The formerly known as Nolina recurvata, also called the elephant’s foot, has recently been classified in Beaucarnea. They are very striking plants due to their sculptural bearing, which is why they are highly valued as ornamental plants in gardening and decoration. Although it grows much better and taller outdoors, it can also be kept indoors, although only spacious. If you like to have it at home and you want to know what the care of the elephant foot or nolina plant is, join us in this article in which we offer you a practical guide with all the details about its characteristics, elephant foot plant care and how to reproduce it.
The Beaucarnea recurvata is a succulent plant native to Mexico, protected, and other Central American countries. You can learn more types of succulent plants in this other post. It can reach up to 10 meters in the wild, but when planted in a pot. It rarely exceeds one or a half meter. Although this height in an interior, it is considered one of the tall indoor plants.
Its most characteristic feature is that it has few branches. Its trunk widens at the base in a very striking way to give space to the water reserves of the plant. It gives the elephant foot plant its peculiar shape. Its leaves are thin and long, falling towards the ground with a certain curvature and a very beautiful deep green color. Although it takes many years to do so, the plant can produce small light-colored flowers around 10 years.
Basic elephant foot plant care
Now that you know its characteristics, we will explain how to care for an elephant or nolina plant. It is a very slow-growing plant, but despite this, it is very easy to care for, as is the case with many succulents. If you are a newbie to caring for plants, most succulents tend to be plants that have very identifiable weaknesses and that withstand distractions in their care quite well. Let’s see what the main cares for Beaucarnea recurvata are:
This plant’s natural climate is the desert, so it is not difficult to imagine that it is a species that appreciates receiving a lot of light. It can tolerate locations where it does not receive direct light, which is why it is used as a houseplant, but your plant’s health will be much better if you place it next to a very bright window.
Overwatering is one of the great weaknesses of most succulents. These plants are not prepared to receive large amounts of water, so exposing them to very high humidity will cause their roots and stem to rot and the plant becomes ill or die. To make sure you don’t overwater it, make sure it has good drainage and wait until its substrate’s top layer has dried before watering it again.
The other major danger for the elephant foot is the cold, which is why the plant is usually grown indoors. Due to its desert nature, Beaucarnea recurvata does not withstand temperatures below 10ºC.
Since it is a slow-growing plant, it requires very little compost. With one subscriber a month in the warm months, it will be enough for him. Also, it is advisable to always use one that is organic or natural.
The elephant foot plant’s pruning is not pruning as such but simply consists of removing the leaves that are spoiling and drying naturally. The plant does not require pruning of any other type, but if it becomes necessary for any reason, such as disease or space, it is important to ensure that the tools are well sterilized.
Nolina or elephant foot plant: reproduction
The elephant foot can reproduce by both seeds and suckers. The good thing about doing it for suckers, in addition to the great amount of time saved, is that we make sure that the new plant will be the same as the mother plant. To reproduce it with this method, you simply have to separate the suckers or suckers that the mother plant forms at the trunk base, as with many other succulent plants. Follow these steps to reproduce the elephant foot or nolina plant by suckers or suckers:
- Make sure the suckers are already a good size so they can continue to grow together.
- Separate them very carefully with the help of a previously sterilized fork, trying to damage the roots as little as possible.
- Transplant them to a pot with a suitable substrate for succulents and remember to water when the transplant is finished.
- Leave the pot in a location with a warm temperature of at least 24 ºC, and if possible, in the shade, to avoid the stress of fighting the sun in those first days.
- Once the plant begins to take its first shoots, you can place it in the sun next to the mother plant or in any other location you want for it, since it will have already gotten used to its new environment.