Dwarf Green Jade (Portulacaria Afra)
General Information: A Fleshy, softly woody shrub or small tree up to 3m to 4m, often sprawling; occurring on dry rocky hillsides and in succulent scrub. Portulacaria Afra, also called “Elephant Plant” or “Small leaf Jade” is relatively new in bonsai but one that almost anyone can grow. It can withstand long periods without water making them excellent plants for beginners. Advanced students of bonsai find them excellent material because they adapt to any style and develop relatively fast. The bark is green when young, becoming red-brown to slategrey, and smooth with conspicuous leaf scars. Leaves are simple, opposite, almost circular.
Lighting: It can be grown outdoors in full sun or indoors with sufficient light.
Temperature: Portulacaria will tolerate a variety of growing conditions. Since it is tropical it must be protected from cold temperatures (below 50).
Watering: Always allow the soil to approach dryness before watering. Although it is a succulent, Portulacaria is not as particular about overwatering as most other succulents.
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