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Elephant's foot house plant

Posted by barbara_nw_usa USDA Zone 6 (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 11, 11 at 18:29

I have this "old" elephant's foot house plant that has gotten too tall. All of the growth is at the top of the 8' trunk. It has never had any new growth starts out of the bulbous caudex. Is it possible to cut off the top and re-pot this portion?
Also, might any new starts appear on the caudex that remains above ground level? If so, how would I go about doing this?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Elephant's foot house plant

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 11, 11 at 21:40

Generally, the caudex on plants that form them is the focal point of the plant. What if we developed a plan to chase foliage back lower - would you want to keep the caudex then? When was the last time you removed the old soil and repotted?

Can you post a picture or email one?


RE: Elephant's foot house plant

I don't think these generally branch unless they're either really old or get damage. I think what you're describing is just how they grow. You might want to bug the C&S forum.

RE: Elephant's foot house plant


Beheading an old Beaucarnea recurvata will cause it to branch in the growing season. Just keep the cut area dry. Repotting into an appropriately larger pot, with fresh soil, air circulation, warmth, light and proper water will stimulate growth in your plant, so you might want to wait until ambient temps are warmer. I don't think the cut portion can be rerooted, but I could be wrong.

RE: Elephant's foot house plant


I think I also remember that fairly superficial but not entirely superficial cuts to the caudex could also induce branching at that point but that sounds... not entirely impossible but not that likely. Ever heard anything about that?

RE: Elephant's foot house plant

I just got an elephant foot plant. don't really know how to care for it. any info would be great. it sims to be getting alot of brown on the tips of the leaves don't know why. I guess I have to plant it in a bigger pot.

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