Dioscorea elephantipes - Elephant's Foot
Dioscorea elephantipes has all of the best qualities of a caudiciforme: a textured caudex, long vines, heart-shaped leaves, and easy care. Sometimes called Elephant's Foot due to way the caudex looks as it ages, Dioscorea elephantipes is especially unique because it's a winter-growing vine. This plant has adapted to have a dormancy period during the hot and dry summer months, meaning they wake up at the end of summer and die back in the spring. We like to keep these plants in their nursery pots, and train their surprisingly long vines up a trellis or around a hoop. Or, you can simply let the vines sprawl.
Our current selection of Dioscorea caudices are dormant, ready to begin vining upon arrival!
How to Grow
• Plant in a well-draining mix. This plant is sensitive to over-watering, so we like to err on the side of under-watering. If your caudex feels squishy or soft and the soil is completely dry, it's definitely time to water! While the vines are growing, the plant may want more regular water, sometimes as often as every week.
• Grow this plant in an East- or West-facing windowsill. Or a foot or so away from a South-facing window. Too much direct sun can be harsh on the plant in climates with lots of winter sun.
• In the spring when leaves start to yellow and die back, let the soil dry out completely. Every month or so during the plant's dormancy, check if the caudex feels firm. If it's really spongy and the soil is dry, it might like a little drink.
• These plants don't like their roots disturbed, so we only repot and up-pot when the plant has outgrown its previous growing container.
What to Expect
You'll get a Dioscorea elephantipes caudex planted in a 2" pot. The caudex will likely be dormant, ready to wake up. Some specimens might have a short vine starting to grow. Each caudex is a bit different, so expect this natural variation from the photos. Includes detailed care instructions.
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