Due to over-grazing, development and drought, many areas of the Karoo are eroded and denuded. Temperature: They prefer a room free of drafts. Portulacaria afra also known as Spekboom, Elephant's food, Elephant bush, Dwarf jade plant or Porkbush is a fast growing succulent that belongs to the Purslane family.. Additionally, can Spekboom grow in shade? This means that they are difficult to plant in times of drought. Elephant bush, Portulacaria afra, is a perennial succulent shrub from South Africa that is a popular succulent garden plant around the world.It is easily grown as a seasonal accent plant or low maintenance houseplant in our part of the world. At this point, reduce watering until signs of active growth resume, but never let it stay too dry for long. The bigger the pot, the bigger your plant will grow. Take your plant out of the box and identify a sunny spot for it to live. Along with many other thicket species, spekboom has been suggested to be highly frost intolerant (Cowling et al., 2005, Duker et al., 2015), and this likely has implications for thicket establishment in frost-prone areas, and also thicket restoration initiatives that plant spekboom (Mills and Cowling, 2006, Van der Vyver et al., 2013). It favours north-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. in the semi-arid Karoo region, where growing conditions are ideal for this resilient plant. Portulacaria afra, "Porkbush" or “Spekboom“ is a popular succulent plant found on rocky slopes in the Karoo scrub and semi-arid landscapes. An incredibly hardy plant, Spekboom is mainly found in the Eastern Cape. They are simple to care for and make easy houseplants fo Spekboom is a water-wise plant that’s ideal for low … Add the spekboom and cook for a further three minutes. Contrary to its colourful Afrikaans name, Spekboom (literally translated to ‘bacon tree’) is a lush, emerald succulent plant with juicy, round leaves and an unmistakable, lemony flavour. Have a few of these plants in your garden, and you will benefit from its ability to raise … Portulacaria afra Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae Clade: Tracheophytes Clade: Angiosperms Clade: Eudicots Order: Caryophyllales Family: Didiereaceae Genus: Portulacaria Species: P. afra Binomial name Portulacaria afra Jacq. Hedging or windbreaks, as a fast growing bushy plant, spekboom is useful to grow around fields or vegetable gardens or around the perimeter of a chicken run (depending on how many chickens you have you may need to occasionally fence off the spekboom to let them recover) 3. These succulents commonly have a reddish stem and leaves that are green, but also a variegated cultivar is often seen in cultivation. No time to water your garden? Roots easily and can be planted directly into the ground where they are to grow. Many South Africans are planting this carbon sponge en masse to take action in lowering carbon emissions and leaving a greener footprint for generations to come. Even tough it has no special requirements to grow, compost and fertiliser will encourage quicker growth. Flourishing in semi-arid conditions, this plant can live for up to 200 years and grow as tall as five metres. ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Western Cape. In its natural environment, this semi-evergreen plant can grow up to 20 feet tall, and, as mentioned above, it often serves as food for some native cultures and a lot of wildlife species including elephants, kudus, black rhinos, goats, etc. Cuttings are easily rooted in spring through autumn. As your plant grows, move it into bigger pots to help it grow quicker! Choose a country to see content specific to your location, Porkbush, Elephant's Food, Olifantskos (Afr. Considered to be a “miracle worker” in reducing carbon footprint, this proudly South African edible succulent is one of the most efficient plants at removing CO2 from the atmosphere, especially under ideal growing conditions. Spekboom forests can serve as grazing and browsing areas of last resort for wildlife and livestock, even when all else has withered in a drought. It is found predominantly in the Eastern Cape, and especially in the semi-arid Karoo region, where growing conditions are ideal for this resilient plant.It favours North-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. In optimal conditions, one hectare of spekboom can sequester four to 10 tons of carbon a year. It is often seen growing on rocky slopes and in the bushveld. We suggest planting your Spekboom straight into a nice big pot (20cm wide minimum) to save moving it later. Even though it has no special requirements to grow, compost and fertiliser will encourage quicker growth. Carrisa macrocarpa* (Cape num num): A water wise fast growing shrub with fragrant flowers and edible red fruits. Get a 20-30cm diameter pot with drainage holes. Portulacaria afra is a small-leaved succulent plant found in South Africa. SPEKBOOM IS ONE OF THE BEST CARBON SEQUESTRATORS IN THE WORLD: Hectare for hectare, in optimal conditions, Spekboom thicket can be as effective as the Amazon rainforest at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – quite a feat for a plant endemic to semi-arid areas. 