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Can I Grow A New Elephant Foot Plant From It’s Offshoot?

Ask The Plant Expert:

I have an elephant foot plant and I was wondering, can you snip off the leaves growing out the sides of the trunk to grow new plants? Mine is about 4ft. tall. I did slice one off, put it in water, the leaves grew well, but no roots or signs of a trunk developing. Should I just plant it? Thank you for speaking with me, Diane

Elephant Foot Plant

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

The Elephant foot plant (Beaucarnea recurvata, also know as ponytail plant) can be started from an offshoot of the plant. However, a leaf by itself will not form roots. What you need is a true sucker from the plant. These will have a thicker base attached to the trunk of the plant. You can snap these off at the trunk and stick the sucker in soil to root. A rooting hormone, found at any garden center or nursery, can be used to help start your sucker roots. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. If the soil is too wet the sucker will rot and not form roots.

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Comments

  1. don bergeron says:

    I have shoots growing off the side of my elephant foot plant can these also be cliped off and planted?

  2. If it is a true sucker, as pictures above, yes. Simply snap these off at the trunk and stick the sucker in soil to root. A rooting hormone, found at any garden center or nursery, can be used to help get this process started. If the soil is too wet the sucker will rot and not form roots. Hope this helps!

  3. If you cut of the top of the palm so new growth starts, will the old one still live?

  4. Trish Bogenrief says:

    As new owners we were please to find a beautiful ponytail palm in our yard. It has 5 stems coming from the main trunk and each had a large clump that flowered this year plus multiple “pups” from each stem. The flowers were dry and I asked our yard man if they should be removed. We came home to find that he had actlually cut all 5 stems off 6 feet off the ground (4 feet of growth). This decapitation removed the clump from each tree stem and of course the dead flowers. He cut these at an angle (4″ diameter) and my husband thought we should seal the cuts to protect the tree. I was hoping the tree would grow from the cuts. Our yard man obviously does not know what he is doing. Will we lose this tree or will it grow from the pups, of which some are almost 1 foot long new stems?

  5. Trish,

    Wow. I am not sure what would be the best course of action. I would find a local independent garden center in your area that sells Ponytail palms and ask their advise. They will have a better idea of what needs to be done in this case. Good Luck.

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