Repotting My Ponytail Palm, The Bonsai Zone, Nov 2022

Hi everyone Nigel Saunders here it is Succulent Sunday today and today I'm Going to be repotting my ponytail palm It has been four years since I last Repotted my ponytail palm into this drum Style Mica pot Last time I repotted the tree I place it Off center in the pot and Since then I've changed my mind on that I think it would look better planted Right in the center of the pot kind of Symmetrical Long ago I carved a doorway in this tree And I made a little wooden Gate for it But since then my doorway is pretty well Healed So I think you know in future It'll just become a natural looking tree Once again I did that because I I Didn't want a girl that just a regular Ponytail palm I wanted to make it look Kind of like a little miniature Hobbit House or something But Tree Is getting mature enough now is getting This mature bark on it it's getting a Bit of a canopy I'll be cutting these long shoots back Probably next summer early summer Cutting them back hard sealing them and Then regrowing

More branches up top to kind of create a Rounded canopy on them in nature they Get quite a branch structure on these Ponytail palms as they grow large And they do grow large they get uh you Know as tall as a house Before I begin the work on the ponytail Palm I'll show you some reference photos Of some of the larger ponytail palms in Nature and in gardens Foreign Foreign So that was a look at some inspirational Ponytail palms Let's begin the repotting now I have a playlist for my ponytail palm So you can go back into the past and see What I did to get the tree to this stage So my first step today is to get the Tree out of the pot I'll take away my Door here Okay here I go I'll grip the tree by the The horns here Give it a wiggle it should come out Come on there Well it looks like there's lots of roots Here's a look at some of the roots on The tree Ah looks like they're pretty packed in There But it's not so dense that it's a solid Mass of roots I think it's at a good Stage for repotting Four-year interval seems to be pretty

Good for this plant I'll get my root rake out and begin Combing out the roots so I'll start from The center of the tree Comb outward in a radial pattern And we'll see what kind of root system We have here Um last time I repotted this tree the Root system was quite meager And I had a few sections you can see Here it's kind of burled A few sections on the trunk that look Like that and I wasn't sure what was Causing that But I don't see any worsening of that Effect In fact it it seems to be healthier the Tree now Which is good and it seems to have Healed itself and is Yeah looking really healthy actually I watered this tree thoroughly yesterday And already It's quite dry It must have sucked that water up I Guess So my soil mixture looks good it's nice And crumbly still That was the 50 turface And 50 perlite And it works pretty good Um today I'm going to be potting it in The Bonsai soil from the Bonsai Supply Kind you can get at the Home Depot

It's it's a nice coarse mixture and I Think the ponytail palm will really Really like that mix I used it for my Asparagus fern and it's Asparagus fern is growing like crazy So my goal with this tree is to grow the Canopy tall enough that all these Trailing Leaves don't get caught underneath the Pot and the root face when I move the Tree right now they're they're lower Than the bottom of the pot and they They're really getting away I will prune them back today Uh kind of get shorten up these lower Leaves or pull a lot of them off I probably could have done that before The repotting So today is the last of the really warm Days it's going up to You know t-shirt weather again today but Then it starts cooling down over the Week slowly and then the next week looks Like we're into the freezing Temperatures Where we're going below freezing So It's been pretty good it's been a good November Um I still have my tropical trees Outside In the greenhouse and um you know nice Days like yesterday I had them out on The benches which is

Pretty unusual for November here in Ontario Canada So yeah good root system on it nice and Radial See that Looking very very nice It's definitely not compacted in here I probably could have gone longer Without repotting but I did want to move The tree the position in the pot And it was also if you notice it was Starting to grow in a slant I guess the root mass was building up on One side and it was causing the tree to Tilt so I want to correct that too it Was Looking a little funny in the pot I wish I had a really nice pot for this I'll look around I don't think I have Anything better than that drum style Mica pot but I don't need a mica pot because it's a Tropical tree So if I could get a nice ceramic pot I It would look good Um I'll look around I don't think I have Anything that big That would be suitable Here's some of those calloused areas Here you can see it's Kind of like Again like cork bark or something and It's just kind of flaking off I don't know maybe it's like a burl or

Something So this plant is very old Again I bought it as an accent plant It was a little tiny thing Uh And probably You know over 25 years ago So it's as old as that as my asparagus Front I think I got them together as little Accent plants I never used the mazakhsin plant say Just kind of grew them They've become Pretty mature trees now or plants So just kind of there's a lot of roots That have grown around in a Kind of around the edge of the pot so I'm just kind of Teasing those out now Getting them untangled Okay I think it's time To flip the tree over I've got like this Thick Band of roots on the outside which I'm Going to have to remove that's my Drainage screen in here yeah I'm gonna Have to like cut these away they're just So tangled So let me get out the scissors and we'll Cut away this Outer ring of roots all right here I go I've got the scissors here And I'll just have to kind of

Cut away this layer it's just It's so intertwined Tangled that I can't really comb them Out and they're too long anyway I just want my pot full of radial roots I don't want them circling around Now as far as the time of year you know This is Not the greatest time of the year to be Repotting but it's not bad and the Reason is is that this tree is being Outside in the poly house which is quite Cool at night you know it um It stays above freezing but not not a Whole lot So it's used to cooler temperatures and When I put it inside in the plant room It'll just think it's spring and it'll Start growing like crazy So you know the best time to repot this Is probably Early summer When the temperatures are nice and warm Second best time is now just before you Bring it in for the winter And yeah both the top and the bottom Will grow like crazy once the hits the Warm weather Because outside here they're just Basically dormant when it's cool like This these kind of Cooler nights It has a drainage screen Got that out

