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ponytail palm
ponytail palm  
I have a plant that had a single stem that I cut off several decades ago, it grew back as 3 stems & they are all at or near ceiling height.  Can I cut back or off the tallest stem?  I have heard that isn't always possible in older plants.

Hi Jerry,

Your Ponytail Palm is gorgeous and looks great on that high stand. Visually, however, it does need to be lower relative to the ceiling.

It is true that older plants and stems do not produce new growth as readily as newer plants and stems. However, there is no definitive way to determine what that age or point is. I would suggest that you cut back the tallest stem, but not all the way back to the bulb. Then, wait ans see what happens before moving on to cut other stems.

I don't know if it is an option, but your Ponytail is so healthy that it would be great if you could shorten the stand and lower the plant to give it more growing room. Just a suggestion.

Good luck and keep up the good work!

I have written detailed articles on pruning and on Ponytail Palm care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

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