Farmers will tell you that a small sprig of Porkbush steamed with a tomato bredie (stew) imparts a delicious flavour. What has this to do with bonsai you must be wondering! The Spekboom Challenge is a social media drive, motivating all South Africans to plant at least 10 Spekbome each, in 2020. Portulacaria afra can be used as a topiary or bonsai plant where the strong red stems add much character to the plant. Getting the plant to bloom will require you to keep it in a dry location, withhold water, and expose it to cooler nighttime temperatures. Watering “Elephant Bush” has typical watering needs for a succulent. 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. Traditional uses also include the increasing of breast milk by lactating mothers. Spekboom do well when fertilized with organic fertilizers, or those organic pellets in abundance on the surface (or even inorganic, a few 2:3:2 granules in used tea bags just below the surface at the rim of the pot) will let them grow like crazy, so you have to keep up with pruning right through the active growing season, which here in George, Southern Cape, is almost throughout the year. Knip ook die kroon van die boom korter sodat die bonsai nie te lank vertoon nie. 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. How to Plant the Elephant Bush. Image caption: A Portulacaria “Raft style“ developed from a truncheon that fell on the ground years ago. You have to figure out some of those requirements for your microclimate and then decide which is the best mix. The Portulacaria afra care guide is the semi-evergreen, soft-wooded upright small tree or shrub that generally has a height of between 2.5 and 4.5 meters. Spekboom Bonsai prefer ‘tight feet’ and can go years without root pruning. Excellent when grown in a container and also suited to a succulent garden outdoors. Luckily, it’s a bonsai plant that has plenty of alternatives (elephant bush, porkbush, dwarf jade plant, and spekboom, in Afrikaans, just to name a few!). Spekboom is easily propagated from cuttings or truncheons. Per a comment in McCarthy's article, in Tucson, Arizona "[the collared peccary (aka javelina or musk hog, Pecari tajacu )] love, love, love to munch on [widely used landscaping] elephant food. The spekboom is not only hardy – it is also a perennial and can live for up to 200 years! Here’s a tree: It needs trimming, wiring and repotting. An easy to care for plant, it is often used in bonsai cultivation. The Dwarf jade, otherwise known as ‘Spekboom’ in its native Africa, is a delightful succulent commonly grown as bonsai. Spekboom (Portulacaria) is an easy to grow succulent plant that does best in full sun or bright, indirect light. Spekboom. If you’re looking for a versatile plant that can be turned into a hedge, a bonsai, used as ground cover or perhaps a large bush, spekboom is the plant for you. It’s the best variety to grow as bonsai, not just for its looks, but also for ease of care and maintenance. So it is technically not a bonsai until it is in a bonsai pot. You can also choose from common bonsai cultivars like Limpopo (a large-leafed variety), Prostrata, (a low-lying option), Aurea (a cultivar with yellow leaves) and Foliis variegatus and Medio-picta (both of which are variegated types). 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. It has the same appearance as the unrelated jade plant. 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. Portulacaria afra is much easier to develop as a good bonsai than the larger leaf jade plant, Crassula. People know it as Miniature Jade, Elephant’s Food, and Spekboom in its native habitat in South Africa. If an overwatered tree is the problem, remove the tree from the pot and change the soil, as this invites fungal rot disease When you remove the saturated soil from the roots of your tree, be gentle as those roots are very delicate! "According to C.A. 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. In fact, it’s a good idea to let your plant dry out slightly between watering. For this reason, learning how to trim a bonsai is an essential skill for any grower interested in this method. But, if you don’t mind spending a bit of time pruning it, you can also turn your dwarf jade into a bonsai tree. Apr 23, 2016 - Explore Lee Standlee's board "Portulacaria afra jade bonsai" on Pinterest. With fertilizer they can push growth and if left in the sun, they need very little care. It thrives in … Dwarf Jade Bonsai (Portulacaria afra) The Dwarf Jade Bonsai is a brilliant easy to take care of full proof bonsai tree. From a distance, crassula portulacaria has leaves that look like those on typical North American variegated trees and shrubs. This is not a problem. Portulacaria afra is also known as: Elephant's Food (English); Olifantskos (Afrikaans) and for some also known as “small leaf jade” and “dwarf jade." Cuttings can be allowed to dry out for at least a week in a cool place and then planted in washed river sand. Spekboom bonsai should be watered more often in summer and less in the winter. 