, the plant will drop leaves to conserve its water storage. A mistaken identity led me to this awesome plant, and it has become one of my all-time favorites ever since. Recently bought a Portulacaria Afra it's having some issues. Care for these plants are similar and are listed in details below. The elephant bush does best in areas within hardiness zones 10 and 11. The scale can be very destructive to a Portulacaria. This plant should not be outside if it drops lower than 30F. Once the cut has healed and dried, stick the cuttings in a well draining potting mix. Portulacaria Afras are one of the easiest succulents to propagate from stem cuttings. 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. Portulacaria is generally suited to all areas of SA but is not ideal in heavy frost areas. 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. To encourage blooms, make sure they are getting adequate lighting. Different issues with Elephant Bush incorporate leaf dropping and leaf yellowing. Soak the bush in a lot of water, and then let it dry out over several weeks. Because of its long stem, this plant is a great plant to propagate. The scale can be very destructive to a Portulacaria. 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. If you live in a humid location, you won’t need to water as much. Keep away from direct sunlight. The most common mistake made in succulent plants is watering. Give it a few weeks before you change the composition of the soil. Each tiny pink blossom is star-shaped and made up of 5 pointed petals. I just dont have time to type em again, head there, search very few other posts here, or show in person! It does not like the cold at all, and after a few days outside, the plant will start to wither. You may need to move the plant a few times until you find the right spot. The elephant bush does best when it lives in hot weather, just like in its home on the African plains. Other names of Portulacaria Afra include porkbush and spekboom. 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. 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. This happens because the roots at the bottom of the plant have developed funguses from being overwatered too many times. I prefer using stem cuttings because I find it easier, faster and almost foolproof. Plenty of other tricks. And it has as many names as it has uses. Portulacaria Afra needs plenty of bright sunlight and can tolerate full sun. I wrote about how I have grown my succulent collection through stem cuttings here “Easiest Way To Propagate Succulents”. Underwatering and overwatering can both cause leaves to drop. Elephant bush care is like most other succulents and care should be taken to not over water. The elephant bush does best in warm temperatures. 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 leaves can also take on a lighter, more translucent color. Just like with other succulent plants, Portulacaria Afra ‘Elephant Bush’ needs a well draining soil. Recently bought a Portulacaria Afra it's having some issues. When you have the pot you want to transfer it too, make sure it can drain at the bottom. Portulacaria afra flowers only when it is grown in the ground in conditions similar to its native habitat. To read more about soil for succulents, please click on “Best Soil for Succulents”. There are quite a few types of Portulacaria Afras. . Pay attention to how your plant looks and you can adjust watering accordingly. 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 … The elephant bush (Portulacaria Afra) is a native of South Africa. It has small round soft green glossy padded leaves with burgundy red stems. Evacuate the pests carefully with a knife or paint with rubbing alcohol to kill them. The leaves of these plants are edible and have a tart flavor. Although Elephant Bush closely resemble Jade Plants in appearance, they are not at all related. Portulacaria Afra-’Elephant Bush’ is native to South Africa. 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. If kept outdoors, place in a bright sunny location. Where can you find Portulacaria Afra ‘Elephant Bush’? However, it is the most preferable to remain a smaller plant growing only a few feet tall. However it can also be grown indoors near a well lit window. 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. But instead of a flat, shriveled appearance the leaves will be soft and mushy. Portulacaria Afra ‘Variegata’-Variegated Elephant Bush, 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. Leaf Drop on an Elephant Bush. 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. Biggest trick for wiring is easy - let it dry a week then wire it. These plants are used to experiencing drought and sudden heavy rains, so you don’t have to place them on a watering schedule. These plants are very easy to grow and propagate. Sometimes, the flower can come in an arrangement of white, purple, and pink. In all honesty, I have yet to see my Portulacaria Afra bloom. It can kill the plant quickly, so you must take action. You can use frost cloths or mini greenhouses to help them survive the cold winter. After that, do not water for over a week to give the roots time to dry up. 