|Latin name:||Beaucarnea recurvata|
|Delivery type:||Supplied as container plant|
|Guarantee:||6 months growth and flowering guarantee|
|Preferred location:||Sun, Half shadow, Shadow|
|Leafs all year:||Yes|
|Growing Height:||50 - 85 cm|
You have a number of options upon receipt of your Elephant’s Foot (Beaucarnea recurvata)
- Stand it in an attractive planter with holes in the base. Cover the holes with a layer of gravel or potsherds and stand the plant, complete with nursery pot on top. The planter will need to be stood in a dish to collect drained off water.
- Pot it up into an attractive planter with holes in the base. Cover the holes with a layer of gravel or potsherds and add potting compost. Stand the root ball at the correct depth and fill the pot with compost around the roots. Press firmly down - leave a space of about 3 cm from the top edge of the pot. Stand the plant pot in a dish to collect drained off water.
- Stand it in an attractive planter without holes but do layer the bottom of the pot with gravel so the plant's pot is off the bottom. A wide planter is best as then you can see whether or not the bottom of the pot is standing in water or not.
- Or just stand the plant, nursery pot and all, on a dish - on a layer of gravel, or just directly on the dish.
The ideal spot for your Elephant’s Foot
The most perfect spot for your Beaucarnea recurvata is:
- Somewhere with plenty of light but also protected from the full strength of the mid-day sun. Mornings and evenings are not a problem and will even be appreciated! The ideal place is about 3 metres from the window.
- Somewhere warm - between 18 and 23 degrees centigrade. If you have underfloor heating, so much the better. Standing your plant above or next to a radiator is not a good idea as the warm air flow from the heating will dry the plant out much quicker which could result in the loss of leaves or them turning brown.
Elephant’s Foot (Beaucarnea recurvata) on your patio
During the summer months the Elephant’s Foot will be quite happy stood outdoors on the patio – but first it will need to be acclimatised to the outdoors to prevent burn spots from the sun on the leaves. To do this, stand it in full shade to start with and give it one hour longer in the sun every day for five days. Remember to bring it indoors again once the night temperatures are consistently below 8 degrees centigrade.
Keep your Elephant’s Foot (Beaucarnea recurvata) growing well with a weekly watering - add plant food for leafy plants to the water fortnightly. The plant will respond by growing new leaves.
Water twice a week in warm summers when the potting compost feels dry to the touch. Although very drought resistant, the width of the plant’s trunk will be stimulated to expand if you water it profusely on a weekly basis. It will store the water in the trunk.
The Elephant’s Foot (Beaucarnea recurvata) has a natural dormant period in November and December and will then require less watering and no feed. Continue as before after the dormant period is past.
The Elephant’s Foot (Beaucarnea recurvata) is fairly resistant to the dry indoor air of our homes.
As the plant generally grows towards the light, it is a good idea to give it a quarter turn every month - standing it, pot and all, on a wheeled base makes this easier of course.
Although a fairly large houseplant, Elephant’s Foot (Beaucarnea recurvata) will appreciate being stood outdoors on a warm but rainy day. It will really perk up after a shower.
As in its natural habitat, it will regularly lose its lower leaves - do not worry if they turn yellow and drop off, as long as it continues to make new ones. Just carefully remove any dried up, old (white coloured) leaves. This will stimulate new stem growth too.
Remember all this and you can keep your Elephant’s Foot (Beaucarnea recurvata) healthy and looking fresh for a long time.
Beaucarnea recurvata is a strong houseplant, easily grown.
Elephant’s Foot is native to Central America and those sub-tropical regions of Southern North America where it makes a great ornamental outdoor plant. Elephant’s Foot (Beaucarnea recurvata) is also a very popular houseplant in temperate climes like ours. Its deliciously fragrant flowers can only be expected in tropical regions.
Elephant’s Foot has recently been (re)classified under Beaucarnea recurvata and is also still known under its old name Nolina recurvata. And according to this same reclassification, Beaucarnea falls under the lily family (Asparagaceae).