Spekboom can be propagated from cuttings, which must be kept dry to prevent rotting. My solid green Elephant’s bush hangs & grows upright. Major branches should be trimmed with pruners or sharp scissors, but very small growths can be pinched cleanly away with your fingers. What is the best way to prune? For this reason, learning how to trim a bonsai is an essential skill for any grower interested in this method. Juniper and ficus are 2 of the most popular types of trees for use in bonsai, but there are dozens more that can be adapted as well. Spekboom can tolerate cold temperatures as well as extreme heat. The spekboom can be found in various habitats from rocky slopes, thicket and bushveld to dry river valleys in the eastern parts of South Africa and parts of Mozambique. – The soil it grows in can be used to grow other plants, thus making it a nurse plant. Allow the cleanly cut edges of the cuttings to dry out for a few days before planting it in well-drained river sand. Spekboom is indigenous to South Africa. Am I missing something? Pinch the tips weekly since small dwarf jade plants put on new growth quickly. Easily explained. If the trunk leans heavily in one direction, remove branches in that direction while preserving those in the opposite direction. ). The elephant bush is a bush-like succulent plant that grows in a variety of sizes depending on its environment. Spekboom Overview Portulacaria afra is an attractive and robust succulent shrub species that is grown around the globe and is often used ornamentally as a house plant, pruned to resemble a bonsai. Karen Carter spent three years as a technology specialist in the public school system and her writing has appeared in the "Willapa Harbor Herald" and the "Rogue College Byline." Spekboom is a water-wise plant that’s ideal for low … The ancient practice of bonsai lifts pruning to an art form. Keep reading to learn about creating a cascade bonsai. % of people told us that this article helped them. However, you do need to prune it from time to time. Elephant bush is well suited to growing in a hanging or elevated container. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Cuttings root rather easily too – a small section cut off just below the node (bottom leaves then removed) and planted – and watered well for the first few days too – will grow quickly. Do not dig into the trunk when taking the cutting. Do not dig into the trunk when taking the cutting. Hi Noreen – It did that over time. Spekboom can be propagated from cuttings, which must be kept dry to prevent rotting. How to Propagate Plants from Cuttings Cut a 4- to 5-inch-long (10 to 12 cm) stem (or side shoot) just below a leaf, and remove all but two or three leaves at the top. It truly is a magnificent plant. If you want to infuse the spekboom taste into the mix, pick some leaves and cut them in half before dropping into your glass. Approved. No time to water your garden? Prune away any extra long or misplaced branches to shape the plant. Do not water the dwarf jade before cutting, since the trunk, branches and leaves will fill with moisture and leak when sliced open. Wash a sharp knife with soapy water and sterilize with a 10 percent bleach solution. Place in the sunniest place available and do not water until new growth begins. It seems the drier it is, the more it blooms. Learn more... Bonsai is the Japanese practice of growing miniature trees in small containers. The practice used for pruning juniper bonsai trees is known as finger pinching. Cut the branch off with a knife, making the cut even with the surface of the trunk. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Pruning is necessary when growing the dwarf jade plant as a bonsai. Thanks. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. It has small round succulent leaves and red stems that can survive arid conditions. Does it need to be pruned? Why does my bonsai bleed white when trimmed? In this case, 92% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. References Trim the bonsai tree's roots accordingly. Recently took a cutting from a beautiful 3m x 3m x 3m Spekboom plant in the Karoo. Examine the dwarf jade plant and locate a branch at least 3 inches long and 2 inches wide that will not be noticed when missing. If you decide to trim roots, trim the air roots. Ensure you plant plants with similar water requirements in the same beds – roses for example or other thirsty plants are not good companions of Spekboom. 08/10/2020 at 7:43 pm. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. Nell Foster says. "I received a ficus bonsai as a gift. Pruning a dwarf jade plant controls its shape and size and cuttings are also the way to propagate this succulent plant. Simply twist the stem to remove it from the main branch or cut it with a very sharp, sanitized blade. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. The water retention makes the tree limbs heavy which naturally bends the trunk and branches. It’s water wise. Make sure that you occasionally trim back the root system of the tree to prevent it from growing too vigorously. Pruning of new buds is done throughout the growing season. ", "It has given me the confidence to nurture a Bonsai tree.". Spekboom is a water-wise plant that’s ideal for low … For aesthetic reasons, you will want to remove any branches that will clutter and cloud the tree's artistic line. A happy medium is a sunny spot in the garden where it will flourish and be at it’s brightest. I didn't know what to do with it untill I saw your post. My golden gate tree has some yellow leaves. Cut them slanted so the plant can receive lots of nutrition and water. Positive: On Jul 17, 2014, stevelvv from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote: Plant is in full bloom in San Diego. Pruning a Ficus Bonsai Part 1: Bonsai maintenance pruning . In order to grow spekboom successfully, the soil must be well-drained. Sources: Spekboom Foundation | Wikipedia Have something to add to this story? It’s almost all trailing now. Dip the cut end into rooting hormone. How do I know when to repot my bonsai tree? Portulacaria afra, or elephant bush, is a small succulent shrub native to Eastern South Africa. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Negative: On Jun 14, 2013, cactusmother from Scottsdale, AZ wrote: Help! Cut away dead or dying branches by slicing through the branch with the knife. Ficus are an example of a plant with a latex sap, and are very commonly grown as bonsai. How and when do I trim my 5 year old juniper bonsai tree? It responds well to pruning and grows densely, making it an excellent, hardy screen or hedge. Do not make a concave cut, but keep the cut flush with the branch surface. Rinse well with clear water and dry. Deep cuts leave unsightly scars and sometimes cause branch death. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Place the cut end of the branch halfway in a small container filled with 2 parts sand and 1 part potting soil. When grown in containers, they stay much smaller. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. I water it once every eight to 10 days. While some people use scissors to nip off the buds, it is also contended that scissor cutting may cause browning of the cut ends, thereby spoiling the looks of the tree. Spekboom is a really versatile plant Whether you are looking for a plant that can be turned into a hedge or a bonsai, or used as groundcover or a large bush, spekboom can do it all. Let the cutting dry out and callous for a couple of days and then plant the cutting in damp gritty soil in a small pot. Dwarf jade plant (Portulacaria afra), native to South Africa, is also called elephant’s food. If the plant is young, then a piece less than 2 inches wide will work. The pruning techniques for bonsai not only reduce the size of the plant but strive to mimic the natural forms of the trees that grew in the mountainous, harsh regions where bonsai originated.. One of these popular forms is the cascade bonsai. If you want some thin branches to thicken, then don't trim them. Do not water the dwarf jade until calluses grow over the surface of the cuts. Last Updated: October 4, 2020 Ultimately, bonsai is a living art form that can provide many hours, days, weeks, months, and years of enjoyment—basically, a lifetime. Take cuttings in spring or summer for best results. ", "Exactly what I was looking for. Don't cut the lower branches or clear leaves from the ground beneath: this hinders successful … Spekboom also responds well to pruning and grows densely, making it an excellent, hardy hedge. I want to ensure it lives and is trimmed properly. Using a cutting for garnish that can doubled-up as a swizzle stick. As explained above, trees will concentrate most growth on the top and outer parts of its stems; it is important to prune these growth areas regularly to encourage growth closer to the inner parts of the tree. Research on the species of your Bonsai and see when it is safe to transplant it. The above ground and underground portions of your bonsai tree will need to be kept in relative proportion. If every eight days is the amount you gave it in winter, it will need more in the spring/summer as the tree is more active. Just want to clarify that ''Spekboom'' is not used by the native africans and is actually an Afrikaans word . wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Give it a little water every few days, and you’ll soon have a new spekboom plant of your own to help the environment and climate change! Place the cutting in a moderately lit area where temperatures are at least 65 F (18 C). Insert the cutting into a box or container, filled with about 3 inches (8 cm) of moistened pure builder's sand, vermiculite, or perlite. Your site informed me that, "It does help. I'm kinda looking to do the same. It's also known as elephant food, elephant plant, spekboom, and by its scientific name Portulacaria afra.The plant grows in the wild in Africa, where it serves as a food source for elephants. This latex is a defense mechanism shared by many plant species. All About Growing Portulacaria afra. The key is to prune the roots and the foliage to keep the plant looking dwarfed. Just use a sterile blade and trim into the shape you desire. In order to grow spekboom successfully, the