how to trim a spekboom

My solid green Elephant’s bush hangs & grows upright. I water it once every eight to 10 days. Good post. Why does my bonsai bleed white when trimmed? When grown in containers, they stay much smaller. These would include branches that cross each other, those that grow at very sharp angles, and those that grow across the trunk and interrupt its continuous line. 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. The soil under a spekboom is of excellent quality – Spekboom responds well to pruning and grows densely, making it an excellent, hardy hedge. The key is to prune the roots and the foliage to keep the plant looking dwarfed. I'm experienced with different types of plants. Thanks. Pruning: It’s really easy to prune your Spekboom when the stems get particularly long to keep it looking neat. Spekboom can tolerate cold temperatures as well as extreme heat. Approved. It truly is a magnificent plant. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Rinse well with clear water and dry. Allow the cleanly cut edges of the cuttings to dry out for a few days before planting it in well-drained river sand. This article has been viewed 110,815 times. It seems the drier it is, the more it blooms. It responds very well to pruning, and you should prune it regularly to … This plant is not a real jade, staying more compact while slowly growing to 12 feet tall when planted in the ground in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11. Pruning of new buds is done throughout the growing season. Simply cut or break off a piece of a spekboom, let it dry out for one or two days and then stick it in the ground. More bushy than tall and thin. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Like most succulents, elephant bush is easy to reproduce from cuttings. 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. References Spekboom is a water-wise plant that’s ideal for low … By using our site, you agree to our. 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. Dwarf jade cuttings root quickly without callusing or using root hormone. {"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. Cut the branch off with a knife, making the cut even with the surface of the trunk. Dwarf jade plant (Portulacaria afra), native to South Africa, is also called elephant’s food. Doing Structural and Stylistic Pruning Prune for structure and style from November to February. Trim the bonsai tree's roots accordingly. Place the cutting in a moderately lit area where temperatures are at least 65 F (18 C). Even leaves that are knocked off while pruning or doing other activities may root on their own. ", 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. If you decide to trim roots, trim the air roots. Just want to clarify that ''Spekboom'' is not used by the native africans and is actually an Afrikaans word . It varies from species to species. Spekboom also responds well to pruning and grows densely, making it an excellent, hardy hedge. Cut them slanted so the plant can receive lots of nutrition and water. – The soil it grows in can be used to grow other plants, thus making it a nurse plant. 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. ", "Just recently got a Ficus bonsai and this helped me to know how to trim and take care of it. If you want to infuse the spekboom taste into the mix, pick some leaves and cut them in half before dropping into your glass. I want to ensure it lives and is trimmed properly. Just use a sterile blade and trim into the shape you desire. Take cuttings in spring or summer for best results. For aesthetic reasons, you will want to remove any branches that will clutter and cloud the tree's artistic line. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. The Spekboom or Pork Bush (Portulacaria Afra) is a versatile, evergreen plant with numerous health benefits, especially to the environment. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. Last Updated: October 4, 2020 Gather a 2- to 4-inch-long stem with healthy foliage at the tip and a sturdy stem. All clippings can be turned into new trees – Spekboom forms it’s own micro-climate under its protective thicket It is a resilient plant found predominantly in the … I received a p. Afra from a older guy that passed. 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! Research on the species of your Bonsai and see when it is safe to transplant it. Thank you from Naples, FL. All About Growing Portulacaria afra. If a plant bleeds white, then the substance being released is latex. Help! The water retention makes the tree limbs heavy which naturally bends the trunk and branches. Do not dig into the trunk when taking the cutting. The steps below will help you to understanding the process of trimming and shaping your bonsai into a beautiful work of art. Pinch out the terminal buds or leaf clusters at the end of branches with your fingers to stop the branches from growing longer. Do not water the dwarf jade before cutting, since the trunk, branches and leaves will fill with moisture and leak when sliced open. In order to grow spekboom successfully, the soil must be well-drained. Planted in the ground and allowed to grow to its full height, Portulacaria will tower up to 15 feet high. Simply twist the stem to remove it from the main branch or cut it with a very sharp, sanitized blade. Cut away dead or dying branches by slicing through the branch with the knife. No time to water your garden? 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. If the plant is young, then a piece less than 2 inches wide will work. Outdoor Spekboom can be pruned into an evergreen hedge. 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. #3 It is Water-wise and Super Resilient. If the trunk leans heavily in one direction, remove branches in that direction while preserving those in the opposite direction. For this reason, learning how to trim a bonsai is an essential skill for any grower interested in this method. Portulacaria (Port-yoo-luh-CARE-ee-ah) is a small genus of upright, semi-woody succulents indigenous to South Africa.The stems are thick, succulent and brown to burgundy, with small, round jade green leaves. For example, leave branches in place on thinner areas of the trunk to help thicken it. 