Plant Care Elephant Bush

Elephant Bush

Taxonomy

Portulacaria afra 'Medio-picta'
Portulacaria
Didiereaceae
Caryophyllales

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
12

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

5"
☀️ 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.

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💡 FAQs
⭐ Difficulty Level

Elephant Bush is generally considered an easy-to-care-for plant and makes a great choice for beginners!


💦 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 Water Frequency →


☀️ 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 🏡.


🐶 🐈 👶 Toxicity

Greg does not have confirmed data on this plant’s toxicity. If you, a family member, or a pet consumes plant material of unknown toxicity, it’s always best to consult a medical professional.

If you or someone else ingested this plant, call Poison Control at US (800) 222-1222. If a pet consumed this plant, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA at US (888) 426-4435.


💨 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.


🪴 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!


💩 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!


❄️ 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.


⬆️ ⬇️ Growth Pattern

Elephant Bush grows vertically and new growth will emerge from the top of the plant.


🌦️ Growing Outdoors

USDA Hardiness Zone
Elephant Bush can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11. Find your local hardiness zone here.


🌱 Propagation

Elephant Bush can be propagated by the stem method. To propagate:

  • Make a cut just above the node. The node is the break in the stem where the leaf emerges.
  • To get the cutting to root, you can either:
    • Place the cutting in water until roots emerge and are ~2” long and then transplant into well-draining soil, or
    • Place the cutting directly into well-draining soil and water when dry.

🧐 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.


Care Summary for Elephant Bush

Elephant Bush

Elephant Bush


Greg recommends:

Water

0.5 cups every 12 days

Placement

< 1ft from a window

Nutrients

Repot after 2x growth

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

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