Bald Ponytail Palm

Daniel Gill  |  10/24/2015 5:13:58 AM

picture of bald ponytail palm

Photo By: Langlois, Page

picture of bald ponytail palm

Photo By: Langlois, Page

Hi Dan,

My 7 ft. ponytail palm lost all of its fronds over a year ago. It was left out in a mid 20s freeze in January 2014. The top is just dried matter but it's green under the bark just below the top.

Should I cut the top off a bit to promote some leaf growth?

Thanks, Jerry S.

While it still appears to be alive, if it does not sprout and grow it will eventually die. Right now the plant cannot make any food for itself (no leaves) and is living off of stored food. Eventually, this stored food will run out and the ponytail palm will starve to death.

There is nothing you can do to force the plant to sprout and grow. It’s like it is in a coma. You just have to wait and see if it wakes up. But, unlike a person in a coma that can be fed with a tube, there is no way for you to provide food to the ponytail palm. Given that it has been over a year since it had foliage, I would not be optimistic. But, where there is life there is hope.

Dan Gill
Consumer Horticulture Specialist

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