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Ponytail Palm Trees

Q.How Do I Prune A Ponytail Palm?

Katie Moser added on November 18, 2019 | Answered

I cannot find any reliable information online as to how to trim a ponytail palm. If there is any, there are no photos. We got ours 2 years ago, it is destroying our house. My husband bought a 1.5 foot tall plant, it is now 5 feet tall and easily 6 ft wide. It is destroying our living room and I haven’t been able to find out how to contain it. No one post photos of pruning it inside. The head is so large, it is now dying under its own weight, the whole bulb has tipped over and is lying against the side of the pot. And yes, I know it isn’t a palm tree, unfortunately, the people at the other forums I’ve posted to did not get that. I can try to get a photo when it’s sunny tomorrow, but it’s too dark now. The leaves are all at least 4 ft long. There appear to be more than 6 separate offshoots growing out the top of the plant. If I hack off the base of these offshoots, won’t the trunk be damaged and die? it’s a succulent. So, the base appears quite a bit shorter than those in other photos for how tall the plant is. I have a stump base and the main stem just keeps opening higher and higher.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 18, 2019

Though they are not true palms, they will die just like a true palm when pruned improperly.

Unfortunately, restoration pruning is a no-go for mature specimens. Pruning one of that age will, more than likely, kill it. If it is damaging your property, then it may be in your best interest to remove it. (You can keep one of its pups, and plant it very far away from anything that can get damaged by its roots)

Unfortunately, the outcome form this plant seems bleak. As long as you keep a pup from it, then you will still have it. Just smaller, and in another location.

This article will help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/ponytail-palm/pruning-ponytail-palms.htm

This one will help you with pup propagation: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/ponytail-palm/propagating-ponytail-palm-pups.htm

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