I thought I was purchasing a Jade Plant and to add to the confusion, the plant was labeled as Dwarf Jade’ on the pot. Indigenous to South Africa, the elephant bush (Portulacaria afra), also called elephant food and miniature jade plant, gets its name not because of what it … Portulacaria afra. Whiteflies are a significant pest to fight when you have an elephant bush that is infested with them. It's not an overwhelming infestation (I can basically pluck off all of the insects), but they seem to just keep reappearing. All from stem cuttings. There really isn’t a set schedule or formula on when to water succulent plants like these. For further details and information on outdoor sunlight requirements, please visit my post “How Much Sunlight Do Succulents Need Outdoors?” to get some useful tidbits. Although it’s recommended that you grow it indoors for all the benefits we just laid out. Sedum Rubrotinctum-Jelly Beans Care, Propagation, Toxicity, Blooms, Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora-Pink Jelly Beans Care, Propagation, Aeoniums Care, Propagation and Growing Tips, How To Save An Overwatered Succulent Plant. Leaf drop occurs when the leaves of the elephant bush fall off of the stem suddenly. The elephant bush does best in areas within hardiness zones 10 and 11. Along with proper lighting and the right environmental conditions, they also need to go through a wintering period. The leaves of these plants are edible and have a tart flavor. If the place you live in is cold, then your elephant bush should stay inside the house with you. One good way to tell whether it’s time to water is to check the moisture of the soil. Here are some of my, For more information on this topic, do visit my post on, “Optimal Temperatures for Succulents to Thrive”, I get most of my materials from a local hardware store. Mini Jade aka Elephant Bush (Portulacaria afra 'Green') (Jacquin): This stemmed succulent is particularly versatile and easy to grow.Plant it outdoors in warm climates and it can grow into a dense, 4' tall shrub. And for the inside potted plants, basic potting soil or cactus soil would suffice as the soil mix. After about two weeks or so, you will notice new roots growing. Getting these plants to bloom in cultivation is rare, and even rarer for them to bloom in containers or when kept indoors. You can use frost cloths or mini greenhouses to help them survive the cold winter. These tend to grow laterally as opposed to upright like Portulacaria Afra. These plants are used to experiencing drought and sudden heavy rains, so you don’t have to place them on a watering schedule. I found a couple of rooted leaves when repotting a Variegated Elephant Bush plant. Rocky soil always works as well. 6 in. During winter season, I mostly rely on rainwater and hold back on watering altogether because this is when we get a lot of rain in my area. These plants are highly adapted to dry conditions and drought but they thrive when given sufficient water. The most common mistake made in succulent plants is watering. SproutingIndoors September 22, 2020 November 28, 2020. Portulacaria afra flowers only when it is grown in the ground in conditions similar to its native habitat. If you are unsure how much and how often to water in the beginning, it’s always better to underwater and increase watering as needed. Dwarf Jade (Portulacaria afra) Care guide for the Jade Bonsai tree. Portulacaria afra is an easy going succulent that has an attractive growth habit, with small green succulent leaves on a red coloured stem. Portulacaria Afra a.k.a Elephant Bush a.k.a Miniature Jade. And if you keep your plants indoors, you may not have to water as much especially if they are not receiving a lot of light. Here are some growlight recommendations that may help. Sunshades are a real lifesaver for my plants during the intense summer heat here in Northern California where the temperatures can rise above 100℉ or 37.8℃. A mistaken identity led me to this awesome plant, and it has become one of my all-time favorites ever since. This plant is helpless to coarse bugs that show up as little, cottony spots on the green leaves. Portulacaria afra Bonsai Pruning Since this particular succulent plant grows so quickly, it adapts itself well to trying out a bonsai-inspired shape. Before moving the plant outdoors or increasing the amount of sunlight it receives, it is better to acclimate the plant to help prevent sunburn or sun damage. I keep my plants outdoors all year and we get plenty of rain during the winter months so the chances of mines blooming will be slim, but I haven’t given up hope yet because anything is possible. The Portulacaria Afra or the Elephant Bush is a perennial succulent shrub native to South Africa. Indigenous to South Africa, the elephant bush (Portulacaria afra), also called elephant food and miniature … Borne at the end of the stem in clusters, they are rich in nectar and wildly attractive to bees and other insects. July 6, 2020 April 27, 2020 by Victoria Wilson. I have been using a simple