How To Care For Elephant Bush Succulent

Elephant bushes are simple to grow from cuttings, just like the majority of succulents. For optimal results, take cuttings in the spring or summer. Plant the cutting in a small container of moist, rocky soil after allowing it to callus for a few days.

Place the cutting in a room with a reasonable amount of light and a temperature of at least 65 °F (18 C.). Maintaining a light moisture level in the soil will help the cutting to take root and grow into a new elephant bush succulent that you can give to a friend or add to your collection in a few weeks.

How frequently should an elephant bush be watered?

The Portulacaria Afra needs a succulent soil mixture that drains well. There shouldn’t be too much moisture in the mixture.

Use a pot with holes for drainage. Perlite is another option for your potting soil mixture. The correct airflow in the soil is made possible by perlite, hastening the drying process.

What are the Sunlight Requirements of the Elephant Bush?

Place your elephant bush where it receives some direct sunlight and some partial shade throughout the day.

The Portulacaria Afra or Elephant Bush requires at least six hours per day of direct sunlight. Avoid spending a lot of time in direct sunlight. Otherwise, keep in some shade.

Heat intolerance exists in the elephant bush in miniature. It might be more prone to sunburn than its larger sibling.

What is the Humidity Requirement of the Elephant Bush?

A succulent is not required by the elephant bush for humidity. It does well in humidity at room temperature.

The portulacaria afra needs average indoor humidity. Spraying it with water to wet it is not recommended because it can result in unreasonably high humidity levels.

How Should I Water the Elephant Bush?

Elephant bushes don’t store a lot of water because their leaves are thin. In the summer, it has to be watered once a week. In the winter or during the milder summer months, water it every 1.5 weeks.

Simply because the Portulacaria has thin leaves, don’t overwater it!

How to Fertilize the Elephant Bush?

Little fertilizer is required by the Elephant Bush. You can use the one designed for cacti. Give a drop each month from spring to fall, when the plants are actively growing.

In the winter, succulents scarcely need to be consumed. That is more akin to their free time. When it’s cold, water with fertilizer will make them unhappy!

How to Prune the Elephant Bush?

The Elephant Bush can be pruned for shape in addition to removing dead sections!

Before pruning, the Portulacaria Afra needs to be dry. Before you start pruning, make sure your knife is clean and sharp. Offsets and dead stems must be immediately cut.

The Elephant Bush plant can also be styled by pruning. Make cuts in the desired shapes for your Portulacaria Afra. You can even create a Bonsai tree in small size if you like!

You’ll need water and bleach. Pour some bleach into a 90 percent water solution. Before you cut the plant, thoroughly rinse your blade or knife in the mixture.

How to Repot the Elephant Bush?

The Elephant Bush takes a while to mature. Only when the plant outgrows its pot will you need to repot it. You shouldn’t water the Portulacaria Afra for at least seven days after repotting.

Does elephant bush need to be in the sun?

These succulents require well-drained soil and a pot without glaze to aid in the evaporation of extra moisture. Cactus soil or potting soil that has been cut in half, combined with sand, vermiculite, or pumice, is the ideal composition for this kind of plant.

When growing elephant bush inside, use a site with indirect sunlight. The leaves may burn and fall off if the sun is too bright.

Elephant bush succulents look great in a succulent arrangement with other plants that need comparable conditions and upkeep.

Is elephant bush simple to maintain?

Cool tiny elephant bush can let you get into the succulent obsession. In South Africa, elephants love eating elephant bush, which lives up to its name. If you reside in a warm climate with sporadic lows of no lower than 30 degrees Fahrenheit, you can grow it outdoors. Elephant bush is a low-maintenance indoor plant that can be grown if you reside in a cooler region.

The distinctive reddish-brown stems of this drought-tolerant jade plant clone contrast exquisitely with the glossy, spherical, variegated, 3/4-inch succulent leaves. It grows slowly, but as the stalks ripen, they become thicker, giving the plant an aged appearance even when it is young. Elephant bushes are ideal for growing in hanging baskets because of their somewhat expansive or cascading habits. It can slowly develop to a height of several feet when planted in the ground, and because it is evergreen, it can be used as a screen or hedge.

Why are my elephant bush’s leaves falling?

Overwatering is the main reason why Elephant Bush loses leaves. Too much water makes it difficult to breathe, which promotes the growth of fungus-related disorders. Swollen and discolored leaves are the first symptom of overwatering. Simply replant your Elephant Bush in new soil and pull out any decaying roots if you notice these changes in it.

