Beaucarnea recurvata-Ponytail Palm

Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm) #1 at 41″ tall on 9-22-11, #80-16.

Ponytail Palm

Beaucarnea recurvata

bow-KAR-nee-uh rek-er-VAY-tuh

Beaucarnea recurvata Lem. is the correct and accepted name for this AWESOME plant. It was first described by (Antoine) Charles Lemaire in Illustration Horticole in 1861.

Plants of the World Online by Kew currently lists 12 accepted species of Beaucarnea whcih are all native to Mexico.


Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm) at 11″ tall on 12-18-09, #54-34.

Suzanne bought three Ponytail Palms from Lowe’s before she passed away in March 2009. Two were similar and one was a dwarf. These plants can actually grow to 20′ tall if planted in the ground where they don’t have to be in a pot. They are hardy in USDA Zones 9a-11.



Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm) on 5-10-10, #55-42.

They will lose their lower leaves with age and the tips of their leaves can turn brown. Just give them a trimming once in a while (although some websites say not to do that to retain its original shape-OUCH!). They form a nice bulbous trunk with just adds to their uniqueness.



Largest of the three Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm) at 41″ tall on 8-1-11, #68-32.

They are a native of Tamaulipas, Veracruz and San Luis Potosí in eastern Mexico. Despite their common name, they are not closely related to true Palms and are not even in the same family. According to the Wikipedia, there are 350-year-old plants registered in Mexico.


Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm) #2 at 26″ tall on 9-22-11, #80-17.


Family: Asparagaceae
Origin: Tamaulipas, Veracruz and San Luis Potosí in eastern Mexico
Zones: USDA Zones 9a-11 (° F
Size: 6-8’ tall +
Light: Sun to part shade
Soil: Needs a very well-draining soil.
Water: Allow soil to dry out between watering. Less in winter.


Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm) #3, the dwarf, at only 12″ tall on 9-22-11, #80-18.

I grew my Ponytail Palms in Miracle Grow potting soil amended with a little extra organic matter. Soil should be well-draining and should dry out between watering. They need regular watering during the warmer months but much lead when grown inside during the winter.



Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm) #3, the dwarf, at 20″ tall on 11-18-12, #129-7.

If you grow them as a potted plant, they prefer being outside during the warmer months. Information suggests they grow in full sun but need to be acclimated to it gradually after being inside.



Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm) #1 on 2-17-13, #139-15.

As they get older they start losing their lower leaves.



Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm) with a web in the center on 8-23-13, 178-25.

I gave the two larger Ponytail Palms to a friend after I sold the mansion and moved back to the family farm in mid-Missouri in February 2013. I brought the dwarf with me and it was the best looking of the three.


Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm) on 8-23-13, #178-26.

I really liked my Ponytail Palm companions and hated to give them up. I gave up the one I brought with me to Missouri in 2014, which won’t happen again. Someday I will buy another one for sure.


Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm) on 10-7-13, #193-27.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. If you notice I made an error, please let me know. 


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