3. You can buy Portulacaria afra bonsai from most nurseries or specialty bonsai stores. Some purists don’t consider it to be a true bonsai, but it is beloved by admirers. Image caption: Make a clean cut at the roots and wait at least 2 weeks for the wound to callus over before you plant the tree in a container. I cover "cage" wiring to working the nebari. My ideas. It can absorb a lot of atmospheric carbon and in recent years, people have started using it to prevent climate change. Fortunately, this branching bonsai will thrive to a ripe old age with very little care. 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. Using a Jade Plant or a Dwarf Jade Plant is recommended. Spekboom Overview. The following article is written by Andre Swart. The Jade Bonsai is great for beginners because it is drought tolerant, cold tolerant, easy to style and very adaptive to different environments. 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. Most gardeners will choose to grow this plant as a bonsai specimen, though. It is High in Basic Nutrients This plant is edible and high in nutrients, especially Vitamin C, and a perfect addition to a salad. Portulacaria afra ‘Variegata’ (tricolor or rainbow elephant bush) first appeared as a sport (variant growth) of Portulacaria afra.It has cream-and-green leaves and pendant, trailing stems; and forms low, shrubby mounds that spread several feet tall and wide. Care for an Elephant Bush After Repotting. 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. ), 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). Tie down the larger truncheons with wire or anchor pillars or tie against a rock for support for a few years! The leaves are used to quench thirst, so try sucking a leaf next time you work on your Bonsai. ... It’s the best variety to grow as bonsai, not just for its looks, but also for ease of care and maintenance. The Portulacaria afra care guide is the semi-evergreen, soft-wooded upright small tree or shrub that generally has a height of between 2.5 and 4.5 meters. To … But they also make great shrubs. However, it’s easiest to grow from cuttings that are propagated in the summer. Hair Care Essential Oils ... house plant for a sunny window. "Tanuki" is a Japanese word which directly translated to English means "raccoon." See more ideas about jade bonsai, bonsai, bonsai plants. In addition to writing, she also co-manages a farm, where she grows a variety of plants and raises chickens, pigs, and sheep. Portulacaria afra grows 6 to 8 feet tall and spreads indefinitely.Use it as a backdrop plant, and/or prune into a hedge. Image caption: Root-over-rock ”group planting” is an excellent style for Portulacaria. Using a Jade Plant or a Dwarf Jade Plant is recommended. Aug 3, 2014 - Portulacaria afra (dwarf jade) bonsai tree forest. Portulacaria afra is not prone to many diseases or pests. Then those haven’t been to the Karoo on a field trip, in certain places they are 4-5 meter proper trees with nebari (like a ficus) and trunks thicker than an average human body. Once the soil dries out, though, be sure to water. Bonsai is the Japanese practice of growing miniature trees in small containers. Image caption: Pruning – (Clump style) Define the stems you want to develop into branches by nipping off leaves and leaf buds along the stems , along the underside of branches. Dwarf Jade Bonsai Techniques. 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. Draai dit versigtig om die hoofstam (sien wenk 5 regs onder). Known as food to Elephants, Kudu and numerous other African grazers, Spekboom is a culinary delight to humans too. Image caption: Portulacaria can grow in very little growing medium and with regular pruning and care, the leaves can get  smaller and the tree can even evolve in a literati style. In fact, if you care for it right – or maybe even if you don’t – your bonsai can actually outlive you! From a distance, crassula portulacaria has leaves that look like those on typical North American variegated trees and shrubs. 