How to care for: Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea)

Known for its unique appearance, the Beaucarnea recurvata plant, also known as Ponytail Palm, is an indoor tree. It is quite easy to take care of. The best thing about its trunk is that the plant stores water in it. Like some kind of sponge. And something else that is interesting about this plant is that it isn't a palm tree, even though it looks like one. It actually is a succulent.

Medium light

Water once a week



How do you take care of a Beaucarnea?


The Beaucarnea likes to be placed in a spot with lots of light. It is best to place the plant in medium bright light. The Beaucarnea prefers a spot next to a window on the west or east. A spot near the north probably has too little light. If a Beaucarnea gets too little sunlight, the plant will not die, but not flourish either. Avoid placing this plant in direct sunlight as that can cause damage to its leaves.


The Beaucarnea is a drought-friendly plant, since the stem stores water. This is why the Beaucarnea can still survive if left unwatered for a while, making this plant very easy to take care of. During the summertime, the Beaucarnea recurvata or Ponytail Palm should be watered once every week. However they don't need a lot of water.

Plant nutrition

The Beaucarnea is not such a big consumer of energy. As a result, the plant doesn't need extra nutrients. If you want you can provide plant nutrition once a month. From spring until autumn. After autumn and in winter it is better not to give extra nutrients. In the autumn, plant nutrition can actually be harmful for the Beaucarnea!


Repotting the Beaucarnea is not necessary every year. The plant is a slow grower. We recommend repotting the Beaucarnea every 2-3 years. Repotting the plant gives it new nutrients and more room for root growth. The airier soil is also very good for the water flowing through. The best period to repot is spring.


The most ideal temperature for a Beaucarnea plant, commonly known as Ponytail Palm, is between 18 to 27 degrees Celsius. It prefers a warm and moderate climate, but can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures.


Occasional pruning of a Beaucarnea can maintain the plant's appearance. Trimming yellowed or damaged leaves back, can improve growth and also help control the size and shape of the plant. However, it's important to be cautious while pruning as the Beaucarnea has a unique swollen base that should not be damaged.

Diseases and peculiarities

The Ponytail palm is not specifically susceptible to a louse, disease or vermin. Of course, too much water can lead to root rot. If the plant does suffer from vermin, you can control this with pesticides.

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Frequently asked questions about the Beaucarnea

How fast can a Beaucarnea grow?

A Beaucarnea grows very slowly. In nature the plant can grow up to 4.5 metres. As an indoor plant the Beaucarnea will not grow as big, but 2 metres should be possible.

Can a Beaucarnea be placed outside in summer?

Yes, that is certainly possible. If you place the Beaucarnea outside in the summer it is wise to let the plant get used to the new environment. When a Beaucarnea is placed outside out of the blue its leaves can burn. Be sure to keep this in mind!

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