26 July 2013

Portulacaria afra pruning


the Elephant's Food or Spekboom


Portulacaria afra in need of pruning
Prune by cutting above a pair of leaf pads., a new bud will grow from the base of each of the pads

New growth can be expected to be seen within a week during warm weather, from the base of removed leaves.

Leaves of plants grown in full sun are smaller than those of the same variety grown in partial shade.  Full sun is also known to bleach the leaves to a pale yellowish color. Here outdoors with overhead protection is full sun in more northern locations. We use a 40-60 % shade fabric! 

Wherever a bud or branch has been removed along a branch or the trunk a new bud could sprout.



P. afra pruned

The non-budding stump of a cut-off large branch will eventually dry up and fall off by itself.  Branch stubs dry out and eventually will fall off.  A bud may arise at the base of this at any time before or after separation. Larger stubs should not be directly watered until the wound has been scabbed  over and the injury was well on its way to healing.








Water thoroughly, and then let the soil dry out completely.  Chronic over-watering can kill the plant. P. afra does not do well in continually humid locations.

Portulacaria afra Soju Style (double trunk)
 Approximate Age: 10 Years in Training: 5
 Exhibited by M. Limburg
Yama Ki Bonsai Society




Portulacaria afra4 ies
New branches sprout from
the base of the leaves
Portulacaria afra2 ies
Remove large leaves once the
new branch is established

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