Botanical Name: Portulacaria afra
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Common Name: Elephant's Food, Elephant Bush  
Plant photo of: Portulacaria afra
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  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Shrub, Ground cover, Succulent

 

Height Range

6-12'

 

Flower Color

Lavender, Pink

 

Flower Season

Summer

 

Leaf Color

Green, Dark Green, Light Green

 

Bark Color

n/a

 

Fruit Color

n/a

 

Fruit Season

n/a

Sun

Full, Half, Shade

 

Water

Low

 

Growth Rate

Moderate, Slow

 

Soil Type

Sandy, Clay, Loam, Rocky, Unparticular

 

Soil Condition

Average, Poor, Well-drained, Dry

 

Soil pH

Neutral, Basic

 

Adverse Factors

n/a

Design Styles

Japanese, Spanish, Tropical, Water Garden

 

Accenting Features

Unusual Foliage, Unusual Shape

 

Seasonal Interest

Summer

 

Location Uses

Entry, Indoor, Patio, Raised Planter, Swimming Pool, Walkways, With Rocks

 

Special Uses

Cascade, Container, Filler, Mass Planting, Fire Resistant, Small Spaces, Hanging Baskets

 

Attracts Wildlife

n/a

Information by: Jerry Sortomme Editor
Photographer: Mountain States Nursery
  • Description

  • Notes

Interesting succulent with irregular growth habit. Depending on pruning and cold, elephant's food can be grown as a groundcover or shrub to 12' tall and wide. Plants work very well in containers, and can be used indoors or outdoors. Drought tolerant, but needs some protection from frost. Does best with some shade in most arid climates, otherwise tolerates full sun. Native to South Africa.
Planting: 1. Dig a hole 1" less the depth and 2 times the width of the container. 2. Fill hole with water, let soak. 3. Set root ball in hole. 4. Fill hole halway with native soil and water. 5. Finish backfilling hole, build basin and water.