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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, the roots also need trimming and that they need to be repotted. % of people told us that this article helped them. Keep reading to learn about creating a cascade bonsai. Am I missing something? It grows equally well in a garden setting, although it may not flower as prolifically as in its natural habitat. In order to grow spekboom successfully, the soil must be well-drained. No time to water your garden? Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. 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! Do not dig into the trunk when taking the cutting. Do not train your tree like a shrub, you have to see the branch structure by creating empty spaces. Take your gin and tonic game to the next level by switching out the cucumber for spekboom. Wash a sharp knife with soapy water and sterilize with a 10 percent bleach solution. 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. #3 It is Water-wise and Super Resilient. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Outdoor Spekboom can be pruned into an evergreen hedge. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Elephant bush is well suited to growing in a hanging or elevated container. How and when do I trim my 5 year old juniper bonsai tree? 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. Do not water the dwarf jade before cutting, since the trunk, branches and leaves will fill with moisture and leak when sliced open. Cut them slanted so the plant can receive lots of nutrition and water. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 110,815 times. 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. Your site informed me that, "It does help. ", "Exactly what I was looking for. More bushy than tall and thin. No time to water your garden? © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Pruning is necessary when growing the dwarf jade plant as a bonsai. All About Growing Portulacaria afra. It responds well to pruning and grows densely, making it an excellent, hardy screen or hedge. Should I trim the main root or the air roots? Insert the cutting into a box or container, filled with about 3 inches (8 cm) of moistened pure builder's sand, vermiculite, or perlite. Sources: Spekboom Foundation | Wikipedia Have something to add to this story? It truly is a magnificent plant. The above ground and underground portions of your bonsai tree will need to be kept in relative proportion. Pruning: It’s really easy to prune your Spekboom when the stems get particularly long to keep it looking neat. "I received a ficus bonsai as a gift. Thank you from Naples, FL. Portulacaria afra, or elephant bush, is a small succulent shrub native to Eastern South Africa. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. I water my bonsai every two days. I didn't know that! This article has been viewed 110,815 times. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. Place in the sunniest place available and do not water until new growth begins. Do not dig into the trunk when taking the cutting. What is the best way to prune? If you decide to trim roots, trim the air roots. 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! 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. It’s water wise. How do I know when to repot my bonsai tree? Prune away any extra long or misplaced branches to shape the plant. 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. This article has been viewed 110,815 times. Make sure that you occasionally trim back the root system of the tree to prevent it from growing too vigorously. Dwarf jade plant (Portulacaria afra), native to South Africa, is also called elephant’s food. – The soil it grows in can be used to grow other plants, thus making it a nurse plant. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. Spekboom is a water-wise plant that’s ideal for low … Recently took a cutting from a beautiful 3m x 3m x 3m Spekboom plant in the Karoo. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. 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. Remove large leaves to open the plant and allow light to reach inner stems where you want new, smaller leaves to grow. Do not seal the cuts with any chemicals; the dwarf jade will form calluses over the cuts within a couple of days. Deep cuts leave unsightly scars and sometimes cause branch death. Don't cut the lower branches or clear leaves from the ground beneath: this hinders successful … Spekboom also responds well to pruning and grows densely, making it an excellent, hardy hedge. Simply twist the stem to remove it from the main branch or cut it with a very sharp, sanitized blade. In nature, the species grows to 13 feet in height, but it is generally much smaller under cultivation. It’s water wise. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. 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. Thanks. 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. The spekboom can be found in various habitats from rocky slopes, thicket and bushveld to dry river valleys in the eastern parts of South Africa and parts of Mozambique. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Help! If the plant is young, then a piece less than 2 inches wide will work. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. The practice used for pruning juniper bonsai trees is known as finger pinching. Using a cutting for garnish that can doubled-up as a swizzle stick. If you want some thin branches to thicken, then don't trim them. Spekboom Plant Environmental Benefits – South Africa. Gather a 2- to 4-inch-long stem with healthy foliage at the tip and a sturdy stem. Take cuttings in spring or summer for best results. When grown in containers, they stay much smaller. 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. Approved. Spekboom can tolerate cold temperatures as well as extreme heat. Pruning of new buds is done throughout the growing season. Planted in the ground and allowed to grow to its full height, Portulacaria will tower up to 15 feet high. Pretty darn amazing! In order to grow spekboom successfully, the soil must be well-drained. It’s almost all trailing now. The water retention makes the tree limbs heavy which naturally bends the 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. I'm kinda looking to do the same. The key is to prune the roots and the foliage to keep the plant looking dwarfed. The elephant bush is a bush-like succulent plant that grows in a variety of sizes depending on its environment. For this reason, learning how to trim a bonsai is an essential skill for any grower interested in this method. If you want it to trail, start by prune … 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. Spekboom can be propagated from cuttings, which must be kept dry to prevent rotting. Hi Noreen – It did that over time. Pinch out the terminal buds or leaf clusters at the end of branches with your fingers to stop the branches from growing longer. Ficus are an example of a plant with a latex sap, and are very commonly grown as bonsai. This latex is a defense mechanism shared by many plant species. If you want to infuse the spekboom taste into the mix, pick some leaves and cut them in half before dropping into your glass. Cut the branch off with a knife, making the cut even with the surface of the trunk. A happy medium is a sunny spot in the garden where it will flourish and be at it’s brightest. This technique is also called nipping. Trim the bonsai tree's roots accordingly. It varies from species to species. Before and … Just want to clarify that ''Spekboom'' is not used by the native africans and is actually an Afrikaans word .

