Portulacaria afra

 

Portulacaria afra

Scientific Name: Portulacaria afra Jacq.
Common Names: Elephant Bush, Elephant Food, Elephant’s Food, Elephant Plant, Miniature Jade, Dwarf Jade, Dwarf Jade Plant, Small Leaf Jade, Porkbush

Description of the Plant:
Portulacaria afra is a soft-wooded, succulent shrub or small tree, usually up to 15 feet (4.5 m) tall with horizontally spreading. Similar in appearance to Crassula ovata, it has small round succulent leaves, up to 1.2 cm long and up to 0.4 inch/1 cm wide, and red stems. Flowers are pink, star-shaped and in small clusters.

Growing and Care:
Choose a location with indirect sunlight when growing Elephant Bush indoors. Overly bright sunlight can char the leaves and cause them to drop off. Ensure that the container you choose has wide drainage holes. The most common mistake made in succulent plants is watering. They are drought tolerant but do require watering from April to October. In winter the plants are dormant and you may suspend watering. Elephant Bush plants in the home interior should not have consistently wet feet. Make sure the pot drains well and don’t leave a saucer with water sitting under the container. Fertilize in late winter to early spring with an indoor plant fertilizer diluted by half. Like most succulents, Elephant Bush is easy to reproduce from cuttings. Take cuttings in spring or summer for best results. Let the cutting dry out and callous for a couple of days and then plant the cutting in damp gritty soil in a small pot… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for an Elephant Bush (Portulacaria afra).

Origin: Native to South Africa (Cape Province, KwaZulu-Natal, Transvaal) and Swazilan

 

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