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Botanic Garden > Garden Articles > Gardening tips > Ponytail Palm: How to Grow Indoors

Ponytail Palm: How to Grow Indoors

2016/8/12 16:25:42

The ponytail pam, or elephant foot palm, is a delightful houseplant that gives your home a more tropical feel.

Arizona State University

Ponytail Palms are a great, long-lived indoor plant. (Despite it’s name and palm-like appearance, it’s not a true “palm.”)

This plant has long green leathery stems that develop as the plant ages.  Indoors, they can reach up to 3 feet high. The only thing that is difficult about this plant is adapting to its watering needs.


  • Use a fast draining soil, such as cactus potting soil.
  • Normal room temperature is good for most of the year, but keep it cooler in the winter (50 to 55° F).
  • Find a location with bright light.


  • Keep soil fairly dry. Water from spring through fall allowing soil to dry on the surface before re-watering. During the winter only water occasionally.
  • Fertilize in the spring and bring into brighter room for the summer months. 
  • Re-potting every other year at the most is all the Ponytail Palm needs.


  • Overwatering can contribute to stem rot.  If you withhold watering, the plant may be able to internally cure the problem. 
  • Spider mites occur on the leaves, but can be fixed by rubbing a cloth of soap and water on the stems. 

Wit & Wisdom

Another name for Ponytail Palm is Elephant Foot Palm.

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