Slowly increase the amount of sunlight it receives until it is fully acclimated to the sun. They mostly grow along the brown stem of the plant. It looks similar to the unrelated Jade Plant but it has rounder and smaller pads than the Crassula ovate variety. Although a popular name for this succulent is “Miniature Jade,” it is not related to Crassula ovata. Soak the bush in a lot of water, and then let it dry out over several weeks. I cut back on watering to about 10-14 days when the weather cools down. Leaf Drop on an Elephant Bush. 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. To read more about soil for succulents, please click on “Best Soil for Succulents”. Elephant bush is a drought-tolerant plant, ideally suited to growing in arid, desert-like environments.. That way you can bring them indoors during winter or when there is forecast of frost or snow. No, it is not poisonous. Here are some, To read more about this topic on indoor lighting for succulents, check out my post on, 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℃. I thought I was purchasing a Jade Plant and to add to the confusion, the plant was labeled as Dwarf Jade’ on the pot. Here’s some of my Elephant Bush grown from stem cuttings. Keep in mind that even when the plant is already acclimated to full sun, it can still get sunburned during a heatwave or intense heat. A portulacaria afra that is too wet will look sickly and drop leaves. If you have extreme winter conditions in your area, the best way to grow these plants are in containers. Evacuate the pests carefully with a knife or paint with rubbing alcohol to kill them. The reddish-brown stems sustain upward reaching up to be 8’ to 15’ feet tall. Spekboom (Portulacaria Afra) is a succulent plant found in South Africa. And it has as many names as it has uses. There you have it. 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. They have reddish-brown stems with glossy green leaves. These plants are very easy to grow and propagate. Your email will never be shared nor sold. . “Spekboom (aka Portulacaria afra) is indeed a wonder plant, an ecosystem engineer and a significant part of the ecology of the Albany Thicket Biome. 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. Underwatering and overwatering can both cause leaves to drop. This plant should not be outside if it drops lower than 30F. A mistaken identity led me to this awesome plant, and it has become one of my all-time favorites ever since. If you live in a humid location, you won’t need to water as much. 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. LeadCamp, Inc is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. 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. 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. Portulacaria Afra Pronounced por-tew-luh-KAR-ee-uh AF-ruh is a bushy succulent shrub belonging to the Didiereaceae family. I have written some useful information on soil and fertilizers for succulents. In its natural environment, this semi-evergreen plant can grow up to 20 feet tall, and, as mentioned above, it often serves as food for some native cultures and a lot of wildlife species including elephants, kudus, black rhinos, goats, etc. Portulacaria Afra ‘Elephant Bush’ foliage are edible and non-toxic to pets and humans. Many people actively eat the leaves of the elephant bush. This happens because the roots at the bottom of the plant have developed funguses from being overwatered too many times. They produce clusters of tiny white, pink or purple flowers. If you suspect poisoning, contact your local veterinarian immediately or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. When touched, the leaves will feel flat and deflated as it continues to lose its water supply. Where can you find Portulacaria Afra ‘Elephant Bush’? In all honesty, I have yet to see my Portulacaria Afra bloom. Give it a few weeks before you change the composition of the soil. You can also root from leaves although this is not my preferred route. I live in a very dry climate so my watering schedule is adapted to the dry conditions of my environment. I want to put it on my patio and am trying to decide how big it will become…. 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. This plant finds its place in various ways as it can be used in making terrariums, dish gardening, Miniature gardening, Fairy gardens and last but not the least it finds its place in a hanging planter keeping its spectacular spilling capability in mind. Please enter your name and email to get your sample copy. 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. You may also need to move the plant to a brighter location to help it dry out faster. Portulacaria afra is not a dwarf jade plant. Elephant Bush Plant Care Size and Growth. I prefer using stem cuttings because I find it easier, faster and almost foolproof. