Scientific name: Portulacaria afra Synonyms: Spekboom, Bacon Tree, Pork Bush, Elephant’s Food, Elephant Bush, Dwarf Jade Plant. Also known as Elephant Ear Plants or Arbi Leaf in Hindi - 2C5GWND from Alamy's library of millions of high resolution stock photos, illustrations and vectors. However, Elephant Bushes are unrelated and have more tapered branches. Description. If you don’t like mixing materials you can use a very porous mix like cactus jack. Indigenous to South Africa, the elephant bush (Portulacaria afra), also called elephant food and miniature jade plant, gets its name not because of what it looks like but from the fact that elephants feed on it in the wild. If it gets below 60, the leaves will quickly start to drop. These are some of the most common problems you will encounter with Portulacaria Afra plants and some simple solutions you can do to save your plant. Prepare the Pots. Thinning would involve a few leaves or branches dying off at a time. The most recognized forms have heart- or arrow-shaped leaves (often oversized) with decorative veining, inspiring the common name elephant ears. • Fertilize your elephant ears plant with a general indoor plant fertilizer at half strength 1 x per month. Pruning shears, or scissors can bruise the stem, causing delayed healing. If the location is not working out for your plant, move it to a brighter location. It is a survival mechanism. Elephant's ear is a large plant and will cope with being put straight into a 36inch pot on its own when you bring it home from the nursery (unlike most other plants). If the leaves die off your plant, you may still be able to revive it. I believe these plants are happier outdoors than indoors, so give them some outdoor time during the warmer months to keep them happy. They tend to drop leaves when you change their routine. This genus gets its name from its yellow tissues, xanthos being Greek for “yellow.” There are at least 75 species of Xanthosoma, from acutum to yucatanense. Help! If the plant is dying, that means it’s starting to rot or shrivel and look really sick, or a combination of both. The elephant ear plant comes from a tropical climate and prefers warmer temperatures with ample shade. Elephants food plant is losing leaves. Here are some, How to Prevent Aeoniums From Dying After Flowering, 7 Tips To Keep String of Pearls Alive and Thriving. The plant needs approximately four hours or more of sunlight a day to be happy. When bringing the plant indoors from outside, acclimate the plant indoors by providing as much sunlight indoors as possible, especially if the plant is used to full sun. I’ve had this plant for 11 years and it’s never done this. Overall height is medium to small. Try changing the amount of sunlight or water the plant gets and possibly apply a fertilizer. It is also used in Southern African cuisine, added … Leaf spot diseases are caused by either bacteria or fungus, both of which feed voraciously on the leaves of your plant. It also has the ability to pull excess carbon out of the atmosphere. Check out these links for related topics: Portulacaria Afra-Elephant Bush Care, Types and Propagation, Easiest Way to Propagate Succulents: by Stem Cuttings. Diseases that affect the elephant bush the most are fungal. I have some growing happily under the morning sun and also some in the full afternoon sun. Jade Plant Overwatering Symptoms: The symptoms of overwatering a Jade Plant are yellowing leaves, leaf drop, soft leaves and dry leaves. If a plant is constantly too dry, it starts to drop its leaves to conserve water. By now you may have noticed something–that I’ve mentioned repotting as the solution for almost all problems with this plant. Partial sun to full sun is well tolerated by this plant. In a few weeks’ time, you will see new growth and new roots develop. It's probably just in shock from being moved. You can lose the plant pretty fast when it is exposed to extreme cold, especially a young, tender plant. I tend to underwater my succulents, including my Portulacaria Afra plants so I often see my plants shriveled. If you move your plant from a cooler area to a much warmer area or vice versa, the plant may react in the same way and begin dropping leaves. It’s essential to fertilize it every 2 weeks from the beginning of the growing season in spring until the end of September. Names of Elephant Tree in various languages of the world are also given. The best thing you can do is to leave the plant alone and minimize the shock to the plant during periods of sudden changes so avoid repotting, propagating or pruning the plant at this time. How to Care for an Elephant Tree Plant. South or west-facing windows are ideal, and an east-facing window may also work. If you want to save some healthy leaves to propagate, it can be done but you need to be patient as it takes a long time. Besides having studied journalism, she has degrees in business management and biology. 