Ponytail Palms are a unique-looking, long-lived indoor plant that thrives on benign neglect. They can be very long-lived, and can easily outlive their owners! Here’s how to grow and care for a ponytail palm in your home.
Despite its name and palm-like appearance, the ponytail palm is not a true “palm.” In fact, it is more closely related to desert plants in the Agave and Yucca genera (e.g., Joshua trees).
The typical ponytail palm consists of a large, domed “stump,” which tapers off into a thinner stem. From the top of the stem, one or more rosettes of long, green, leathery leaves develop as the plant ages. Indoors, the leaves can reach up to 3 feet long, but outdoors, they may be double that length.
In its native environment (eastern Mexico), the entire plant has been known to reach up to 30 feet in height! However, ponytail palms that are grown in gardens as landscape plants don’t usually get to be more than 10 feet tall. Indoors, they are rarely taller than 4 feet.
Care of this plant is generally simple; the most common difficulty is having to adapt your watering habits to its watering needs!