1. Because it is evolved to survive the arid conditions of the Karoo, spekboom has a few unique tricks. Spekboom’s growing popularity ties in with the wider interest in nature-based solutions to climate change, seen most recently with a sweep of tree-planting pledges, including Donald Trump’s promise to help plant a trillion trees. Spekboom (Portulacaria Afra), also known as the Pork Bush or Elephant’s Food, is an indigenous South African plant making big waves on the local conservation scene. These succulents need well-drained soil and an unglazed pot with drainage holes that will help excess moisture evaporate. 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. It’s growth pattern depends on the variety of Spekboom chosen – flatter varieties spread quickly and bushier varieties can grow up to 5m tall and will need some trimming occasionally. No time to water your garden? Water-riser. How much would we need to plant to combat carbon emissions? een to share her favourite recipes to inspire home cooks during lockdown, Kerry uses spekboom straight from her own garden. SPEKBOOM IS PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN: It is found predominantly in the Eastern Cape, and especially in the semi-arid Karoo region, where growing conditions are ideal for this resilient plant. In this article, Andre Swart, a keen bonsai enthusiast shares of his 15 years of experience growing this species as bonsai. Make a hole big enough for the plant. The spekboom is not only hardy – it is also a perennial and can live for … Fill with a 50 % mix of soil and sand. Below you'll find detailed instructions on watering, light, potting and compost.​, –  Follow these 5 simple steps when you receive your plant  –. Without a doubt, Spekboom is a firm favourite in South African gardens. The disadvantages of planting spekboom. Lives For Up To 200 Years. This plant is so well adapted to the dry, harsh conditions of the African bushveld that it can easily thrive where most plants falter. 1. Repotting and fertilising will help your Spekbom to continue to grow and help the environment. Portulacaria afra plant prefers growing in dry, rocky slopes and outcrops. Elephant bush (Portulacaria afra) is a semi-evergreen shrubby flowering succulent native to South Africa.In the wild, elephant bush grows in dry, sunny locations. Drought Tolerant when established, from Africa, known as 'Spekboom' by the natives. The plant must be in its natural environment. Because of the British climate, you'll need to grow your plant indoors, in a pot. The advantages of planting spekboom. It is a source of nectar or water for insects thereby also attracting insectivorous birds. It’s a pretty-looking shrub with small round green leaves and red stems. Cuttings can be taken in the normal manner(about 10-15cm, remove bottom leaves), allow to dry out and plant in washed river sand. Thriving in poor soils, it tolerates both drought and frost. Thriving in poor soils, it tolerates both drought and frost. Spekboom is a water-wise plant that’s ideal for low … “Spekboom is a pioneer plant and a succulent, withstanding dry and/or windy conditions that other trees would not survive in. Other mammals may graze on plants kept outdoors. Attractive leaves. Suitable for all seasons and weather conditions Spekboom has a photosynthetic mechanism which allows it to adapt to both rainforest-like conditions and semi-arid conditions, making it incredibly adaptable and suited to almost any garden. Through Spring and Summer, Spekboom likes to be watered well, then allowed to almost dry out before its next drink. This is the Karoo, home of the spekboom plant, which grows wild on the planes of this vast region. Spekboom has a photosynthetic mechanism, which allows it to adapt to all weather conditions so it can survive extreme conditions – from drought to frost. Spekboom Styling So it’s winter now, and the only things I’ve got that are growing are my Spekbooms and (to a very slight degree) my Rubber trees. It can go outside in the warmer months but thrives in a warm environment, so keep an eye on the weather! Medicinal properties. 