The ponytail palm is a type of palm native to Mexico and Central America. Ponytail palms are popular houseplants because they are easy to care for and survive in various conditions. But if you’ve noticed your ponytail palm is shriveling, you may wonder why is my ponytail palm shriveling. There are several reasons ponytail palms might start to shrivel, but most of them are nothing to worry about. This blog post will look at some of the most common causes of shriveling in ponytail palms and how to remedy the ponytail palm problems. Keep reading to learn more!

Why is my ponytail palm plant shriveling?

There could be many reasons why your ponytail palm is shriveling up, but it’s important to find out the root cause. Here are potential reasons for a ponytail palm’s shriveling: 

Ponytail palm shrivel up if overfed

If your palm is overfed, the leaves will grow too quickly, and the tree won’t have enough time to digest the food properly. This can lead to a build-up of toxins in the tree, which can cause it to shrivel up.

Ponytail palm shrivels up if undertreated

If your palm is undertreated, it may not be getting enough water or nutrients. This could lead to a build-up of toxins in the tree, which can cause it to shrivel up.

Pruning Unnecessarily makes Ponytail palm shrivel up

Pruning unnecessarily can damage ponytail palm roots and stun their growth. This can lead to a build-up of toxins in the tree, which can cause it to shrivel up.

Ponytail palm shrivels up if Over-Watered

If you’re overfeeding your palm, make sure to water it regularly so that it can properly digest the food. This will help prevent a build-up of toxins in the tree, which can cause it to shrivel up.

An underwatered ponytail palm may shrivel up

Make sure to water your palm regularly to absorb the water properly. This will help prevent a build-up of toxins in the tree, which can cause it to shrivel up.

Poor light and humidity levels cause ponytail palm plants to shrivel up

Poor light and humidity levels are the main culprits for ponytail palm plant shriveling. When these conditions are not met, the leaves on the plant become pale and thin, which in turn causes them to die. Keep your palm tree well-lit and humid if you want it to remain healthy and produce new growth.

Ponytail Palm Shriveling Caused by a Disease

Some diseases can cause a ponytail palm to shrivel up and die. One example is a citrus greening disease caused by a bacterium. When this disease infects a tree, it causes chlorosis (a yellowing of the leaves) and the eventual death of the tree’s branches and palms.

 Improper placement can make the Ponytail Palm plant shrivel

The most common reason ponytail palms suffer from shriveling is improper placement. This can be due to the plant’s natural tendency to grow inwards, or it can be due to the gardener’s lack of understanding of this species’ needs. If the palm is not given enough space and light, it will become stressed and may start to shrink.

Ponytail Palm plant Shriveling reason is Unhealthy roots

When you have a healthy ponytail palm plant, the roots are spread evenly throughout the pot and the stem is strong. But when there is an unhealthy root system, the roots can become crowded and unhealthy. This can cause the ponytail palm to shrivel and die.

Ponytail Palm plant Shriveling is caused by not getting enough sunlight

If you notice that your ponytail palm is shriveling up, it might be because you’re not getting enough sunlight. The plant needs about six hours of direct sunlight to stay healthy and grow properly. If you’re not able to get that much sun, the plant may start to suffer from chlorosis. Chlorosis is when the leaves turn yellow and brown due to a lack of light. You can try moving your ponytail palm closer to a window or using a stronger light source to help it grow back healthy.

Ponytail Palm plant Shriveling if close to a heat source

Ponytail Palm plant shriveling is often due to proximity to a heat source, such as a fireplace or radiator. The palm’s cells cannot regulate their body temperature, so when it gets too hot, the cells in the plant start to die. This causes the leaves to shrink and eventually fall off. You can try moving the palm away from the heat source or covering it with a blanket if it gets too hot.

