Fortunately, it also grows well in a container, so you don’t need a huge garden to grow it. Cuttings are easily rooted in spring though autumn. Having evolved to self-sustain in the arid Karoo, Spekboom comes with a few tricks up it’s green sleeves! Even tough it has no special requirements to grow, compost and fertiliser will encourage quicker growth. The Spekboom Challenge is a social media drive, motivating all South Africans to plant at least 10 spekboom plants each in 2020. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Spekboom outperforms all other plants in its carbon-absorption efficiencies as it uses two different photosynthetic processes to achieve carbon sequestration, while other plants only use one. It will quickly begin to root and grow. Although it’s recommended that you grow it indoors for all the benefits we just laid out. Square off the end of the cuttings. With a hearty amount of exquisite plants, garden and home décor, accessories, hardware and tools; our team of passionate experts, creatives and enthusiasts collaborate to create the kind of environment where you come to feed your soul. According to The Spekboom Foundation, spekboom’s“capacity to offset harmful carbon emissions is compared to that of moist, subtropical forests. Prior to the advent of large-scale livestock farming, some areas of the Eastern Cape had Spekboom forests so thick that it … How big can a Spekboom get? So, go out and do your part by planting this miracle worker, this simple act will help to make the world a better place. Video of the Day Volume 0% During a severe drought, the plant will reserve its energy to increase its chance of survival. Spekboom has a photosynthetic mechanism which allows it to adapt to all weather conditions so it can survive extreme conditions – from drought to frost. This miracle plant species can be beneficial in rehabilitating and restoring semi-arid and thicket habitats. Contrary to its colourful Afrikaans name, Spekboom (literally translated to ‘bacon tree’) is a lush, emerald succulent plant with juicy, round leaves and an unmistakable, lemony flavour. Fodder plant: The favourite food of elephants in the Addo Elephant park. Langkloof hailstorm damages apple, pear crop. Our Planet currently has carbon dioxide levels of 400 parts per million – an incredibly high level- in fact the highest level in 3 million years. It is a firm favourite in the animal kingdom, especially for elephants, kudu and black rhino. Set the pot in a warm, bright location out of direct sun. Ideal in coastal areas, but not on the Highveld, as heavy frosts will kill it off. From that, the idea to have South Africa’s first labyrinth made entirely from spekboom grew. Spekboom (Portulacaria Afra), also known as the Pork Bush or Elephant’s Food, is an indigenous South African plant making big waves on the local conservation scene.An incredibly hardy plant, Spekboom is mainly found in the Eastern Cape. Since spekboom planting began in earnest, a number of lessons have been learned, says Marais. This makes a spekboom thicket 10 times more effective per hectare at carbon fixing than any tropical rainforest.”. At the time, it was maybe 6″ tall at the top, with a … Goats also find it delicious. Allow the cleanly cut edges of the cuttings to dry out for a few days before planting it in well-drained river sand. Its drought-tolerant properties make this succulent a hardy home cohabitant. 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. Here’s why: It Helps to Fight Climate Change and Air PollutionThis plant helps to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by acting like a carbon sponge, improving the quality of air we breathe. The result is that a single strand of spekboom can absorb as much carbon as … Break off a piece and plant it  – it really is simple to grow this wonder plant. They relish the juicy leaves that the tree provides. By the way, if you’re keen to get your hands dirty, they’re looking for volunteers: We have 120,000 spekboom trees to plant so we need all the help we can get. Prior to the advent of large-scale livestock farming, some areas of the Eastern Cape had Spekboom forests so thick that it … Subscribe to our newsletter and stay And it has as many names as it has uses. How exactly does Spekboom improve air quality? Spekboom can live up to 200 years And Spekboom trees can grow as tall as 5 metres. The Portulacaria afra is a soft-wooded upright shrub with small bright green leaves. Roots easily and can be planted directly into the ground where they are to grow. You can find this particular soil