Another indication of underwatering is leaf drop. Elephant Bush leaves might dry out and finally fall off if they don’t get enough water. In the summer, you should water your elephant bush frequently, and in the cooler months, you should water it less frequently. Use the “soak and dry approach,” as you can with the majority of other succulents, and you won’t go wrong. To prevent the leaves from shriveling in the winter, you should only apply a few drops of water.

How can I get my elephant bush to grow bigger?

Cut a section of stem below a branch or leaf node with a clean, sharp knife, pair of scissors, or shears to take a stem cutting. When transplanting the cuttings, an Elephant Bush with unusually thick leaves will be able to produce numerous cuttings at once, resulting in a bigger plant.

It’s preferable to wait a few days before planting the cuttings to give the cuts a chance to calluse. The cuts will be shielded from any pathogens in the soil of their new container if they are given time to calluse. Despite the low likelihood of infection, it’s always preferable to be safe than sorry.

Additionally, some gardeners choose to grow their Elephant Bush cuttings in water as opposed to soil. You can choose to utilize soil or water; many gardeners find that one option is more effective for them than the other.

Within a few weeks of being planted in water or soil, roots ought to start to show. Cuttings that have been propagated in water can be planted in the soil when their roots are a few inches long.

Make sure to transfer your cuttings to the soil as soon as you feel they are ready because some gardeners may find that if they keep their cuttings in water for too long, the cuttings don’t adapt to the soil as well.

The cuttings can be treated like mature Elephant Bushes once they have taken root and been planted in soil.

Although stem cuttings have the obvious advantage of producing a more complete plant faster, the Elephant Bush can also be produced from leaf cuttings. With leaf cuts, it’s almost like beginning over.

However, you can use any leaves that you unintentionally knock off during trimming or transplanting by growing leaf cuttings. It is advisable to let them dry out for a few days before planting them in the soil to root, much like with stem cuttings.

How is an indoor elephant plant cared for?

  • Environment: For your Elephant Ear plant, a broad area and large container are excellent.
  • Put away from direct sunlight but next to a window towards the south or west. The leaves may burn from this.
  • Ideal range: 60 to 80 degrees
  • Humidity is crucial: To create a humid atmosphere, place a plant on a saucer with pebbles and water. (Or you could employ a mister.)
  • Watering: It’s important to keep the soil equally moist but not waterlogged. When the soil begins to feel a little dry, water.
  • The Elephant Ear plant will “weep or drip water from the tip of the leaf” to let you know if it receives too much water.

Elephant Bush is it indoors?

Elephant bush is a native of South Africa, where it grows on rocky, semi-arid hillsides. It is also referred to by its botanical name, Portulacaria afra. Because it is a succulent plant, it may thrive in practically any environment. Both indoors and outdoors, it thrives, but it’s preferable to grow it inside. Additionally, it has as many names as applications. In its native South Africa, people refer to it as Spekboom. Elephant’s Food and Miniature Jade are some other names for it.

Elephant bushes and the traditional jade plant, Crassula ovata, another succulent, are commonly mistaken for one another. Even though they are similar in many ways, classic jade can be identified by its unsupported vertical growth. The elephant bush, on the other hand, needs support because it appears to droop and is unable to maintain its heavier leaves.

If you’re wondering where this succulent got its name, it has quite obvious origins. Juicy leaves and stalks of the plants are enjoyed by many animals, including elephants and goats. 80 percent of an elephant’s food in the wild comes from this plant. Tortoises may eat from this unusual succulent as well.

This hardy plant can thrive in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11. This succulent’s reddish-brown stems shoot upward and reach an average height of 8 to 15 feet. The likelihood is that it will only grow to a height of a few feet, though, considering its sluggish rate of growth.

Why is my elephant bush losing moisture?

Verify that the plant is not very dry or wet. When submerged, the leaves of this “Spekboom” elephant bush (Portulacaria afra) will get shriveled.

Is elephant bush growing quickly?

A popular indoor plant, the elephant bush (Portulacaria afra) is a succulent that may grow outside in warm areas.

South Africa is home to the semi-evergreen shrubby blooming succulent known as elephant bush (Portulacaria afra). Elephant bush naturally grows in arid, sunny climates. Elephant bush is a drought-resistant shrub that thrives in dry, desert-like conditions.

USDA zones 10 and 11 are favorable for Portulacaria, or elephant bush plants. Small elephant bush plants cannot withstand cold temperatures, despite the fact that Portulacaria afra shrubs may tolerate mild frost. Low temperatures, below 30F (-1C), harm and even kill plants.