1. These succulents commonly have a reddish stem and leaves that are green, but also a variegated cultivar is often seen in cultivation. You can also use an all-purpose potting soil (which is a cheaper alternative) and combine it with perlite, or a combination of these three materials I mentioned. This plant finds its place in various ways as it can be used in making terrariums, dish gardening, Miniature gardening, Fairy gardens and last but not the least it finds its place in a hanging planter keeping its spectacular spilling capability in mind. A grow light may help supplement the sunlight that the plant needs. You bring the plant home and start caring for it. This article tells you everything you need to know about taro leaves. The dropped leaves might appear yellowish in color and could feel squishy. Trim the top to make it spread as a low shrub or ground cover. Adequate water drainage should be a priority for any succulent's soil. Take the Cuttings. This usually happens with a newly purchased plant from the store. It should perk back up within a few days of watering and the leaves will appear plump again and not shriveled. I'm assuming there are drainage holes in the pot with the sickly one. Leaf drop may occur in severe cases. 77 $25.99 $25.99 I saw advice to use a "succulent" mix soil rather than regular potting soil. I know that Elephant Ears don't perform as well in pots as they do in the ground. The elephant's-ear plant gets its name from the leaves, which are shaped like a large ear or shield. Its leaves and stems are similar in appearance to those of the ..… Limited time offer. Elephant bushes prefer full sun, and if relocated to an area of less sunlight, they can start dropping leaves. Underwatering and overwatering can reason leaves to drop. Portulacaria afra is an incredible “carbon sponge,” absorbing high levels of carbon from the air. Elephant bush leaves falling off could similarly have a faded and flat look. Sedum Rubrotinctum-Jelly Beans Care, Propagation, Toxic... Aloe Juvenna ‘Tiger Tooth Aloe’ Care, Propa... Why Do Succulents Turn Red Or Change Colors. No plant satisfies the craving for a taste of the tropics like elephant ears. It's hard to be sure, but it looks like the container that houses the other one is larger, though possibly not large enough either, over time. A cultivar with solid-colored leaves is also available and known simply as elephant bush. If severely overwatered, the stems of the plant would start rotting from the bottom. Can you save the leaf of a Portulacaria Afra and replant? The plant was destined to perish because of the wrong soil medium. Here are some frost protection recommendations. The leaves of the plant absorb pollutants in the air as well as carbon dioxide leaving your house smelling fresh and clean. Also, read elsewhere about potting soil. The first sign of this is the stem turning brown/black from the bottom. 2. Move the plant indoors or provide some protection from frost to help the plant survive the cold. Elephant trees (Bursera fagaroides) stand out with their stout trunks, peeling bark and dark green leaves, which emit a citrusy fragrance when handled. Likewise, when bringing the plant outside from indoors, avoid setting the plant in full sun right away. All of a sudden my elephant food in an 8'x8' brick planter is yellowing off and looks like it is dying. As I mentioned above, I like to use cactus mix combined with perlite. Click here to find some of the materials I mentioned. Some can be kept as perennials in warmer climates and will grow back every spring on their own, while others should be planted from tubers amid warmer spring climates. LeadCamp, Inc is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Elephant bush plants (Portulacaria) thrive in USDA zones 10 and 11.Although large Portulacaria afra bushes can survive … Elephant food couldn't be easier to overwinter, either. Severe changes in humidity can have the same results. Elephant ear plants are fairly easy to grow once they’re established. It will not tolerate temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. I hope you found this article useful. Humidifiers may be used during the winter to maintain humidity levels. You can still save the plant by saving the viable parts of the plant. This is the most comprehensive article I could find about elephant food. The plant can be kept with ease as an indoor bonsai. Also known as Elephant Ear Plants or Arbi Leaf in Hindi. They now look like too much sun, but this has never been a problem. The leaves of the Elephant Bush are glossy green and its stems are reddish-brown. Also, make sure that you don’t completely dry out the soil so that the plant is left starving for moisture. The Elephant Bush is a versatile plant that thrives in many different climates, so growing and propagating it is quite easy. Why are my elephant ears turning yellow? Cactus and Succulent Society of America: Diseases, Pests and Controls, My Lemon Lime Dracaena Is Yellow With Droopy Leaves. P ortulacaria afra, also known as the “Elephant Bush”, is a perennial succulent found in South Africa. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/leaf-drop-elephant-bush-85450.html The elephant bush, native to Africa, is so named because elephants love to eat it. Where to Plant. Tip. Overwatering is the primary cause of failure in elephant bushes because it robs the plants of oxygen and invites fungal rot disease. Use a balanced fertilizer no more than twice a summer. Sanitize your shears before and after cutting elephant ears, or any other plants in the garden, to keep possible diseases from spreading. Make sure the pot you are using is not too big for the plant you are potting. What I like to do when I get a brand new plant from the store (it doesn’t matter from what store, it could be from the hardware store, grocery store or even from a fancy florist) is to repot the plant. Take a tip cutting, 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long, of your Elephant Bush with a clean, sterilized razor blade. You can also use an all-purpose potting soil (which is a cheaper alternative) and combine it with perlite. This disease causes the plant to turn yellow, but it’s usually a telltale yellowing. The same goes for temperature. Portulacaria afra (known as elephant bush, dwarf jade plant, porkbush and spekboom in Afrikaans) is a small-leaved succulent plant found in South Africa. Elephants do eat the plant, leaving the lower, spreading branches and a lot of broken twigs as they strip the branches of the leaves, which later root to expand and thicken the colony, creating new thickets known as “spekboomvelds”. They are simple to care for and make easy houseplants for a sunny location. As I mentioned above, I like to use cactus mix combined with perlite. Try not to but will cut back. It is also a common food staple and an ornamental, though the leaves are different from the Colocasia in that they aren’t peltate. Dew Drops. But it won’t be able to survive prolonged periods of freezing temperatures. See "How to handle it" below. Maybe your soil is not draining fast enough and it is too wet for your elephant bush or it is draining fast. Other pests can include spider mites, mealybugs and fungus gnat larvae. Like any other succulent, it has its problems, including leaf drop. Pin this to save for later or share with others now! One has to understand how frequently in case water Elephant Bush. The thick branching gives even young plants a venerable look. Remove the bottom leaves from the stem cutting, leaving … Or you may even go back and forth between the two. Other common begonia issues include curling leaves, flowers turning brown, leaves turning brown, and leaves turning yellow. Elephant ear foliage dies back throughout the year, but winter is a good time to tidy plants. You can also use an all-purpose potting soil (which is a cheaper alternative) and combine it with perlite, or a combination of these three materials I mentioned. As the plant matures, its soft-wooded stems get thicker. Be sure the container has adequate drain holes. To be on the safe side, I use cactus mix combined with perlite or a very porous mix like cactus jack. The elephant ear plant grows from corms, a swollen stem that stores the plant's food. The plant should be warm and protected from drafts. They are herbaceous perennial plants with a large corm on or just below the ground surface. Likewise, when bringing the plant outside from indoors, avoid setting the plant in full sun right away. They serve as food for elephants and other wildlife in their native habitat and can grow up to 20 feet tall. Chances are, you didn’t do anything wrong in the first place. Help! The most common reason for dropped leaves in Portulacaria Afra is watering issues. It will regrow new leaves again once it gets acclimated to its new surroundings. It is much more versatile, being able to withstand summer sun as well as living in shade. If the pot is too big you run the risk of having too much soil for the plant and depending on your watering technique and the soil you use, the plant can either be too dry or too wet. Pests that can cause the most damage to leafy succulents are white flies and scale moths. Indeed. A grow light may help supplement the sunlight that the plant needs. 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