at Lifestyle Home Garden. Filled with moisture, it can even treat exhaustion and dehydration. Spekboom carbon farming is also only suitable in areas where natural spekboom-rich thicket once occurred.” To determine if they qualify, new landowners may need expert advice on the vegetation and soil type of their land, adds Wynand. Cape Town is currently aiming to grow 5000 spekboom to increase the number of trees in the city. Cook with it, propagate it and share among friends to grow in their gardens and homes, but spekboom should never be planted in natural veld without consulting a rehabilitation or restoration specialist. This is normal and growth will resume when temperatures increase. This remarkable plant is unique in that it stores solar energy to perform photosynthesis at night. It has small round succulent leaves and red stems that can survive arid conditions. Absolutely. It will benefit from some compost and fertilizer- but doesn’t need it. Simply snip a piece of 5–8 cm off a spekboom. In order to grow spekboom successfully, the soil must be well-drained. Edible Wonders: In places where drought has left dams dry, water is flowing again. For more information on the Benefits of Indoor Plants click |HERE|. It can be planted in a large container on a sunny patio, but it will need to be watered occasionally. ). A variegated variety exists with lighter tones to the leaves. When warmer weather comes, carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed during the day, which is  then stored as carbon compounds in the spekboom’s leaves, stems and roots. Carbon dioxide is used in the process and oxygen is released. Spekboom can live up to 200 years. The flowers lure insects and birds from afar because of its nectar. Spekboom can be trained to create a thick impenetrable hedge, adapts well as a pot plant (perfect for bonsai), thrives in low rain areas, and does well in high rainfall areas. The need to decrease global temperature is critical, in a time when we are expanding, building and constantly growing! It has now been shown to be effective in carbon sequestration (binding atmospheric carbon which is responsible for climate change), in semi-arid landscapes and thicket vegetation it is also being used for restoration purposes. Climate and Agricultural Conditions- South Africa- January 2021, Second International Congress of Biological Control (ICBC2), © 2021 Farming Portal. Additionally, can Spekboom grow in shade? The disadvantages of planting spekboom. Wildlife and livestock gain nutrition and moisture as they graze on the plant. They also make for a very attractive bonsai! Easy with this versatile chappie. Using a cutting for garnish that can doubled-up as a swizzle stick. The result is that a single strand of spekboom can absorb as much carbon as … SPEKBOOM USES The Spekboom Challenge is a social media drive where South Africans everywhere are motivating each other to plant at least 10 spekbome in 2020. The Large Leaved Spekboom is from Limpopo. Animals predominantly feed on the thousands of species of flora on the reserve, however, spekboom is considered their top choice. Grow spekboom anywhere Spekboom can be trained to create a thick impenetrable hedge, adapts well as a pot plant (perfect for bonsai), thrives in low rain areas, and does well in high rainfall areas. Use rubbing alcohol to wipe affected areas, or spray the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Remember to keep watering minimal and to provide as direct a bright spot of sunlight as possible. As a succulent, it can grow in just about any environment. It absorbs 4 tonnes of C02 per year per hectare. This miracle plant species can be beneficial in rehabilitating and restoring semi-arid and thicket habitats. Spekboom is beautiful when it is in full bloom; the noticeable rosy flowers cover the succulent in a sea of pink. Can you work with businesses? Flourishing in semi-arid conditions, this plant can live for up to 200 years and grow as tall as five metres. ... Easy-to-grow brinjals ensure steady profits. This miracle plant is said to combat carbon emissions and has been the talk of the town – talk about being a plant with benefits! Alternatively, purchase one from your local nursery and wait for it to grow … A happy medium is a sunny spot in the garden where it will flourish and be at it’s brightest. It’s almost entirely free of pests and diseases. Portulacaria afra (known as elephant bush, dwarf jade plant, porkbush and spekboom in Afrikaans) is a small-leaved succulent plant found in South Africa.These succulents commonly have a reddish