As explained above, trees will concentrate most growth on the top and outer parts of its stems; it is important to prune these growth areas regularly to encourage growth closer to the inner parts of the tree. I water my bonsai every two days. Portulacaria (Port-yoo-luh-CARE-ee-ah) is a small genus of upright, semi-woody succulents indigenous to South Africa.The stems are thick, succulent and brown to burgundy, with small, round jade green leaves. Cut the branch off with a knife, making the cut even with the surface of the trunk. Thank you for the information! Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Do not train your tree like a shrub, you have to see the branch structure by creating empty spaces. You can't shape a jade. 08/10/2020 at 7:43 pm. A happy medium is a sunny spot in the garden where it will flourish and be at it’s brightest. By using our site, you agree to our. Allow the cleanly cut edges of the cuttings to dry out for a few days before planting it in well-drained river sand. Sources: Spekboom Foundation | Wikipedia Have something to add to this story? Insert the cutting into a box or container, filled with about 3 inches (8 cm) of moistened pure builder's sand, vermiculite, or perlite. Good post. Outdoor Spekboom can be pruned into an evergreen hedge. – The soil it grows in can be used to grow other plants, thus making it a nurse plant. Pretty darn amazing! ", "Exactly what I was looking for. Trim your spekboom bonsai into a tree shape by removing branches and leaves that clutter the style you desire. Mak… Do not make a concave cut, but keep the cut flush with the branch surface. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. My solid green Elephant’s bush hangs & grows upright. In this case, 92% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Remove large leaves to open the plant and allow light to reach inner stems where you want new, smaller leaves to grow. The practice used for pruning juniper bonsai trees is known as finger pinching. Examine the dwarf jade plant and locate a branch at least 3 inches long and 2 inches wide that will not be noticed when missing. For structural reasons, you want to leave branches intact that will increase growth in weak areas. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. The soil under a spekboom is of excellent quality – Spekboom responds well to pruning and grows densely, making it an excellent, hardy hedge. Remove all but two to four of the leaves near the top of the cutting. Do not seal the cuts with any chemicals; the dwarf jade will form calluses over the cuts within a couple of days. Allow the cleanly cut edges of the cuttings to dry out for a few days before planting it in well-drained river sand. Easily explained. Planted in the ground and allowed to grow to its full height, Portulacaria will tower up to 15 feet high. I'm kinda looking to do the same. References Thanks. It is a resilient plant found predominantly in the … I cut it back and now am working on branch structure. Karen Carter spent three years as a technology specialist in the public school system and her writing has appeared in the "Willapa Harbor Herald" and the "Rogue College Byline." Juniper and ficus are 2 of the most popular types of trees for use in bonsai, but there are dozens more that can be adapted as well. No time to water your garden? Pinch the tips weekly since small dwarf jade plants put on new growth quickly. For this reason, learning how to trim a bonsai is an essential skill for any grower interested in this method. Learn more... Bonsai is the Japanese practice of growing miniature trees in small containers. Make sure that you occasionally trim back the root system of the tree to prevent it from growing too vigorously. Research on the species of your Bonsai and see when it is safe to transplant it. Does it need to be pruned? It responds very well to pruning, and you should prune it regularly to … Wash a sharp knife with soapy water and sterilize with a 10 percent bleach solution. If you want to infuse the spekboom taste into the mix, pick some leaves and cut them in half before dropping into your glass. No time to water your garden? How and when do I trim my 5 year old juniper bonsai tree? Like most succulents, elephant bush is easy to reproduce from cuttings. They may also root in water. It's also known as elephant food, elephant plant, spekboom, and by its scientific name Portulacaria afra.The plant grows in the wild in Africa, where it serves as a food source for elephants. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. % of people told us that this article helped them. Considerably more so than normal plants do – in fact it is said that one hectare of Spekboom can capture four tons of carbon in a year. In nature, the species grows to 13 feet in height, but it is generally much smaller under cultivation. It has small round succulent leaves and red stems that can survive arid conditions. Place the cutting in a moderately lit area where temperatures are at least 65 F (18 C). It’s water wise. If you want it to trail, start by prune … The elephant bush is a bush-like succulent plant that grows in a variety of sizes depending on its environment. In order to grow spekboom successfully, the soil must be well-drained. Should I trim the main root or the air roots? I didn't know that! If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. It varies from species to species. If you want some thin branches to thicken, then don't trim them. When grown in containers, they stay much smaller. Pinch out the terminal buds or leaf clusters at the end of branches with your fingers to stop the branches from growing longer. Trim the bonsai tree's roots accordingly. Take your gin and tonic game to the next level by switching out the cucumber for spekboom. Do not dig into the trunk when taking the cutting. The flowers are rich in nectar, bringing beautiful birds to your garden. More bushy than tall and thin. She has an Associate of Arts from Rogue Community College with a certificate in computer information systems. Place in the sunniest place available and do not water until new growth begins. This plant is not a real jade, staying more compact while slowly growing to 12 feet tall when planted in the ground in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. The key is to prune the roots and the foliage to keep the plant