Hosting DNS for a subdomain without hosting root domain

I am trying to host DNS on Cloudflare for a subdomain while leaving the DNS for the root domain hosted elsewhere. Cloudflare won’t let me set up a site for the subdomain, so I have to set it up with the root domain. I can set up the NS records to point to Cloudflare only for the subdomain, and this works perfectly. However, Cloudflare eventually deleted my site automatically because the NS records for the root domain didn’t point to Cloudflare.

How can I set up Cloudflare to be happy with this arrangement—root domain hosted elsewhere with subdomain NS records only pointed to Cloudflare? In other words, how can I prevent Cloudflare from deleting the site because the root domain NS records don’t point to Cloudflare? (I don’t want to upgrade to an enterprise account to use the CNAME solution.)

You’d need a Business or Enterprise plan to do something like that. Biz/Ent plans let you CNAME into an existing zone, and Enterprise will let you host domain-only in a zone.

I’ve already been doing this as above for months with a free plan. It works perfectly. I didn’t think there would be any problem until suddenly I found Cloudflare had deleted the site today. There must be some way to prevent Cloudflare from deleting the site because the NS records are for a subdomain instead of the root domain.

Apparently not:

As you’ve found out, eventually it catches up to you when Cloudflare figures out you’re not
using their name servers for your domain.

Only possible via partnered hosting.

But I am uncertain what could be such case when you cannot use CF DNS. Generally, it’s extremely reliable except for CNAME Flattening record.

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