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Ponytail Palm: A Guide to Finding the Perfect Plant for Your Home

Are you looking for a unique plant that will add a tropical vibe to your home?  PLANTZ has the plant for you:  the Ponytail Palm!  This stylish plant doesn’t crave a lot of attention from its plant parents, but it does love to be in the spotlight!

Definition of Ponytail Palm

Ponytail Palms, also known as the Beaucarnea recurvata or Elephant Foot Plant, is not really a palm at all!  It’s what PLANTZ likes to call a “tweener”.  It looks like palm (Arecaceae) and is in the same family as a Dracaena (Asparagaceae), but is really in a league of its own, because ultimately it is more like a succulent.  Native to eastern Mexico, the Ponytail Palm has become a popular houseplant due to its low-maintenance care requirements and rather unique appearance.

The Ponytail Palm features a trunk that becomes swollen and enlarged or bulbous at the bottom, resembling an elephant’s foot (hence the nickname).  The swelling is due to the plant retaining and storing extra water for the dry season, making it drought tolerant and a great option for new plant parents who may be a little forgetful at first about watering plants.  The lush green leaves of the Ponytail Palm are long and slender and grow in a cascading fashion from the top of the trunk, kind of like a ponytail.

The leaves of the Ponytail Palm are usually around 2-3 feet long and can grow in a range of different directions.  Some grow straight up, while others may twist or curl.  Its unique appearance makes it a popular choice for indoor plant owners as it adds a touch of character to any space. Don’t be surprised If you encounter a Ponytail Palm with multiple heads.  Most Ponytail Palms have a single main stem; however, they will sometimes have multiple heads with leaves on them.  Ponytail Palms from PLANTZ are single stem and single head plants that won’t require any pruning of the stem.

In addition to its unique appearance, the Ponytail Palm is super easy to care for.  Because this plant stores water in its trunk, it is drought tolerant and can go for long periods of time without being watered.  You do need to make sure you do not overwater this plant as it can cause root rot.  Ponytail Palms love bright light and do best in a south, east, or west facing window.  While this plant will adapt to lower light conditions, it’s better to err on the side of caution and give the plant as much bright, indirect sunlight as possible.  It’s a good idea to keep the leaves of this plant clean since it relies on the leaves to capture sunlight for photosynthesis, but be careful when cleaning it.  These plants have tiny serrations on the edge of the leaves and can irritate your hands.  The best practice for cleaning is to use a towel with light soapy water, or better yet, stick it in the shower and give it a good rinse.

Importance of finding the right plant for your home

When it comes to adding plants to your home décor, there are few as eye-catching as the Ponytail Palm.  With its swollen trunk, cascading leaves, and ponytail-like look, it’s no wonder this plant has become an indoor favorite.  However, finding the right plant for your home is important if you want to ensure the plants’ health and longevity.  It’s difficult to adapt your home to your plants, but it is easy to shop for lush plants that will thrive in the conditions present in your home.  Two considerations should come into play when shopping for plants for your home:  space and light.

One of the first things to consider when looking for the right plant for your home is the amount of space available for your plant.  While Ponytail Palms can grow quite tall, they are also available in smaller sizes that make it more suitable for indoor spaces.  These plants are slow growers, so buying small will ensure you have enough time to adjust for any growth over the years.

Lighting conditions in your home play a crucial role in maintaining the health of your plant.  If you have space in your home that provides bright, indirect light, the Ponytail Palm is the right choice for you!  While it may survive in lower light conditions, it will thrive in bright, indirect light.  Who wants just an ok plant?  Give your Ponytail Palm bright light and watch it steal the show.

Factors to consider when selecting a Ponytail Palm

Once you have determined that the Ponytail Palm is right for you and your home, it’s time to find the perfect plant!  Keep in mind the following tips to ensure you select the right Ponytail Palm for you:

  • Check the leaves: Look for a plant with firm, upright leaves that are a vibrant green.  Avoid plants with yellow or droopy leaves, as this may be a sign of stress or disease.
  • Check he trunk: The trunk of a Ponytail Palm should be sturdy and straight, without any signs of damage or rot.  If the trunk is soft or spongy to the touch, this is evidence of disease or poor health.
  • Check the roots: If possible, gently lift the plant out of its container to check the root system.  Healthy roots should be firm and white or light brown in color.  Avoid plants with mushy or brown roots, as this could indicate root rot, which can kill your plant.
  • Look for new growth: Healthy Ponytail Palms will produce new growth from the center of the plant.  You want to find a plant with fresh, new leaves emerging from the center of the head.
  • Choose the right size: Ponytail Palms vary in size from small tabletop plants to large outdoor trees that can reach heights of 30 feet.  Since these plants are slow growers, make sure you choose a plant that is appropriate for the space you have available in your home.
  • Buy from a reputable source: PLANTZ specializes in providing healthy, high-quality plants for people’s homes.  Our plants are fully fed when you receive it and are provided with enough food for 6 months after the plant has shipped.  They come free of pests and disease and are ready to become the focal point in their new home.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Ponytail Palm

