Plant Care Portulacaria Afra

Portulacaria Afra

4.6 out of 5 (194 experiences)

Portulacaria Afra has a Survivor plant personality Survivor
Portulacaria Afra has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower

Also known as

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


Portulacaria afra

How to care for Portulacaria Afra


How often to water your Portulacaria Afra

Water needs for Portulacaria Afra
0.5 cups
every 12

Portulacaria Afra 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 Portulacaria Afra

Water 0.5 cups every

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size


Check the growing potential in your area

A plant's growing potential is determined from its location, the time of year, and current local weather.

Select a city to check sunlight intensity

Finding light for Elephant Bush in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Portulacaria Afra: 1ft from a window
1ft or less from
a window

Portulacaria Afra love being close to bright, sunny windows 😎.

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

Portulacaria Afra does not tolerate low-light 🚫.

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


How to fertilize Portulacaria Afra

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Portulacaria Afra: 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 Portulacaria Afra after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Difficulty Level

Portulacaria Afra 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!

Water Needs
Sunlight Needs
Native Region
Growth Pattern
Growing Outdoors
Common Issues

Care Summary for Portulacaria Afra

Portulacaria Afra

Portulacaria Afra

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

Portulacaria Afra has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 123
Portulacaria Afra has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 89
Portulacaria Afra has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 42
Portulacaria Afra has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 18
Portulacaria Afra has a Blooms easily plant personality Blooms easily 17
Portulacaria Afra has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 10
Portulacaria Afra 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 16 Plants
xp 7,354 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 414 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 315 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 43 Plants
xp 20,842 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 25 Plants
xp 1,816 XP

Can be a little finicky but a very cute plant

Fast grower Fast grower
@mconst avatar
leaf-1 52 Plants
xp 5,941 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-1 188 Plants
xp 11,486 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 91 Plants
xp 15,430 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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