Plant Care Elephant Bush

Elephant Bush

4.6 out of 5 (194 experiences)

Elephant Bush has a Survivor plant personality Survivor
Elephant Bush has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower

Also known as

Elephant Food, Dwarf Jade Plant, Porkbush, Spekboom and Little Jade


Portulacaria afra

How to care for Elephant Bush

💦 Water

How often to water your Elephant Bush

Water needs for Elephant Bush
0.5 cups
every 12

Elephant Bush needs 0.5 cups of water every 12 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Elephant Bush

Water 0.5 cups every

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

☀️ Light

Finding light for Elephant Bush in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Elephant Bush: 1ft from a window
1ft or less from
a window

Elephant Bush love being close to bright, sunny windows 😎.

Place it less than 1ft from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

Elephant Bush does not tolerate low-light 🚫.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Elephant Bush in your home 🏡.

🪴 Nutrients

How to fertilize Elephant Bush

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Elephant Bush: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Elephant Bush after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Browse #ElephantBush
💡 FAQs
⭐ Difficulty Level

Elephant Bush is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!

Benefits of Growing Elephant Bush →

Common Elephant Bush Problems →

💦 Water Needs

Elephant Bush thrives in dry soil and should be watered sparingly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Elephant Bush Root Rot →

☀️ Sunlight Needs

Elephant Bush requires abundant, bright and direct light. Place it less than one foot from a window to ensure it receives enough light to survive 💪. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.

Elephant Bush Light Requirements →

Elephant Bush Direct Sunlight Needs & Tolerance →

🐶 🐈 👶 Toxicity

Elephant Bush is not known to cause harm to humans or pets. Regardless, if you, a family member, a cat, or dog has ingested any plant material, please consult a doctor or a veterinarian.

Elephant Bush Toxicity to Humans →

💨 Humidity

Elephant Bush enjoys lots of humidity. Provide humidity for your plant by watering regularly and thoroughly, since plants absorb most water through their root system rather than their leaves. They may also benefit from being placed next to a humidifier.

Elephant Bush Humidity Needs →

🪴 Soil

Elephant Bush is very sensitive to wet soil, so choose a potting soil that drains very well and doesn’t retain too much moisture. A good soil will have lots of perlite or vermiculite for drainage and some organic matter for nutrition. A few handfuls of perlite added to regular store-bought cactus soil will do the trick!

When and How to Successfully Repot Elephant Bush →

💩 Fertilizer

Elephant Bush grows very slowly and doesn’t require added fertilizer. Replacing your plant’s potting soil once a year should provide them with more than enough nutrition. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!

How Much and When to Fertilize Elephant Bush →

❄️ Dormancy

It’s common for Elephant Bush to go dormant in the summertime and you may notice their growth slow down. Waterings should be spaced out more during this time.

🌎 Native Region

Elephant Bush is native to Southern Africa.

🌸 Flowers

Yes, you may see your Elephant Bush bloom with the right amount of sunlight and water.

⬆️ ⬇️ Growth Pattern

Elephant Bush will branch off as it grows. To encourage branching, pinch off the newest growth at the tip and the stem will branch off into two.

How and When to Prune Elephant Bush →

🌦️ Growing Outdoors

USDA Hardiness Zone
Elephant Bush can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-12b. Find your local hardiness zone here.

Elephant Bush Temperature Tolerance →

🌱 Propagation

The seeds of Elephant Bush can be used to grow new plants! After your plant flowers, any seeds that formed can be collected and germinated in potting soil.

🧐 Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting a sad-looking houseplant, start by checking for signs of distress in its leaves, such as yellowing, browning, or drooping, which can indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.

Inspect the soil moisture; too dry or too wet soil can cause problems.

Ensure the plant is getting the right amount of light, as too much or too little can stress it.

Finally, consider environmental factors like temperature and humidity, and adjust care routines accordingly to revive your plant.

😖 Common Issues

Overwatering is a likely cause of issues with Elephant Bush. These plants are very sensitive to wet soil so if you notice your plant becoming squishy or translucent, overwatering is the likely culprit.

Cut your plant just past where the rot ends and allow it to callus over for a few days before replanting it in fresh, dry soil. Download Greg to make sure your plant never gets overwatered again!

