The plant that didn't stop growing

By Laurel Stowell

When Doug Newick acquired a tiny ponytail palm 30 years ago he didn't know it would grow into a giant if he kept it outdoors and fertilised it.

Since then the plant has burst its way out of two pots and is in the process of bursting a third. It took two strong men to lift it to its position inside a large tyre in Mr Newick's Springvale, Wanganui, garden.

"I did feed it blood and bone, but I think that was a mistake," he said.

If he had read the plant label, he would have known his cute little potplant would be limited to about 1m tall if he kept it indoors. According to its label its leaves can eventually grow to 2m long. internet sources say it can grow to 10m tall with a 4m base outdoors.

Mr Newick's wife Leonie now wants to get rid of the plant, but it is about to burst into bloom for the first time.

Ponytail palms are not true palms, according to internet sources. They are native to arid regions of eastern Mexico and store water in their bases.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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