Finally, after weeks of temps above 100°F, rains came . . . on a cool front. Relief of temperature and sudden, ample moisture have encouraged an overnight spurt of growth in this elephant’s foot ‘palm’ (aka ponytail palm).
Heat and shade tolerance, pest resistance, and ability to store a reserve of moisture help this type of plant survive a deficit of routine maintenance.
In fact, Beaucarnea recurvata can come back from a state of dormancy resembling death: bereft of plumage, greens gone, brown leaves fallen, foot shriveled.
Incredibly, it seems their age will hold in such a state. Just add some water, the palm will grow.