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, the roots also need trimming and that they need to be repotted. % of people told us that this article helped them. Keep reading to learn about creating a cascade bonsai. Am I missing something? It grows equally well in a garden setting, although it may not flower as prolifically as in its natural habitat. In order to grow spekboom successfully, the soil must be well-drained. No time to water your garden? Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. 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! Do not dig into the trunk when taking the cutting. Do not train your tree like a shrub, you have to see the branch structure by creating empty spaces. Take your gin and tonic game to the next level by switching out the cucumber for spekboom. Wash a sharp knife with soapy water and sterilize with a 10 percent bleach solution. 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. #3 It is Water-wise and Super Resilient. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Outdoor Spekboom can be pruned into an evergreen hedge. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Elephant bush is well suited to growing in a hanging or elevated container. How and when do I trim my 5 year old juniper bonsai tree? 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. Do not water the dwarf jade before cutting, since the trunk, branches and leaves will fill with moisture and leak when sliced open. Cut them slanted so the plant can receive lots of nutrition and water. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 110,815 times. 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. Your site informed me that, "It does help. ", "Exactly what I was looking for. More bushy than tall and thin. No time to water your garden? © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Pruning is necessary when growing the dwarf jade plant as a bonsai. All About Growing Portulacaria afra. It responds well to pruning and grows densely, making it an excellent, hardy screen or hedge. Should I trim the main root or the air roots? Insert the cutting into a box or container, filled with about 3 inches (8 cm) of moistened pure builder's sand, vermiculite, or perlite. Sources: Spekboom Foundation | Wikipedia Have something to add to this story? It truly is a magnificent plant. The above ground and underground portions of your bonsai tree will need to be kept in relative proportion. Pruning: It’s really easy to prune your Spekboom when the stems get particularly long to keep it looking neat. "I received a ficus bonsai as a gift. Thank you from Naples, FL. Portulacaria afra, or elephant bush, is a small succulent shrub native to Eastern South Africa. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. I water my bonsai every two days. I didn't know that! This article has been viewed 110,815 times. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. Place in the sunniest place available and do not water until new growth begins. Do not dig into the trunk when taking the cutting. What is the best way to prune? If you decide to trim roots, trim the air roots. 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! 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. It’s water wise. How do I know when to repot my bonsai tree? Prune away any extra long or misplaced branches to shape the plant. 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. This article has been viewed 110,815 times. Make sure that you occasionally trim back the root system of the tree to prevent it from growing too vigorously. Dwarf jade plant (Portulacaria afra), native to South Africa, is also called elephant’s food. – The soil it grows in can be used to grow other plants, thus making it a nurse plant. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. Spekboom is a water-wise plant that’s ideal for low … Recently took a cutting from a beautiful 3m x 3m x 3m Spekboom plant in the Karoo. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. 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. Remove large leaves to open the plant and allow light to reach inner stems where you want new, smaller leaves to grow. Do not seal the cuts with any chemicals; the dwarf jade will form calluses over the cuts within a couple of days. Deep cuts leave unsightly scars and sometimes cause branch death. Don't cut the lower branches or clear leaves from the ground beneath: this hinders successful … Spekboom also responds well to pruning and grows densely, making it an excellent, hardy hedge. Simply twist the stem to remove it from the main branch or cut it with a very sharp, sanitized blade. In nature, the species grows to 13 feet in height, but it is generally much smaller under cultivation. It’s water wise. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. 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. Thanks. 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. The spekboom can be found in various habitats from rocky slopes, thicket and bushveld to dry river valleys in the eastern parts of South Africa and parts of Mozambique. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Help! If the plant is young, then a piece less than 2 inches wide will work. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. The practice used for pruning juniper bonsai trees is known as finger pinching. Using a cutting for garnish that can doubled-up as a swizzle stick. If you want some thin branches to thicken, then don't trim them. Spekboom Plant Environmental Benefits – South Africa. Gather a 2- to 4-inch-long stem with healthy foliage at the tip and a sturdy stem. Take cuttings in spring or summer for best results. When grown in containers, they stay much smaller. 