looking dwarfed. It responds well to pruning and grows densely, making it an excellent, hardy screen or hedge. Pruning a Ficus Bonsai Part 1: Bonsai maintenance pruning . Nell Foster says. Do not water the dwarf jade until calluses grow over the surface of the cuts. In late winter and spring, this plant flowers bloom in beautiful pink. It seems the drier it is, the more it blooms. Ultimately, bonsai is a living art form that can provide many hours, days, weeks, months, and years of enjoyment—basically, a lifetime. Give it a little water every few days, and you’ll soon have a new spekboom plant of your own to help the environment and climate change! Elephant bush is well suited to growing in a hanging or elevated container. These would include branches that cross each other, those that grow at very sharp angles, and those that grow across the trunk and interrupt its continuous line. However, we, as bonsai lovers, would love to read more in detail about the pruning and trimming of a, "Trimming branches and roots is species specific and environment must be very carefully considered to be successful. #3 It is Water-wise and Super Resilient. Do not water the dwarf jade before cutting, since the trunk, branches and leaves will fill with moisture and leak when sliced open. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Your site informed me that, "It does help. How to Propagate a Longan Fruit Tree in a Pot. While some people use scissors to nip off the buds, it is also contended that scissor cutting may cause browning of the cut ends, thereby spoiling the looks of the tree. This article has been viewed 110,815 times. Spekboom can be propagated from cuttings, which must be kept dry to prevent rotting. The Spekboom or Pork Bush (Portulacaria Afra) is a versatile, evergreen plant with numerous health benefits, especially to the environment. ", "Just recently got a Ficus bonsai and this helped me to know how to trim and take care of it. I received a p. Afra from a older guy that passed. Spekboom can tolerate cold temperatures as well as extreme heat. Before and … ", https://www.bonsaiempire.com/basics/styling/pruning, https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=586, https://www.bonsaiempire.com/basics/bonsai-care/advanced/calendar, https://www.proflowers.com/blog/beginner-bonsai-tree-care, https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/rootprun.htm, https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/pruning.htm, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. My golden gate tree has some yellow leaves. The ancient practice of bonsai lifts pruning to an art form. The above ground and underground portions of your bonsai tree will need to be kept in relative proportion. The pruning techniques for bonsai not only reduce the size of the plant but strive to mimic the natural forms of the trees that grew in the mountainous, harsh regions where bonsai originated.. One of these popular forms is the cascade bonsai. Take cuttings in spring or summer for best results. Rinse well with clear water and dry. If you decide to trim roots, trim the air roots. Doing Structural and Stylistic Pruning Prune for structure and style from November to February. Ensure you plant plants with similar water requirements in the same beds – roses for example or other thirsty plants are not good companions of Spekboom. ). I want to ensure it lives and is trimmed properly. Am I missing something? Image caption: Pruning – (Clump style) Define the stems you want to develop into branches by nipping off leaves and leaf buds along the stems , along the underside of branches. "I received a ficus bonsai as a gift. Spekboom Overview 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 latex is a defense mechanism shared by many plant species. Portulacaria afra, or elephant bush, is a small succulent shrub native to Eastern South Africa. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. Even leaves that are knocked off while pruning or doing other activities may root on their own. Deep cuts leave unsightly scars and sometimes cause branch death. Let the soil around the base of the plant dry out. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 110,815 times. Dwarf jade cuttings root quickly without callusing or using root hormone. Positive: On Jul 17, 2014, stevelvv from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote: Plant is in full bloom in San Diego. Just want to clarify that ''Spekboom'' is not used by the native africans and is actually an Afrikaans word . Cut them slanted so the plant can receive lots of nutrition and water. However, you do need to prune it from time to time. If every eight days is the amount you gave it in winter, it will need more in the spring/summer as the tree is more active. Prune away any extra long or misplaced branches to shape the plant. All About Growing Portulacaria afra. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. ", "It has given me the confidence to nurture a Bonsai tree.". Spekboom Plant Environmental Benefits – South Africa. ", "Shows what I need to do with my tree. Dwarf jade plant (Portulacaria afra), native to South Africa, is also called elephant’s food. This article has been viewed 110,815 times. Spekboom is a water-wise plant that’s ideal for low … You did a great job taking pics to show it's progresion. To … It’s almost all trailing now. Pruning and wiring: Because the Jade tree is a succulent, it retains water in its trunk and branches. The steps below will help you to understanding the process of trimming and shaping your bonsai into a beautiful work of art. Let the cutting dry out and callous for a couple of days and then plant the cutting in damp gritty soil in a small pot. Pruning of new buds is done throughout the growing season. If the trunk leans heavily in one direction, remove branches in that direction while preserving those in the opposite direction. Spekboom is a really versatile plant Whether you are looking for a plant that can be turned into a hedge or a bonsai, or used as groundcover or a large bush, spekboom can do it all. Help! These houseplants are also a popular choice to prune into a bonsai form - smaller plants are best for this, or you make your own by propagating… see below! In weak areas, is a sunny spot in the grower 's ability shape... 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