Which cutting measures can the elephant foot tolerate?
The elephant foot can withstand quite radical cuts. If necessary, if the tree has grown too big for you, you can simply cut it. In order for it to sprout again quickly, you should prune it before or at the beginning of the growing season in spring.
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What should I watch out for when cutting?
As with any pruning of plants, be sure to use clean and sharp tools. If large cuts or wounds occur, a wound closure protects against infections with fungal spores or other pathogens. After cutting the trunk, the elephant's foot usually develops two to three lateral shoots.
Can I support new growth?
Basically, the elephant foot drives out quite reliably on its own after the pruning, but with a little support on your part, it works even better. If your elephant foot has only had one main shoot and little or no side shoots, then it is initially quite bare after the cut.
This means that it needs even less water than before. So limit watering even if it seems odd to you. If you want to shorten several shoots, it is best not to do this at the same time but one after the other so that there is always some green left over. Give the elephant foot a lot of light, this stimulates its growth.
Can I trim the leaves?
Trimming the leaves is not recommended, even if they can be a meter long. Sooner or later, the cut leaves very unsightly brown leaf tips. If you cut them off again, a vicious circle begins. It is better to completely remove shoots that have become too long.
How do I cut cuttings?
Propagation with the help of seeds works best with the elephant's foot. But it is also possible to cut cuttings. The side shoots that grow in the leaf axils are particularly suitable for this. However, the soil should remain evenly warm during cultivation and the cuttings must not dry out.
The essentials in brief:
- no regular pruning required
- well tolerated by cutting
- if necessary, the tree can be shortened
- close larger wounds better (prevents infections)
- truncated trunk usually forms 2 to 3 lateral shoots
- only use clean and sharp tools
If your elephant foot is too big for the living room or the winter garden, then shorten the trunk, the plant will reliably sprout again.