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Tropicals: Nolina Recurvata

Botanical name: Nolina Recurvata

Common name: ponytail palm

also known as (Elephant's Foot)

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Photo credit: Lily
Tropicals: Nolina Recurvata
Tropicals: Nolina Recurvata
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Port saint lucie, Fl

at a glance

Soil: dry, acidic, sand
Zones: 8b thru 11a

drought tolerant

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description for "Tropicals: Nolina Recurvata"

The “ponytail palm” is actually not a palm at all, but a member of the lily family! Most everyone refers to it as a palm, though, and its habit is similar. It also goes by the name "elephant's foot" because of its bulbous base. The ponytail palm is sturdy and can be used as a single specimen, reaching heights of 6-18' or planted 6-10" apart to appear more bush-like. This plant can tolerate heat very well and does not appreciate frequent watering. Never allow water to sit in the bottom of a container saucer or for soil to remain soggy as Nolina recurvata stores its water in its base. It is native to the desert of Mexico and is somewhat of a curious landscaping plant outdoors on the patio or indoors. Its bulbous base allows it to survive interior winter heat very well, as long as the plant doesn’t receive frequent watering. A sandy-mix soil generally minimizes the chances of root rot, especially compared to the peaty mixes normally used in most tropicals. Allow the soil to dry well between waterings, and if you have any doubt on whether or not to water the plant, skip it until the next week. Dry, brown foliage, a shriveled stem or desiccated roots are usually signs of underwatering. If you are overwatering, we normally see light new growth, and stem rot or root rot will appear. Light requirements: Provide bright indirect light to full sun. Any window space indoors, particularly one facing north, will suit the light requirements of this high-light plant. For optimum performance, however, full sun is best. [Source:] --edited by dtd siegelgirl


Native to Mexico, this plant prefers less water than others and plenty of sun.

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