Pony Tail Palm Bonsai Tree Care Sheet
The Pony Tail Palm Bonsai Tree from our wholesale nursery is famous for its rather “bulbous” base and graceful, long leaves, which seem to sway with every passing wind and give the appearance of a palm. In fact, this tree is not even a palm tree, but rather it is in the lily family. These bonsai trees make excellent indoor trees, as they are very low maintenance as long as you provide the a little love with water and light. You are sure to enjoy this little beauty for years to come. The base of the tree swells up with water, which makes the tree incredibly drought tolerant and therefore easy to care for – especially if you are one to forget to water! Since the base of the tree swells and the trunk is the same color as an elephant, the tree has earned the affectionate name “elephant’s foot”. Please be sure you check out our full selection of online bonsai trees for sale after you have read up on the Pony Tail Palm Bonsai Tree.
The Pony Tail Palm is native to Mexico and its dry, hot climate, so it will survive and even thrive if you keep it outdoors in the hot summer. However, once the temperatures begin to dip below 50 degrees, you will need to move it inside to protect the root system from cold temperatures. If you always keep it inside, just make sure that you do not place it next to a vent which can cause rapid temperature changes and possibly dry out the leaves.
You do NOT need to water the Pony Tail Palm very frequently since they are native to a dry environment and very drought tolerant. In fact, these trees can easily go 4-5 weeks with no water at all and still be perfectly healthy. So, you do not want to water daily or even weekly. You should only water this tree after the soil has completely dried (test by pressing your fingers into the soil to feel for moisture). With all of this said, if the leaves of your tree begin to turn brown or fade in color, you are probably not watering enough - aka under watering. So, check frequently for the dry soil, but remember not to water too much as that will also hurt the tree. It is up to you to find the balance!
This bonsai tree will do best in full sun, whether inside or outside. If you keep it inside, be sure to place in a bright window that provides an adequate amount of sunlight, even if it is indirect, throughout the day. You can also use artificial light if you prefer.
We recommend that you fertilize your tree twice a month from spring to summer, and back off to once a month during the winter. Here are some important points to remember about fertilizing: Since the bonsai container is so small, the root system does not have access to new nutrients that it needs to grow. Supplying the tree with a constant stream of fertilizer helps provide the roots with minerals and vitamins that are washed away or absorbed. Before you fertilize, it is important to heavily water the tree to help avoid root burn.
The Pony Tail Palm is relatively easy to trim and train. When new, unwanted growth appears, simply prune the leaves of with shears to help achieve the look you are going for. However, we do not recommend that you remove new growth all at the same time. If the tree is producing new leaves, it means it is healthy and they need to mature slightly before they are all removed. You can trim throughout the year!
If your tree is kept inside and never near other plants which are possibly infected, the chances of your Ponytail Palm becoming infected are very low. However, you could run into spider mites or scale. If you notice spider webs, brown leaves, small “dots” moving around, or tiny black and brown bumps on the leaves, then you probably have an infestation. To take care of the problem, thoroughly clean the tree with a solution of 1 quart warm water and 1 tsp dish soap and rinse the tree off completely with clean water when finished.
This particular tree is unique when it comes to repotting, as it does not require the need to be repotted unless you want it to grow larger. By keeping it in a small pot, it becomes root bound and will only grow as being as the pot. Therefore if you want it to grow taller, you will need to move it to a bigger pot and if you do so, do not fertilize for one month to avoid “shocking” the roots.
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