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

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