Spekboom is a sculptural low-maintenance choice for a warm, sunny spot; it likes bright, indirect light - a few hours of morning sunshine is perfect. Spekboom is easily propagated from cuttings or truncheons. Portulacaria Afra-Elephant Bush Care, Types and Propagation. Image caption: Crassula ovata” jade plant.” The leaves are more elongated (ovata = "egg-shaped") and larger than Portulacaria afra. However, it is the most preferable to remain a smaller plant growing only a few feet tall. Photograph your Yamadori and send a photo later of the near finish product to the farmer, he will appreciate his contribution to your collection! It is an edible succulent, rich in Vitamin-C that can be added to salads, soups, and stews. This will let the roots become dry and callous and can prevent fungal root rot. They can survive in relatively small amounts of soil and like to be almost dry out between waterings. You have to figure out some of those requirements for your microclimate and then decide which is the best mix. Portulacaria afra grows 6 to 8 feet tall and spreads indefinitely.Use it as a backdrop plant, and/or prune into a hedge. What has this to do with bonsai you must be wondering! People know it as Miniature Jade, Elephant’s Food, and Spekboom in its native habitat in South Africa. Do not take out if you do not have a plan for developing it into a proper bonsai. It is also called a dwarf jade plant. Portulacaria afra plant prefers growing in dry, rocky slopes and outcrops. The word “afra” is in reference to the fact that the plant occurs in Africa. Obviously “shari“ is not ideal, as it just invites disease but it can work in the right setting with proper after care, but not many will agree with me! Portulacaria afra is not prone to many diseases or pests. If you follow these steps in progressive order you should end up with a passable tree that will only improve with age. Here’s what you need to know. In the winter give enough water to keep the leaves from shriveling. In fact, it’s a good idea to let your plant dry out slightly between watering. Image caption: The size of these trunks is what we all dream about. Dwarf Jade Bonsai Techniques. Portulacaria afra is an attractive and robust succulent shrub species that is grown around the globe and is often used ornamentally as a house plant, pruned to resemble a bonsai. The foliage of Portulacaria Afra is used as food in some native cultures. Interesting Facts about Spekboom: In previously overgazed areas, Spekboom can be planted to compact the soil; this prevents it from being washed away. Some spekboom trees can reach heights of 5 metres. "According to C.A. Spekboom is a really versatile plant. This houseplant copes well with average household humidity and will thrive in a sandy, well-draining potting mix for cacti and succulents with added pumice. It is also excellent for bonsai! These “wire bites“ can sometimes contribute to the character of the tree. An easy to care for plant, it is often used in bonsai cultivation. Image caption: Andre Swart with one of his Portulacaria Afra grown over 9 years. Scientific name: Portulacaria afra Synonyms: Spekboom, Bacon Tree, Pork Bush, Elephant’s Food, Elephant Bush, Dwarf Jade Plant. Grow your Portulacaria afra indoors if you live in a temperate zone. Decide there and then beforehand what you are going to do with that tree, draw it, ponder over the idea and share the idea with the farmer in respect to the tree in its arid environment. Excellent when grown in a container and also suited to a succulent garden outdoors. It has the same appearance as the unrelated jade plant. Andre Swart is Paediatrician in Private Practice in George. Portulacaria afra needs less frequent watering during its dormancy period, but because the leaves on Portulacaria afra are so thin, it can handle more frequent waterings than other succulents. The Dwarf jade, otherwise known as ‘Spekboom’ in its native Africa, is a delightful succulent commonly grown as bonsai. Let the soil dry between waterings, but then here it depends on your growing medium. My calendar. It also helps prevent soil erosion due to the nature of its roots. ), abseiling skills and the proper equipment and technique. Bonsai Care. How to Propagate a Portulacaria Afra. Interesting Facts about Spekboom: In previously overgazed areas, Spekboom can be planted to compact the soil; this prevents it from being washed away. Do not use any fine particles or soil, the mix must be loose. The following article is written by Andre Swart. Do not worry about those shrivelled leaves. Spekboom. Portulacaria pygmaea is a dwarf succulent type of shrub with small, thickly fleshy, grey green leaves and occurs on rocky hillsides in Namaqualand, South Africa and is also not suited to bonsai