl Natural Elements Ponytail Palm is a low maintenance tropical plant that acts similar to a succulent as the bulb base retains water. To ensure not to overwater your Ponytail Palm or Bottle Palm, water every 2 to 3 weeks (Spring/Summer) using 1/3 of a cup of water. When winter comes, your watering patterns should follow suit, watering monthly or so.


Use a wood or bamboo skewer (kitchenware) and insert into the soil and pull it out. Feel/notice if it feels dry, wet or moist – If the skewer feels COMPLETELY DRY, it’s time to water it.

To learn more about watering your plants, please see our “How do I Know When to Water my Plants?” article.

Signs to water?

Ponytail Palms give little indications that it is time to water. Outer leaves will begin to droop and fall flat. Leaves may begin to turn a lighter color or turn brown. If your Ponytail Palm gets overwatered, stem rot, or root rot will appear. If you are ever in doubt – it’s actually better to NOT water, as the palm’s bulb base retains water.

Other tips?

These plants typically are insect-free but on occasion can get mealy bugs, spider mites and scales. To rid of these pesky bugs, spray the plant twice a day with a soapy mixture until they are gone.

Have you bought one of the Ponytail Palms? We would love to hear from you