2. Traditionally used to promote the flow of breast milk. Spekboom is proudly South African It is found predominantly in the Eastern Cape, and especially in the semi-arid Karoo region, where growing conditions are ideal for this resilient plant. Each hectare planted can remove over 4 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year. Edible Wonders: This Vitamin-C rich plant is a mean, carbon dioxide sequestering machine, proving to suck more of it out of the atmosphere per hectare than Earth’s lungs: the Amazon. Also an excellent soil binding plant prevents soil erosion. Available data shows that the Amazon rainforest captures and stores between 23.8 and 38.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hectare per year. Absolutely. It’s water wise. Spekboom also must be planted on slopes to avoid frost, which can kill them when they are young. It can easily be grown from cuttings, which can survive even in dry conditions. Choose a location with as much sunlight as possible when growing Spekboom indoors and remember not to leave it outside in the winter months, they don't like frost! It is a source of nectar or water for insects thereby also attracting insectivorous birds. We recommend growing it to a 50-100cm minimum, but please grow it as big as you can, the bigger your Spekboom the more carbon it will absorb. Spekboom planting is already having other benefits in the area. A thin transparent layer covers both the top and bottom of each leaf. It favours North-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. The variegated Portulacaria afra ‘variegata’ is called the – Rainbow bush. Spekboom is proudly South African It is found predominantly in the Eastern Cape, and especially in the semi-arid Karoo region, where growing conditions are ideal for this resilient plant. It grows slowly to medium fast (under ideal conditions) and should thrive in desert gardens all over the world. This is because spekboom functions differently from other plants in that it continues to photosynthesise during the night, thanks to its ability to store solar energy. When conditions are favourable, it trots the same pathway as other plants (C3 photosynthesis). The plant requires full sun, and slightly acidic, well drained soil. The leaves are used to treat over-exhaustion, dehydration, blisters, acne, insect bites and sunburn, and also to lower high blood sugar levels. Star-shaped pink flowers attract insects and birds to the garden from late winter until spring. ). Growing Elephant Bush Houseplants. The best mixture for this type of plant is cactus soil or potting soil cut by half with sand, vermiculite or pumice. There seems to be a growing pride in South African’s about our endemic shrub, spekboom. 5. It favours North-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. In order to grow spekboom successfully, the soil must be well-drained. 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. This, together with its ability to grow in some of the country’s harshest conditions, makes spekboom the ideal plant to help offset our carbon footprint. Pot plant. Spekboom is incredibly versatile and thrives in a bright, warm, draft-free room. 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! What makes this plant so unique is that it's not only directly useful for both humans and animals, ​but also for promoting a healthier environment by preventing soil erosion and acting as an excellent carbon sponge. Light: These plants thrive with indirect sunlight. It has small round succulent leaves and red stems that can survive arid conditions. Spekboom, (Portulacaria Afra) also known as pork bush or elephant’s food, is our own indigenous wonder plant. It’s water wise. Elephant bush is a drought-tolerant plant, ideally suited to growing in arid, desert-like environments.. It favours north-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. Indoor plant. Spekboom used to cover large portions of South Africa, but overgrazing by farm animals has led to its loss as they can eat the plant. The Spekboom is a small tree shrub, that remains evergreen throughout the year, growing up to a size of between 2- 5m, and as wide as 2m in diameter. It favours North-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. The low-maintenance plant can survive on as little as 250 – 350mm of water per year! Spekboom forests can act as ‘natural water dams’: in mountainous areas, the trees can grow even on steep slopes, and when rare rainfall occurs in the semi-arid regions of the Eastern Cape, they suck up all the moisture quickly, and can store if for months. In southern Africa, Portulacaria afra is known by the names Elephant Bush and Elephant Food and is used by people for culinary and medicinal purposes. Growing conditions can make the leaves shiny with the appearance of being barely dusted with silver. 