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How to Plant Ponytail Palm Seeds

By Joshua Duvauchelle ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.


Things You Will Need

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


  • Water twice daily, allowing the soil to dry out between watering. Fertilizer is not necessary. If you use fertilizer, choose a standard liquid houseplant fertilizer and administer according to the label as potency varies widely by product.


  • 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.

About the Author


Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.