If your ponytail palm leaves become too big you have a few options that you can explore.
The obvious solution is to trim the leaves, but I personally prefer relocating or using a different container as alternatives to allow the plant to keep growing. After all, if the leaves have become too big you are clearly doing something right!
Out of all the issues you could have with a ponytail palm, this definitely has to be one of the best! Let’s take a look at what it actually means when your ponytail palm grows too big, and what you can do about it.
What Does It Mean When Your Ponytail Palm Leaves Become ‘Too Big’?
It’s actually quite common for plants to become overgrown, and although ponytail palms aren’t considered to be particularly fast growers, they can become overgrown if you provide good growing conditions.
Overgrown in this sense usually means that the leaves have become too long and are trailing on the floor. This is much more common for ponytail palms that are kept indoors or potted outside, but luckily there are a few things you can do to quickly remedy this issue.
Some Problems This Can Cause
Although it’s a sign of good care when the leaves become so large that it becomes a problem, it can actually damage the leaves as well.
Ponytail palm leaves have a tendency to grow quite close together, and if they become too large they can rub together which can cause damage to the leaves.
Similarly, if they become too large and touch the floor it can also cause friction between the leaves and the floor which can damage the leaves. It will also lead to reduced airflow around the leaves which can make things like mildew more likely.
What To Do If Your Ponytail Palm Leaves Become Too Big (3 Options)
Here are three options for dealing with your ponytail palm if the leaves have become too big.
1. Move The Plant
If your ponytail palm has outgrown its space it’s probably time to move it and replace it with another type of plant. When choosing a new spot, make sure it has similar conditions to the place where you are moving it from.
If you want a similar aesthetic to the ponytail palm, consider replacing it with another type of palm such as the Sago or Chinese Fan palm. When kept indoors these will maintain a similar size to a ponytail palm and are suited to similar conditions as well.
2. Choose A Pot With A Stand
At first, this one might not make any sense, but hear me out.
A lot of plant pots that you can buy elevate your plants above ground level using a stand. So. if your ponytail palm has leaves that are too big and have reached the floor you can elevate your plant so that the leaves are suspended in the air.
I actually keep my ponytail palm on a stand simply because I like how it looks (as you can see above).
Trimming is one of my least favorite methods for dealing with ponytail palms that have become too big or any plant for that matter.
It’s definitely effective, but it defeats the purpose of giving your plant good care to get it to grow only to prune the leaves when they start to grow as you would hope. Unless you’re into ponytail palm bonsai I think it’s best to find a new space to allow your ponytail palm to continue to thrive, but that’s just my opinion of course.
If you decide to cut back the leaves, make sure you trim them rather than prune them. Pruning ponytail palms should only be done if you are trying to grow multiple heads on a smaller plant or if you are removing pups for planting.