The ponytail palm bonsai tree (beaucamea recurvata) is a fun looking little bonsai, what could be cooler than having a bonsai that looks like a mini palm tree growing in your house?
This ponytail palm bonsai tree for sale article will tell you everything you need to know about what you need to do to successfully grow this cool looking little bonsai.
Whether you are a beginner to bonsai or a seasoned expert this is a great bonsai tree due to its low maintenance requirements which make it ideal for people who don’t want to tend to their bonsai tree daily to keep it healthy.
The thick trunk which some people call an elephants foot doesn’t only look good for a bonsai but it also serves a very useful purpose, the trunk is actually a water reservoir which means the ponytail palm can actually go without being watered for up to 4 weeks!
This tree will do well in either low light conditions or bright direct sunlight making it very versatile and suitable for growing in your home or office.
Reasons you should buy a ponytail palm bonsai:
- Its trunk acts as a place to store water
- Can be grown in low light or bright direct sunlight
- A very easy to maintain bonsai tree
- Suitable to grow in your home or office
(There are affiliate links in this blog post, and if you click any of the affiliate links and buy the products, I’ll earn a commission. However, this will never affect the price you pay.)
Table Of Contents
- 1 Light Requirements
- 2 Watering
- 3 Temperature Requirements
- 4 Fertilizing
- 5 Pruning
- 6 Repotting
The ponytail palm bonsai really isn’t very picky when it comes to lighting…
How much sunlight does a ponytail palm bonsai need?
Like all plants, you should aim to get your ponytail palm bonsai as much light as is possible for your circumstances.
If you have the climate that allows this bonsai to grow outdoors then it will do great in full direct sunlight all day long.
If you are growing a ponytail palm bonsai indoors then if you position it on a south-facing windowsill it will grow fast and thrive but alternatively, if you simply put it in a room that is bright for 4-8 hours per day then it will do just fine as a typical decorative houseplant.
What type of light is best for ponytail palm bonsai?
The main thing with a ponytail palm bonsai is that you just need to get it light.
Whether you get it bright indirect light or position it somewhere that gets direct sunlight all day long isn’t that big of a deal with this bonsai.
The more light you can get it the faster it will grow, but, if you can only get it bright indirect light it will still grow healthy just not fast.
Growing a massive bonsai isn’t the idea for most people and that is a reason this type of bonsai is so popular, just give it minimal light and you will keep it little and growing healthy.
If you are concerned you are not getting it enough light you could always invest in a cheap Led grow light that works.
The minimal watering requirements are part of what makes the ponytail palm bonsai so easy to care for and great for beginners…
How to tell if your ponytail palm bonsai needs watered?
There are a number of electronic devices on the market that actually measure the moisture levels in soil and they could do a good job when you figure out how to work them.
If your ponytail palm bonsai starts to develop dry brown foliage that starts to shrivel that is an obvious sign you desperately need to give it some water.
The old school method I use to tell if my bonsai soil needs to be watered is:
- First, you should look at the soil to see if it looks dried out
- Secondly, stick your finger in the soil to feel if it is dried out
- If you find the soil is mostly dry deep down it’s time to water it
- It’s better to let this bonsai be too dry than too wet
How often will a ponytail palm need watering?
The ponytail palm doesn’t need to be watered very often and that is one of the great things about it.
The big thick trunk actually acts as a water reservoir and will store water so that it can use it when it needs it.
How often you need to water depends on your climate and how fast it makes the soil dry out.
Generally, a ponytail palm bonsai will only need water every 2 weeks.
This unique bonsai can actually go without being watered for up to 4 weeks although I wouldn’t recommend this as a habit.
It does give you a safety net if you forget to give it water or decide to go on an extended holiday somewhere you can have peace of mind knowing this bonsai will be just fine.
Signs you are getting the watering schedule for your ponytail palm wrong:
- Yellow leaves – you are feeding it too much water
- Brown leaves – you are not giving it enough water
How much water will a ponytail palm bonsai need?
So you don’t need to water this bonsai very often compared to other varieties that need constant care and attention but when it does come time to water it you better make sure you give it a good drink!
You have to make sure you give the ponytail palm a deep watering and there are two ways I would recommend to achieve this…
- Water your bonsai by pouring water onto the soil and keep watering until plenty of water starts to drain out the holes in the bottom of the pot.
- Sit your bonsai in a sink and fill it with water close to the rim of the pot, leave it ½ submerged like this for 10 minutes then let it drain and that is plenty of water and enough to be stored in its trunk reservoir.
The ponytail palm is native to Mexico so that tells you what you need to know about its ideal requirements or alternatively grow it indoors…
Does a ponytail palm like humid conditions?
A ponytail palm like most other bonsai does like to grow in a humid environment.
You can help achieve this when you grow it indoors by giving it a misting with water a couple of times per week.
Alternatively, you can use a humidity tray to help keep it consistently humid.
