Everything you need to know about this unique plant is here

Elephant foot (Beaucarnea recurvata), also known as bottle tree, water palm or elephant tree, is native to Mexico and is one of the most beautiful and unique houseplants. Their uniqueness comes not only from their appearance, but also from the way the plant works. Just when you thought you knew all about houseplants, this slow-growing plant will surprise you. And the best part is that it is really low maintenance and can be a great focal point in your home. If you want to learn more about how to care for and grow elephant feet, read on!

What do you want to know about the elephant tree?

Elephant feet are suitable for growing in containers and would make a wonderful green decoration for the home or office. It requires very little care, which makes growing elephant feet a breeze.

What distinguishes this plant is not only its appearance, but also the fact that it falls asleep at one or more times of the year. This is called the dormancy period and is the time when the plant decides for itself that it needs a little break. What’s really strange is that the dormancy period of an elephant’s foot does not depend on the season, growing conditions, or other factors. Even two plants in the same pot can hibernate at different times of the year.

Elephant foot trees do best in well-drained potting soil

Another strange and unique fact about elephant trees is that they are dioecious, meaning male and female flowers appear on different plants. They are slow-growing plants that, under ideal growing conditions, can live for decades and can be passed on from generation to generation. If you care for elephant feet according to the recommendations in this article, these plants can live up to seventy years or even more.

How to take care of elephant feet

Elephant tree is a great green decoration for home and office

Elephant Foot Plants – Location & Water Requirements: These plants prefer warm climates and temperatures. A minimum temperature of 18 ° C is required for good growth.

They like full sun but can also adapt to partial shade. However, like most succulents that prefer lots of light, these plants do best when placed in bright, direct sun.

Elephant Foot Care and Growing - All You Need to Know


We have already mentioned that elephants’ feet fall asleep once or even several times a year. Before the rest period begins, you will notice that the leaves of the elephant’s foot turn slightly brown or yellow. This is the time when the plant needs less watering and more fertilizing. When the foliage is completely dry, this means that the plant has officially entered a state of dormancy. You should then reduce watering completely and put the elephant’s feet in a cool place.

Elephant-footed plants usually need water. They are prone to root rot so they should not be kept wet. To avoid waterlogging, let the soil almost dry out before watering again.

If you pay attention to an elephant's foot, it can live up to seventy years

Fertilize an elephant’s foot: Elephant foot trees do best in well-drained potting soil. If you live in an area with high humidity, providing the plant with good drainage is doubly important to maintaining the health of the root system and preventing root rot.

We recommend applying a balanced 1/4 strength fertilizer once a month when the plant is not dormant.

How to properly water the palm of your hand المائية

Beaucarnea recurvata is a maintenance-free houseplant


There is no set timetable for when to water an elephant’s foot plant. This schedule can depend on the climate you live in, the amount of light it receives, and the time of year. So you can use the soak and dry method to know when to water the plant again. In other words, allow the soil in the container to dry out almost completely between watering periods. Another important point is not to water the plant directly on the tuber. Water them around the edges of the pot you are planting them in.

It is important to remember: When the plant becomes dormant, watering should be completely reduced.

Elephant foot care and doubling

How do you care and propagate elephant feet

Propagating an elephant’s foot is not particularly difficult, but it can take some time (six months or more). Elephant foot plants are propagated by seed. These plants cannot reproduce by cuttings. When collecting seeds, make sure the seed pod is completely dry. After collecting the seeds, plant them a few inches deep into the seed mix, preferably mixed with sand. Keep the soil constantly moist and put it in a warm place with a temperature of about 25-30 ° C.

It can take up to six months or more to germinate. So be patient with your new plant!

Is elephant foot plant toxic to humans and animals?

Elephant feet plants prefer warm climates and temperatures

Elephant feet are toxic to humans and pets. All parts of plants contain saponins. So if children or pets eat it, it can cause severe poisoning. If you are growing an elephant’s foot plant indoors, make sure it is out of reach of children or pets.

You can learn about plants that are poisonous to cats here!

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