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Container Ponytail Palm Trees

Q.Ponytail Bonsai is constantly dry, even with daily watering.

Zone Simi Valley, CA | hillary88 added on August 12, 2018 | Answered

My ponytail bonsai has dry soil even if I water it every day. The next morning after watering, the soil is already dry. I purchased the bonsai from Amazon in mid-July. When I received the plant, it was soaking wet and wrapped in plastic to hold the moisture in. I let it dry out for a few days then noticed the soil was bone dry. I watered it and it’s been this same cycle. Water daily, bone-dry by the next morning. Is this normal?

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Answered on August 13, 2018

Without a photo or a description of the size of the pot and the soil grade in the pot, we can only guess at the situation.

It's hard to know about the soil texture, if it is very sandy and drains right away, or if it is clay and packed tight and doesn't get any water infiltration and just runs off.

If the soil level is up to the brim of the pot then you cannot water enough on the surface for the water to get much penetration. You may need to change your watering technique. But it depends on the soil texture and how loose or packed or planted with ground-cover on the surface is.

If the soil appears packed/compacted, try submersing the pot in a larger pot of water, until the soil is saturated. Take it out after 20 minutes or so, then monitor the soil moisture to see if that makes a difference. Use a soil moisture meter to assess the level of moisture and take the guesswork out of when to water again.

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