Spekboom, also known as Portulacaria afra or porkbush, is a plant species common to southern Africa. 1. We suggest fertilising once in late winter to early spring with fertilizer. 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. It favours North-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. 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. 5. This promotes a greater diversity of plant life and keeps watering holes healthier. Spekboom is a drought-resistant plant that can survive on just 250mm to 350mm a year, so it’s low maintenance. 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! Cook for a further 15 to 20 minutes on a low heat or until it has the consistency of a nice thick chutney. Pot plant. 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. Cuttings are easily rooted in spring though autumn. Propogation of Spekboom: Break off a piece and plant it – it really is simple to grow this wonder plant. 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. Please send us a message here. The Portulacaria Afra or the Elephant Bush is a perennial succulent shrub native to South Africa. They are simple to care for and make easy houseplants fo Young spekboom are not as resilient as adult spekboom, and need water to grow roots. ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Western Cape. 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. Spekboom, (Portulacaria Afra) also known as pork bush or elephant’s food, is our own indigenous wonder plant. Other uses of Spekboom Prevents soil erosion. Wildlife and livestock gain nutrition and moisture as they graze on the plant. Spekboom is a water-wise plant that’s ideal for low … Spekbooms can grow into small trees, 2-4m high in the right conditions. Indoor plant. 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. The plant must be in its natural environment. 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 has a photosynthetic mechanism, which allows it to adapt to all weather conditions so it can survive extreme conditions – from drought to 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. Pick leaves at any time, as needed to add to food, or to use medicinally. 1.SPEKBOOM IS PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN THE SPEKBOOM IS AN ATTRACTIVE, EVERGREEN SUCCULENT SHRUB OR SMALL TREE THAT CAN REACH A mistletoe, Viscum crassulae, also parasitizes this plant. 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. Cuttings are easily rooted in spring through autumn. It favours North-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. No time to water your garden? It favours North-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. Without a doubt, Spekboom is a firm favourite in South African gardens. 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. It has been widely reported that Spekboom can absorb and store around 4 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare per year. Growing conditions can make the leaves shiny with the appearance of being barely dusted with silver. The succulent, which has small juicy green leaves, is found across the South African provinces of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and … It has small round succulent leaves and red stems that can survive arid conditions. ). It’s water wise. While evidence suggests that spekboom can absorb carbon dioxide at these levels, it is only possible under very specific conditions. Carrisa macrocarpa* (Cape num num): A water wise fast growing shrub with fragrant flowers and edible red fruits. Growing Elephant Bush Houseplants. It has small round succulent leaves and red stems that can survive arid conditions. It favours North-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. Add the spekboom and cook for a further three minutes. There seems to be a growing pride in South African’s about our endemic shrub, spekboom. 1.SPEKBOOM IS PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN THE SPEKBOOM IS AN ATTRACTIVE, EVERGREEN SUCCULENT SHRUB OR SMALL TREE THAT CAN REACH Elephant Bush Plant Care Size and Growth. 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 favours North-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. Absolutely. Even tough it has no special requirements to grow, compost and fertiliser will encourage quicker growth. 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. Other mammals may graze on plants kept outdoors. In order to grow spekboom successfully, the soil must be well-drained. Water-riser. How much would we need to plant to combat carbon emissions? Portulacaria afra plant prefers growing in dry, rocky slopes and outcrops. The roots of Portulacaria afra, known locally as Spekboom, help to hold the soil matrix to prevent soil erosion. The Elephant bush can be used as a screen or even a clipped hedge. 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! 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. Elephant bush is a drought-tolerant plant, ideally suited to growing in arid, desert-like environments.. 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. 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. 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! Flourishing in semi-arid conditions, this plant can live for up to 200 years and grow as tall as five metres. Also an excellent soil binding plant prevents soil erosion. Roots easily and can be planted directly into the ground where they are to grow. 