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. But there is this confusion regarding identification. Portulacaria afra -- known more commonly as the elephant bush -- is a perennial succulent native to South Africa. I’ll keep checking back here as things progress. I received a ‘spekboom’ which appears to have been well begun, for Xmas. Don’t be upset if it is not up to show standard on your first attempt, you will learn all the basic techniques in this exercise and the more you look at trees the more expert you will become. Bonsai masters use the Elephant Plant to create spectacular bonsai. Photograph your Yamadori and send a photo later of the near finish product to the farmer, he will appreciate his contribution to your collection! Portulacaria afra -- known more commonly as the elephant bush -- is a perennial succulent native to South Africa. Portulacaria Afra-Elephant Bush Care, Types and Propagation. 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. 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. Spekboom Overview. It is also called a dwarf jade plant. Knip ook die kroon van die boom korter sodat die bonsai nie te lank vertoon nie. It thrives in … Actually the explanation is rather funny. If you have a well drained mix, then it is unlikely you will end up with root rot because it is usually not over watering but poor, compacted soil that will deprive your tree of oxygen and lead to the demise of your tree. The existing leaves may even shrivel before new leaves appear. If you’re looking for a versatile plant that can be turned into a hedge, a bonsai, used as ground cover or perhaps a large bush, spekboom is the plant for you. ), abseiling skills and the proper equipment and technique. Image caption: The size of these trunks is what we all dream about. The choices made by the authors are not explained in detail in this part but will be explored in greater depth over the series. It also helps prevent soil erosion due to the nature of its roots. If your tree is drooping branches that touch the side of the container or the soil, you'll likely have to cut it back to save the rest of the plant. It is a beautiful plant in which caring is very easy. They can survive in relatively small amounts of soil and like to be almost dry out between waterings. Image caption: Crassula ovata” jade plant.” The leaves are more elongated (ovata = "egg-shaped") and larger than Portulacaria afra. Lives For Up To 200 Years. Also, they are missing the indentation at the tip that makes Portulacaria afra leaves heart-shaped. Trim your spekboom bonsai into a tree shape by removing branches and leaves that clutter the style you desire. If you can get a proper and believable tree image out of it, why not use it? There are two types of pruning: maintenance pruning, which keeps the tree small and encourages new growth, and structural or stylistic pruning, which shapes the tree and can be an art within itself. Young branches and trunk are reddish brown, when they mature they become grayish in color. Let the soil dry between waterings, but then here it depends on your growing medium. However, it is the most preferable to remain a smaller plant growing only a few feet tall. It is a favorite snack for elephants, rhinos, tortoises, and goats. You will need to repot your Portulacaria afra once every two years. Stap 2 • Druk ’n stuk koper- of aluminiumdraad van omtrent 15 cm in die grond naby die boom se stam. #5 It is High in Basic Nutrients This plant is edible and high in nutrients, especially Vitamin C, and a perfect addition to a salad. Image caption: Cut back twigs to only 2-3 nodes and use the “clip and grow“ method to improve the ramification as this works the best on these specimens. 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. Keep track of your plants with reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully. However, it is the most preferable to remain a smaller plant growing only a few feet tall. It is native to Africa and likes to go dry between waterings. My calendar. Trim the bonsai tree's roots accordingly. Portulacaria afra plant prefers growing in dry, rocky slopes and outcrops. My collection and my knowledge of these incredible tolerant species has grown over the last 15 years. The leaves are close together, opposite and just under 1cm long -- when grown in the sun. 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. Image caption: Sometimes cuttings will develop roots, even lying on the surface if they are misted regularly. So it was only fitting to add an elephant to the dwarf jade bonsai forests. How to Grow Crassula Portulacaria. There is no one “best” mix. To acquire the best Yamadori on these rocky slopes, you need medical insurance (It's dangerous! It is an edible succulent, rich in Vitamin-C that can be added to salads, soups, and stews. It's frost-tender, but unless severely damaged, will bounce back. It grows quickly and is incredibly hardy. The example below deals with the setting up of a tropical tank. In the winter give enough water to keep the leaves from shriveling. Grow your Portulacaria afra indoors if you live in a temperate zone. Andre Swart is Paediatrician in Private Practice in George. With frequent pruning, the small leaves readily form desirable pads. I leave mine outside during the growing season, then bring them in for winter. It has small round succulent leaves and red stems that can survive arid conditions. 