How to Plant Ponytail Palm Seeds


The ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) sports an unusual shape, from its wide and smooth trunk to its thin green foliage. This makes it prime as an eye-catching houseplant, a use for which the plant is popular. As houseplants go, the palm is relatively easy to start from seeds. Planting the ponytail palm from seeds is often cheaper than buying a mature plant, and allows you to observe the plant's growth from the very beginning.

Step 1

Harvest ponytail palm seeds from an established tree. Allow the seeds to naturally dry on the palm before removing. Alternatively, you can buy the seeds from specialty garden stores and nurseries.

Step 2

Sprout the ponytail palm seeds. Place a couple paper towels on a plate and scatter the ponytail palm seeds on the paper towels. Sprinkle or spray the sheets with water to moisten, then cover with another paper towel.

Step 3

Set aside the plate in a cool, dry and dark area. Keep the paper towels moist at all times. The ponytail palm seeds will germinate and sprout within 14 days. They're ready to plant when the seed hulls have fallen off the little seedlings.

Step 4

Fill a standard seedling tray with seedling mix, specifically formulated to be aerated and prime for supporting seedling growth.

Step 5

Pick the seedlings off of the paper towels and insert them into the seedling mix.

Step 6

Water the seedlings by spritzing the seedling mix with water from a spray bottle. Set the seedling tray by a window that receives three hours of sunlight per day.

Step 7

Transplant the ponytail palm seedlings when they are two inches in height. Scoop them out of the seedling tray and into a gallon-sized pot filled with standard potting soil. Place the pot in direct sunlight for six to seven hours per day and water twice daily.

Tips and Warnings

  • Ponytail palms make excellent houseplants. However, you'll need to continue transplanting them to a larger pot as the palm grows bigger every year. Some ponytail palms can reach a size of up to seven feet across.

Things You'll Need

  • Ponytail palm seeds
  • Plate
  • Paper towels
  • Water spray bottle
  • Seedling tray
  • Seedling soil mix
  • Pot


  • "Growing Palm Trees"; David Leaser; 2008
  • University of Florida: Beaucarnea recurvata
  • Bonsai Gardener: Ponytail Palm
Keywords: Ponytail Palm, grow palm seeds, plant Ponytail Palm

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.