The plant called Nolina is one of the most fascinating plants because of the shape of its leaves and it grows tall and erect without need of support. It is from the beaucarnea family and the most common one is the beaucarnea recurvata or nolina tuberculata but in the English language it is called The Pony Tail or Elephant foot.
The bulb of the nolina grows upwards and then has leaves at the top. These are about 2cm wide. The large swollen trunk at the bottom grows slowly until it covers the area of the pot. The trunk acts like a reservoir for the plant.The nolina beaucarnea needs a lot of light to grow well because otherwise the leaves starts to turn a light green. A little sun is acceptable but be wary of the scorching heat found in some countries. Artificial lighting is accepted by this plant and so it can be grown as an indoor plant.
The temperature must not be lower than 10°C and not higher than 18°C. Watering the plant should only be done when the growing compost is almost dry because since the plant stores water in its base, it can easily rot if one gives it too much water.Nothing happens if one forgets to water it for days or weeks. Less is best for this plant because excess water kills it. It is a very easy plant to take care of and fertilizer is only given once a year and the fertilizer should be the type given to cacti. Even pests and diseases seem to stay away from this hardy plant so anyone who does not have time for high maintenance plants, can easily grow a nolina.
It is propagated by taking the offsets which are sometimes produced at the side of the trunk and potting them in new pots. However the chances of these small new plants growing roots is not good and the bulb rots without any sign of leaves or roots. It is best left to the botanists who have the necessary equipment for this type of thing.They grow it from seeds in special incubators. In the wild, this plant can grow up to 3.9m/13ft or more but indoors it grows slower and hardly ever reaches more than 90 cm/3 ft tall. Repotting of the plant can be done in winter but one must be aware that the swollen trunk grows to a certain size and then stops growing.