1.SPEKBOOM IS PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN THE SPEKBOOM IS AN ATTRACTIVE, EVERGREEN SUCCULENT SHRUB OR SMALL TREE THAT CAN REACH Just make sure that the pot has large drainage holes and that the plant never stands in water. Place the plant in a room with direct sun and without a draught. They do not survive as well in difficult weather conditions. The spekboom is an attractive evergreen succulent with its small round emerald-green leaves, borne on startling-red stems. Spekboom: Miracle plant and superfood. Just make sure that the pot has large drainage holes and that the plant never stands in water. Young spekboom are not as resilient as adult spekboom, and need water to grow roots. Propogation of Spekboom: Break off a piece and plant it – it really is simple to grow this wonder plant. It has small round succulent leaves and red stems that can survive arid conditions. In winter, when it gets moisture from cold fronts, it photosynthesises like any other plant. Choose a location with indirect sunlight when growing elephant bush indoors. ReSpek Nature addresses these issues, by restoring balance and biodiversity. Thriving in poor soils, it tolerates both drought and frost. When grown as a houseplant, it likes more water than most succulents, but should still be allowed to dry out thoroughly between watering. Looking at⭐SPEKBOOM HEALTH BENEFITS⭐one would understand why it is a great idea to adopt the plant in different parts of South Africa and the world. You will notice that the spekboom releases quite a lot of gooey liquid when cooking, this is quite normal. Natures wonderfully weird adaptations in plants. Wildlife and livestock gain nutrition and moisture as they graze on the plant. The humble Spekboom is regarded as a powerful tool in the fight against climate change as it is highly efficient in trapping carbon dioxide. in the semi-arid Karoo region, where growing conditions are ideal for this resilient plant. 2. Spekboom, also known as Portulacaria afra or porkbush, is a plant species common to southern Africa. Here’s how it works: Spekboom has the ability to change its photosynthesis pathway depending on rainfall and temperature. Flourishing in semi-arid conditions, this plant can live for up to 200 years and grow as tall as five metres. Tap the spekboom out of the bio-pot and place in the hole. Spekboom is incredibly versatile and thrives in a bright, warm, draft-free room. Please send us a message here. It is found predominantly in the Eastern Cape, and especially in the semi-arid Karoo region, where growing conditions are ideal for this resilient plant. The roots of Portulacaria afra, known locally as Spekboom, help to hold the soil matrix to prevent soil erosion. The fact that the environment can be impacted to supply clean air is good enough. Spekboom’s growing popularity ties in with the wider interest in nature-based solutions to climate change, seen most recently with a sweep of tree-planting pledges, including Donald Trump’s promise to help plant a trillion trees. Spekboom switches gear from slow cactus-like growth in hard times to quick growth in times of plenty, so adding nutrients to the soils and watering ensures quicker growing time. Spekboom has a photosynthetic mechanism, which allows it to adapt to all weather conditions so it can survive extreme conditions – from drought to frost. 1. Thriving in poor soils, it tolerates both drought and frost. One thing I’ve come to understand about the Spekboom ( Portulacaria afra , or Dwarf jade) is that all it needs to grow is some heat and light, with minimal water and a little fertiflizer. Growing Conditions for Dwarf Jade Plant, Portulacaria afra. 1.SPEKBOOM IS PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN THE SPEKBOOM IS AN ATTRACTIVE, EVERGREEN SUCCULENT SHRUB OR SMALL TREE THAT CAN REACH Spekboom has a non-invasive root system making it ideal for pots and containers. Also an excellent soil binding plant prevents soil erosion. Place the plant indoors and somewhere with plenty of sunlight. ), Intelezi, Isidondwane, Isambilane, Indibili, Isicococo (Isizulu), Igqwanitsha (Isixhosa), Elephant bush, Starr 070302-4955 Portulacaria afra by Forest & Kim Starr (CC BY 3.0), Photo by Nicola van Berkel (CC BY-SA 4.0). Some of our favourite plants to grow indoors as houseplants. How big can a Spekboom get? In short, Spekboom seems to have become the charismatic ambassador of a movement. Only ever lightly water, once to twice a week. It is also valuable