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. Available data shows that the Amazon rainforest captures and stores between 23.8 and 38.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hectare per year. Spekboom is a water-wise plant that’s ideal for low … In case you were wondering, it doesn’t taste like bacon. This is the Karoo, home of the spekboom plant, which grows wild on the planes of this vast region. It can go outside in the warmer months but thrives in a warm environment, so keep an eye on the weather! Can you work with businesses? 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. Soil: Mix one-half potting soil and a mixture of sand, pumice or vermiculite. 2. It favours north-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. In short, Spekboom seems to have become the charismatic ambassador of a movement. This plant is so well adapted to the dry, harsh conditions of the African bushveld that it can easily thrive where most plants falter. Spekboom planting is already having other benefits in the area. When grown as a houseplant, it likes more water than most succulents, but should still be allowed to dry out thoroughly between watering. Choose a location with indirect sunlight when growing elephant bush indoors. Get a 20-30cm diameter pot with drainage holes. 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. 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. Spekboom has a non-invasive root system making it ideal for pots and containers. These succulents commonly have a reddish stem and leaves that are green, but also a variegated cultivar is often seen in cultivation. 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. No time to water your 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. Spekboom is incredibly versatile and thrives in a bright, warm, draft-free room. Spekboom (Portulacaria afra) is a small, succulent tree that is native to the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. The fact that the environment can be impacted to supply clean air is good enough. in the semi-arid Karoo region, where growing conditions are ideal for this resilient plant. 1. It is a source of nectar or water for insects thereby also attracting insectivorous birds. 1. The low-maintenance plant can survive on as little as 250 – 350mm of water per year! Thriving in poor soils, it tolerates both drought and frost. This means that they are difficult to plant in times of drought. Spekboom has a photosynthetic mechanism, which allows it to adapt to all weather conditions so it can survive extreme conditions – from drought to frost. They are a rich source of nectar and water for many insects, such as bees. Euonymus microphyllus (Box leaf): A tough low growing shrub available in different leaf colours. The spekboom is not only hardy – it is also a perennial and can live for … A thin transparent layer covers both the … Spekboom Overview. Natures wonderfully weird adaptations in plants. Lives For Up To 200 Years. In order to grow spekboom successfully, the soil must be well-drained. Just make sure that the pot has large drainage holes and that the plant never stands in water. Cover with a dusting of the soil/sand mix and lightly water. 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. Attracts birds. Below you'll find detailed instructions on watering, light, potting and compost.​, –  Follow these 5 simple steps when you receive your plant  –. Place the plant in a room with direct sun and without a draught. Needs well-draining soil. It favours North-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. They do not survive as well in difficult weather conditions. in the semi-arid Karoo region, where growing conditions are ideal for this resilient plant. It is a source of nectar or water for insects thereby also attracting insectivorous birds. It’s water wise. 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? Thriving in poor soils, it tolerates both drought and frost. Thriving in poor soils, it tolerates both drought and frost. Thriving in poor soils, it tolerates both drought and frost. 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. It favours North-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. 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. Wind break. Make a hole big enough for the plant. Carbon sponge. Light: These plants thrive with indirect sunlight. Spekboom; Elephant succulent … and comes in miniature and variegated variety as well. Tap the spekboom out of the bio-pot and place in the hole. 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. Just make sure that the pot has large drainage holes and that the plant never stands in water. 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. 2. Portulacaria afra is a small-leaved succulent plant found in South Africa. 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. Also an excellent soil binding plant prevents soil erosion. Spekboom is incredibly versatile and thrives in a bright, warm, draft-free room. Honey is made from the plant. Fill with a 50 % mix of soil and sand. These succulents need well drained soil and an unglazed pot that will help excess moisture evaporate. We suggest planting your Spekboom straight into a nice big pot (20cm wide minimum) to save moving it later. Due to over-grazing, development and drought, many areas of the Karoo are eroded and denuded. These succulents need well-drained soil and an unglazed pot with drainage holes that will help excess moisture evaporate. A thin transparent layer covers both the top and bottom of each leaf. As your plant grows, move it into bigger pots to help it grow quicker! Leaves can be eaten raw from the plant or in salads or added to stew. Click to see full answer. The best mixture for this type of plant is soil mixed in half with sand, to help with drainage. An incredibly hardy plant, Spekboom is mainly found in the Eastern Cape. Plants should reach flowering size within 3-4 years. Place the plant indoors and somewhere with plenty of sunlight. 