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House Plants/elephant foot plant


I have an elephant foot that is approx. 2 ft. high and 24" in circumference of the base. It has a growth coming off the base by about an 2" from the bottom. Looks very healthy. Can I remove this growth to make a second plant without harming the mother plant and how would I do it?

Hi Vicki,

Sometimes older Ponytail Palms will spontaneously produce offsets or baby plants attached to the large bulb. After these offsets are about two inches in height, they can be severed and rooted in a small pot filled with damp potting mix.

This is a somewhat risky and slow process, so you may be better off just leaving the offsets attached to the main plant and let them grow from there. That said, it is unlikely to harm the mother plant. Use a sharp knife to slice off a small amount of mother plant tissue just under the offset. Let the cutting air dry for a few hours before setting it into a small pot.

I have written articles on Ponytail Palm care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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