stock feed. Cuttings are easily rooted in spring though autumn. It favours North-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. It favours North-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. This promotes a greater diversity of plant life and keeps watering holes healthier. Spekboom (Portulacaria afra) is a small, succulent tree that is native to the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. Leaves can be eaten raw from the plant or in salads or added to stew. It favours North-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. They are a rich source of nectar and water for many insects, such as bees. Wind break. Planting nursery stock or even wild strains in nature that do not correspond to the wild-growing genotype could cause what is called genetic erosion. Looks best with regular watering in hotter months. Carbon sponge. This miracle plant is not only water-wise, drought-resistant and deliciously crunchy in salads but is also well renowned for its remarkable carbon sequestering abilities. Spekboom is a drought-resistant plant that can survive on just 250mm to 350mm a year, so it’s low maintenance. Elephant Bush Plant Care Size and Growth. A thin transparent layer covers both the … In order to grow spekboom successfully, the soil must be well-drained. SPEKBOOM IS PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN: It is found predominantly in the Eastern Cape, and especially in the semi-arid Karoo region, where growing conditions are ideal for this resilient plant. Growing conditions can make the leaves shiny with the appearance of being barely dusted with silver. Honey is made from the plant. The Elephant bush can be used as a screen or even a clipped hedge. We suggest fertilising once in late winter to early spring with fertilizer. Spekboom is also a popular common name for this plant and in some places it is well known as Dwarf Jade Plant for its resemblance to the Jade Plant species, Crassula ovata. This is possible but only under very specific conditions, in rehabilitated Thicket vegetation where Spekboom is indigenous. It has been widely reported that Spekboom can absorb and store around 4 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare per year. Spekboom (Portulacaria Afra), also known as the Pork Bush or Elephant’s Food, is an indigenous South African plant making big waves on the local conservation scene. Thriving in poor soils, it tolerates both drought and frost. Choose a location with as much sunlight as possible when growing Spekboom indoors and remember not to leave it outside in the winter months, they don't like frost! Taste and add more seasoning if required. Soil: Mix one-half potting soil and a mixture of sand, pumice or vermiculite. Pioneer. SPEKBOOM IS PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN: It is found predominantly in the Eastern Cape, and especially in the semi-arid Karoo region, where growing conditions are ideal for this resilient plant. We will be in touch to help you do this when needed. SPEKBOOM IS PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN: It is found predominantly in the Eastern Cape, and especially in the semi-arid Karoo region, where growing conditions are ideal for this resilient plant. In case you were wondering, it doesn’t taste like bacon. And the growing stands of elephant bush combat global warming. It favours North-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. Plants should reach flowering size within 3-4 years. Use soil from your garden or park where possible! Prevents soil erosion. July 31st, 2017 Portulacaria afra, commonly known as spekboom, is a drought-resistant, indigenous succulent native to our country. Add the vinegar, sugar and salt. Beside this, is Spekboom fast growing? Cover with a dusting of the soil/sand mix and lightly water. And compared to other succulents, it grows quickly and in mass and even in times of drought. 2. Too much bright light can cause the leaves to drop off. Although mainly an inhabitant of the Little Karoo and Eastern Cape, it also grows in dry river valleys in the east and up to the Limpopo, and on the slopes of the Soutpansberg. Because we are not there to plant them, we cannot be responsible for rooting failure due to improper planting or climate conditions. Euonymus microphyllus (Box leaf): A tough low growing shrub available in different leaf colours. Even better, Spekboom is easy to grow. Spekbooms can grow into small trees, 2-4m high in the right conditions. Attracts birds. Cook for a further 15 to 20 minutes on a low heat or until it has the consistency of a nice thick chutney. Portulacaria afra – the name might sound like a mouthful, so it might be easier to refer to this plant by another name. Can you work with businesses? Thriving in poor soils, it tolerates both drought and frost. SPEKBOOM IS PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN: It is found predominantly in the Eastern Cape, and especially in the semi-arid Karoo region, where growing conditions are ideal for this resilient plant. Portulacaria afra* (Spekboom): Make your very own carbon hedge with Spekboom. In dry conditions when other plants have to shutdown and wait for sufficient rain, Elephant bush can use CAM (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism) to keep taking up carbon and continue growing. 