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. Approved. Spekboom can tolerate cold temperatures as well as extreme heat. Pruning of new buds is done throughout the growing season. Planted in the ground and allowed to grow to its full height, Portulacaria will tower up to 15 feet high. Pretty darn amazing! In order to grow spekboom successfully, the soil must be well-drained. It’s almost all trailing now. The water retention makes the tree limbs heavy which naturally bends the 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. I'm kinda looking to do the same. The key is to prune the roots and the foliage to keep the plant looking dwarfed. The elephant bush is a bush-like succulent plant that grows in a variety of sizes depending on its environment. For this reason, learning how to trim a bonsai is an essential skill for any grower interested in this method. If you want it to trail, start by prune … 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. Spekboom can be propagated from cuttings, which must be kept dry to prevent rotting. Hi Noreen – It did that over time. Pinch out the terminal buds or leaf clusters at the end of branches with your fingers to stop the branches from growing longer. Ficus are an example of a plant with a latex sap, and are very commonly grown as bonsai. This latex is a defense mechanism shared by many plant species. If you want to infuse the spekboom taste into the mix, pick some leaves and cut them in half before dropping into your glass. Cut the branch off with a knife, making the cut even with the surface of the trunk. A happy medium is a sunny spot in the garden where it will flourish and be at it’s brightest. This technique is also called nipping. Trim the bonsai tree's roots accordingly. It varies from species to species. Before and … Just want to clarify that ''Spekboom'' is not used by the native africans and is actually an Afrikaans word .

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how to trim a spekboom

Even leaves that are knocked off while pruning or doing other activities may root on their own. 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. If the trunk leans heavily in one direction, remove branches in that direction while preserving those in the opposite direction. Pruning and wiring: Because the Jade tree is a succulent, it retains water in its trunk and branches. ). Does it need to be pruned? 08/10/2020 at 7:43 pm. It responds very well to pruning, and you should prune it regularly to … By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. ", "It has given me the confidence to nurture a Bonsai tree.". Simply cut or break off a piece of a spekboom, let it dry out for one or two days and then stick it in the ground. Portulacaria afra – the name might sound like a mouthful, so it might be easier to refer to this plant by another name. Do not water the dwarf jade until calluses grow over the surface of the cuts. Spekboom is indigenous to South Africa. Rinse well with clear water and dry. Remove all but two to four of the leaves near the top of the cutting. Good post. 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. Allow the cleanly cut edges of the cuttings to dry out for a few days before planting it in well-drained river sand. By using our site, you agree to our. It is a resilient plant found predominantly in the … Just use a sterile blade and trim into the shape you desire. The art of bonsai lies primarily in the grower's ability to shape the tree in order to contain and direct its growth. Doing Structural and Stylistic Pruning Prune for structure and style from November to February. In this case, 92% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. She has an Associate of Arts from Rogue Community College with a certificate in computer information systems. Spekboom is a water-wise plant that’s ideal for low … For aesthetic reasons, you will want to remove any branches that will clutter and cloud the tree's artistic line. Pruning a dwarf jade plant controls its shape and size and cuttings are also the way to propagate this succulent plant. 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. My golden gate tree has some yellow leaves. I didn't know what to do with it untill I saw your post. How to Propagate a Longan Fruit Tree in a Pot. Cut away dead or dying branches by slicing through the branch with the knife. Spekboom can be propagated from cuttings, which must be kept dry to prevent rotting. How to Propagate Plants from Cuttings Cut a 4- to 5-inch-long (10 to 12 cm) stem (or side shoot) just below a leaf, and remove all but two or three leaves at the top. The ancient practice of bonsai lifts pruning to an art form. Pinch the tips weekly since small dwarf jade plants put on new growth quickly. Place the cutting in a moderately lit area where temperatures are at least 65 F (18 C). You did a great job taking pics to show it's progresion. 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." 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. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Trim your spekboom bonsai into a tree shape by removing branches and leaves that clutter the style you desire. It seems the drier it is, the more it blooms. In late winter and spring, this plant flowers bloom in beautiful pink. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. 