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What is an elephant foot palm?

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Quick Answer

An elephant foot palm is also called a ponytail palm and is not actually a palm at all but does have a palm-like appearance. It is an indoor plant with long leathery leaves, and can reach up to three feet in height indoors. The elephant foot palm is native to the Eastern Mexico states of Veracruz, Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosi.

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Elephant foot palms should be planted in a fast draining soil like cactus potting soil and placed in a location with bright lighting. The plant should be kept cool in the winter at about 50 to 55 degrees F. The soil should be kept fairly dry, as over-watering can cause stem rot. Water in the spring and fall but allow the soil to dry before re-watering. Only water occasionally during the winter. If stem rot is noticed, the plant may be able to cure itself if water is withheld.

Sometimes spider mites are on the leaves. This can be fixed by rubbing a soapy cloth on the leaves and brushing off with water. Elephant foot palms are classified as being evergreen perennials and when kept in a yard can grow up to 15.5 feet, although they do so very slowly.

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