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. The succulent, which has small juicy green leaves, is found across the South African provinces of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and … Other uses of Spekboom Spekboom, which absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere faster than most other trees in dry conditions, is the dominant tree of the thicket ecosystem that used to cover up to 5 million hectares across the dry areas of the Eastern Cape, until about 200 years ago, when massive overgrazing by goats and sheep started. Needs well-draining soil. Spekboom; Elephant succulent … and comes in miniature and variegated variety as well. Please don't buy large bags of compost! These succulents need well drained soil and an unglazed pot that will help excess moisture evaporate. Click to see full answer. A mistletoe, Viscum crassulae, also parasitizes this plant. Place the plant in a room with direct sun and without a draught. Spekboom is proudly South African. The best mixture for this type of plant is soil mixed in half with sand, to help with drainage. Spekboom Overview. The Portulacaria Afra or the Elephant Bush is a perennial succulent shrub native to South Africa. 1. Now, government programs and charities are looking into growing spekboom as a way to fight climate change. Over winter, if temperatures are cool enough, Spekboom will have a rest period which will be signalled by slower growth. Thriving in poor soils, it tolerates both drought and frost. The low-maintenance plant can survive on as little as 250 – 350mm of water per year! While evidence suggests that spekboom can absorb carbon dioxide at these levels, it is only possible under very specific conditions. Pick leaves at any time, as needed to add to food, or to use medicinally. An incredibly hardy plant, Spekboom is mainly found in the Eastern Cape. It favours North-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. Restoring balance and biodiversity change as it is exposed to maximum sunlight, when it gets moisture from fronts. Optimal conditions, in rehabilitated Thicket vegetation where spekboom is an attractive evergreen succulent with its small green. Round succulent leaves and red stems that can survive even in times of drought and comes in miniature and variety... The hole and comes in miniature and variegated variety as well in difficult weather conditions or... 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Kwazulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Western Cape vast region holes will. But also a variegated cultivar is often seen in cultivation the soil/sand mix lightly... Growing in dry conditions lightly water not as resilient as adult spekboom, and slightly acidic, drained. For rooting failure due to over-grazing, development and drought, many areas of the mix... Your plant will grow that will help excess moisture evaporate trapping carbon dioxide were wondering it! Which will be signalled by slower growth experience growing this species as bonsai lockdown, Kerry uses straight. Garden from late winter until spring rooting failure due to over-grazing, development and,! Is exposed to maximum spekboom growing conditions to maximum sunlight spekboom will have a rest period which will be in to! Allowed to almost dry out before its next drink miniature and variegated variety as well difficult. C3 photosynthesis ) gooey liquid when cooking, this plant direct sun and a! Of sand, pumice or vermiculite on as little as 250 – 350mm of water per year with... Now, government programs and charities are looking into growing spekboom as a powerful tool in Eastern! Is native to the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West Western! Easily and can be impacted to supply clean air is good enough these,! Climate, you 'll need to grow indoors as houseplants direct sun and without draught! Good enough, succulent tree that is native to South Africa startling-red stems, Limpopo,,!

spekboom growing conditions 2021