Ponytail Palms are not only popular for indoor settings, but they can also thrive outdoors.  There are some important factors to consider when deciding whether to grow them inside or outside:

  • Lighting: Once again, lighting is a key factor when choosing whether to put your new Ponytail Palm inside or outside.  Indoor Ponytail Palms prefer bright, indirect light, while outdoor Ponytail Palms can tolerate full sun to partial shade.  If you choose indoors, it’s important to reiterate that the plant should be placed near a window that receives plenty of light throughout the day.
  • Temperature: Ponytail Palms are native to desert environments and prefer warm temperatures.  Indoor plants should be kept in a room with mild to warm temperatures.  Outdoor plants are going to be exposed to more temperature fluctuations than indoor plants.  Therefore, if you live in a cold, wintery climate, outdoor Ponytail Palms may not be the solution for you.
  • Size: Ponytail Palms can get to heights of 30 feet outdoors.  That is not ideal for most indoor spaces.  Fortunately, these are slow growing plants that can live for decades.  Buy small for your space and let it grow and fill in the gaps over time.
  • Maintenance: While Ponytail Palms are low maintenance plants in general, their care differs depending on whether they are indoor or outdoor plants.  Dry indoor air may cause the soil to dry out faster than outdoors, requiring less time between watering.  Outdoor Ponytail Palms may burn through nutrients faster if they are in direct sunlight and may require more frequent feedings.  Keep an eye on your plant, it will tell you when it is not receiving the care it needs.
  • Aesthetics: Take into consideration the overall look of the plant and how it will fit into your décor.  If you are looking to add a tropical vibe to your space, then an indoor Ponytail Palm may be the right choice.  If you’re looking for a tropical focal point for your garden that your neighbors will be envious of for years to come, then a well-established Ponytail Palm will suit that need.

Ultimately, the decision to grow your Ponytail Palm indoors or outdoors will depend on your specific environment and preferences.  Both will thrive with proper care and attention, an both will be a wonderful addition to your space.

Benefits of owning a Ponytail Palm

Ponytail Palms are popular houseplants for a variety of reasons.  Here are some of the main benefits of owning a Ponytail Palm:

  • Air purification: These are one of the top plants for air purification.  Their long leaves are great at removing carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide and releasing oxygen.  They also improve air quality by removing harmful toxins like benzene and xylene.
  • Reduce stress: By purifying the air and releasing extra oxygen, Ponytail Palms also play a role in reducing stress.  Inhaling deep breaths of clean, fresh air is a great way to reduce your blood pressure and bring a sense of calm into your space.
  • Unique appearance: With their distinctive palm-like shape and long, curly leaves, Ponytail Palms are a striking addition to any space.  Whether used as a small tabletop plant or a large outdoor tree, the Ponytail Palm is sure to bring in the compliments.  Plus, they fit into just about every décor theme and scheme.
  • Great investment: Ponytail Palms have long lifespans and are low maintenance, making them a great long-term investment in your health by reducing stress and cleaning the air.
  • Symbolic meaning: Some cultures believe the Ponytail Palm brings luck and prosperity into the home, and others see it as a symbol of resilience and strength, making it a great gift for friends and family!


Are you ready to add the Ponytail Palm to your home?  Then PLANTZ has the plant for you!  They offer two types of Ponytail Palms, both in grow pots:  a 2-3 foot plant or a 3-4 foot plant.  Choose the one that will work best in your available space.  Shop online with PLANTZ today and Invest in a new plant best friend!

F.A.Q.s  –

  1. Where can I find a Ponytail Palm? The best place to buy a Ponytail Palm is online with PLANTZ. The quality of their plants is unmatched, just like their customer service.
  2. How are Ponytail Palms low maintenance? Ponytail Palms are native to arid landscapes.  Their trunks store water.  This plant is very forgiving if you forget to water it.  As a matter of fact, less is better.  Ignore this plant and watch it thrive!  It’s only sticking point is that in order for it to be as lush and vibrant as possible, it does need to have access to bright, indirect light.
  3. Are Ponytail Palms toxic? Ponytail Palms are non-toxic to dogs and cats.  They do have slightly serrated edges, so be careful when handling.
  4. Can Ponytail Palms be grown I containers? Yes!  Ponytail Palms make excellent indoor plants.  Choose a pot with good drainage and use a well-draining potting mix.
  5. Can I grow a Ponytail Palm outdoors? Yes!  They make excellent additions to outdoor landscapes.  When out of a container, they can reach heights of 30 feet!
  6. Do I need to prune my Ponytail Palm?  PLANTZ provides single head Ponytail Palms, so no pruning of the stem will be necessary.  If the leaves get brown tips, use sharp scissors to cut off those tips.  If the whole leave goes brown, the best practice is to remove the whole leaf at the stem.

