Table of contents:

Houseplant portrait elephant's foot, Beaucarnea
Houseplant portrait elephant's foot, Beaucarnea
Video: Houseplant portrait elephant's foot, Beaucarnea
Video: Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm) Houseplant Care — 229 of 365 2023, February
Anonim

The elephant's foot, also known as Beaucarnea, can store water in its conspicuously thickened trunk - so it hardly needs to be watered. We present a portrait of the exotic, but amazingly easy to care for houseplant.

Table of Contents Table of Contents Elephant Foot: Houseplant for Beginners

  • Elephant foot: The houseplant from Mexico
  • The best place for the Beaucarnea
  • The right substrate
  • Repotting? Only every few years
  • A cut is not a must
  • Propagation by seeds or cuttings
  • Avoid maintenance errors
  • Warning, pests!

Table of Contents Table of Contents Elephant Foot: Houseplant for Beginners

  • Elephant foot: The houseplant from Mexico
  • The best place for the Beaucarnea
  • The right substrate
  • Repotting? Only every few years
  • A cut is not a must
  • Propagation by seeds or cuttings
  • Avoid maintenance errors
  • Warning, pests!

Elephant foot: The houseplant from Mexico

As common as the house plant is the elephant's foot (Beaucarnea recurvata), the plant originally comes from distant Mexico. At its natural site, however, it grows to a tree nine meters high. If you are now suspiciously eyeing your Beaucarnea on the windowsill, be assured: as a houseplant, it rarely gets higher than 1.50 meters.

A detail of the elephant's foot - to which the house plant owes its name - immediately catches the eye: the strikingly thickened, barky trunk. It serves as a water reservoir for the Beaucarnea, so that it can survive longer dry phases (forgot to pour?) Without damage. The gray-green, elongated, narrow leaves sit at the top and hang down in a wide circle. Older plants form delicate white flower panicles and subsequently fruits that contain the seeds. Unfortunately, this rarely happens with houseplants.

The best place for the Beaucarnea

In order to develop, the elephant's foot needs a very bright location in the apartment or in the house. But blazing sun, especially directly at the window, can cause leaf burns (sunburn). While the houseplant prefers to be cool in winter, it shouldn't get warmer than 15 degrees Celsius, it can't be warm enough for it in the rest of the year. In summer, the Beaucarnea can also stand outside on the balcony or terrace - but it first has to be used to the outdoor climate. Simply increase the time spent outdoors every day. Drafts, however, must be avoided inside and outside.

The right substrate

When choosing the soil for your Beaucarnea, pay particular attention to good permeability and a loose structure. Cactus soil from specialist retailers meets these requirements, as does humus-rich leaf soil, half of which was mixed with coarse-grained sand.

Repotting? Only every few years

Since the elephant foot grows very slowly, it can remain in the same pot for several years. From a botanical point of view, the plant is one of the so-called flat rooters, that is, its roots develop more in breadth than in depth. Therefore, choose a rather flat planter. The Beaucarnea naturally feels more comfortable here and its striking trunk also comes into its own better. Repotting is only necessary when the broad base of the trunk no longer has a place in it, i.e. the elephant's foot is about to blow up the pot. It can take a few years.

Elefantenfuß Beaucarnea
Elefantenfuß Beaucarnea

The elephant foot looks good.

Photo: Pflanzenfreude.de

Water sparingly, fertilize little

The elephant foot lives up to its reputation as an easy-care houseplant when it comes to watering and fertilizing. In winter, for example, he doesn't need any water at all. Otherwise, watering is very rare, but it is penetrating. Do not put the watering can down until water drips out of the bottom of the pot. However, the Beaucarnea should not stand wet: if water collects in the planter, it should be poured off so that the roots do not rot. Otherwise, as already mentioned, the Beaucarnea stores the water in stock in its thick trunk. Like the cacti, it is one of the succulents in the plant kingdom.

Fertilization is similarly economical. One mini dose of liquid cactus fertilizer in spring and one in summer: that's it.

A cut is not a must

If the elephant's foot becomes too large, it can be cut all year round. If you cut the stem, it will branch out appealingly and form several shoots. Always close the "open wound" with wound closure agents from gardening stores - otherwise there is a risk that diseases will implant or the area will dry out and nothing will grow out of it. If cutting measures are not one of your favorite jobs, you do not necessarily have to use scissors: the Beaucarnea retains its picturesque growth even without your intervention.

Propagation by seeds or cuttings

The easiest way to make a Beaucarnea is to multiply it by seeds. Since these are almost never trained in indoor culture, you have to fall back on purchased seeds. You can rarely find elephant foot seeds on the market, but they are usually easy to obtain on the Internet.

Beaucarnea Elefantenfuß
Beaucarnea Elefantenfuß

The propagation of the Beaucarnea is not difficult.

Photo: Pflanzenfreude.de

With increasing age, houseplants develop secondary shoots in the leaf axils, which can be cut off for reproduction in summer. Place the cuttings individually in pots with a mixture of sand and peat. With high air humidity, a constantly moist substrate and a constant warm temperature of around 25 degrees Celsius, your own roots form. Such a “tropical climate” can also be created with a little effort in our nursery or under glass. If you don't have the right equipment at home, you can simply put transparent film over the growing pots. This also creates a very beneficial climate. Just don't forget to bring fresh air in regularly - otherwise there is a risk of mold.

Avoid maintenance errors

Beginners may be amazed by plants, but the biggest mistake you can make when caring for Beaucarnea is: watering too much. Sagging yellow leaves are not a sign of thirst, but a clear indication that the roots of the elephant's foot have started to rot due to the accumulation of water. Frequent temperature fluctuations in cool winter quarters or drafts can also lead to yellow leaves. Be sure to take this into account when choosing a location.

Onlineshop Sense of Home
Onlineshop Sense of Home

Photo: iStock / serezniy

Warning, pests

Spider mites and scale insects, typical pests on houseplants, unfortunately do not stop at Beaucarnea. They occur especially when the air in the room is too dry. You can recognize an infestation of mealybugs or mealybugs by white webs on the leaves. Remove the affected areas as soon as possible and treat the remaining leaves with a homemade soft soap solution. It is important that you use a soap without additives, which is dissolved in hot water and - once it has cooled again - is applied to the plant. You can use a rag or pour the solution into a spray bottle.

Popular by topic