I recently acquired a ponytail palm, which is alive, though it wasn't taken care of well prior to my acquisition. One thing I noticed is that the pot was covered in rocks, that appear to be fused together to make some sort of covering over the soil.
I'd imagine that the covering was intended to help lock moisture into the soil, but ponytail palms, like all succulents, have their own ways of holding moisture and prefer drier soil. Could this rock covering be harmful to its roots and promote mold and root rot? Or should I remove it to allow the soil to dry and air normally?
Edit: I'm growing this plant inside (upstate NY), and I have it on a shelf so it can get direct light most of the day. It's in a typical ceramic pot with one hole at the bottom - seems to drain well. And the dirt inside feels dry to the touch (though I'm not sure of the last time it was watered).