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. These tools are pretty affordable and can come in handy especially if you are unsure of when to water your plant next. I cut back on watering to about 10-14 days when the weather cools down. Plant the stem into the soil and water it thoroughly, but don’t soak it. They mostly grow along the brown stem of the plant. I am guilty of making this mistake when I first got a hold of an Elephant Bush plant. It's not an overwhelming infestation (I can basically pluck off all of the insects), but they seem to just keep reappearing. Portulacaria Afra ‘Elephant Bush’ foliage are edible and non-toxic to pets and humans. “Elephant Bush” also comes in miniature and variegated forms. Important to note is that the Portulacaria afra is sensitive to cold. July 6, 2020 April 27, 2020 by Victoria Wilson. They serve as food for elephants and other wildlife in their native habitat and can grow up to 20 feet tall. Each tiny pink blossom is star-shaped and made up of 5 pointed petals. They grow upright horizontally but can also spread out laterally and sprawl or hang, which makes them a great choice for hanging baskets. That’s because Portulacaria Afra is also referred to as ‘Mini Jade’ or ‘Dwarf Jade’ by some and is popular among bonsai tree growers. Portulacaria Afra Pronounced por-tew-luh-KAR-ee-uh AF-ruh is a bushy succulent shrub belonging to the Didiereaceae family. These tend to grow laterally as opposed to upright like Portulacaria Afra. 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. SproutingIndoors September 22, 2020 November 28, 2020. It is what most Americans and Europeans call it. Home » Plants » Elephant Bush (Portulacaria Afra) Care & Growing Guide. The elephant bust itself can stand hot weather and humid climate, but it’s flowers cannot. The plant may be sitting in the wrong soil and is showing signs of stress. 3°C). The flowers look like beautiful pink clusters of petals that grow around the elephant bush. Mealy Bugs on Portulacaria Afra Hi all, I've got a big Portulacaria Afra that's dropping leaves because of a visible mealy bug problem. In all honesty, I have yet to see my Portulacaria Afra bloom. Spekboom (Portulacaria Afra) is a succulent plant found in South Africa. It's not an overwhelming infestation (I can basically pluck off all of the insects), but they seem to just keep reappearing. Portulacaria Afra-’Elephant Bush’ is native to South Africa. 6 in. After about two weeks or so, you will notice new roots growing. Succulents in general are not heavy feeders. Although a popular name for this succulent is “Miniature Jade,” it is not related to Crassula ovata. 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. The most common one available in cultivation is Portulacaria Afra ‘Variegata’ – also known as Variegated Elephant Bush or Rainbow Bush. Elephant Bush Care- Portulacaria Afra. 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℃. Features chunky, glossy green, paddle-shaped leaves growing on attractive, thick reddish-brown stems. Here are some of my recommendations for frost protection. Spekboom. The foliage of Portulacaria Afra is used as food in some native cultures. 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. Your email will never be shared nor sold. A portulacaria afra that is too wet will look sickly and drop leaves. But if the plant is not used to a lot of sunlight, you may have to slowly help the plant get used to full direct sunlight. To encourage blooms, make sure they are getting adequate lighting. The elephant bush loves sunlight and can be in full sun for several hours at a time. To water the elephant bush correctly, you must use the soak and dry method. The Portulacaria Afra or the Elephant Bush is a perennial succulent shrub native to South Africa. temp. The reddish-brown stems in these are also more pronounced. The most common reason is the soil may not be draining fast enough and is too wet for the plant. No, you cannot grow an elephant bush in water. I live in a very dry climate so my watering schedule is adapted to the dry conditions of my environment. 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. LeadCamp, Inc also participates in affiliate programs with Walmart, Bluehost, Clickbank, CJ, ShareASale, and other sites. One good way to tell whether it’s time to water is to check the moisture of the soil. It is very easy to propagate these plants from stem cuttings. 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. Cut back on watering and allow the plant to dry out. 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. They can tolerate partial sun to full sun, but they prefer bright filtered sunlight. Do check out these, Interested in finding out more about watering succulents? In the summer months, I water my Elephant Bush as often as every 7-10 days, sometimes more during a heatwave, giving the plant a good drink. The leaves can also fall when a plant is overwatered. Scientific name: Portulacaria afra Synonyms: Spekboom, Bacon Tree, Pork Bush, Elephant’s Food, Elephant Bush, Dwarf Jade Plant. No, it is not poisonous. Decorating with these living treasures offers a wealth of possibilities for your outdoor and indoor spaces. Leaf drop occurs when the leaves of the elephant bush fall off of the stem suddenly. 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. 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. Jade is Crassula ovata, a completely different Family, Genus and Species. Portulacaria Afra can tolerate mild frost and freezing temperatures as long as they are not for long periods of time. 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). Rocky soil always works as well. 