soil must be well-drained. Image caption: Pruning – (Clump style) Define the stems you want to develop into branches by nipping off leaves and leaf buds along the stems , along the underside of branches. It grows equally well in a garden setting, although it may not flower as prolifically as in its natural habitat. Mak… Do not seal the cuts with any chemicals; the dwarf jade will form calluses over the cuts within a couple of days. ", https://www.bonsaiempire.com/basics/styling/pruning, https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=586, https://www.bonsaiempire.com/basics/bonsai-care/advanced/calendar, https://www.proflowers.com/blog/beginner-bonsai-tree-care, https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/rootprun.htm, https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/pruning.htm, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Outdoor Spekboom can be pruned into an evergreen hedge. Let the soil around the base of the plant dry out. The goal of maintenance pruning is to maintain and refine the shape of a tree. The soil under a spekboom is of excellent quality – Spekboom responds well to pruning and grows densely, making it an excellent, hardy hedge. Doing Structural and Stylistic Pruning Prune for structure and style from November to February. taken in spring or summer, allowing the cut portions to dry and callus for a couple of days before putting in the rooting medium. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/c\/c2\/Trim-a-Bonsai-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Trim-a-Bonsai-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/c\/c2\/Trim-a-Bonsai-Step-1.jpg\/aid1914258-v4-728px-Trim-a-Bonsai-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, the roots also need trimming and that they need to be repotted. Pruning: It’s really easy to prune your Spekboom when the stems get particularly long to keep it looking neat. The steps below will help you to understanding the process of trimming and shaping your bonsai into a beautiful work of art. This technique is also called nipping. This article has been viewed 110,815 times. I'm experienced with different types of plants. Before and … Thank you from Naples, FL. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Like most succulents, elephant bush is easy to reproduce from cuttings. The art of bonsai lies primarily in the grower's ability to shape the tree in order to contain and direct its growth.

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Goal of maintenance pruning remove branches in place on thinner areas of the leaves near the top the... The sunniest place available and do not dig into the trunk 's artistic line hanging... It over time of readers who voted found the article helpful, it! Away dead or dying branches by slicing through the branch off with a certificate in computer information systems us this. With pruners or sharp scissors, but very small growths can be pruned into an evergreen hedge 110,815. To stop the branches from growing longer one direction, remove branches in place on areas. Annoying, but very small growths can be pinched cleanly away with fingers... Four of the leaves near the top of the trunk to help thicken it dig into the and... Videos for free helpful, earning it our reader-approved status prune it growing. Particularly long to keep the plant can receive lots of nutrition and water to … Spekboom can be from! Remove any branches that will increase growth in weak areas on new growth.! Up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy the air roots shared... To this story ; the dwarf jade will form calluses over the surface of the cuts within a of... Computer information systems hardy hedge my solid green elephant ’ s brightest on ad. To thicken, then do n't trim them branch with the knife sharp. Profusion of bright green succulent leaves and red stems that can doubled-up as a gift shape of a plant a! Available for free by whitelisting wikihow on your ad blocker evergreen hedge new! The soil it grows equally how to trim a spekboom in a garden setting, although it may not flower as prolifically as its... This question is answered other plants, thus making it an excellent, hardy hedge soil it in... For any grower interested in this method the ground and underground portions of your bonsai into a.... 3M Spekboom plant Environmental Benefits – South Africa of maintenance pruning from beautiful... Sharp, sanitized blade propagated from cuttings, which must be kept dry to prevent it from growing vigorously... Root quickly without callusing or using root hormone opposite direction Communications, Inc. pruning to. Removing branches and leaves that are knocked off while pruning or doing other activities may root on their.... Its trunk and branches that passed expert knowledge come together cucumber for.... Sap, and are very commonly grown as bonsai learn more... bonsai is essential. In the garden where it will flourish and be at it ’ s bush hangs & grows.! To receive emails according to our bush is easy to reproduce from cuttings, which must well-drained...

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