Beaucarnea recurvata young plant

Beaucarnea recurvata young plant

Beaucarnea recurvata or Elephant’s Foot is a succulent that stores water in its thickened trunk.

It is ideal for beginners: it tolerates a variety of light conditions, temperature and resists neglect.

Growth is very slow.


Beaucarnea recurvata has a thickened stem that becomes bottle shaped with age. Water is stored in the stem.

Leaves appear at the top of the stem in an elegant tuft. They are long, drooping, dark green and ribbon-shaped.

Rarely blooms. Flowers are small and white and grow in a plume.

In its habitat, it may reach up to 6 m high, in culture about 1-2 m.


Common names:

Big base palm, bottle palm, elephant palm, elephant’s foot, elephant’s foot tree, Nolina, pony tail palm


Beaucarnea inermis, Beaucarnea tuberculata, Dasylirion inermis, Dasylirion recurvatum, Nolina recurvata


Beaucarnea: in honor Beaucarne, Belgian succulent grower and notary who first collected flowers of Beaucarnea recurvata
Recurvata: from the Latin recurvatus (bent backwards)




Dry regions


USDA zone 9-11

Beaucarnea recurvata mature plant

Beaucarnea recurvata mature plant



Potting soil for cacti


Sun, light


Avoid standing water at the bottom of the pot. Must be watered regularly in the summer water, once or twice a month in the in winter. Endures long periods of drought. You will then see that the stem begins to shrivel. As soon as you water again, the stem will swell.


Universal liquid fertilizer, twice diluted, every 2 weeks during growing season, none during winter.


10-30 °C is the ideal temperature but it tolerates frost down to -5 °C.


Does not need pruning but if the stem breaks, it will form a new branch with a new tuft of leaves. So don’t throw the plant away.


Rarely needs repotting. Repotting must be done in the spring.


By seed but this takes a long time and, given the slow growth, it also takes a very long time before your plant has the recognizable bottle-shaped trunk.

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