Care Summary for Elephant Bush

Elephant Bush

Elephant Bush

Greg recommends:


0.5 cups every 12 days


< 1ft from a window


Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

What other plant parents say

Elephant Bush has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 123
Elephant Bush has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 89
Elephant Bush has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 42
Elephant Bush has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 18
Elephant Bush has a Blooms easily plant personality Blooms easily 17
Elephant Bush has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 10
Elephant Bush has a Pest magnet plant personality Pest magnet 5
Payton avatar
leaf-1 1 Plants
xp 36 XP
globe Lubbock, TX

I love my little Elephant Bush! For someone who wants to brighten up their space but has a very poor record keeping plants alive, this plant is perfect! I’ve had my bush since it was only a couple inches tall and within a month or so both of the sprigs have nearly tripled in height

Survivor Survivor
Fast grower Fast grower
@LovingSunnyAZ avatar
leaf-1 11 Plants
xp 7,679 XP
globe Goodyear, AZ

As a succulent, it doesn’t require much water, making it perfect for the summertime on my patio table here in Phoenix AZ! Puffy little jade shaped leaves. Love how this little fella trails down over the pot!!

Survivor Survivor
@Cricket avatar
leaf-1 2 Plants
xp 41 XP

It takes a while for leaves to grow but when they do they tell you exactly when it needs water :)

Survivor Survivor
@Catslady123 avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 479 XP
globe New York

Needs more water than a traditional succulent. Don’t let it fool you!!

Browns easily Browns easily
@tymarie.r avatar
leaf-1 3 Plants
xp 354 XP

low maintenance:)

Survivor Survivor
@0carter avatar
leaf-1 34 Plants
xp 597 XP
globe Seattle, WA

Very delicate. if you don’t maintain hood conditions they will drop all their leaves :(

Pest magnet Pest magnet
@MeganO avatar
leaf-1 41 Plants
xp 20,843 XP
globe Washington, DC

Oops. Forgot about this guy in the window and did usual watering but it doesn’t seem to like the spot it was in.

@Rat__teeth avatar
leaf-1 20 Plants
xp 1,816 XP

Can be a little finicky but a very cute plant

Fast grower Fast grower
@mconst avatar
leaf-1 51 Plants
xp 6,316 XP

Always looks full and healthy

Survivor Survivor
Michelle avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 106 XP

The need a lot of water and for this plant I notice it’s better to put water in a bowl and place the plant in and let it absorb what it needs

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
@Kace avatar
leaf-1 144 Plants
xp 12,773 XP

This guy almost died after being left out in a hale storm this summer. He has doubled in size since July. 🤯

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
@R_L15748 avatar
leaf-1 72 Plants
xp 18,089 XP

Easily over watered.

Alex avatar
leaf-1 16 Plants
xp 312 XP

I’m hoping to try bonsai with babies from this plant. It never dies

Survivor Survivor
Charli avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 91 XP
globe Chicago, IL

Super cute and havent run into problems yet. Will let you know if it needs water when its leaves shrivel a bit.

Fast grower Fast grower
@Abbalabbadingdong avatar
leaf-1 6 Plants
xp 141 XP

It got sick I think a couple months ago and it was pretty easy to fix. It’s a pretty harsh plant

Survivor Survivor
@axc avatar
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 119 XP

Super cute and small. Needs a bit more sunlight than most succulents but still very manageable!

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
Browns easily Browns easily
Jeannette avatar
leaf-1 6 Plants
xp 114 XP

It’s a very cute succulent and it flourishes into a beautiful bush, hence its name. It also makes a great filler for succulent arrangements. I love that this guy is sooo easy to propagate!

Fast grower Fast grower
Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
Chris avatar
leaf-1 1 Plants
xp 26 XP

This is a good luck plant. They call it a money tree in Chinese feng sue

Survivor Survivor
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
@annachromatic avatar
leaf-1 22 Plants
xp 675 XP
globe Lincoln, NE

I don’t water it often and it seems to do alright so far.

Survivor Survivor
@livmountain avatar
leaf-1 2 Plants
xp 58 XP

So cute, lots of growth and doesn’t need watering a lot, My personal favourite

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