cultivation. However, do keep in mind that you can keep it outdoors as long as it is placed in full sun and is kept at temperatures above 50 degrees or so at all times. Portulacaria care requires warm temperatures and bright light. Rebekah is a writer in upstate New York, just north of the Adirondack Mountains. Hot links. Your bonsai mix depends on where you live, your climate, your watering routine etc. In the winter, you can water as little as once every three to four weeks, especially if your plant is being grown in cooler conditions. In some cases, that may mean supplementing with a grow light. Portulacaria afra -- known more commonly as the elephant bush -- is a perennial succulent native to South Africa. Or, you can grow it in a hanging basket ant let it sprawl like a waterfall instead of growing it as an upright miniature tree. Only needs a … Doing Structural and Stylistic Pruning Prune for structure and style from November to February. #bonsai #bonsaitree #spekboom #dwarfjade #littlejadebonsai #littletree #succulent #portulacariaafra #shohin #garden #greenthumb #gardening #fairygarden #rightbonsaitreepots. Place your new plant into a well-draining soil mixture. How to Grow Crassula Portulacaria. Prune heavily in the spring and summer, but then also anytime when there is active growth pending where you are and your micro climate. Hair Care Essential Oils ... house plant for a sunny window. ), Hoffman’s (this is more cost-effective if you have a lot of succulents but you might have to add pumice or perlite), or Superfly Bonsai (another fast-draining 1 like Bonsai Jack which is great for indoor succulents). This plant isn’t quite as sensitive to overwatering as other succulents can be. Watering “Elephant Bush” has typical watering needs for a succulent. There are other species of Portulacaria (8 species known) which will not be suitable for bonsai, for example: Image caption: Portulacaria armiana is one of three Portulacaria species in South Africa and native to Namibia, easily distinguished by its large cotyledon-like grey-green leaves and tall perennial whipstick-like inflorescence. It thrives in … Some will argue, no “shari” or “jin” as this will invite disease, but nature will prove us wrong again! Portulacaria afra is an attractive and robust succulent shrub species that is grown around the globe and is often used ornamentally as a house plant, pruned to resemble a bonsai. Although most bonsai plants benefit from a gentle watering after they have been repotted, this is not something you need to do with your Portulacaria afra. It’s tropical by nature, so can do well indoors as long as you give it enough light. With frequent pruning, the small leaves readily form desirable pads. Environmental factors such as temperature and humidity affect the speed at which the roots and new plant develop. There is no one “best” mix. Tie down the tree or support it with a rock as the foliage is so heavy it will tumble the tree over and break all the new delicate fleshy roots. Using a Jade Plant or a Dwarf Jade Plant is recommended. Keep track of your plants with reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully. Use sharp scissors and remember to leave a bit of “stalk“ which you later can rub off. A majority of the time, a bonsai pot is not needed until it is ready to be displayed as a bonsai. Only recently one of mine flowered for the first time in 13 years! But, if you don’t mind spending a bit of time pruning it, you can also turn your dwarf jade into a bonsai tree. An easy to care for plant, it is often used in bonsai cultivation. The cultivation and care of Bonsai art involves the long-term development of trees into miniature specimens in small containers. Did you know that the leaves of the Spekboom can be eaten and have a sour flavour (like a Granny Smith apple) It is heavily browsed by game and domestic stock and highly favoured by tortoises. Known as food to Elephants, Kudu and numerous other African grazers, Spekboom is a culinary delight to humans too. I have been doing Bonsai for more than 25 years and Portulacaria is one of my favourite trees to work with, yes, for me it, is a tree. Add rocks or stone to the mix - try simulate the conditions in the Karoo! Keep them in a warm shady position until those shrivelled leaves start pushing out new and luscious green leaves after about 1 -2 weeks. It’s best to use the “soak and dry” method, and allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.Portulacaria afra needs less frequent watering during its dormancy period.. Because the leaves on Portulacaria afra are so thin, it can handle more frequent waterings than other succulents. But do not grow it like a shrub, be creative and develop the branch structure with empty spaces. Spekboom; Elephant