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Ponytail Palm Root System – Are the Roots Invasive?

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Ponytail palm or the palm tree would be a fascinating decorator for your home. It can bear both the shadowy and full light areas. So, you can plant it both indoors and outdoors. If you water it properly, it will be strong enough to grow naturally.

If you water once a week, it will be enough for your palm tree. It can support and grow naturally. If you have any concerns about its growth, you will be happy to grow it without care.

Ponytail Palm Root System Explained

The Ponytail palm tree has a shallow root system, and it’s not invasive either. If you have a palm tree in a container, you won’t find the root of your container. This tree has a deep root that will go inside the soil but won’t be invasive. So it will not multiply or spread the root outside.

Although some gardeners face the invasive problem with their ponytail palm trees, they are not still purely invasive plants. You cannot blame their root system because of unplanned root growth. It might be your fault for not controlling the root system properly. 

When you leave any plant to grow naturally without care, you will find some invasive characteristics in this plant. It’s not because it’s the ultimate nature of that plant. It’s because the root system doesn’t have any restrictions. 

From that sense, you may consider all the plants invasive.

If you notice the root system of your palm tree, you will find its depths. It will go as much as your container can hold or have the soil. When you water the palm tree, it will get soft soil and can grow much better than when entirely dry. 

So, watering your ponytail palm tree and letting it grow naturally is better. 

If you are in summer, you can rely on the drought-resistant power of your ponytail palm. It will not take too much water to survive. Instead, one-time watering can be enough to live in a ponytail for the next few weeks. 

They have a strong root to reserve the water and consume it when they need it most.

So, that’s all about the root system of a ponytail palm tree. You cannot expect an invasive palm tree in your garden if you take a little care. It will be a beautiful and clean tree if you plant it in a large or medium container. It needs some space to go deeper with its roots.

Large ponytail palm: 

Although the name differs, the large ponytail palm tree is not invasive. It also has a shallow root system; therefore, the palm tree root will be larger than its height because of its root system and growing nature.

Its root system can go deep; if it fails to go deeper than the surface, it will stick to each other and create a circle to give you the perfect example of a shallow root system. 

Does Ponytail palm have deep roots?

Ponytail palm doesn’t have any deep roots; instead, it has a shallow root system that will try to be near the surface. But it’s not possible for all the palm trees. If you plant the ponytail palm trees in an open garden, their roots will go deep.

In most cases, the scenario becomes different. You cannot find a deep root system with your ponytail roots. It might go several feet if it has the option to penetrate the hard soil. In general, they are not deep roots; they are shallow roots.

How Deep Are Ponytail Palm Roots?

Ponytail palm roots are 12-18″ deep, so that’s not the sign of an invasive tree. If you have a container, you can check the depths of your ponytail palm tree. It’s not like you will love that system, but it will clear your thoughts.

But the 12-18 inches depth is not universal; it might be different from the other perspective. You will find different root depths if you have a garden plant palm tree. And you cannot compare the container palm tree with an open space palm tree. 

How big are Ponytail palm roots?

Ponytail palm roots are as big as 20 feet, but that’s not the average size of palm trees. You will find different sizes of their palm roots. Sometimes, you might find that the palm tree roots are as big as only 1-2 feet. 

So, you need to consider the place and container of your ponytail palm tree. If you have a bigger container, it will have bigger size roots. And it will be inverse if you plant it in a small container.

What kind of root system does a ponytail palm have?

Ponytail palms have different root systems depending on their size and type. If you plant the same ponytail palm tree indoors and outdoors, you will find two other root systems. 

Shallow Root System: 

Most palm trees have an external root system that is not deeper than a usual tree. If you plant a palm tree and then check its root, you will find it near the soil surface. It doesn’t have to be intense to go deeper. 

You might find some deep root systems, but most of them will be in shallow root systems. So, it’s better to consider it as the external root system.

Water Retaining Capability: 

If you sincerely look at the palm tree root system, you will find different water-retaining capabilities. They can retain the moisture for a long time since their roots are shallow. Although it’s not a deep root system, it will still get enough water in summer.


Another type of ponytail palm tree is drought-resistant. They can bear drought since their root system is a cactus. They don’t even need too much water to survive in the long run. But the natural growth will mostly depend on proper watering. 

Are Ponytail palm Roots Invasive?

Ponytail palm roots are not invasive. The majority of palm palms lack invasive roots. Ponytail palms have a lot of little roots that won’t take over and cause problems. Ponytail palms, unlike other trees, do not have a central, prominent taproot. 

Ponytail palm trees, on the other hand, contain hundreds of microscopic roots that sprout from the root-initiation zone near the trunk’s base. Although there are various palm trees, they all have the same root system.

Can Ponytail palm roots damaged foundation or pipes?

Ponytail palm roots cannot damage the foundation or pipes. The roots of a palm tree are quite unlikely to cause harm to concrete. Palm tree roots maintain the same diameter throughout their lives. There are many roots, but they’re all relatively thin. 

Other trees’ roots thicken as they age, potentially causing a fissure in a pavement or concrete surface. The gap between the roots and the concrete will allow them to spread at a healthy rate and prevent concrete damage.

Do Ponytail palm spread or multiply?

Ponytail palm, in general, tends to spread rather than multiply. Palm tree roots grow thin strands from the tree’s root ball’s base. The tree’s roots stretch horizontally across the soil, growing alongside it. The roots remain thin and regenerate regularly. 

All the roots feed on the soil and spread out to discover water sources.

Ponytail palm tree roots extend around the trunk. At least as far as the branches, the roots will reach. Roots typically grow as wide as the canopy of fronds, but in search of water, they can extend to 45 feet.

How to remove Ponytail palm Roots?

You can remove ponytail palm roots in three simple steps. I’m explaining everything in short.


To remove Ponytail palm roots, first, brush or dig away the dirt from around the foundation of the Ponytail pump roots with your hands or a nursery scoop, uncovering the highest point of the roots. Eliminate the dirt cautiously to try not to harm roots.


After that, cut descending between the little roots and the parent plant with the sharp blade, cutting off the interfacing roots and stem between the little root and parent plant. Avoid cutting into the little root’s or parent plant’s stem to limit harm.


Next, dig around the little roots underlying foundations cautiously with a nursery scoop to isolate the roots from the encompassing soil. Push the scoop under the little root’s root ball to cut it from the dirt. 


Finally, remove all messed up, dried, brown, dark, and soft roots from the Ponytail palm little roots with the pruning shears. Place the little roots in the focal point of the pot.

Final Thoughts

The Ponytail palm tree has a shallow root system that is not invasive. If you plant them in a large container, you will love that structure and can control the root easily. However, the form would be different if you have a garden plant palm tree. It might have a deep root system.

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