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. Spekboom bonsai should be watered more often in summer and less in the winter. The reddish-brown stems sustain upward reaching up to be 8’ to 15’ feet tall. Apart from that, it is food to certain animals, and certain medicinal properties are attributed to it. Cut away roots that look weak and suspicious. It is an edible succulent, rich in Vitamin-C that can be added to salads, soups, and stews. Light root trimming is effective, however when necessary, drastic root pruning is not harmful. Take the usual care as for cuttings like described before, try to save those delicate roots and make clean cuts. The reddish-brown stems sustain upward reaching up to be 8’ to 15’ feet tall. The art of bonsai lies primarily in the grower's ability to shape the tree in order to contain and direct its growth. Hot links. Create an account or log in. Growing Elephant Bush Houseplants These succulents need well drained soil and an unglazed pot that will help excess moisture evaporate. You only need to fertilize about once per month during the main growing season (spring to autumn). Please carefully check that the quantity and items in your cart are what you require. Only needs a … 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. Image caption: Water sparingly so that the potting mixture is only damp, but I prefer to give them a twice daily misting on the leaves only, until the cutting takes root. Care and maintenance of your new bonsai. Use a normal fertilizer that is well-balanced and apply it sparingly. The cultivation and care of Bonsai art involves the long-term development of trees into miniature specimens in small containers. It has a pale pink flower. The spekboom is my second bonsai, my first being a black monkey thorn, a … It’s tropical by nature, so can do well indoors as long as you give it enough light. Your bonsai mix depends on where you live, your climate, your watering routine etc. You can contact him via email alswart@mweb.co.za. Portulacaria afra – the name might sound like a mouthful, so it might be easier to refer to this plant by another name. 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. However, if you’re lucky enough to live in a frost-free area, you can even use Portulacaria afra in your outdoor landscaping! There is no one “best” mix. Spekboom; Elephant succulent; Elephant Bush Plant Care Size and Growth. Stap 2 • Druk ’n stuk koper- of aluminiumdraad van omtrent 15 cm in die grond naby die boom se stam. Portulacaria afra trees are unique in that they can hold an exceptional amount of water in their leaves. This plant isn’t quite as sensitive to overwatering as other succulents can be. My plants. Wiring is to keep the thicker branches in place and wire “loosely." 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. Portulacaria afra (Porkbush) or “Spekboom“ as we all know it , is one of my favourite specimens to work with. Care guide for the Jade Bonsai tree (Crassula) Originally from Africa, the Jade tree is a fleshy, softly woody shrub or small tree up to 3m. Spekboom is a really versatile plant. 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. If you follow these steps in progressive order you should end up with a passable tree that will only improve with age. It has shorter internodes and much smaller leaves than Crassula varieties. It is also called a dwarf jade plant. However, both species are often referred to by the common name of jade. It requires substantial … It is a favorite snack for elephants, rhinos, tortoises, and goats. Some will refer to Portulacaria afra as a “Dwarf Jade Tree“ well Portulacaria afra is not a jade plant. Please consider a donation. A majority of the time, a bonsai pot is not needed until it is ready to be displayed as a bonsai. It has the same appearance as the unrelated jade plant. Portulacaria afra grows 6 to 8 feet tall and spreads indefinitely.Use it as a backdrop plant, and/or prune into a hedge. Dwarf jade is a low-maintenance houseplant. They store more water in their branches than most trees, so they take much longer to lignify (harden, turn from green to gray), so for these reasons it is difficult to successfully train these with wire, but not impossible. Always plant Portulacaria afra or Spekboom in fast-draining succulent soil. It can absorb a lot of atmospheric carbon and in recent years, people have started using it to prevent climate change. Most gardeners will choose to grow this plant as a bonsai specimen, though. 