succulent; Elephant Bush Plant Care Size and Growth. So it is technically not a bonsai until it is in a bonsai pot. Portulacaria afra “Elephant Bush,” “Elephant Food,” “Dwarf Jade” Portulacaria afra “Elephant Bush” is a large, bushing succulent with woody stems that can grow to incredible heights when given the proper time, nutrients, and growing conditions. The leaves are close together, opposite and just under 1cm long -- when grown in the sun. Wiring is to keep the thicker branches in place and wire “loosely." Spekboom is a sculptural low-maintenance choice for a warm, sunny spot; it likes bright, indirect light - a few hours of morning sunshine is perfect. This should ideally be done in the spring. Cuttings can be allowed to dry out for at least a week in a cool place and then planted in washed river sand. It is a beautiful plant in which caring is very easy. It requires substantial … Portulacaria use their fleshy leaves and branches as reservoirs. Given the right setting and environment, a spekboom plant not flowering, may simply be that it is not old enough to reproduce yet. The example below deals with the setting up of a tropical tank. It is High in Basic Nutrients This plant is edible and high in nutrients, especially Vitamin C, and a perfect addition to a salad. It is a common name what most Americans and Europeans will call it BUT Jade is Crassula ovata, a completely different Family, Genus and Species. Watch out for “wire bite“ but fortunately once the wire is removed, the branch will bulge back without disfigurement because of the water content in the branches. Cape Town, South Africa (2 February 2020) – The City’s Recreation and Parks Department will participate in the Spekboom Challenge with the Newlands Nursery growing 5 000 Spekboom trees to be distributed for planting during Climate Change Month in April this year. Make cuts clean and allow cuts to air dry and callus over naturally, do not use sealer as it is not necessary and will only invite disease underneath the sealer. Create an account or log in. ... s because Portulacaria Afra is also referred to as ‘Mini Jade’ or ‘Dwarf Jade’ by some and is popular among bonsai tree growers. I’ll keep checking back here as things progress. Let the soil dry between waterings, but then here it depends on your growing medium. The spekboom is my second bonsai, my first being a black monkey thorn, a … I had watered the plant in its grow pot a few days before the repotting. Aug 3, 2014 - Portulacaria afra (dwarf jade) bonsai tree forest. Elephant Bush Succulents Elephant bush plant may get 6- to 20-feet (2-6 m.) tall in habitat where it is a favorite food of elephants. Portulacaria afra – the name might sound like a mouthful, so it might be easier to refer to this plant by another name. Bonsai masters use the Elephant Plant to create spectacular bonsai. Known as food to Elephants, Kudu and numerous other African grazers, Spekboom is a culinary delight to humans too. Read the article to find out more. Remove large leaves to open the plant and allow light to reach inner stems where you want new, smaller leaves to grow. The same as when you want taper, to then scar the main stem or branch with a very sharp clean blade and let nature takes its course with creating a naturalistic looking scar. Because they’re so tough, spekboom are often used as firebreaks. The only way to thicken the trunk is to put them in bigger pots and to grow them outside as much as possible, try against a northern faced wall and aim for root zone warmth. Since this is a versatile semi-perennial succulent that can adapt to many conditions, you have lots of options regarding how to grow it. Donate here or scan either of these codes: For all your pine bonsai lovers out there! They can survive for a while indoors but when they drop leaves it is time to move them out again, however I will not recommend indoors except when you exhibit. Stap 2 • Druk ’n stuk koper- of aluminiumdraad van omtrent 15 cm in die grond naby die boom se stam. The portulacaria afra (dwarf jade, elephant jade, spekboom) is native to South Africa where they are part of the African elephant's diet. The artistic and horticultural approach he shares with his wife, Isabel, who is a keen gardener. It’s the best variety to grow as bonsai, not just for its looks, but also for ease of care and maintenance. It's frost-tender, but unless severely damaged, will bounce back. Image caption: For example, fix the cuttings in an open plastic cooldrink bottle with riversand and fill up the top with 13 – 17mm stone. It is best known and appreciated for its amazing ability to heal the environment by helping purify the air. Learn how to grow and maintain a Jade Plant bonsai tree. 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