Your Guide to Growing a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Indoors

The New York Times declared it the It plant of the design world. Open any copy of Elle Decor or Architectural

Potted Ficus Larata or Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Isolated on White

Digest and you’ll likely see one.

We’re talking, of course, about the fiddle leaf fig tree, the fashion-forward plant of the decade.

Some people love it, some people can’t stand it, but either way, no one can stop talking about it.

Looking for some greenery in a neglected corner of your house? Looking to flex your green thumb? We’re here to tell you everything you need to know about this fashionable houseplant.

What is a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree?

The ficus lyrata, or fiddle leaf fig, is a tropical tree native to the West African lowland rainforests. It can live for up to 25-50 years (if cared for properly in non-tropical conditions).

What makes it so popular among design circles? Most people credit the big, floppy round leaves of the tree, shaped like violins. These are often equated to the big eyes of babies–people anthropomorphize the plant in a way that makes them want to take care of it.

Of course, most designers would also tell you that the plant is highly photogenic, which definitely helps.

Growing a Fiddle Leaf Fig

Anyone who’s ever tried to grow a fiddle leaf fig may well have wailed about our projected lifespan and launched into a laundry list of stories about the fig trees they tried and failed to nurture.

Remember: the fig tree is tropical. And if it’s not living in a tropical environment, it’s going to need a bit of tender love and care to thrive.


If you decide to plant a fig tree outside, you should first do a realistic assessment of your home climate.

Fiddle leaf figs are native to the lowland rainforests of West Africa. That means they’re used to heat, but more than that, they like humidity. If your climate is dry or cold, your fig plant will die quickly.

We recommend leaving your ficus lyrata in a pot on a lanai, patio or porch where it can be brought inside in the event of a cold front.  If the weather gets to 45 degrees or less than your plant will not survive.

Another reason we recommend keeping your plant in a pot, fiddle leaf figs can get massive. Think up to 50 feet tall with a spread only slightly smaller than that. Trunks can grow several feet thick.

If you have a small garden, this is probably too much for your garden to handle.

If you decide to go ahead, try to plant the tree in a location with lots of sunlight, preferably one that’s also protected from the wind.


If you live in a cooler climate, you should grow the ficus indoors. However, you should still have enough humidity and light for the plant to be comfortable.

It should be in a place with direct light exposure. There is a chance that intense direct light may burn the leaves, so keep an eye to ensure you are providing the optimal light level.

It’s a good idea to choose a spot for the plant before you buy it–moving the plant around too much will stress out the plant (we’re not kidding, it’s kind of a drama queen that way).

How to Care for a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

You would think that a plant that’s so popular would be easy to grow.

Not the case with the fiddle leaf fig.

Some people would have you believe it’s a hardy plant. Ignore them. If anything, it’s a highly emotional plant that doesn’t like change that much and is decidedly fussy about the conditions it grows in.

On the flipside, when you can get one to survive and thrive, it’s like being handed a gift from the gods. The plant becomes something magical, something you’re emotionally attached to, almost like a dog or a child.

With that in mind, let’s talk about what you need to do to keep your fussy new housemate happy.

Pot Size

Let’s start with the basics: pot size.

The size of all houseplants depends on the size of the pot they’re planted in. If the roots have more space to spread, the plant will get larger.

This is why you’re always told to be careful of buying a pot that’s too small for your plant–it’s like putting your foot in a shoe that’s too small. It cramps your toes and leaves you uncomfortable all day.

Except for your fig, that shoe is its house.

On the flipside, you shouldn’t plant your fig in a pot that’s too big, either. The plant will get…well, freaked out, for lack of a better word.

Luckily for you our plant care specialists have chosen grow pot sizes for you to maintain the happy life of your plant.  There is no need to repot your plant when it arrives.  We recommend against repotting as it can shock your plant in a way that will be detrimental to its survival.


You also need a planter that will offer plenty of drainage.

Remember: fiddle leaf figs are fussy. They like humidity, but they don’t like being wet all the time. If they’re too wet, you run the risk of root rot.

We ship all of our plants in pots with plenty of drainage holes and have custom designed a wicking system to ensure your soil wetness can be easily maintained, with your proper care.

To Water or Not to Water?

To water, or not to water?

That is the question.

Or rather, the real question is how often are you supposed to water your fiddle leaf fig?

Some sources tell you to water your fig regularly, others will tell you to treat it like a cat or a cactus and just ignore it.

Either way, it doesn’t like to sit in water, so you want to make sure that it doesn’t throw a tantrum over water buildup.

