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Care of the plant Portulacaria afra or Elephant bush.

Care of the succulent plant Portulacaria afra or Elephant bush

The genus Portulacaria, family Didiereaceae, comprises 7 species of succulent plants native to southern Africa. Some species are: Portulacaria afra, Portulacaria armiana, Portulacaria namaquensis.

Common names: Elephant bush, Dwarf jade plant, Porkbush. This species is native to South Africa.

They are fast growing succulent shrubs that reach 5 meters (16.4 feet) in height. The fleshy leaves are 2 cm (0,78") long and oval or rounded. They produce small pink flowers that appear in tufts. They bloom in late spring.

They are used to form hedges, in rockeries, in pots for patios and terraces and as bonsai. They are ideal plants for gardens by the sea.

Portulacaria afra needs full sun exposure and a warm frost-free climate.

The soil can be a normal garden substrate with 1/4 of peat and 1/4 of coarse sand. Transplant in spring if necessary.

Water all year round in a moderate way, waiting for the substrate to be dry. They are drought resistant plants.

They can be pruned in early spring to keep them compact.

Fertilize once a month with liquid fertilizer during spring and summer.

They are plants resistant to pests but sensitive to excess watering.

They are propagated in summer by cuttings planted in a sandy substrate.

Images of the succulent plant Portulacaria afra or Elephant bush

Portulacaria afra
Portulacaria afra
Portulacaria afra
Portulacaria afra