How does one become obsessed with plants? I guess everyone has their reasons. Mine happened when my Gram, who can grow just about anything, offered to let me have one of her three ponytail palms. I was hesitant, but decided to give it a shot. This was August 6, 2016. Now I have collected nine additional plants in less than five months. Obsessed? I'd say so.
This little ponytail palm is actually a couple of years old! Its exact age is unknown. I did lots of research on caring for one, and after watching it stop producing new shoots of hair and its existing hair turn brown, I feared I had killed it. I honestly think it takes a near plant-death experience for someone to truly unlock their green thumb. I took my sad pony outside and pulled it from its caked up soil. Water was literally sitting in the bottom of the barrel (there are no drainage holes in this particular pot). I told my partner Josh that we had to buy a new pot and new soil immediately. We jumped in the car and sped off to the plant hospital, the local Home Depot. We selected a cute, but rather large, ceramic pot (with a huge drainage hole) and some Miracle Grow cactus, succulent, and citrus potting soil. I read that the bulbous base of the ponytail palm needs to sit on top of the soil, for this is where the water is held - plus that's how they look in all the pictures I had seen online. So I did just that.
You can see in the picture how much dirt is caked to the top of the ponytail palm (click on the pic for full size). It had somehow survived my torrential downpours of water for over two months (I feel terrible). Time to let this pup dry out and continue growing.