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. ", "Shows what I need to do with my tree. I received a p. Afra from a older guy that passed. I water it once every eight to 10 days. I cut it back and now am working on branch structure. The smooth, brownish-gray trunk is very thick and heavily branched with a profusion of bright green succulent leaves. Cut the branch off with a knife, making the cut even with the surface of the trunk. Positive: On Jul 17, 2014, stevelvv from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote: Plant is in full bloom in San Diego. Major branches should be trimmed with pruners or sharp scissors, but very small growths can be pinched cleanly away with your fingers. Thank you for the information! Mak… However, the flowers are not why we grow the spekboom. Dwarf jade cuttings root quickly without callusing or using root hormone. Place the cut end of the branch halfway in a small container filled with 2 parts sand and 1 part potting soil. If a plant bleeds white, then the substance being released is latex. To … Research on the species of your Bonsai and see when it is safe to transplant it. Allow the cleanly cut edges of the cuttings to dry out for a few days before planting it in well-drained river sand. Why does my bonsai bleed white when trimmed? Nell Foster says. 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. You can't shape a jade. However, you do need to prune it from time to time. Let the soil around the base of the plant dry out. I'm experienced with different types of plants. Easily explained. ", 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. Last Updated: October 4, 2020 taken in spring or summer, allowing the cut portions to dry and callus for a couple of days before putting in the rooting medium. Ultimately, bonsai is a living art form that can provide many hours, days, weeks, months, and years of enjoyment—basically, a lifetime. Pruning a Ficus Bonsai Part 1: Bonsai maintenance pruning . My solid green Elephant’s bush hangs & grows upright. Negative: On Jun 14, 2013, cactusmother from Scottsdale, AZ wrote: Help! Learn more... Bonsai is the Japanese practice of growing miniature trees in small containers. References Dip the cut end into rooting hormone. I want to ensure it lives and is trimmed properly. Like most succulents, elephant bush is easy to reproduce from cuttings. 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! It has small round succulent leaves and red stems that can survive arid conditions. For structural reasons, you want to leave branches intact that will increase growth in weak areas. For example, leave branches in place on thinner areas of the trunk to help thicken it. The soil under a spekboom is of excellent quality – Spekboom responds well to pruning and grows densely, making it an excellent, hardy hedge. The flowers are rich in nectar, bringing beautiful birds to your garden. The goal of maintenance pruning is to maintain and refine the shape of a tree. All clippings can be turned into new trees – Spekboom forms it’s own micro-climate under its protective thicket Cuttings root rather easily too – a small section cut off just below the node (bottom leaves then removed) and planted – and watered well for the first few days too – will grow quickly. Do not make a concave cut, but keep the cut flush with the branch surface. The Spekboom or Pork Bush (Portulacaria Afra) is a versatile, evergreen plant with numerous health benefits, especially to the environment. 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. ", "Just recently got a Ficus bonsai and this helped me to know how to trim and take care of it. They may also root in water. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/c\/c2\/Trim-a-Bonsai-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Trim-a-Bonsai-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/c\/c2\/Trim-a-Bonsai-Step-1.jpg\/aid1914258-v4-728px-Trim-a-Bonsai-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, Leading gardening charity in the U.K. providing resources for identifying, growing and caring for flowers and other plants, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/e\/ec\/Trim-a-Bonsai-Step-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Trim-a-Bonsai-Step-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/e\/ec\/Trim-a-Bonsai-Step-2.jpg\/aid1914258-v4-728px-Trim-a-Bonsai-Step-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, the roots also need trimming and that they need to be repotted. % of people told us that this article helped them. Keep reading to learn about creating a cascade bonsai. Am I missing something? It grows equally well in a garden setting, although it may not flower as prolifically as in its natural habitat. In order to grow spekboom successfully, the soil must be well-drained. No time to water your garden? Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. 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! Do not dig into the trunk when taking the cutting. Do not train your tree like a shrub, you have to see the branch structure by creating empty spaces. Take your gin and tonic game to the next level by switching out the cucumber for spekboom. Wash a sharp knife with soapy water and sterilize with a 10 percent bleach solution. 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. #3 It is Water-wise and Super Resilient. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Outdoor Spekboom can be pruned into an evergreen hedge. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Elephant bush is well suited to growing in a hanging or elevated container. How and when do I trim my 5 year old juniper bonsai tree? 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. Do not water the dwarf jade before cutting, since the trunk, branches and leaves will fill with moisture and leak when sliced open. Cut them slanted so the plant can receive lots of nutrition and water. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 110,815 times. 