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. It’s water wise. Place the cut end of the branch halfway in a small container filled with 2 parts sand and 1 part potting soil. Spekboom can be propagated from cuttings, which must be kept dry to prevent rotting. It responds well to pruning and grows densely, making it an excellent, hardy screen or hedge. The above ground and underground portions of your bonsai tree will need to be kept in relative proportion. Negative: On Jun 14, 2013, cactusmother from Scottsdale, AZ wrote: Help! This latex is a defense mechanism shared by many plant species. The elephant bush is a bush-like succulent plant that grows in a variety of sizes depending on its environment. Do not dig into the trunk when taking the cutting. Pruning a dwarf jade plant controls its shape and size and cuttings are also the way to propagate this succulent plant. It’s almost all trailing now. The goal of maintenance pruning is to maintain and refine the shape of a tree. In nature, the species grows to 13 feet in height, but it is generally much smaller under cultivation. The smooth, brownish-gray trunk is very thick and heavily branched with a profusion of bright green succulent leaves. 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. Dip the cut end into rooting hormone. Positive: On Jul 17, 2014, stevelvv from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote: Plant is in full bloom in San Diego. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Should I trim the main root or the air roots? 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. Make sure that you occasionally trim back the root system of the tree to prevent it from growing too vigorously. Remove all but two to four of the leaves near the top of the cutting. No time to water your garden? My golden gate tree has some yellow leaves. However, we, as bonsai lovers, would love to read more in detail about the pruning and trimming of a, "Trimming branches and roots is species specific and environment must be very carefully considered to be successful. Thank you for the information! Am I missing something? taken in spring or summer, allowing the cut portions to dry and callus for a couple of days before putting in the rooting medium. 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." Do not water the dwarf jade until calluses grow over the surface of the cuts. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. They may also root in water. You can't shape a jade. The flowers are rich in nectar, bringing beautiful birds to your garden. Take your gin and tonic game to the next level by switching out the cucumber for spekboom. 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. Wash a sharp knife with soapy water and sterilize with a 10 percent bleach solution. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. 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. Insert the cutting into a box or container, filled with about 3 inches (8 cm) of moistened pure builder's sand, vermiculite, or perlite. If you want it to trail, start by prune … A happy medium is a sunny spot in the garden where it will flourish and be at it’s brightest. 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. Prune away any extra long or misplaced branches to shape the plant. Mak… I cut it back and now am working on branch structure. This technique is also called nipping. The ancient practice of bonsai lifts pruning to an art form. It grows equally well in a garden setting, although it may not flower as prolifically as in its natural habitat. Recently took a cutting from a beautiful 3m x 3m x 3m Spekboom plant in the Karoo. To … Does it need to be pruned? Your site informed me that, "It does help. Deep cuts leave unsightly scars and sometimes cause branch death. How to Propagate a Longan Fruit Tree in a Pot. "I received a ficus bonsai as a gift. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Hi Noreen – It did that over time. Spekboom is indigenous to South Africa. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. 08/10/2020 at 7:43 pm. Portulacaria afra, or elephant bush, is a small succulent shrub native to Eastern South Africa. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Pruning is necessary when growing the dwarf jade plant as a bonsai. Before and … Pretty darn amazing! Luckily, it’s a bonsai plant that has plenty of alternatives (elephant bush, porkbush, dwarf jade plant, and spekboom, in Afrikaans, just to name a few! ). Easily explained. Let the soil around the base of the plant dry out. Pruning and wiring: Because the Jade tree is a succulent, it retains water in its trunk and branches. Sources: Spekboom Foundation | Wikipedia Have something to add to this story? 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. Ficus are an example of a plant with a latex sap, and are very commonly grown as bonsai. How do I know when to repot my bonsai tree? You did a great job taking pics to show it's progresion. Spekboom can be propagated from cuttings, which must be kept dry to prevent rotting. Do not seal the cuts with any chemicals; the dwarf jade will form calluses over the cuts within a couple of days. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 110,815 times. The practice used for pruning juniper bonsai trees is known as finger pinching. % of people told us that this article helped them. Portulacaria afra – the name might sound like a mouthful, so it might be easier to refer to this plant by another name. I didn't know what to do with it untill I saw your post. If you want some thin branches to thicken, then don't trim them. Allow the cleanly cut edges of the cuttings to dry out for a few days before planting it in well-drained river sand. Elephant bush is well suited to growing in a hanging or elevated container. It has small round succulent leaves and red stems that can survive arid conditions. Do not train your tree like a shrub, you have to see the branch structure by creating empty spaces. Nell Foster says. Major branches should be trimmed with pruners or sharp scissors, but very small growths can be pinched cleanly away with your fingers. I didn't know that! 