Care of a Pony Tail Plant


The ponytail plant (Nolina recurvata), sometimes called the ponytail palm, is a member of either the lily or the agave family, depending upon classification system. Ponytail plants are native to Mexico and generally grown indoors in containers. The plant is unusual for its large, bulbous base and fountains of foliage. Ponytail plants are easy to grow indoors and are almost maintenance-free. Although ponytail plants in nature grow to 30 feet in height, grown indoors the plant may reach 6 to 8 feet tall.

Step 1

Plant the ponytail plant in a cactus mix or sandy loam potting mix. Good drainage is crucial for the ponytail plant.

Step 2

Place the ponytail plant in a window that receives bright light, preferably direct sunlight. A north facing-window is best. The plant thrives best in a temperature of about 75 degrees F.

Step 3

Allow the plant to dry out between waterings. Grown indoors, the plant requires water every three weeks during the growing season. In the winter, water once, in mid-winter.

Step 4

Fertilize the ponytail plant in the spring, with an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer, at the rate suggested on the package.

Step 5

Check the ponytail plant for common pests such as spider mites, mealybug and scale. Use insecticidal soap spray for an infestation. Follow package directions for application.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandy soil mix
  • Houseplant fertilizer
  • Insecticidal soap spray


  • Pony Tail Palm, Not A Palm At All
  • ‭Kenyon College: Agavaceae ‭
  • ‭"‬California Master Gardener Handbook";‭ ‬Dennis R.‭ ‬Pittenger‭; ‬2002
  • "Foliage Houseplants"; James Underwood Crockett; 2001
Keywords: ponytail plant care, grow ponytail palm, care ponytail palm

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in gardening-related topics and the real estate industry. She is a former broadcaster and real estate agent who has provided audio and written services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.