Elephant bush – Indoor House Plants

Elephant bush - Indoor House Plants

The Elephant bush (Portulacaria afra) is also known as the dwarf jade plant. It is a soft-wooded, semi-evergreen upright shrub or small tree, usually 2.5โ€“4.5 meters (8โ€“15 ft) tall. It is similar in appearance to the unrelated Jade plant. This delightful plant is easy to care for and The trunk of this fleshy wooded succulent is green on young plants, turning to a smooth reddish-brown as the plant ages. The dark green leaves are little and round, opposite, and thick because of their high moisture retention. The little flowers range from pale pink to purplish, and will only bloom in winter when the plant senses changes in the amount of sunlight. These succulent features hold water for long periods of time. The home interior is an excellent place to grow elephant bush houseplants.

Scientific Name: Portulacaria afra
Common Name: Elephant bush, dwarf jade plant, porkbush, and spekboom.

Elephant bush - Indoor House Plants

How to grow and maintain Elephant bush:

Light:
Pick a location with indirect sunlight when growing Elephant Bush indoors. Excessively splendid daylight can char the leaves and cause them to drop off.

Soil:
Utilize a gardening soil mix with a little sand, a cactus and succulents prefer good drainage. You can mix in a little slow release organic fertilizer, but it is not necessary. Try to pack down the soil around the transplanted plant, and thoroughly water it, to help spur the rooting process in the new soil. Planting Elephant bush in sandy soil with a ph of between 5.6 and 6.5 is ideal for as it does best in the weakly acidic soil.

Temperature:
In the winter it can endure 50-61 degrees but will be fine between 61 and 71 degrees. Freezing temperatures will destroy this succulent plant. It will do well indoors throughout the year but will be happiest if it gets to enjoy the outdoors during the summer.

Water:
At the point when the soil is dry, it is time to water. In the event that the plant gets too fleshy and starts to lean over, you need to water less often.

Fertilizer:
Execute a low-nitrogen fluid compost every 6-8 weeks between spring and early fall.

Propagation:
Proliferation is by cuttings. Take a 4 to 6-inch cutting with a clean sterilized razor blade. Evacuate the base leaves, leaving a 2 to 4 section of the stem bare. Dip the bottom 2 inches of your Elephant bush in rooting compound. Leave it to heal in a well-ventilated area and form a callous for a few days to a week. Plant your Portulacaria Afra in four parts sand or perlite with one part potting soil. The container should be a 4-inch pot and the soil should be firmed down to level the surface.

Pests and Diseases:

The scale can be very destructive to a Portulacaria. Evacuate the pests carefully with a knife or paint with rubbing alcohol to kill them. 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. Rinse with plain water. If an insecticide is required, choose a non-petroleum-based kind as petroleum will cause the jade to defoliate.

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