concoction that has worked well for my plants. The elephant bush does best in warm temperatures. They have reddish-brown stems with glossy green leaves. The most common reason for yellow leaves is cultural problems. ELEPHANT BUSH ( Portulacaria afra ) Elephant bush is a small succulent that grows to a few feet in cultivation, but may grow to 20+ feet in the wild where it is eaten by elephants, thus the name. Each tiny pink blossom is star-shaped and made up of 5 pointed petals. Just like with other succulent plants, Portulacaria Afra ‘Elephant Bush’ needs a well draining soil. Watch for pests like whitefly, spider mites and mealybugs. One of the many Spekboom facts is that it is indigenous to the Eastern Cape province and has been deemed as a miracle plant by many. First, repot the bush into brand new soil and remove any diseases root that you can see. They have reddish-brown stems with glossy green leaves. Your privacy is important to us. Combine some of the old soil in the old pot with new soil, so you don’t give you plant shock when you transfer it into the new soil. I would really like to try and prune it so that the outer branches grow into “pads” or groupings of sprouted leaves that form a level growing from the side of the main trunk. It has small round soft green glossy padded leaves with burgundy red stems. Here’s some of my Elephant Bush grown from stem cuttings. When feeding, dilute the fertilizer recommended in the package to half. Succulents in general are not heavy feeders. I live in a very dry climate so my watering schedule is adapted to the dry conditions of my environment. They start out as a small bush and eventually grow tree-like. But the elephant bush’s leaves can get a sunburn if the sun is too intense, like during the height of summer. Bought it about a month ago I realised when it arrived that it had mealybugs on it so gave it a wash with some water and then sprayed it with some bug spray. The elephant bush is a mighty plant, just like the animal it was named after. temp. It has now been shown to be effective in carbon sequestration (binding atmospheric carbon which is responsible for climate change), in semi-arid landscapes and thicket vegetation it is also being used for restoration purposes. Scientific name: Portulacaria afra Synonyms: Spekboom, Bacon Tree, Pork Bush, Elephant’s Food, Elephant Bush, Dwarf Jade Plant. Home » Plants » Elephant Bush (Portulacaria Afra) Care & Growing Guide. During the winter, you may only have to water the bush once a month. They serve as food for elephants and other wildlife in their native habitat and can grow up to 20 feet tall. Give it a few weeks before you change the composition of the soil. Your email will never be shared nor sold. Dispose the bugs by cleaning it down with a cotton swab dunked in liquor. The elephant bust itself can stand hot weather and humid climate, but it’s flowers cannot. Portulacaria afra 'Red Stem', sometimes called Elephant Bush, is a tall-growing succulent species. Please enter your name and email to get your sample copy. Sunlight Requirements: Light Shade to Full Sun. Cut back on watering and allow the plant to dry out. Portulacaria is generally suited to all areas of SA but is not ideal in heavy frost areas. SproutingIndoors September 22, 2020 November 28, 2020. I do not really find the need to use a rooting hormone but some people prefer using it to speed up the process and also guarantee success. A south facing window will work best, but an east or west facing windows will also do. I just dont have time to type em again, head there, search very few other posts here, or show in person! Here are some of my recommendations for sunshades and sun protection. Like Like. If severely overwatered, the stems of the plant would start rotting from the bottom. The plant may be sitting in the wrong soil and is showing signs of stress. Along with dropped leaves, the leaves would also have a shriveled and flat appearance. Enjoy! Fertilizing once a month during the active growing season (spring time to early fall) should be sufficient. It is also known as Elephant Bush, Dwarf Jade, Mini Jade, Elephant food, Chinese Jade Plant, Pork Bush, Rainbow Bush, Rainboe Elephant Bush, Spekboom (Afrikaans for bacon tree), miniature jade or small leaf jade (but not related to Crassula ovata … Portulacaria afra forma macrophylla (Large Leaf Elephant Food) - An upright growing plant (8-12 feet tall) with reddish brown stems and 1 inch long emerald green leaves. I like to use a cactus potting mix combined with perlite for more drainage. The elephant bush (Portulacaria Afra) is a native of South Africa. You can use frost cloths or mini greenhouses to help them survive the cold winter. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If you’ve kept your plant on the dry side and have not watered in a long while and you notice these things happening, give the plant a good drink of water and it should perk up in a day or two. Spekboom (Portulacaria Afra) is a succulent plant found in South Africa. Interested in finding out more about watering succulents? If you need further help with watering techniques, consider using tools like hygrometers or moisture meters to check for moisture in the soil and air. It is a survival mechanism. Limited time offer. To encourage blooms, make sure they are getting adequate lighting. But nutrients in the soil do run out and after years of watering and having the water drain out of the pot, the nutrients will need to be replenished. During the spring, its flowers only grow if the environment is mild and the heat isn’t strong. Here are some of my recommendations for frost protection. Elephant Bush (Portulacaria Afra) Care & Growing Guide. I have all of mines growing in containers outdoors. Along with proper lighting and the right environmental conditions, they also need to go through a wintering period. In all honesty, I have yet to see my Portulacaria Afra bloom. I wrote about how I have grown my succulent collection through stem cuttings here “Easiest Way To Propagate Succulents”. For more information on this topic, do visit my post on “Optimal Temperatures for Succulents to Thrive”. The non-variegated form is more heat tolerant. Portulacaria Afra, commonly known as Elephant Bush, are often mistaken for Crassula Ovata ‘Jade Plants’ because they resemble each other in a lot of ways. It really is such a rewarding experience to be able to multiply your collection and have them literally growing everywhere. What is the worst pest and disease that I will encounter when I have an elephant bush? To read more about this topic on indoor lighting for succulents, check out my post on “Proper Lighting for Succulents Indoors” to get some helpful tips. Check out my resource page for recommendations on where to purchase these and other succulent plants online. I am guilty of making this mistake when I first got a hold of an Elephant Bush plant. A portulacaria afra that is too wet will look sickly and drop leaves. They serve as food for elephants and other wildlife in their native habitat and can grow up to 20 feet tall. However it can also be grown indoors near a well lit window. This usually happens when the plant has been overwatered and/or the soil medium does not dry out fast enough, or both. If you are planting the elephant bush outside, then the soil you’re going to place the plant in needs to be sandy and well-draining. Keep away from direct sunlight. Visit my post “How And When To Water Succulents” where I go into details about this topic. If you want to propagate from leaf cuttings make sure to use the whole leaf including the base to ensure success. Pin this now to save for later or share with others! Slowly increase the time you leave the bush out in the sun over a couple of weeks. Leaf Drop on an Elephant Bush. To read more about soil for succulents, please click on “Best Soil for Succulents”. That got rid of them but I soon noticed a lot of leaves dropping. Important to note is that the Portulacaria afra is sensitive to cold. The ASPCA’s (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) website provides valuable information and a comprehensive list of toxic and nontoxic plants for cats, dogs, and other house pets. The little petals might even remind you of elephant ears. After about four to six weeks, the cuttings should be fully rooted and you will soon notice new growth developing from the top. Also known as Elephant’s food/the Pork bush, Portulacaria afra is a succulent shrub with small rounded leaves and a contrasting red stem. The reddish-brown stems in these are also more pronounced. Ideally, the plant needs at least 5-6 hours of light. They need to be acclimated to full sun or the leaves will get sunburned. The drought and soak method is the best way to make sure you’re not overwatering your plant. Soak the bush in a lot of water, and then let it dry out over several weeks. They mostly grow along the brown stem of the plant. Different pests to pay special mind to are bug parasites and whitefly. provides valuable information and a comprehensive list of toxic and nontoxic plants for cats, dogs, and other house pets. Portulacaria afra. And it has as many names as it has uses. Visit my post. . Simply give it a good drink and wait about a week and see if the top inch of the soil feels dry before watering again. Elephant Bush Care- Portulacaria Afra. These plants are very easy to grow and propagate. The width it can cover is over two feet in diameter, depending on the size of the leaves. Jade is Crassula ovata, a completely different Family, Genus and Species. The ideal location for Portulacaria afra, regardless of size will be outdoors in full sun. If you live in USDA hardiness zones 9-11, you can leave the plant outdoors all year long and they can even be planted in ground. Water the soil every few days or when it feels dry. These are signs that you are overwatering your plant. This can be achieved by keeping them cool and dry in the winter months, with temperatures just above freezing between 35-44⁰F (1.5-7⁰C). Portulacaria Afra ‘Elephant Bush’ does