Updated: April 14, 2022

If you’re looking for a unique and fascinating plant to add to your collection, the Elephant Foot plant could be just what you need. This plant, also known as the Ponytail Palm or Beaucarnea recurvata, is easy to care for and can thrive in a pot. Here’s everything you need to know about growing an Elephant Foot plant in a pot.

Choosing a Pot

When it comes to selecting a pot for your Elephant Foot plant, it’s important to choose one that is large enough to accommodate the plant’s bulbous base. A pot that’s at least 2 inches wider than the base of the plant should do the trick. It’s also essential to choose a pot with drainage holes, as this will help prevent overwatering.

Soil Requirements

The Elephant Foot plant prefers well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter. A good potting mix for this plant should include sand, perlite or vermiculite, and peat moss or coconut coir. Avoid using heavy soils that don’t drain well, as this can cause root rot and other problems.

Watering Requirements

One of the most common mistakes people make when caring for an Elephant Foot plant is overwatering. This plant is adapted to survive in dry conditions, so it only needs to be watered when the top few inches of soil are completely dry. When you do water, make sure to soak the soil thoroughly and let any excess water drain out of the bottom of the pot.

Light Requirements

The Elephant Foot plant does best in bright, indirect light. It can tolerate some direct sunlight but should be protected from harsh midday sun. If you notice that your plant’s leaves are turning yellow or brown, it may be getting too much light. Move it to a shadier spot and see if it improves.

Temperature and Humidity

The Elephant Foot plant is a hardy plant that can tolerate a range of temperatures, from 50°F to 90°F. However, it’s important to protect it from frost and extreme heat. This plant doesn’t require high humidity levels but can benefit from occasional misting or a humidifier during dry winter months.


To keep your Elephant Foot plant healthy and thriving, you can fertilize it once every two months during the growing season (spring and summer). Use a balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Avoid fertilizing during the winter when the plant is dormant.


The Elephant Foot plant doesn’t need to be repotted very often, as it grows slowly. You can repot it every three to four years or when you notice that the roots are congested and starting to grow out of the drainage holes. When repotting, use a pot that’s only slightly larger than the previous one and refresh the soil.


Can I grow an Elephant Foot plant outdoors?

Yes, you can grow this plant outdoors in warm climates with well-draining soil and partial shade.

How often should I water my Elephant Foot plant?

Water your plant only when the top few inches of soil are completely dry.

Why are the leaves on my Elephant Foot plant turning yellow?

Yellowing leaves can be a sign of overwatering or too much direct sunlight. Try adjusting your watering schedule or moving the plant to a shadier spot.

How often should I fertilize my Elephant Foot plant?

Fertilize your plant once every two months during the growing season (spring and summer).

How do I propagate an Elephant Foot plant?

Propagation can be done by separating offshoots from the base or by rooting stem cuttings in soil or water.

In summary, the Elephant Foot plant is a unique and fascinating addition to any plant collection. By following these simple care instructions, you can keep your plant healthy and thriving for years to come.