Elephant bush is a shrub-like plant or small tree that, under the right circumstances, can reach heights of 8 to 15 feet (2.5 to 4.5 meters). However, elephant bush stems only reach a height of a few feet when grown as a succulent in a pot indoors. The succulents are perfect for growing in hanging baskets or on high shelves because of their trailing, green stalks.

Elephant bush is another succulent species with flowers. Portulacaria afra produces masses of star-shaped flowers in tight clusters when the conditions are ideal for growth. On the ends of stems, these pink or white blooms bloom. However, indoor elephant bush blooming is uncommon.

Elephants love to eat portulacaria afra, hence its popular name, “Elephant Bush.” Porkbush and spekboom are two additional common names.

Elephant bushes are also referred to as small jade plants because of their resemblance to jade plants (Crassula ovata). However, there is no connection between jade plants and elephant bushes. For instance, elephant bushes grow more quickly and are more resilient than jade succulent plants. Another distinction is that jade leaves (family Crassula) are slightly toxic, whereas elephant bush is an edible succulent.

The Crassula ovata in an image (jade plant). Although they are unrelated, the elephant bush (Portulacaria afra) and the jade plant are similar.

Is elephant bush a plant of fortune?

Portulacaria afra, sometimes referred to as the Elephant Bush, the Good Luck Jade Plant, and Spekboom, is thought to bring luck and prosperity into your home.

What does a bush elephant that’s been overwatered look like?

Dropped leaves are most usually the result of a watering problem. If a portulacaria afra gets overly damp, it will drop its leaves and appear sickly. The fallen leaves may be yellowish in color and soft to the touch. This frequently occurs when a plant is overwatered, the soil medium is not allowed to dry out quickly enough, or both.

If the plant was substantially overwatered, the stems would begin to rot from the bottom up. The stem turning dark or black from the bottom is the first symptom of this. A plant that has persistent “wet feet” and insufficient sunlight rots more quickly since it isn’t given a chance to dry off.

Why is my elephant cactus fading away?

Portulacaria afra, sometimes called Elephant Bush or Elephant Food, is a succulent garden shrub and bonsai subject used all over the world. It is the ideal complement to your succulent garden, whether it is inside or outside. Although it is not related to Crassula ovata, this plant is frequently referred to as dwarf jade or miniature jade. The stems are crimson, and the leaves are tiny, fleshy, spherical, green to yellowish. They have a nice acid flavor and are edible. Elephant Bush can also be found in different colors.

This succulent, which goes by the common name “Elephant Food,” is not only eaten by elephants but also by goats and tortoises. In order to provide a sour flavor to salads, soups, and stews, it is frequently utilized in Southern African cooking.

Elephant Bush may grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 9b through 11b if it is planted outside. Like all succulents, it has issues, such as leaf drop.

Overwatering and Underwatering

Elephant Bush failures are typically caused by overwatering, which encourages the fungal rot disease. The plant that receives too much water develops bloated and discolored leaves. In extreme circumstances, leaves may drop. Repot the overwatered plant after removing any decaying roots to salvage it.

In the event that the Elephant Bush is submerged, leaf drop can also happen. The lack of water causes the leaves to dry out and occasionally fall off. In the summer, this succulent needs to be watered more frequently than in the winter. In between waterings, let the soil to dry. Give the plants enough water in the winter to prevent the leaves from withering.

Soil Issues

Leaf drop could also happen if the soil is deficient in nutrients or has poor drainage. You can make your own mixture or use succulent-specific potting soil. Any soil mixture for succulents should prioritize having good water drainage. Perlite can aid in aeration and drainage when used with ordinary potting soil. Utilize a balanced fertilizer just twice each summer.

Changes in Light, Temperature, and Humidity

In Elephant Bush, abrupt changes in humidity, temperature, and light can all cause leaves to fall off. If moved to a location with less sunshine, this succulent, which enjoys full sun, may start shedding its leaves.

The temperature is the same. The plant may behave similarly if you move it from a cooler to a much warmer environment or vice versa and start dropping leaves. The same outcomes may result from significant changes in humidity. Elephant Bush prefers daytime temperatures of 70 to 85 F (21 to 29 C) and nocturnal temperatures of 50 to 55 F. (10 to 13 C). To keep the plant from being overly dry, keep it away from vents for heating or cooling. Winter humidity levels can be maintained by using humidifiers.

Pests and Diseases

A plant can get weak enough from pests and illnesses to potentially lose its leaves. Whiteflies and scale moths are the pests most likely to harm leafy succulents. Spider mites, mealybugs, and fungus gnat larvae are some examples of additional pests. Fungal diseases are the ones that damage Elephant Bush the most. Through adequate irrigation, water drainage, and insect control, these diseases can be avoided.