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. Looks best with regular watering in hotter months. 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. An incredibly hardy plant, Spekboom is mainly found in the Eastern Cape. Here’s how it works: Spekboom has the ability to change its photosynthesis pathway depending on rainfall and temperature. Pioneer. Attractive leaves. Portulacaria afra – the name might sound like a mouthful, so it might be easier to refer to this plant by another name. Taste and add more seasoning if required. Drought Tolerant when established, from Africa, known as 'Spekboom' by the natives. Edible Wonders: Thriving in poor soils, it tolerates both drought and frost. 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. Flourishing in semi-arid conditions, this plant can live for up to 200 years and grow as tall as five metres. Beside this, is Spekboom fast growing? 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). Cuttings can be taken in the normal manner(about 10-15cm, remove bottom leaves), allow to dry out and plant in washed river sand. Too much bright light can cause the leaves to drop off. een to share her favourite recipes to inspire home cooks during lockdown, Kerry uses spekboom straight from her own garden. The plant requires full sun, and slightly acidic, well drained soil. Take your plant out of the box and identify a sunny spot for it to live. Because we are not there to plant them, we cannot be responsible for rooting failure due to improper planting or climate conditions. Please don't buy large bags of compost! It can easily be grown from cuttings, which can survive even in dry conditions. 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. Place the plant in a room with direct sun and without a draught. Have a few of these plants in your garden, and you will benefit from its ability to raise … Because of the British climate, you'll need to grow your plant indoors, in a pot. 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. Repotting and fertilising will help your Spekbom to continue to grow and help the environment. Use soil from your garden or park where possible! Temperature: They prefer a room free of drafts. Only ever lightly water, once to twice a week. “Spekboom is a pioneer plant and a succulent, withstanding dry and/or windy conditions that other trees would not survive in. Portulacaria afra* (Spekboom): Make your very own carbon hedge with Spekboom. 2. The best mixture for this type of plant is cactus soil or potting soil cut by half with sand, vermiculite or pumice. 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. 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. 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. Each hectare planted can remove over 4 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year. 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’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. The low-maintenance plant can survive on as little as 250 – 350mm of water per year! How big can a Spekboom get? At this point, reduce watering until signs of active growth resume, but never let it stay too dry for long. It favours North-facing slopes where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. July 31st, 2017 Portulacaria afra, commonly known as spekboom, is a drought-resistant, indigenous succulent native to our country. Growing Conditions for Dwarf Jade Plant, Portulacaria afra. 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. It’s a pretty-looking shrub with small round green leaves and red stems. Even better, Spekboom is easy to grow. Even though it has no special requirements to grow, compost and fertiliser will encourage quicker growth. And the growing stands of elephant bush combat global warming. The leaves are used to treat over-exhaustion, dehydration, blisters, acne, insect bites and sunburn, and also to lower high blood sugar levels. Spekboom: Miracle plant and superfood. 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. Because it is evolved to survive the arid conditions of the Karoo, spekboom has a few unique tricks. 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. 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. The variegated Portulacaria afra ‘variegata’ is called the – Rainbow bush. Portulacaria afra, "Porkbush" or “Spekboom“ is a popular succulent plant found on rocky slopes in the Karoo scrub and semi-arid landscapes. ReSpek Nature addresses these issues, by restoring balance and biodiversity. Through Spring and Summer, Spekboom likes to be watered well, then allowed to almost dry out before its next drink. It grows slowly to medium fast (under ideal conditions) and should thrive in desert gardens all over the world. When conditions are favourable, it trots the same pathway as other plants (C3 photosynthesis). 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