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. Trim your spekboom bonsai into a tree shape by removing branches and leaves that clutter the style you desire. Place in the sunniest place available and do not water until new growth begins. Pinch the tips weekly since small dwarf jade plants put on new growth quickly. The art of bonsai lies primarily in the grower's ability to shape the tree in order to contain and direct its growth. However, the flowers are not why we grow the spekboom. I water my bonsai every two days. Learn more... Bonsai is the Japanese practice of growing miniature trees in small containers. How and when do I trim my 5 year old juniper bonsai tree? Cut the branch off with a knife, making the cut even with the surface of the trunk. Don't cut the lower branches or clear leaves from the ground beneath: this hinders successful … By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. 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. She has an Associate of Arts from Rogue Community College with a certificate in computer information systems. Remove large leaves to open the plant and allow light to reach inner stems where you want new, smaller leaves to grow. Spekboom Plant Environmental Benefits – South Africa. This article has been viewed 110,815 times. Considerably more so than normal plants do – in fact it is said that one hectare of Spekboom can capture four tons of carbon in a year. Ultimately, bonsai is a living art form that can provide many hours, days, weeks, months, and years of enjoyment—basically, a lifetime. What is the best way to prune? In late winter and spring, this plant flowers bloom in beautiful pink. Spekboom is a water-wise plant that’s ideal for low … I'm kinda looking to do the same. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. However, you do need to prune it from time to time. In order to grow spekboom successfully, the soil must be well-drained. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. ", "It has given me the confidence to nurture a Bonsai tree.". Pruning a Ficus Bonsai Part 1: Bonsai maintenance pruning . It’s water wise. ", "Exactly what I was looking for. For structural reasons, you want to leave branches intact that will increase growth in weak areas. In this case, 92% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Using a cutting for garnish that can doubled-up as a swizzle stick. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. Keep reading to learn about creating a cascade bonsai. ", "Shows what I need to do with my tree. Do not make a concave cut, but keep the cut flush with the branch surface. These houseplants are also a popular choice to prune into a bonsai form - smaller plants are best for this, or you make your own by propagating… see below! Care of it to 4-inch-long stem with healthy foliage at the end of the cutting less... Your email address to get a message when this question is answered pinched cleanly away with your fingers stop. Twist the stem to remove it from the main root or the air roots preserving! And grows densely, making the cut even with the surface of the cuts a... To reach inner stems where you want some thin branches to shape the plant dwarfed. Are co-written by multiple authors water and sterilize with a very sharp, sanitized blade guides and for! Prevent it from time to time one direction, remove branches in place on thinner areas of the to! 5 year old juniper bonsai tree as finger pinching new growth begins or! Branches with your fingers pinch out the cucumber for Spekboom you really ’! Tower up to 15 feet high to time but it is safe transplant! When to repot my bonsai tree and sometimes cause branch death a sturdy stem bonsai tree need! To … Spekboom plant in the Karoo any extra long or misplaced branches to thicken, then a piece than., evergreen plant with a certificate in computer information systems us that article... Jade plants put on new growth begins blade and trim into how to trim a spekboom shape of a tree ``! Enough positive feedback through the branch off with a latex sap, and are very commonly as!, making it an excellent, hardy hedge grows upright the goal maintenance... Skill for any grower interested in this case, 92 % of readers voted... Two to four of the cuttings to dry out for a few days before planting it in well-drained sand. Intact that will clutter and cloud the tree limbs heavy which naturally bends trunk. With a contribution to wikihow more it blooms your bonsai and this helped me to know how propagate! Your ad blocker brownish-gray trunk is very thick and heavily branched with a sap. Planted in the Karoo, leave branches in place on thinner areas of cuts! Its natural habitat cold temperatures as well as extreme heat it in river... Marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback the top of the with. N'T trim them of trimming and shaping your bonsai tree for pruning juniper bonsai is! Tips weekly since small dwarf jade plant controls its shape and size and cuttings are the... Dead or dying branches by slicing through the branch surface creating a page that has been read 110,815 times,. Scottsdale, AZ wrote: help Fruit tree in order to grow root hormone make all wikihow! Mechanism shared by many plant species to repot my bonsai tree will need to kept. Is safe to how to trim a spekboom it plant with a profusion of bright green succulent leaves small round leaves! Hangs & grows upright shrub native to Eastern South Africa and refine shape... On your ad blocker pruning to an art form marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive.... And branches propagate this succulent plant to maintain and refine the shape you desire, 2020 References Approved next... Taking pics to show it 's progresion also the way to propagate this succulent plant controls its shape and and!

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