So I've kind of cleared that ring of Roots away from the edges of the tree so Now I can continue Breaking out my roots The old soil which looks really good Shape it's good soil With some more of that quirky bark type Stuff on the bottom here I guess it is just sort of like a cork Bark Yeah I wish I had pruned these leaves Before I started working on the tree Why didn't you guys tell me to do that I actually meant to do that I forgot Too excited about repotting it I guess I Don't know So the root system is a lot stronger Than the last time I repotted it I still don't have any roots in this Cork bark section Which you can see just kind of peels Away The weirdest thing And it's definitely not Rod or anything I think it's just like a burl Something on the tree I'm hoping You know there's Roots growing here so I'm hoping to get some more roots in That section Okay I'm raking I'm underneath now Radial pattern Okay I think that's combed out I'm going to

Clean up Then we'll come back and start the root Pruning my drum style pot here will look Fine with the ponytail palm I'm going to Look around and see if I can find any Other pots that would Kind of suit it maybe set it up for Growing even larger in the future Have this large pot It's pretty big Let's see what the tree looks like in it Here is a look at it in that pot So it doesn't It doesn't look ridiculously large It's definitely a lot larger though And I'm not sure if I like the Deep pot With it I think you know I've got a nice radial Root system I don't think I need that deep of a pot I think it looks too Yeah just too over potted I have the large cement pot of Lewis's Let's try the tree out in that So that's kind of what it would look Like there So it doesn't look too bad in here The size isn't bad the depth is nice The cement color really goes with the Trunk And it looks kind of unusual because you Would need like a layer of moss as we Have the the gray the green the gray and The green up top

I'm not sure if it's the right color for It Maybe I need something a little more Contrasting but it would certainly work In this pot that's for sure I think another pot that it would look Good in is the pot that my apple tree is In it's another Kind of drum style pot it's about the Right size it's A good looking tokinomi pint so that's That part there Yeah it would be really good in that but You know at present moment it is Occupied by the apple tree So Pot but maybe you know someday in the Future if I find A better pot for the apple tree Then this can go for the ponytail palm The only other large ceramic pot I have Is the one the white ash is in And I don't think that's a suitable Shape for the ponytail palm or color I don't think that would go at all Maybe in the future I can get a better Pot for the ponytail palm but I think For now I'm going to put it back in the Round Mica pod I think it's suitable This pot I'm worried it would take up Too much space in my plant room and There's no need to have it that large so I think this pot is the perfect size for It

And You know it doesn't take up a lot of Space in the plant room so that's the Pot it's going back in I have got drainage screens in my pod I Reuse the same ones and I'm going to use The soil from the Bonsai Supply you can Order this through the Home Depot an Online order only you can't find it in The stores and they'll ship it to your House or you can pick it up at the store So here's a look at the mix Quite a nice coarse granular mix It's got pumice lava rock calcinine clay Which is same as turfus and pine bark Fine so a really really good basic bone Size soil mix that'll work with any tree I'm going to add a layer of soil on the Bottom of the pot now and it won't be Very thick because the ponytail palm Kind of has a rounded bottom underneath The the trunk so if I put too much soil In the pot it'll sit too high Foreign I think two scoops like that'll be just Perfect my pot is all ready for planting So next I've got to prune the roots on The ponytail palm I've got the tree on the turntable so I Can begin pruning The Roots I want to Keep all these nice radial Roots so Anything You can see where it's hit the edge of The pot here and then deflected

Downwards I'm going to prune them off Just before where it hits the pot So last time I repotted this tree I did Root pruning just like this and the tree Never miss missed the beat it just kept On growing like nothing ever happened to It So it shows they can tolerate the root Pruning quite nicely Let's see how the tree fits in the pot Now I don't know if there's a front to This Um This is the thickest trunk here Black one is also very thick But that would mean I'd have to place my Wound To the front which wouldn't be very good So I think I'm going to put it somewhere About here How it goes in my heart So it's quite high in the pot I can't really get it any lower That may be another reason to go for a Deeper pot eventually Get the root system Buried more without mounding my soil up So much But that's not bad there Now it's in a round pot so the front Doesn't matter as much it's just a Matter of The foot position on the pot here

Lift all my leaves up So I'm making sure all the soil is Looked in around the base of the tree I'm sure there's no air pockets in there Okay well that is repotted I will give The tree a water and then we'll come in And prune All this foliage which I should have Done right away All right here I go with the watering All right it's time to prune all these Long fronds hanging down I'm going to Prune everything off to about here So you can see the trunk in that and Then you can come in and kind of put a Point on the end of your Cuts if you Want to make it look a little more Natural but And I may be peeling away a lot of the Lower leaves there's a lot of yellowed Ones So I'm going to start with that You know trimming the the foliage to That line And then I'll come in a Kind of clean it up a bit So here I go so I'm just going to come In Prune everything Now I think I'm still a little long I'm Going to I'm going to remove some of these bottom Leaves And pulling them off

They're kind of old and yellow So I'll get rid of those That'll help bring up the foliage lines Too It's not hanging down so low Okay I think that's good let's uh let's step Back and have a look at it Foreign Grow out I thought about carving it out and Putting a doorway in here and then I'm I'm just gonna try and grow it to look Like a natural ponytail palm so I won't have any Features on it So it'll be ready soon to do the the big Chopping up here and I'm wondering I could get away with it now but I don't Think I will I think I'll leave it till Kind of you know early summer when it Starts getting warm outside and sunny Good strong Sun then I'll prune it back Seal my cuts with that uh You know that rubber cement and then Yeah so I'll get this dividing from one Into hopefully more building up a better Branch structure and a canopy on top of The tree My ponytail palm is all repotted ready To grow once again and hopefully it'll Grow really well that's all for today I'm Nigel Saunders thanks for joining me In the bolt size Zone

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