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. Your site informed me that, "It does help. ", "Exactly what I was looking for. More bushy than tall and thin. No time to water your garden? © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Pruning is necessary when growing the dwarf jade plant as a bonsai. All About Growing Portulacaria afra. It responds well to pruning and grows densely, making it an excellent, hardy screen or hedge. Should I trim the main root or the air roots? Insert the cutting into a box or container, filled with about 3 inches (8 cm) of moistened pure builder's sand, vermiculite, or perlite. Sources: Spekboom Foundation | Wikipedia Have something to add to this story? It truly is a magnificent plant. The above ground and underground portions of your bonsai tree will need to be kept in relative proportion. Pruning: It’s really easy to prune your Spekboom when the stems get particularly long to keep it looking neat. "I received a ficus bonsai as a gift. Thank you from Naples, FL. Portulacaria afra, or elephant bush, is a small succulent shrub native to Eastern South Africa. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. I water my bonsai every two days. I didn't know that! This article has been viewed 110,815 times. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. Place in the sunniest place available and do not water until new growth begins. Do not dig into the trunk when taking the cutting. What is the best way to prune? If you decide to trim roots, trim the air roots. 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! 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. It’s water wise. How do I know when to repot my bonsai tree? Prune away any extra long or misplaced branches to shape the plant. 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. This article has been viewed 110,815 times. Make sure that you occasionally trim back the root system of the tree to prevent it from growing too vigorously. Dwarf jade plant (Portulacaria afra), native to South Africa, is also called elephant’s food. – The soil it grows in can be used to grow other plants, thus making it a nurse plant. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. Spekboom is a water-wise plant that’s ideal for low … Recently took a cutting from a beautiful 3m x 3m x 3m Spekboom plant in the Karoo. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. 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. Remove large leaves to open the plant and allow light to reach inner stems where you want new, smaller leaves to grow. Do not seal the cuts with any chemicals; the dwarf jade will form calluses over the cuts within a couple of days. Deep cuts leave unsightly scars and sometimes cause branch death. Don't cut the lower branches or clear leaves from the ground beneath: this hinders successful … Spekboom also responds well to pruning and grows densely, making it an excellent, hardy hedge. Simply twist the stem to remove it from the main branch or cut it with a very sharp, sanitized blade. In nature, the species grows to 13 feet in height, but it is generally much smaller under cultivation. It’s water wise. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. 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. Thanks. 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. The spekboom can be found in various habitats from rocky slopes, thicket and bushveld to dry river valleys in the eastern parts of South Africa and parts of Mozambique. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Help! If the plant is young, then a piece less than 2 inches wide will work. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. The practice used for pruning juniper bonsai trees is known as finger pinching. Using a cutting for garnish that can doubled-up as a swizzle stick. If you want some thin branches to thicken, then don't trim them. Spekboom Plant Environmental Benefits – South Africa. Gather a 2- to 4-inch-long stem with healthy foliage at the tip and a sturdy stem. Take cuttings in spring or summer for best results. When grown in containers, they stay much smaller. 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. Approved. Spekboom can tolerate cold temperatures as well as extreme heat. Pruning of new buds is done throughout the growing season. Planted in the ground and allowed to grow to its full height, Portulacaria will tower up to 15 feet high. Pretty darn amazing! In order to grow spekboom successfully, the soil must be well-drained. It’s almost all trailing now. The water retention makes the tree limbs heavy which naturally bends the 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. I'm kinda looking to do the same. The key is to prune the roots and the foliage to keep the plant looking dwarfed. The elephant bush is a bush-like succulent plant that grows in a variety of sizes depending on its environment. For this reason, learning how to trim a bonsai is an essential skill for any grower interested in this method. If you want it to trail, start by prune … 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. Spekboom can be propagated from cuttings, which must be kept dry to prevent rotting. Hi Noreen – It did that over time. Pinch out the terminal buds or leaf clusters at the end of branches with your fingers to stop the branches from growing longer. Ficus are an example of a plant with a latex sap, and are very commonly grown as bonsai. This latex is a defense mechanism shared by many plant species. If you want to infuse the spekboom taste into the mix, pick some leaves and cut them in half before dropping into your glass. Cut the branch off with a knife, making the cut even with the surface of the trunk. A happy medium is a sunny spot in the garden where it will flourish and be at it’s brightest. This technique is also called nipping. Trim the bonsai tree's roots accordingly. It varies from species to species. Before and … Just want to clarify that ''Spekboom'' is not used by the native africans and is actually an Afrikaans word .

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