Take note of the weight of your Ponytail Palm when it is freshly watered, and also when the soil is completely dry and it needs a drink. Is your plant much lighter than usual? If so, it’s time to hydrate.
Get your hands dirty
Push your finger into the soil to test the moisture level. Does the soil feel dry all the way to the roots? If so, it’s a good time to water. If you detect any moisture at all, hold off for a few days and do the “touch test” again before watering. Overwatering is one of the most common problems facing the Ponytail Palm, so only water when the soil is completely dry.
If you accidentally leave your Ponytail Palm’s soil completely dry for too long, you may see leaves go limp, droop, and possibly start to brown and curl. You may also notice the trunk start to wrinkle and go limp. If the soil is extremely dry all the way through the pot, a thorough soak is in order.
Here’s how to soak-water your Ponytail Palm:
- Place your plant in your sink or tub without the saucer. Fill your basin up with about 3-4″ of water. Make sure the water isn’t hot!
- Allow your plant to soak up water through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot for at least 45 min.
- Feel the top of the soil after your plant has been soaking–has the water reached the top 2-3” of soil?
- If not all the soil feels saturated, water your Ponytail Palm lightly from the top of the soil to help speed up the saturation.
- When your plant’s soil is evenly damp, drain the sink/tub and allow the plant to rest while it drains thoroughly. Place the plant back on its saucer and back in its proper spot.