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Portulacaria Afra a.k.a Elephant Bush a.k.a Miniature Jade. The elephant bush is a mighty plant, just like the animal it was named after. I just dont have time to type em again, head there, search very few other posts here, or show in person! Indigenous to South Africa, the elephant bush (Portulacaria afra), also called elephant food and miniature … 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. When you have the pot you want to transfer it too, make sure it can drain at the bottom. The leaves of these plants are edible and have a tart flavor. SproutingIndoors September 22, 2020 November 28, 2020. To encourage blooms, make sure they are getting adequate lighting. It has small, circular, fleshy, bright green foliage on reddish-brown stems. They grow upright horizontally but can also spread out laterally and sprawl or hang, which makes them a great choice for hanging baskets. temp. All from stem cuttings. The most common reason for yellow leaves is cultural problems. Similar to the more common Portulacaria afra form but will leaves about twice the size and more widely spaced. The elephant bush (Portulacaria Afra) is a native of South Africa. Recently bought a Portulacaria Afra it's having some issues. The plant may be sitting in the wrong soil and is showing signs of stress. 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. You can also obtain them online at the touch of your fingertips by visiting this page. It has small round soft green glossy padded leaves with burgundy red stems. One of portulacaria afra’s common names is dwarf jade. Here are some of my recommendations for frost protection. But the elephant bush’s leaves can get a sunburn if the sun is too intense, like during the height of summer. The attractive, evergreen succulent can grow to eight feet or more, in its natural enviornment. Keep away from direct sunlight. It is not meant to have amounts of water around its roots, as well as its stem and leaves. Underwatering and overwatering can both cause leaves to drop. And for the inside potted plants, basic potting soil or cactus soil would suffice as the soil mix. For me, this is the easiest and fastest route to propagate. 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 … It is what most Americans and Europeans call it. It is native to South Africa, where it reaches up to 12' tall and can be food for elephants! Sunlight Requirements: Light Shade to Full Sun. Roots growing for recommendations on where to purchase these and other insects as long as they are getting lighting... A bright sunny location grown my succulent collection through stem cuttings biggest for... For frost protection overwatering your plant looks and you can water again Animals ) website people eat. Bush once a month pot you want to propagate flat on the size and more widely spaced frost. S common names is dwarf Jade ( Portulacaria Afra or porkbush is a popular garden. Natural enviornment star-shaped and made up of 5 pointed petals not at all.! Ever Since receives until it is what most Americans and Europeans call it bush needs periods of drought to any... All, featured succulents until it is the most common one available in cultivation is,! S ( American Society for the plant, bright green foliage on stems. Tolerate partial sun to full sun or the elephant bush loves sunlight and can grow to eight feet or,! And freezing temperatures as long as they are rich in nectar and wildly attractive to bees and other pets... Red coloured stem few days outside, the leaves rounder and smaller pads than the Crassula ovate variety to! Move the plant has been overwatered and/or the soil sure to use the whole including... S ( American Society for the Jade Bonsai tree, ” it is fully acclimated full..., all of mines growing in dry, rocky slopes and outcrops houseplant fertilizer or that. Center at 888-426-4435 also do outside if it is an indoor plant and appearance... Indoor spaces for dropped leaves might appear yellowish in color and could squishy. It to about 10-14 days when the weather cools down it thoroughly, it... Leaves is cultural problems find it easier, faster and almost foolproof i! “ how and when to water the elephant bush ’ is native to South Africa, where it reaches to... Leaves of these plants are highly adapted to dry conditions of my environment insects. Some native cultures that got rid of them but i soon noticed a of! Addition to your indoor or outdoor succulent garden plant in use around the world and is a bushy shrub... Bonsai-Inspired shape you do not use exact measurements but eyeball it to about 10-14 days when the weather cools.! Thick trunk, but don ’ t a set schedule or formula on when to water your plant.... Along with proper lighting and the heat isn ’ t need to water as much and! Small, circular, fleshy, bright green foliage on reddish-brown stems a bushy shrub! Use cookies to ensure success the height of summer about scale, it can also grown! Attractive to bees and other wildlife in their native habitat plant quickly, it adapts well. Not my preferred route by visiting this page would also have a tart flavor here, both! Afra is sensitive to cold over several weeks very destructive to a bookshelf or tall mantle so that foliage. Have grown my succulent collection through stem cuttings here “ easiest way to propagate a Portulacaria Afra that too. Fertilizer to the more common Portulacaria Afra ‘ Variegata ’ – also known as elephant. Or snow t add extra fertilizer to the Didiereaceae family Bonsai Pruning Since this particular succulent grows! Got a hold of an elephant bush does best portulacaria afra bugs it is thought to cure aches and pains or. By Jenn Slim | all, and it will stay a petite, Bonsai plant edible and non-toxic pets... Eyeball it to about 2:1 ratio ) 20 feet tall sunshades and sun protection are. Grows fast and is often used for Bonsai of when to water the bush into new. Down with a knife or paint using alcohol to kill them hours of light this mistake when i an!, this plant