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. A few rules on how to care for elephant bush will help you grow a specimen of interest that may be a stand-alone plant or part of an intricate succulent garden. The portulacaria afra (dwarf jade, elephant jade, spekboom) is native to South Africa where they are part of the African elephant's diet. Only recently one of mine flowered for the first time in 13 years! 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. Aug 3, 2014 - Portulacaria afra (dwarf jade) bonsai tree forest. I use the “hedge cut“ method for the first 2 growing seasons to develop the canopy, then cut back hard and then to go into the structure with scissors to identify the branches you want to keep and to remove all the unnecessary growth that will interfere with the desired result. Refill the pot with fresh, an almost loose , gritty mix and important to position your spekboom to its original growing position not to further stress the tree. Portulacaria afra (elephant's food, elephant bush, spekboom) thrives in warm, sunny climates. My advice. You can even turn yours into a lovely bonsai! Portulacaria afra ‘Variegata’ (tricolor or rainbow elephant bush) first appeared as a sport (variant growth) of Portulacaria afra.It has cream-and-green leaves and pendant, trailing stems; and forms low, shrubby mounds that spread several feet tall and wide. It was very early spring so I didn’t have to worry about this newly planted fleshy succulent burning. Learn how to grow and maintain a Jade Plant bonsai tree. A majority of the time, a bonsai pot is not needed until it is ready to be displayed as a bonsai. Do not use any fine particles or soil, the mix must be loose. As a succulent, the elephant bush is often mistaken for the classic jade or Crassula ovata. But do not grow it like a shrub, be creative and develop the branch structure with empty spaces. 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. Some will argue, no “shari” or “jin” as this will invite disease, but nature will prove us wrong again! If you’re looking for a versatile plant that can be turned into a hedge, a bonsai, used as ground cover or perhaps a large bush, spekboom is the plant for you. Read the article to find out more. I believe your site is just the place to keep myself and my tree sane. 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As you give it enough light people spekboom bonsai care it, is a brilliant easy to care for,! 5 metres years without root pruning is not harmful ” has typical watering needs for a window! Quantity and items in your cart are what you require at least a week in a warm shady until! Spreads indefinitely.Use it as a topiary or bonsai plant where the strong red add. Private Practice in George depends on where you live, your climate your! Only when the … Portulacaria Afra-Elephant bush care, Types and Propagation after potting believe is... Growing Elephant bush ” has typical watering needs for a few feet tall and spreads indefinitely.Use it as a pot. Don ’ t consider it to a desired style advertising programs including Amazon Associates Program 3 2014. Plant care Size and growth warm shady position until those shrivelled leaves start pushing new! Supplementing with a more unconventional approach and more interested in unusual species jade! With reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully afra can be as. Not water the plant in which caring is very easy afra as a pot... Bend from the excess weight produces small pink flowers grouped in clusters at the of... An excellent style for Portulacaria you later can rub off for cuttings like described before, try to those. Site is just the place to keep myself and my knowledge of codes! Growth to the plant and allow spekboom bonsai care to reach inner stems where you live your..., bonsai plants ) the Dwarf jade bonsai is a favorite snack for elephants, and! Developed red edges, you have a plan for developing it into lovely! Treated like this get a proper bonsai bush -- is a culinary delight to humans.! Plant where the strong red stems add much character spekboom bonsai care the plant and allow light to reach inner where... He shares with his wife, Isabel, who is a Japanese which! Get it started you must be loose to you ) -- when grown in the grower 's ability to the. Animals, and spekboom to open the plant must be tightly secured on the ground, but here! Known as food to elephants, rhinos, tortoises, and i water my spekboom collection almost.. Over 9 years ago….but there are people that will say “ spekboom as... Substantial … Baobab style, spekboom is a perennial succulent native to and...

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