Why are the tips of my ponytail palm turning brown?

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asked Jun 23 in Gardening by Ameristands (950 points)
Why are the tips of my ponytail palm turning brown?

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answered Jun 29 by Cathy21 (48,860 points)
When the tips of a ponytail palm are turning brown it's usually a sign of over watering or under watering of the ponytail palm.

Too much water can cause brown tips with distinct yellowing, while not enough water turns the leaves brown and crispy.

Prune the leaves with a clean pair of sheers and check the soil before adjusting watering as needed.

A ponytail palm may turn light green when it's either not getting enough sunlight or it's not getting enough water.

As the growth matures it takes on the same color as the older growth.

But sometimes off colors can indicate that the plant isn't getting enough light or is missing some nutrients or getting too much or not enough water.

Greenish yellow and spindly growth is usually a bad sign.

To care for a potted ponytail palm place the potted ponytail palm near a window that gets lots of sunlight and water the the ponytail palm at least once or twice per week.

The ponytail palm thrives with bright light and can tolerate direct sun all day.

The ponytail palm is happy to live outdoors in the summer where it can soak up the sun!

Bring it back indoors when the night temperatures start to dip.

Let the soil volume dry 100% between waterings.

You should trim your ponytail palm.

Trimming ponytail palms can be done any time of the year but is best during the growing season of spring through early fall.

A ponytail palm does tend to flower at least two to three times per year.

The ponytail palm is dioecious.

This means that it produces male flowers on some plants and female flowers on others.

You can tell whether your flowering ponytail plants are male or female by the flower colors.

Females have pink flowers; male flowers are ivory.

You should repot a ponytail palm in early spring or summer as doing so gives the plant many months to establish new roots before the winter chill sets in.

Ponytail palms can live for 50 to 100 years.

The Ponytail Palm is drought tolerant, slow-growing, and requires very little care.

This plant is ideal for people with very little time or who travel regularly.

The Ponytail Palm will be perfectly happy being watered every couple of weeks and left alone to soak up the sunlight.

Ponytail palms are not toxic and are safe around pets, children, dogs and cats.

The benefits of a ponytail palm is that when kept indoors the ponytail palm helps to clean the air and rid your home of toxins.

You'll breathe easier and be healthier when having a ponytail palm indoors.

The ponytail palm tree has become a popular houseplant, and it is easy to see why.

It's sleek bulb-like trunk and lush, long curly leaves make it visually stunning, and the fact that a ponytail palm is forgiving and easy in its care makes this an ideal houseplant for many people.

A ponytail palm symbolizes strong willed, free spirit, always on the move, loves to travel, loves intensely, warm hearted, eternal optimist, and loves to travel.

Ponytail palms can reach heights of around 30 feet outdoors although most ponytail palms that are indoors reach only 10 feet or less.

The ponytail palms don't grow fast and actually the ponytail palm is slow growing.

The ponytail palm grows quite slowly outdoors, which means it grows less than 12 inches each year.

It grows to between 12 and 18 feet tall when mature, with a spread of 10 to 15 feet, giving it an irregular, upright shape.

A ponytail palm can get as cold as 15 F to 20 F degrees but only for a short amount of time.

The ponytail palm does best in warm temperatures so it's best to keep the ponytail palm indoors to prevent it from freezing.

For ponytail palms to grow and thrive properly they need full sun and bright light.

Please the ponytail palm plant near a window that gets lots of sun and have the blinds or curtains open to allow the ponytail palm to get plenty of sunlight.

You can place your ponytail palm plant outside when it's warm or when you live in a warm climate.

Although if it gets cold you need to move the ponytail palm back inside for it to thrive as the cold weather can kill the ponytail palm.

A ponytail palm is an indoor plant although if you live in a warmer climate then you can plant and grow the ponytail palm outdoors as well.

If you live in a very warm climate like that found in U.S.

Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11, growing ponytail palm outdoors is entirely feasible.

They can grow to 30 feet (9 m.) tall, but rarely do as houseplants.

When caring for a ponytail palm the ponytail palm should be watered once every two weeks.

The bulb at the base of the ponytail palm stores water for the plant.

If your plant is hydrated, then the bulb looks filled and lively.

However, if the bulb looks wrinkled, deflated, or shrunken, the plant needs water.

Hence, if you notice a shrunken deflated bulb, your plant is thirsty!

Bottom watering a ponytail palm is a good way to water the ponytail palm.

You can also just simply water the ponytail palm from the top like you do other plants but just don't over water them.

The ponytail palms can go long periods without water.

Allow the top 2 to 3 inches of soil to dry out between waterings and then give the plant a good soak.

You should not water plants everyday as plants don't require a daily watering and it could cause over watering of the plants which can do more harm than good.

Instead do a deep watering every few days or 2 to 3 times per week.

Also only water the plants in the early morning hours or evening hours after the sun goes down during the summer.

You need to create different zones, so plants with similar needs go together.

Water deeply one or two times a week instead of short spurts every other day.

Watering every other day for 15 minutes at a time may be convenient for you, but it can be disastrous for your plants.

Frequent shallow watering causes a plant's roots to grow near the soil surface, where they quickly dry out.

If you have a potted plant, slowly pour water to the base of the stem; let the soil absorb it and wait for the excess water to exit through the drainage holes of the pot.

This is to make sure that every single root of the plant gets water.

If your plants have yellowing leaves and old leaves, as well as new leaves that are falling at the same accelerated rate, you are overwatering.

In most cases, your overwatered plant will recover in 7 – 14 days if you follow the steps above.

If there was extensive damage, it may take longer.

But if there were enough healthy roots, it usually only takes about two weeks to see improvement.

If you are unsure how long to water new plants, aim for 30-60 seconds for small plants – longer for larger plants while moving the hose to a few locations around the plant.

Avoid watering when the soil feels moist.

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