Well, well, well. A palm tree that is neither a palm nor a tree! It's a member of the Agave family and is actually a succulent. The Elephant Foot or Ponytail Palm is relatively hardy, making it an ideal houseplant.They also tend to be slow growers, meaning less overall maintenance. Hailing from the dry lands of Mexico, it has a distinct bulbous trunk which is used to store water and long, hair-like leaves that grow from the top of the trunk like a ponytail. This houseplant exudes strength and subtle charm and has a wonderfully reassuring presence.
Native to Mexico.
Positioning + Light Needs
Partial shade tolerant, but most happy in rooms with with bright, indirect sunlight.
Not a fan of having wet soil! Fully saturate it so that the roots receive water before allowing the plant to almost fully dry out. [Every 3-4 weeks, depending on conditions].
No misting at all please, I enjoy low humidity.
Feed me two or three times a year with a very diluted cacti / succulent fertiliser.
Very slow growing, so every other year for a healthy plant in a pot a few inches wider.
Child / Pet Friendly
Yes, I'm good to go.
Yep! I'm very effective at removing airborne toxins such as xylene, toluene, and benzene from the air.
Look out for
Yellowing leaves: usually due to overwatering. Check the soil and also the caudex (the plant’s base and stem) - worst case is this becomes soft to touch.
Browning leaf tips: a sign of overfertilising or under watering, so adjust appropriately. Can also be a sign that the plant is getting too much direct sunlight and too little water.
Webbing on the plant: Spider mites may occur on the leaves, but can be dealt with by rubbing a cloth of dish soap and water on the stems.