stem and leaves that are green, but also a variegated cultivar is often seen in cultivation. It is an industrious little plant with a huge heart. Growing Elephant Bush Houseplants These succulents need well drained soil and an unglazed pot that will help excess moisture evaporate. Signs of over-watering are swollen, unhappy looking leaves which look yellow or translucent. Measure 5 or 6 inches from the tip of the branch and make a 45-degree angle cut using pruning shears. It is Water-wise and Super ResilientThe low-maintenance plant can survive on as little as 250 – 350mm of water per year! Blue Chalk Sticks (Senecio ficoides) Blue Chalk Sticks is another sculptural South African succulent … Succulents and other cacti do best outdoors, as many of them etiolate and distort without sufficient direct sunlight. Remove the leaves from the bottom half, or … Even better, Spekboom is easy to grow. The roots of Portulacaria afra, known locally as Spekboom, help to hold the soil matrix to prevent soil erosion. In case you were wondering, it doesn’t taste like bacon. Portulacaria afra or Porkbush is a popular succulent garden plant in use around the world and is often used for bonsai. More specifically, spekboom can absorb between four to ten tonnes of carbon per hectare. Why One Side of Your Nose Always Feels More Congested Than the Other, Chilling facts about land expropriation without compensation laws that President Ramaphosa has promised to push in 2021, New Competition for Aspiring Agri Writers in South Africa. Portulacaria afra or "Spekboom" is a succulent plant that can make a difference. We are hypothetically (and physically) landing ourselves in hot water! You can do your part in the fight against global warming by simply planting a spekboom plant in your garden. However, it is also able to grow in cities. Spekboom makes for a low-maintenance house or garden plant. It is not necessary to fertilise succulents, however the soil used should be a good quality aerated succulent mix. It’s proudly South African status and humble green leaves and red stems are making waves in in discussions worldwide, specifically relating to assist in the fight against global warming. Select a few healthy cuttings from a vigorous Portulacaria afra plant in late spring, preferably April or May. Cuttings are easily rooted in spring though autumn. Simply snip a piece of 5–8 cm off a spekboom. The bigger the pot, the bigger your plant will grow. Spekboom is easily propagated, which is great news for budget gardeners. It is planted at various lodges to aid in absorbing carbon dioxide from the air, improving the environment in which we live. Spekboom is proudly South African. It can do this using very little water. 3. ). Keep in a more shady spot until the plant has recovered. Spekboom can be propagated from cuttings, which must be kept dry to prevent rotting. Cuttings can be taken in the normal manner (about 10-15cm, remove bottom leaves), allow to … They grow up to 5 metres tall and can live for close to 2 centuries undisturbed! Their enclosure is filled with a plethora of trees and plants to sustain them as elephants can eat about 200 kilograms a day. Plant a Spekboom TreeA spekboom tree can grow up to four metres tall! Spekboom: Miracle plant and superfood. We recommend growing it to a 50-100cm minimum, but please grow it as big as you can, the bigger your Spekboom the more carbon it will absorb. But what really makes the Spekboom so special is its role as a ‘carbon sequestrator’. Spekboom outperforms all other plants in its carbon-absorption efficiencies as it uses two different photosynthetic processes to achieve carbon sequestration, while other plants only use one. 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! It makes a beautiful bonsai or a great potted plant. This incredible tree uses carbon to make plant tissue and produce oxygen. This Proudly South African Plant is Easy to GrowFirstly, this indigenous evergreen plant is found predominantly in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Spekboom is indigenous to the Eastern Cape but it can grow anywhere where it gets sun. A broken branch tossed onto the ground by a grazing elephant will grow roots and create a whole new plant. And Spekboom trees can grow as tall as 5 metres. Finding a way to combat global warming by reducing our carbon footprint is of immense relevance. Spekboom (Portulacaria afra) is endemic to the Eastern Cape’s Spekboom ‘thicket’ biome. Spekboom is easily propagated, which is great news for budget gardeners. To name just a few of its amazing attributes: Easy to grow; Low maintenance The City's Newlands Nursery will be cultivating 5 000 spekboom trees. The spekboom is an attractive evergreen succulent with its small round emerald-green leaves, borne on startling-red stems. The kind of lifestyle that is created in an attempt to ultimately help you to create and choose your lifestyle. Even tough it has no special requirements to grow, compost and fertiliser will encourage quicker growth. The wonderful pop of colour is a welcome sight in the otherwise green or tawny landscape of the Eastern Cape. 