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Because of its striking appearance, Beaucarnea recurvata is a popular houseplant in countless homes. If you repot the elephant's foot, you should pay attention to a few things with regard to soil and pot.

In a nutshell

  • the elephant's foot loves nutrient-poor, loose and permeable soils
  • the pot should be around 2 centimeters larger than the plant on all sides
  • as a shallow root, a flat bowl is sufficient for the elephant's foot

The substrate

The elephant's foot grows very slowly and usually only needs to be repotted after around 3 to 5 years. Therefore, it also draws only a few nutrients from the soil surrounding the roots. Overall, the substrate should ideally have the following properties:

  • low in nutrients
  • relaxed
  • well drained

Finished products that have these properties are well suited, for example. Succulent soil or cactus soil is available in almost every hardware store or garden shop. However, you can also easily lend a hand yourself. Then mix two parts potting soil with one part sand. The addition of expanded clay leads to further loosening and at the same time to an even better water balance with sufficient reserves, but without waterlogging.

The new pot should offer around 2 to 3 cm more space all around.

The plant pot

If you repot the elephant's foot, you should also make sure that you use a suitable bowl. Since the plant is a flat-rooted plant, a deep container is not required. Ideally, around 2 to 3 centimeters of substrate remain under the roots so that the roots do not encounter any hard resistance with the bottom of the pot. A flat bowl also has a particularly large surface area in relation to its volume. This allows wet soil to dry quickly and waterlogging is avoided as much as possible.
There should also be around 2 to 3 centimeters of space around the sides. If the container is too large, this will lead to excessive root growth. As a result, there is little energy left for the plant parts above ground and your elephant foot withers away.

Tip: If possible, use a clay pot instead of plastic. The open-pored wall allows an even better exchange of moisture with the substrate. The plant pot also counteracts possible waterlogging.

frequently asked Questions

When should you repot the elephant's foot?

The right time to repot has come when either the stem has reached a size that will fill the entire pot. Alternatively, the time has come when the root ball is pushed out of the ground between the pot and the stem. February and March are always given as the ideal time, although the time of year only plays a subordinate role when keeping it purely as a houseplant.

Are clay granules also suitable instead of earth?

Pure clay granules are loose and well permeable and can therefore be used very well. However, any nutrients that are not supplied via the irrigation water are missing here. As a replacement, you should regularly supply your elephant's foot with a universal plant fertilizer that is added to the irrigation water.

How much water does the elephant foot need after repotting?

Like any other plant, you should definitely water the elephant's foot after potting. Because water stimulates root growth and helps to repair the small damage to the finest root hairs that inevitably occurs when planting. However, it is better to water only moderately and if necessary after a while, instead of starting immediately with large quantities. This makes it easier to avoid waterlogging and protect the plant.

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