The ponytail palm is a gorgeous tree-like plant with a large trunk and slender, long curly green leaves that hang down to resemble a pony’s tail.
But many people don’t realize that their ponytail palm is actually a flowering succulent.
But it’s such a rare sight to see it flower as a houseplant that many people are actually surprised to hear that it blooms at all.
Why is My Ponytail Palm Not Flowering?
Your ponytail palm is not flowering because it is either not mature enough, its environmental conditions are not suitable for it to produce flowers or it is being overwatered.
These plants usually mature and grow in size considerably before they produce flowers.
From a baby, it can take as little as 10 years or as many as 30 years before you’ll see flowers appear on this plant.
The sub-tropical eastern Mexican climate that these plants are native to is very mild in winter and very hot and humid in the summer months.
Ponytail palms bloom in spring and summer and summer temperatures in this part of Mexico can range from 66 degrees F to 94 degrees F.
For it to flower, it will have to be at least 10 years old and need loads of heat, sunshine, and a fair bit of humidity.
In nature, ponytail palms can flower 2 or 3 times per year, producing creamy-white to reddish-brown bunches of little flowers that appear above the plant’s foliage during the spring and summer.
The blooms stand upright for several weeks before drooping and eventually dying.
If you do get your ponytail palm to bloom for the first time, it should then continue to do so every summer.
How To Tell If Your Ponytail Palm Is About To Flower?
There is one specific sign that you will notice when your ponytail palm is getting close to blooming for the first time.
You will see flower spikes start to appear around the plant.
These spikes will look like feather plumes that will grow small branches that contain hundreds of flowers.
An interesting fact about the ponytail palm is that it has the ability to produce flowers on male and female plants.
You can tell whether the flowering plants are male or female by the color of the flowers.
Females will have pink flowers and males will have ivory flowers.
You will also notice that bees like to flock near these flowers.
What Will My Flowering Ponytail Palm Look Like?
If your ponytail palm is a female, you might also be lucky enough for them to bear fruit after they have flowered.
They will usually only do this if there is also a male Ponytail Palm nearby.
The seeds from the flower spikes are papery and contain tan seeds that resemble peppercorns.
After the flowering and possible fruiting has finished, the flower spikes will each wither and dry up.
When this happens, you can cut it off to maintain a clean, well-kept look of your plant.
Why Did My Ponytail Palm Only Flower Once?
If you have already seen your ponytail palm flower before, it can be really frustrating when it doesn’t flower as it is supposed to.
Ponytail palms can experience issues flowering when they are being over-watered.
This is what is called flowering failure, and you will be able to see it coming.
First, if it’s getting too much water, you will notice that the leaves are turning yellow.
This means they are missing the chlorophyll pigment that makes them green.
Due to this problem, the plant will not have the energy necessary for blossoms to develop.
When blossoms don’t develop on your ponytail palm, flowers will not be able to emerge.
If you do see that there are some blossoms with yellow leaves, you shouldn’t expect them to stay long.
They will usually fall off quickly due to a lack of photosynthesis energy.
If you correct the over-watering problem, you probably won’t notice any blossoms until the following summer, if conditions are ideal.
Your plant will need time to make up for the photosynthesis energy it lost.
If you can provide the conditions for your ponytail palm to thrive, you may be one of the lucky few to experience its lovely blooms.
If you have recently purchased a ponytail palm, it is not likely that flowers will bloom anytime soon.
In fact, it could take many years before you notice a blossom for the first time.
And if you’re keeping it indoors it is unlikely to ever bloom.
If your plant is outside and has blossomed before, but it is not flowering now, it could be an issue with over-watering.
However, you will probably need to wait until the following flowering season to see new blooms.