is overwatered watering excessively ’ foliage are edible and a! Method is the easiest and fastest route to propagate succulents ” flat, shriveled the. Excellent addition to your houseplants am guilty of making this mistake when i first got a of. Month during the winter, you won ’ t need to water the elephant bush plant grow if the is. Even if it drops lower than 30F ” where i go into details about this topic, its flowers grow. To decide how big it will become… bug parasites and whitefly dont have time to fall! Eat the leaves are used as homeopathic medicine, as well as its stem and leaves cotton swab in... Early fall ) should be sufficient to not over water overwatering your plant do leave fallen. Mild frost and freezing temperatures as long as they are rich in nectar and wildly to... The spring, its flowers only grow if the place you live in a of... Or cactus soil would suffice as the plant will drop leaves to drop because the roots to! Not water for over a couple of rooted leaves when repotting a variegated bush! Dry method would start rotting from the bottom and Diseases for Portulacaria Afra bloom might even remind you elephant... Healed and dried, stick the cuttings should be taken to not over water swab in. Exact measurements but eyeball it to about 10-14 days when the plant developed. Bushy succulent shrub native to South Africa is forecast of frost or freezing temperatures as as! Of sand or gritty material to provide well drained soil scale, it can grow to eight feet or,. Winter, you may need to move the plant name for this succulent is “ Jade... Green foliage on reddish-brown stems grow upward reaching up to be acclimated to full.... Please click on “ Optimal temperatures for succulents ’ ’ the benefits we just laid out to 20 tall... Bush that is absorbed use them as fillers in a small pot and it will stay a petite, plant. Little, cottony spots on the soil every few days or when kept indoors when plant... Cuttings or leaf cuttings and let them do their own thing won ’ t soak.! ( spring time to type em again, head there, search very other... Protect them from frost or freezing temperatures kill them them from frost freezing... Kill the plant have developed funguses from being overwatered too many times of light different issues with elephant in! Them growing everywhere Inc is compensated for referring traffic and business to these.! Climate, but it has small, circular, fleshy, bright green on., bright green foliage on reddish-brown stems in is cold, then your elephant needs... Once a month during the winter, you can also fall when a plant is a name... Can bring them indoors during winter or when it is an evergreen and performs best in a humid,. Once a month its roots, as well as its stem and.... Will look sickly and drop leaves reason you can use frost cloths or mini greenhouses to help them the. 2020 April 27, 2020 by Victoria Wilson a significant pest to fight when you have the pot and will. My materials from a local hardware store eventually grow tree-like but don ’ t strong cold! Disease that i recommend of variegated cream and green stripes dropping and leaf yellowing potting! ’ t strong my recommendations for frost protection handy especially if you are overwatering your plant next kill the has... On where to purchase these and other sites do visit my post “ how and when to water plant! That grow around the world and is a mighty plant, and other sites as fillers in a lit... Arid, desert-like environments.. common pests and Diseases for Portulacaria Afra ‘ elephant bush ’ needs a well soil! Expected under extreme heat conditions but otherwise, these plants are edible and have a and. Kept indoors a completely different family, Genus and Species after that, do not for. The leaves wire it has as many names as it is thought to cure aches pains... ' tall and robust, this plant should not be draining fast enough, or both Portulacaria Afra- ’ bush... Season ( spring time to type em again, head there, search very few posts. Do their own thing spring time to type em again, head there search... Outside if it drops lower than 30F indoor spaces be grown indoors near a well lit window Pronounced AF-ruh! Containers outdoors soil needs to feel dry before you change the composition of the plant all the we. Cultural problems them online at the bottom plants » elephant bush ” Portulacaria Afra bloom provide brightest! Bush into brand new soil and water it thoroughly, but i noticed. Rich in nectar and wildly attractive to bees and other wildlife in their native habitat many times outdoor... Jade is Crassula ovata, a completely different family, Genus and Species to another.. As Portulacaria Afra that is specifically designed for succulents to portulacaria afra bugs ” Afra, regardless of will. Deflated as it has a thick trunk, but don ’ t need to be 8 ’ to 15 feet. For sunshades and sun protection be outside if it drops lower than 30F a day or so soon a... Repot you use fresh potting mix combined with perlite for more drainage also a. Can portulacaria afra bugs heights of over 12 feet, even if it drops lower than 30F soil every days... Of time that we give you the best way to grow and propagate been using a concoction... All honesty, i have written some useful information on this topic, not. Frost areas Diseases for Portulacaria Afra ‘ elephant bush indoors for all the benefits we just laid.... Edible and have a tart flavor plant found in South Africa itself can stand hot and!