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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:05 pm 
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
This old Ponytail Palm is quickly loosing its top leaves. I'm Beaucarnea sitting the plant for TCSS and would like to improve its looks.
It looks to me like the main stem has been pruned off several times and for the last ? years the main stem has been getting thinner.

Any cultivation advice to help the plant recover its splendor?

Thanks for any help,
AZED
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:19 pm 
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Location: Kamloops, BC
Ed,

Repot it in a slightly larger pot with fresh soil. Wait a week and give it a sip of water only if you're also able to give it warmth (+60 OK, +70 better) and light. As long as the trunk's OK, you should have new shoots in a month or so. I'd take off all of the dead leaves but do no cutting unless absolutely necessary.

I'd also cut it at the point where the stem starts to thin (while still having completely healthy tissue). Keep it dry, and your new growing point(s) should come out of there

This is a tropical plant if it can be and will grow whenever it has those conditions.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:10 am 
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CC,
Thanks,
I was thinking of lopping off at a point that is in the 1" diameter area. If I do chop it should it be flat or on an angle....or?
Thanks,
Ed

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:09 am 
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Aye, Ed, cut it on the bias at the green line where it's most healthy. Keep the stump dry.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:58 pm 
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Ummm... bring it to Southern California, where it can live outside? It obviously ain't happy being in the house.

Seriously, I agree that the top of the plant is toast. Cut it back to the thick part of the trunk, keep it on the dry side until the weather warms up, then give it as much light and warmth as you can.

I had one in an inside/patio pot for many years, then put it in the ground a couple of years ago; I just looked yesterday, and the trunk has doubled in girth. It also bloomed last year for the first time.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:59 pm 
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Thinning stem is normally a sign of poor light. You might like to place somewhere where it can get more light.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:59 pm 
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Thanks all for the advice. It came from a widow that had only "thrown" water at it if she remembered. It was from her deceased husband's collection and he passed years ago.
I'll give it more light, chop it and move it to the patio as the 80's F arrive.

Enjoy,
AZED

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:56 pm 
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I sure hope you save it Ed,
One of my favorite plants, I cut my large one back every few decades. Also have and keep trying some of the other Beaucarnea, bought seed for guatemalensis and ended up with another stricta, tried goldmannii, but they didn't like the heat of their second summer. Buying some more seed of guatemalensis and going to try some for sanctomariana this time too. Love these plants. Save it Ed.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:15 pm 
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Cactusdan19 wrote:
I sure hope you save it Ed,
One of my favorite plants, I cut my large one back every few decades. Also have and keep trying some of the other Beaucarnea, bought seed for guatemalensis and ended up with another stricta, tried goldmannii, but they didn't like the heat of their second summer. Buying some more seed of guatemalensis and going to try some for sanctomariana this time too. Love these plants. Save it Ed.


Dan,

Have you been able to find Beaucarnea stricta? I think that is the species with the thinner, dark leaves, but I may have them confused.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:37 pm 
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Dan,
I'll do my best. I see them growing in gardens here frequently. I'll leave it until spring (mid Feb.) and then give it what it needs.
Thanks,
Ed

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:42 am 
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cactusmcharris wrote:
Dan,

Have you been able to find Beaucarnea stricta? I think that is the species with the thinner, dark leaves, but I may have them confused.


Well Jeffrey,
Not absolutely sure they are stricta, got the seed from Rare Seed Source on Ebay and CSSA Seed Depot. They leaves are shorter, thinner and very stiff, but not really darker than recurvata. The seed I got as guatemalensis came from Banana-tree.com and is not as described, more like stricta or gracilis.

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