Plant Care Portulacaria Afra

Portulacaria Afra

4.6 out of 5 (171 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, Elephant bush - 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: 3ft from a window
3ft or less from
a window

Portulacaria Afra may have difficulty thriving, and will drop leaves 🍃, without ample sunlight.

Place it less than 3 feet from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

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.

Care Summary for Portulacaria Afra

Portulacaria Afra

Portulacaria Afra

Greg recommends:


0.5 cups every 12 days


< 3ft 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 111
Portulacaria Afra has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 77
Portulacaria Afra has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 39
Portulacaria Afra has a Pet friendly plant personality Pet friendly 18
Portulacaria Afra has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 16
Portulacaria Afra has a Blooms easily plant personality Blooms easily 14
Portulacaria Afra has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 9
Portulacaria Afra has a Pest magnet plant personality Pest magnet 3
Kace avatar
leaf-1 13 Plants
xp 181 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
Pet friendly Pet friendly
R_l15748 avatar
leaf-1 38 Plants
xp 907 XP

Easily over watered.

Alex avatar
leaf-1 18 Plants
xp 236 XP

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

Survivor Survivor
Charli avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 88 XP
globe Chicago, Illinois

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 107 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 109 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 21 Plants
xp 637 XP
globe Lincoln, Nebraska

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

Rae0807 avatar
leaf-1 13 Plants
xp 180 XP
globe Townsend, Delaware

I have two elephant plant has been doing great!! I forget to water it quiet often and it still thriving!

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
Lulu246 avatar
leaf-1 1 Plants
xp 26 XP
globe Cedar Park, Texas


Fast grower Fast grower
Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
Mjohnson avatar
leaf-1 2 Plants
xp 114 XP
globe Birmingham, Alabama


Pet friendly Pet friendly
Plantmomma avatar
leaf-1 46 Plants
xp 2,119 XP
globe Meridian, Idaho

This plant is extremely resilient. I’ve had it for a while and it grows so very fast! I have it in the west facing window and it gets full sun and loves it. In summer i water maybe 2x/month, rest of the year only once. It’s easy to take care of.

The BAD thing about this plant- It is a serious pest magnet. I’ve dealt with a fungus gnats and Mealybugs on this plant (but the plant still kept growing while being infested haha). Gnats we’re no problem but the mealybugs I’ve been fighting for a LONG TIME. I’ve tried everything! Finally I just cut every single leaf off of the plant, changed the pot and the soil and it seems to be doing okay! After doing all that it even sprouted a new leaf a weekish later.

Basically- love this plant, fast grower, resilient, but pest magnet :(

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
Pest magnet Pest magnet
Joy avatar
leaf-1 26 Plants
xp 937 XP
globe Pennsylvania Furnace, Pennsylvania

Don’t toss branches that break. Let them callous for a day in the shade and drop them in a small jar of water. The roots are visible practically the next day. Then, when the roots are two inches long, plant!

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Spencer avatar
leaf-1 1 Plants
xp 35 XP
globe Murrieta, California

Plant it in a pot size that you want it to be cause it can grow fast.
I use succulent soil or you could use high nitrogen soil.
U can water it and put it in the sun all day

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
Alisha avatar
leaf-1 32 Plants
xp 670 XP
globe Port Lincoln, South Australia

Just a easy beautiful plant. I’ve had mine years and it sits on the deck in South Australian weather year round. There’s been days at a time where it’s been pouring with rain and even the water tray underneath fills up so I haven’t had to water it for weeks and it’s been completely fine. Does well in 30+ degrees Celsius heat too. Never had to repot it.

Survivor Survivor
Livlovesplants77 avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 146 XP
globe Kennewick, Washington

super strong plant i love it because it’s so pretty and hasn’t died on me when i first got it it’s soil was so dry and i was surprised the leaves hadn’t fallen such a cute plant and a survivor

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
Girlboss avatar
leaf-1 3 Plants
xp 91 XP
globe Nashville, Indiana

she is beautiful. and i went like 20 days without watering her and she lived.

Survivor Survivor
Fast grower Fast grower

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