Fitting a large ponytail palm in a bonsai pot?

My friend bought me a 3ft tall ponytail palm for Christmas, and I want to put it in a much smaller pot than it is in right now as a bonsai. I know that you shouldn’t remove more than 1/3 of the roots at a time. What I need to know is how often can I take off that 1/3 of the root ball? Mind you this is a potbound plant, so I’m hoping if I do this right it will eventually fit in the 4 inch high bonsai pot.

Have you checked with the Palm Professionals Nursery in Sugarland TX. As a Lilly plant i am not sure if the usual Bonsai practices are applicable.

Pony tail palms are not actually palms but succulents, so I don’t know that they would be ablt to help.

I thought i indicated in my response that i was aware that they were considered a member of the Lilley family. The firm i mentioned has them for sale on their website, so i assumed they would be able to provide more detailed information. Page 6 of product listing.
Sorry if it was of no help. Perhaps someone else from the Bonsai community can assist you.

Could you elaborate on the family of plants you’re refferring to? I may be able to find some information that way, thanks.

It is called Beaucarnea recurvata and is no longer considered being in the Lily family which is neither here nor there. A round bottomed pot is good as it produces a root mass that will break a container unless it can push itself up out of the pot. Best to re-pot regularly for best health considering the pot you want to use. Cool plant.

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I have a ponytail palm inside a bonsai pot right now, but only because I was growing it in a pot as a gift from a family member too, but one day a big plastic tub blew over and snapped off all the green leaves and i was left with just a trunk pretty much. So I decided to root prune it and pot it up and sure enough in a week or two, three new buds popped out. One died off, the other is not as vigorous, but the main one is growing quite nicely and today it seems to be doing fine. I re-potted it with a very water retentive soil and watered it ever day to prevent dehydration. So I guess it is possible. Good luck

Thanks. I think I’ll just wait a week and a half between prunings. The price tag was $100 so I think I need to be careful. Unless of course there was more information, but until then I’ll just watch the thread.

They are an easy transplant. They can be torn out of the ground with very little root and sit there unpotted for weeks and survive to grow as if nothing happened. Cuttings are easy to root. Use well drained soil with some organic.

So basically they’re like any other succulent? Just wanted to be sure, thanks man.

A week and a half seems too short between root pruning for any type of plant. You may want to wait at least a few months or even a full year between major root reductions. Would be interested in hearing other people’s thoughts too though

I pruned it 2 days ago. It’s showing no signs of stress so far. My experience with most succulents is that they will grow in the side of a cliff, fall off the cliff, then grow in the gravel at the bottom.