best in areas that receive plenty of sunlight. Here are some of my, recommendations for sunshades and sun protection, For further details and information on outdoor sunlight requirements, please visit my post, “How Much Sunlight Do Succulents Need Outdoors?”, If for whatever reason you cannot bring the plants in, there are ways to protect them from frost or freezing temperatures. Although Elephant Bush closely resemble Jade Plants in appearance, they are not at all related. I cut back on watering to about 10-14 days when the weather cools down. If your area does not receive adequate sunlight or you have poor lighting at home, consider using a growlight so your plants can meet their lighting needs to grow properly, especially during those dark winter months. It has small, circular, fleshy, bright green foliage on reddish-brown stems. Others recommend using a sandy soil. Mild sunburn may be expected under extreme heat conditions but otherwise, these plants can handle the heat. Other names of Portulacaria Afra include porkbush and spekboom. Recently bought a Portulacaria Afra it's having some issues. Drill extra holes if you need to. Elephant bush (Portulacaria afra) is a semi-evergreen shrubby flowering succulent native to South Africa.In the wild, elephant bush grows in dry, sunny locations. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra Elatior) Care & Growing Guide, African Bush Daisy (Euryops Chrysanthemoides) Care &…. Although a popular name for this succulent is “Miniature Jade,” it is not related to Crassula ovata. They thrive without problems under the full sun of italian summer (up to 40° C), in winter protect them in a closed patio south facing (min. Portulacaria afra (known as elephant bush, dwarf jade plant, porkbush and spekboom in Afrikaans) is a small-leaved succulent plant found in South Africa.These succulents commonly have a reddish stem and leaves that are green, but also a variegated cultivar is often seen in cultivation. The reddish-brown stems grow upward reaching up to be 8’ to 15’ feet tall. This happens because the roots at the bottom of the plant have developed funguses from being overwatered too many times. That got rid of them but I soon noticed a lot of leaves dropping. You can also obtain them online at the touch of your fingertips by visiting this, If you need further help with watering techniques, consider using tools like hygrometers or moisture meters to check for moisture in the soil and air. Portulacaria Afra – ’Elephant Bush’ Info. It has small, circular, fleshy, bright green foliage on reddish-brown stems. Don’t add extra fertilizer to the soil right after repotting. You can either choose to repot at this point or feed with a fertilizer. To keep these little pests off of your plant, spray a mixture of neem oil and water onto the entire plant, stem, soil, and the tops and bottoms of the leaves. 3°C). I find leaf propagation a bit trickier and takes a lot longer. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. If you shake the plants, all of the whiteflies that have wings will fly into the air. Borne at the end of the stem in clusters, they are rich in nectar and wildly attractive to bees and other insects. Getting these plants to bloom in cultivation is rare, and even rarer for them to bloom in containers or when kept indoors. If you live in a humid location, you won’t need to water as much. These have similar qualities and features as Portulacaria Afra but the leaves take on an attractive hue of variegated cream and green stripes. But if we don’t get any rain at all during winter then I water at least once a month or every 2-3 weeks. Portulacaria Afra Prostrata Hanging Basket Succulents are fascinating, low-maintenance, Succulents are fascinating, low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants that come in a range of stunning colors, shapes and textures. Different pests like mealy bugs may appear, if any insects are visible, rinse the jade with a garden hose or spray with a dish soap mixture or neem oil. Underwatering and overwatering can both cause leaves to drop. Do check out these, Interested in finding out more about watering succulents? That way you can bring them indoors during winter or when there is forecast of frost or snow. If you try to plant this bush in water, you will never see it again because it will wither and die at the bottom of the water. Where can you find Portulacaria Afra ‘Elephant Bush’? LeadCamp, Inc also participates in affiliate programs with Walmart, Bluehost, Clickbank, CJ, ShareASale, and other sites. Underwatering and overwatering can both cause leaves to drop. You may also need to move the plant to a brighter location to help it dry out faster. The reddish-brown stems sustain upward reaching up to be 8’ to 15’ feet tall. A portulacaria afra that is too wet will look sickly and drop leaves. No, you cannot grow an elephant bush in water. Plant the stem into the soil and water it thoroughly, but don’t soak it. The foliage of Portulacaria Afra is used as food in some native cultures.