As a rule, water only when the soil is dry to the touch. The best way to check the soil dampness is to use a Soil Sleuth.  A Soil Sleuth is a tool that every plant owner needs.  It allows you to test the water level of your soil at 5 different depths within your plant without disrupting the roots of your plant.  Just touching the top soil will not tell you how much water is down below where the roots are and can cause over or under watering as a result. At each of the 5 levels on your soil sleuth, you’ll know it’s dry if the soil doesn’t stick to your finger when you touch it. When you do water it, water just until water starts to drain into the saucer underneath and then let it dry out.


This brings us to our next topic: soil.

We make sure to pot your plant in soil that has the right balance of nutrients for your plant to thrive.  There is no reason to repot your plant just slide the grow pot we provide into your decorative planter.  For more instruction on how to care for your plant once it arrives click here.

You should also regularly check the soil, especially if your plant is struggling. If you have no idea what aeration means or what soil checks even entail, try these 10 tests. Repotting may be necessary down the road but be careful as this can be a dramatic process for your plant.


As with everything related to fiddle leaf figs, people argue back and forth about the merits of pruning.

Some people say it’s good for the health of the plant, other people say you’re creating open wounds that will make your plant stage a soap opera death.

The key is to prune properly.

If you need to prune off a couple brown leaves, please do so carefully. If you see brown husks, don’t touch those either–they may be protecting new growth.

A good rule of thumb is to check the health of the branch–if it’s shriveled up, it’s too far gone to save. A branch that looks pathetic but feels healthy can still make a comeback if left to its own devices.

Why Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Looks Dreadful

With all of that in mind, let’s talk about a few common mistakes that could make your fiddle leaf fig look like a desiccated husk (or, at least, a sad example of a houseplant crying for help).

Overwatering and Underwatering

Watering is one of the hardest things to get right with any houseplant. This is especially true of a temperamental plant like the fiddle leaf fig.

In its native climate, the fiddle leaf fig gets ample water from rainfall but is never soaking.

Alternately, too little water produces an equally sad plant.

The key is to maintain a happy medium of relatively consistent moisture.

To combat this, make sure you have soil and a pot with good drainage, and only water the plant when the top two notches of your soil sleuth have dry soil.

Too Much Light

You might think that tropical equals lots of sunlight, right?

Well, you’re right, this plant loves the sun, but keep an eye on it and if you see the leaves are getting burned, make sure to pull the plant back from the window a little.

The good news is that many houses and apartments naturally provide the level of light that figs like best–not excessively bright, not too dark, not too much and not too little.

We recommend placing your plant in a south, east, or west window in direct sunlight.  This will provide for a happy home for your fiddle leaf fig.

You should also make sure to buy your tree from a reputable seller to avoid the opposite problem–many people buy fig trees that are already on the decline after sitting in the dark for too long.


You might like it tepid, but the fiddle leaf fig is a native jungle dweller, which means this tree likes it hot.

That said, fiddle leaf figs will generally do alright in normal indoor temperatures. They’re not used to anything resembling cold, though, so they shouldn’t be left outdoors if you experience temperature drops below 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

It doesn’t like drafts either, which is a problem because some of the best light for figs is often found in the number one spots for drafts (near big porch doors and windows).

Plus, drafts have a nasty habit of drying out rooms, which takes your home habitat even further away from the sticky heat that fiddle leaf figs love so much.

During the winter, it’s a good idea to mist your fig tree to make up for lost moisture in the air. And before you ever go out and buy a fig, take some time to find the right place in your home or apartment.

Common Problems

Even with all your best efforts, fiddle leaf figs are notoriously temperamental, so there’s a fair chance you’ll run into issues from time to time. We’re breaking down a few common ones.

Brown Leaves

Brown leaves are by far the most common issue with fiddle leaf fig trees, which is frustrating because they’re also one of the least aesthetically-appealing.

Brown spots could indicate any number of issues. In general, it’s often related to your watering habits. Whether you’re overwatering or underwatering, you’re putting your plant at risk of disease.

Start by diagnosing the issue to make sure whether your problem is overwatering or underwatering. From there, adjust your watering schedule to keep your plant happy. From there, brown spots should resolve themselves.

Dropping Leaves

Another common problem is your fig dropping leaves.

Again, leaf dropping is usually related to your watering habits, though it can also be the result of too much cold air to too much warm air.

If your tree is dropping leaves, start by moving it somewhere else and see if that resolves the problem. Try to find somewhere with consistent temperatures throughout the day.

Order Your Fig Plant Today

Like we said, the fiddle leaf fig tree is a fussy plant to cultivate. But once you’ve gotten one to flourish, it’s as if you accomplished a particularly difficult magic trick.

Thinking of buying your own? Click here to see what you need to know before you buy, or check out our available plants.