Ponytail Palm plant Shriveling Treatment

Suppose you notice that your ponytail palm is starting to shrivel. In that case, it’s important to take action on ponytail palm care and give it the water it needs right away. Here is a simple step guide on how to water a ponytail palm that is starting to shrivel: 

  • Make sure the pot your ponytail palm is in has a drainage hole at the bottom so excess water can escape. 
  • Fill a pot or container with water and place it near the plant. 
  • Remove the plant from its original pot and gently loosen the soil around the roots with your fingers.
  • Place the plant in the water container and let it soak for about 10 minutes. 
  • Take the plant out of the water and let it drain for a few minutes. 
  • Repot the plant in its original pot and check if it’s starting to grow back.

Prevention for Ponytail Palm plant Shriveling

There are a few things you can do to help prevent your ponytail palm from shriveling up:

  • Water your plant regularly – Make sure there is plenty of water available to the roots, so they don’t get too dry. Over-watering can also cause root decay.
  • Fertilize your plant regularly – A good fertilizer will help keep your plants healthy and strong. Make sure to read the instructions on the package before using it, as different fertilizers will work better for different types of plants.
  • Prune your plant regularly – Pruning will help keep the plant healthy and give it the space to grow.

FAQ on why is my ponytail palm shriveling

How can you tell if a ponytail palm is overwatered?

The signs of overwatering in a ponytail palm are often easy to spot. The fronds will start to droop, and the tips may turn brown. The root system may also grow mold, and the soil may become waterlogged. If you suspect that your ponytail palm is overwatered, you should take steps to correct the problem right away.

How do you know when a ponytail palm is dying?

Ponytail palm care is relatively easy, but like any other plant, it can die. One way to tell if a ponytail palm is dying is by its leaves. The leaves will start to brown and curl up at the edges. If the palm is losing its leaves altogether, it is likely dying. Another way to tell is by the color of the trunk. If the trunk turns black, the palm is likely dying.

Should I cut the brown tips off my ponytail palm?

The brown tips on a ponytail palm are unnecessary and can be cut off. The plant will still grow, but it may not look as nice with shorter tips. Brown tips can be caused by several things, such as pests or diseases, so it is best to remove them if they are present.

How long can a ponytail palm go without water?

A ponytail palm can go without water for an extended period; however, it is not recommended. The plant will start to show signs of stress if it does not receive water for an extended period. If the plant is not given water for an extended period, the leaves will start to turn brown and eventually die.

Can a ponytail palm survive without leaves?

A ponytail palm can survive without leaves if kept in a warm, sunny location. If moved to a cold, dark location, the plant will lose its leaves.

How long do ponytail palms live?

Ponytail palms (Latin name Beaucarnea recurvata) are succulent plants that can live 100 years. They are native to Mexico and Central America and grow best in warm, dry climates. Ponytail palms get their name from their long, slender trunk, which tapers into a thick, bushy top of many long, narrow leaves. Although they can be grown indoors, ponytail palms prefer to be outdoors in full sun.

Why is my ponytail palm turning brown?

One possible reason for a ponytail palm turning brown is not receiving enough water. Another possibility is that the plant may be too close to a heat source, such as a radiator or fireplace. Browning of the leaves may also be caused by a lack of light or poor air circulation. If you cannot determine the cause of the problem, it is best to consult with a professional.

Does ponytail palm like to be root bound?

The ponytail palm is a succulent that does not like to be rootbound. This means that it does not like to be in a pot with too small a diameter for its roots. If the roots are constricted, the plant will not grow well.

How to save a ponytail palm with root rot?

To save ponytail palm roots from rot, the first step is to remove all of the soil from around the root ball. Next, cut away any rotted or damaged roots with a sharp knife. Then, repot the plant in fresh soil and water it well. Finally, place the plant in a sunny location and wait for it to recover.


In conclusion, there may be a few different reasons why your ponytail palm is shriveling. It is important to take action and figure out the cause as soon as possible so that you can begin to treat the plant and prevent it from drying. If you have any questions or need help identifying the problem, don’t hesitate to contact a local nursery or greenhouse.