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Radical Surgery

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by David Ebner on October 27, 2004 10:12 PM
I have a palm house plant that was given to me. It came with a plant-care guide that identifies it as a Beaucarnea recurvata.
Here's my problem: I repotted it and put it outsdie for the summer and it took off. It is now too tall for our home. Can I do a radical prune near the base of the plant in hopes that a new shoot will develop and the plant will survive?
by Will Creed on October 30, 2004 02:44 AM
Your ponytail palm cannot be topped off. Unfortunately, you will have to either raise your ceiling or find a new home.
by Merme on October 30, 2004 07:42 PM
Hi David~

I vote for raising the ceilings. But seriously, just how big did this plant get? You honestly can't get it inside the house or garage? Sorry, but I'm having trouble visualizing the situation. Good luck to you, though.

* * * *

"In the midst of winter, I learned there lives in me an invincible summer" Camus (maybe a paraphrase)
by David Ebner on November 04, 2004 06:45 PM
Thanks for your answers. The plant is now about 6 and a half feet tall with many new leaves emerging from the top of the plant. I can bring it in this year, but it will soon be hitting the ceiling and seems a bit top-heavy. I understand that it will devlop into a large tree in the proper environment. I was hoping to keep it inside and have the plant for years to come, but we have 8 foot ceilings and it will be bumping into that soon.
by Jiffymouse on November 04, 2004 09:09 PM
David, the answer to your question at this point is 2-fold.

1 - do not repot the palm into a larger pot. plants will only grow as big as their root systems will support, and if the pot is too small for a large root system, then it won't grow any bigger than the pot will allow.

2 - don't put it outside anymore. the food the palm created from the light fed it literally to "new heights". if it has enough light inside to be ok, then if you leave it inside, it will be ok, but not sprout beyond it's environment.

good luck and keep us posted.

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