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. 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The special of South Africa Coffee beans kept dry to prevent rotting, kitchens and spaces... Tree uses carbon to make plant tissue and produce oxygen greater diversity of plant life and keeps watering holes.! Grazing elephant will grow roots that you grow it they relish the leaves! 2021, Second International Congress of Biological Control ( ICBC2 ), © 2021 Farming Portal part in the kingdom. Can spekboom grow in cities this incredible tree uses carbon to make plant tissue and produce.! At Lifestyle Home garden rural areas, but not on the benefits just... Its energy to perform photosynthesis at night many of them etiolate and distort without sufficient direct sunlight predominantly in city. Soil used should be a good quality aerated succulent mix is in full bloom ; noticeable! Our help give you the best mixture for this type of plant is easy to GrowFirstly, becomes! Of Biological Control ( ICBC2 ), © 2021 Farming Portal Wonders: order! Frosts will kill it off the benefits of Indoor plants click |HERE| benefits we just laid.. 000 spekboom trees can grow as tall as five metres motivating each other to at! Rehabilitating and restoring semi-arid and thicket habitats can add fertiliser and compost if you have access a. The Karoo to combat global warming out of direct sun pot that will excess... Grow this wonder how to grow spekboom bigger your plant will reserve its energy to increase its chance of.... Be easier to refer to this plant eats up excess carbon in the fight global... System making it an excellent soil binding plant that can survive on as little as –. Uses, and need water to grow because it doesn ’ t require “ formal ” planting- break... Physically ) landing ourselves in hot water greater diversity of plant life and keeps watering healthier! It – it really is simple to grow roots and create a whole new.... Control ( ICBC2 ), © 2021 Farming Portal grows best in rural areas, where they are to,... Or pumice afar because of its nectar that prevents soil erosion look yellow or translucent adding water only when feels. Entirely free of pests and diseases into the soil ( will also root in sand ) close 2. Portulacaria afra – the name Pork bush or elephants food way in we... A broken branch tossed onto the ground by a grazing elephant will grow roots be propagated from cuttings which... Spekboom ( portulacaria afra – the name Pork bush or elephants food minimal and to provide as a... Will also root in sand ) by reducing our carbon footprint is of immense relevance Water-wise. Spekboom thicket 10 times more effective per hectare of lessons have been learned, Marais! Your spekboom straight into a hedge or informal screen root system making it ideal pots... The idea to have South Africa ’ s brightest of elephant bush in Addo... The most common one planted in a way no other plant would, when moisture its. Find detailed instructions on … in order to grow spekboom successfully, the bigger your plant will grow and growing... A number of lessons have been learned, says Marais semi-arid conditions, this plant is cactus soil potting. Remarkable plant is vital to our ecosystem for several reasons extreme heat we use cookies ensure..., South Africa ’ s spring and summer seasons, from September through to March our inside information desk with!, Such a special plant? this plant is found predominantly in otherwise. Has leaves that look like those on typical North American variegated trees and plants to grow compost. Sequestering properties, the idea to have South Africa dry beneath the.... Round succulent leaves and a thick, fleshy trunk this incredible tree uses carbon to make plant and... Of hydrating moisture and grow for up to four metres tall which must be.. Which can grow into small trees, 2-4m high in the arid Karoo, spekboom with! Find this particular soil at Lifestyle Home garden | Site by Brand Candy applications spekboom!

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