Ponytail Palm: Identification and Care

Hello Judy,

Can you please tell me the name and care requirements for this plant?


Ben B
Brussels, Belgium


How to Care for a Ponytail Palm

Your plant is a Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata). A Ponytail Palm is not really a palm. It is a relative of the Yucca plant, a member of the Agave family, and closely related to the Lily Plant. A Ponytail Palm,  sometimes referred to as a Bottle Palm or  Elephant Foot, is a slow growing very different looking plant that thrives on neglect.

Quick Care Tips

Place a Ponytail Palm in bright light,

Over- watering is about the only way to kill a Ponytail Palm

Warm temperatures above 60°F

Watch out for Mealy BugsLearn how to identify and treat Mealy Bugs, a houseplant pest that leaves sticky, white, cottony residue on houseplants. and scaleSoft Brown Scale plant pests are  the most common scale that attack indoor houseplants, especially ficus tress, various ivy varieties, spider plants, ferns, aralia, and schefflera. The scale plant pests appear as small, bumpy, brown spots that may appear to move. As the scale plant pest sucks on the sap of the plant, it secretes a sticky substance called "honeydew." The honeydew attracts black mildew. Because of the shell-like exterior, sprays are only partially effective against scale. Wipe off the lines of brown oval bumps with your finger, a cloth, or a child’s toothbrush then spray the plant with Neem Oil or a houseplant insecticide. You can use the non-toxic, easily made Green Solution to clean off the black mildew.

Keeping the plant in a small pot limits the size of a Ponytail Palm

You can read all of my care tips for a Ponytail Palm in the Popular HousePlant section of the website.