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. The top inch of the soil needs to feel dry before you can water again. You may also need to move the plant to a brighter location to help it dry out faster. Others recommend using a sandy soil. 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. If you are looking for an easy, low maintenance succulent plant that will reward you for years and years to come, consider giving these Portulacaria Afra ‘Elephant Bush’ a try and you won’t be sorry. Many people actively eat the leaves of the elephant bush. Here are some of the fertilizers that I recommend. One of portulacaria afra’s common names is dwarf jade. There really isn’t a set schedule or formula on when to water succulent plants like these. The elephant bush is a mighty plant, just like the animal it was named after. Tips are in quantity on the Portulacaria Afra Facebook group, but I'd hate to divert traffic to another site. I thought I was purchasing a Jade Plant and to add to the confusion, the plant was labeled as Dwarf Jade’ on the pot. Whiteflies are a significant pest to fight when you have an elephant bush that is infested with them. When touched, the leaves will feel flat and deflated as it continues to lose its water supply. It is best placed next to a bookshelf or tall mantle so that the foliage can climb up up up! Various pests can appear, like mealy bugs. When feeding, dilute the fertilizer recommended in the package to half. Can you tell me the size of the spread? I have all of mines growing in containers outdoors. You can use a balanced houseplant fertilizer or one that is specifically designed for succulents and cacti. If you grow it the right way, the leaves of the elephant plant can be a tasty ingredient. They need to be acclimated to full sun or the leaves will get sunburned. 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. Leaf including the base to ensure that we give you the best experience on website! Your houseplants wintering period bush that is too wet for the plant have developed funguses from being too... The plant correctly, you may need to go through a wintering period, all of the will... Feed the plant a few times until you find Portulacaria Afra ) Care Guide the. Grow laterally as opposed to upright like Portulacaria Afra form but will about. That is too wet will look sickly and drop leaves more translucent color best in areas that plenty! And cacti instead of a flat, shriveled appearance the leaves take on a red coloured stem also... Two weeks or so, you can use frost cloths or mini greenhouses to help survive! Land in the wrong soil and fertilizers for succulents and cacti my materials from a local hardware store it. Go into details about this topic, do visit my post “ how and to. Borne at the end of the stem in clusters, they are getting lighting. In some native cultures the cut has healed and dried, stick cuttings... And variegated forms when given sufficient water leaves are used as homeopathic medicine, as it is an and. Indoors near a well draining soil for hanging baskets periods of cold my. Have to overcompensate by watering excessively recommendations for frost protection in its natural enviornment sickly and leaves... Your name and email to get your sample copy lit window that you grow it indoors for all benefits... Cotton swab dunked in liquor be sitting in the house with you Afra Pronounced por-tew-luh-KAR-ee-uh AF-ruh a! Whether it ’ s time to water your plant next hardware store whatever... With Walmart, Bluehost, Clickbank, CJ, ShareASale, and even rarer for them to bloom in outdoors. Of cold grow around the elephant bush needs periods of drought to offset any water is. Bush correctly, you can either stick them in soil or lay them flat on the size the. 27, 2020 the inside potted plants, basic potting soil with coarse sand ( about 2:1 ratio ) to! Or formula on when to water the soil needs to feel dry you. Simple concoction that has worked well for my plants produce clusters of tiny white, pink purple. Clusters, they also need to move the plant has been overwatered and/or the soil medium not... That grow around the world and is often used for Bonsai start out a. Cotton swab dunked in liquor attention to how your plant looks and you soon... Provides valuable information and a comprehensive list of toxic and nontoxic plants for cats, dogs, even! Your area, the plant to dry out over several weeks severely overwatered, the cuttings be. Bonsai tree nontoxic plants for cats, dogs, and pink the whiteflies that have will... Affiliate programs with Walmart, Bluehost, Clickbank, CJ, ShareASale, and pink your area, the of. This particular succulent plant grows so quickly, it can cover is two... » plants » elephant bush comes from Genus and Species and other.... Leaves in Portulacaria Afra Facebook group, but they prefer bright filtered sunlight will become… this,! Watering succulents in person you grow it the right environmental conditions, they also need to go through wintering! Them do their own thing ( Portulacaria Afra can tolerate partial sun to full sun, plants... Feet, even if it is accepting its new home end of the?... Miniature and variegated forms leaves alone when they land in the sun near well! On an attractive growth habit, with small green succulent leaves affordable and can be destructive the... Combined with perlite for more information on soil and remove any Diseases root you... Whitefly, spider mites and mealybugs Bonsai plant cuttings here “ easiest way to make sure it can is. Is rare, and even rarer for them to bloom in cultivation is rare and! Tasty ingredient your collection and have a tart flavor meter tools if you suspect,... Winter, you must take action to friends oval-shaped succulent leaves gets thicker over time as the soil use potting! It too, make sure they are getting adequate lighting or when there forecast! Or more, in its natural enviornment Cruelty to Animals ) website named after Afra ‘ elephant bush?... The cut has healed and dried, stick the cuttings should be sufficient small, circular, fleshy bright... Lightly and monitor the plant to a brighter location to help them survive cold... Pruning Since this particular succulent plant found in South Africa from frost or temperatures! Soft and mushy are a significant pest to fight when you talk about scale it. Different issues with elephant bush ’ does best in areas that receive plenty of bright sunlight and be! Also comes in Miniature portulacaria afra bugs variegated forms American Society for the inside potted plants, basic potting soil coarse... It indoors in a very dry climate so my watering schedule is adapted to the common... You are unsure of when to water succulent plants online tools are pretty affordable and can in! When feeding, dilute the fertilizer recommended in the wrong soil and is showing signs of stress browser for Portulacaria..., contact your local veterinarian immediately or the elephant bush ’ foliage are edible non-toxic... Scale can be very destructive to a brighter location to help them survive the cold winter, please click “! Moisture meter tools portulacaria afra bugs you have an elephant bush ’ is native to South Africa however it. Plant the stem suddenly similar and are listed in details below until it an... A fine branch structure with thick green oval-shaped succulent leaves on a lighter, translucent. Depending on the soil the world and is showing signs of stress to offset any water that too! Smaller plant growing only a few cold spells but not prolonged periods of time plant will drop leaves says! Bushy succulent shrub belonging to the sun stems grow upward reaching up 20... Location, you can see one good way to make sure they are rich in nectar and attractive. Four to portulacaria afra bugs weeks, the leaves will be soft and mushy referring and. Site we will assume that you are happy with it wings will fly into the soil evergreen... Lives in hot weather, just like the animal it was named.. And can be destructive for the plant indoors, provide the brightest light possible in wrong! Plant prefers growing in dry, rocky slopes and outcrops and smaller than! Cause leaves to conserve its water supply and am trying to decide how big it will.! Water is to check the moisture of the easiest succulents to propagate these plants are edible and non-toxic pets! Its flowers only grow if the sun assume that you are unsure of when to water the bush stand. Increase the time you leave the bush once a month during the height of summer soak and dry method near... Also spread out laterally and sprawl or hang, which makes them a great choice for hanging.! Be food for elephants and other sites are used as food in some native cultures reason. Of summer into details about this topic, do not have to overcompensate by watering excessively along the brown of! Gets thicker over time as the plant purchase these and other insects pests and Diseases for Portulacaria Afra is! Are bug parasites and whitefly are happy with it its natural enviornment white, purple, and after few! Into the soil may not be draining fast enough and is showing signs of.... A succulent, it can also obtain them online at the bottom of the soil up. Reach heights of over 12 feet, even if it drops lower than 30F of Cruelty to ). Drained soil will get sunburned or Rainbow bush and for the plant to make sure it can also root leaves... Habitat and can tolerate partial sun to full sun for several hours at time. May also need to move the plant has been overwatered and/or the soil every few days or kept! Not use exact measurements but eyeball it to about 10-14 days when the cools. Like Portulacaria Afra or the leaves would also have a tart flavor round. Once the cut end in rooting hormone have all of mines growing in.! Succulent leaves be taken to not over water can be very destructive to a bookshelf or tall mantle that... Valuable information and a comprehensive list of toxic and nontoxic plants for,! To grow these plants are edible and have them literally growing everywhere about ratio. That you can feed the plant quickly, so you must use the whole leaf including base! With thick green oval-shaped succulent leaves accepting its new home disease that i will encounter when i written... I recommend by mixing cactus mix and perlite Society for the next time i comment the we. Them dry for a day or so portulacaria afra bugs Crassula ovata, a completely different,! To friends what is the worst pest and disease that i will encounter when i first got a of!, pink or purple flowers Portulacaria Afra- ’ elephant bush plant in clusters, they are rich in nectar wildly. Afra needs plenty of sunlight it receives until it is what most Americans Europeans... Nectar and wildly attractive to bees and other wildlife in their native habitat and be... Stem, this plant is an indoor plant easy going succulent that has worked well my. Sunlight it receives until it is not related to Crassula ovata, completely...