ponytail palm outgrew the pot so I planted it in the garden. My
cat has used it as a scratching post and damaged the bark. There
is new growth coming from below the damage. Will it die or should
I cut it back?
new growth from the base indicates your plant is healthy, so the
good news is it should survive. Your photo shows the top looking
reasonably healthy, so I'd leave it for now and wait to see what
happens. If the damage is not extensive the plant will survive and
continue to grow happily for many more years. Just make sure the
cat doesn't have another go at it - which may be easier said than
If, however, over the
next few months the top starts to yellow and die, cut the trunk
off just below the damaged area with a sharp saw to encourage the
new shoots at the base to take over. Then, with luck, after a few
years you'll end up with an attractive multi-stemmed ponytail.
Gardener, Issue 206, 2006, Page 37
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.