It is an especially good idea to keep an indoor ponytail palm bonsai humid during the winter months when central heating will cause dry air which is not ideal for bonsai.
What is the maximum temperature for a ponytail palm?
Since a ponytail palm is native to Mexico there really isn’t a limit to the maximum temperature it can grow in.
when it comes to sun exposure that is a bit different as high temperatures and direct midday sun could cause the leaves to become a bit burnt.
If you live somewhere that is in desert conditions you may have more success if you position your bonsai somewhere that gets partial shade during the day when the sun is at its hottest.
If you keep your bonsai indoors and the temperature gets really hot you really have nothing to worry about as this bonsai can handle hot temperatures.
What is the minimum temperature for a ponytail palm?
Because the ponytail palm is native to Mexico you will have to protect it from cold conditions. If you grow it outdoors you should move it indoors if you think your area is going to experience frosty weather.
When it gets close to 50 degrees F it’s time to move your ponytail palm indoors.
If you grow your ponytail palm bonsai indoors you really should have no concerns about the temperature because it should grow just fine in standard household temperature, just make sure you get your little bonsai enough light and enough water when it needs it!
Like all bonsai you will need to use fertilizer on your tree there is no other option…
Will you need to fertilize your ponytail palm bonsai?
As bonsai trees are grown in unique little pots with a very limited amount of soil this means the nutrients in the soil will get depleted so you will have to use fertilizer to add nutrients back into the soil.
Other plants you grow in pots will also need to be fertilized but because of the small amount of soil used in growing bonsai, the nutrients will need to be replenished on a regular basis.
In addition to fertilizer products, there are also a number of supplements you can use that will give your bonsai a boost and I would always recommend you use everything you can to promote the healthy growth of your ponytail palm bonsai.
How often to fertilize a ponytail palm bonsai?
If you are using a liquid fertilizer that you mix in with water you will probably get the best results by applying it once or twice per month during the growing season then reduce it to around half that amount during the winter when growth slows down.
If you are using fertilizer pellets you should add some every time there appears to be no pellets left during the growing season then you should also reduce the number of pellets to half during the winter.
What is the best type of fertilizer to use?
Any type of fertilizer is better than no fertilizer at all but there are 2 main types of fertilizer I would recommend using for a ponytail palm bonsai tree and they are:
You can use either an organic fertilizer or a chemical fertilizer to promote the healthy growth of your bonsai. (I use chemicals because I’m not going to eat bonsai).
When you use liquid fertilizer you should always dilute it to ½ the recommended strength to make sure you don’t risk chemically burning the roots of your bonsai.
Fertilizer pellets are a good idea for a ponytail palm because they are a slow-release fertilizer.
All you have to do with this fertilizer type is to sprinkle some on the soil then every time you water your bonsai some of the pellets will dissolve into the soil.
When you notice there are no pellets left that will dissolve into the soil it’s time to sprinkle some more onto your soil.
Pruning a ponytail palm bonsai is a lot different from how you look after other bonsai trees…
How often will you have to prune a ponytail bonsai tree?
A ponytail palm is different from most other bonsai trees that require any major pruning to be carried out during springtime.
Pruning a ponytail palm is a more constant type of pruning where you just cut off out of place leaves as they grow throughout the year.
When you do cut some leaves off it should encourage the tree to grow more fresh shoots.
How to prune a ponytail palm bonsai tree?
To prune a ponytail palm you should cut off foliage from the top of the tree as well as any leaves that are growing in the wrong direction and ruining your bonsai vision.
When you trim leaves off the top it will encourage leaves to grow out sideways and that is what you want to happen with this tree.
Regularly trimming the top of your ponytail palm bonsai will also encourage the tree to use its energy on growing its trunk thicker and the thicker your ponytail palm trunk gets the better it will look and the hardier it will become.
To keep your bonsai growing healthy you will need to repot it every so often…
Will you need to re-pot a ponytail palm bonsai?
You will have to re-pot your ponytail palm probably every three years.
You don’t actually have to put it in a bigger pot unless you want your bonsai to grow taller and stronger.
If you don’t want your ponytail palm to grow taller you should simply prune about 25% of the roots system off and plant it back in the same pot with fresh soil.
You can tell when your ponytail palm needs to be re-potted because the root system will start to push the whole plant upwards and the base of the plant will rise up above the base of the soil.
How to re-pot a ponytail palm bonsai?
The best time of year to re-pot a ponytail palm is mid-summer when it is in the middle of the main growing season.
- Remove your ponytail palm from its pot and shake all the soil off the root system.
- Rip at the root system to make 25% of the roots become loose
- Cut off the 25% of roots that you have loosened
- You can either put it in a new larger pot or back in the same pot.
- Fill it up with some fresh specialty bonsai soil
That is how you re-pot a ponytail palm bonsai and after this process, your plant should now be good and grow healthy for another 2-3 years.
I hope you have found some useful information in this Ponytail Palm Bonsai Tree For Sale article and wish you every success in your bonsai hobby.
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