Portulacaria afra 'Medio-picta'

Portulacaria afra 'Medio-picta'

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Scientific Name

Portulacaria afra 'Medio-picta'

Common Names

Midstripe Rainbow Bush


Portulacaria 'Roulant'

Scientific Classification

Family: Portulacaceae
Subfamily: Portulacarioideae
Genus: Portulacaria


Portulacaria afra 'Medio-picta' is a slow-growing, succulent shrub with attractive, bright reddish-pink stems, holding small, ovate, up to 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) long, green leaves that have wide, white stripes down their middle, sometimes with leaves having little or no green. The flowers are pink, star-shaped and in small clusters.


USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Choose a location with indirect sunlight when growing Elephant Bush indoors. Overly bright sunlight can char the leaves and cause them to drop off. Ensure that the container you choose has wide drainage holes. The most common mistake made in succulent plants is watering. They are drought tolerant but do require watering from spring to fall. In winter the plants are dormant and you may suspend watering. Elephant Bush plants in the home interior should not have consistently wet feet. Make sure the pot drains well and don't leave a saucer with water sitting under the container. Fertilize in late winter to early spring with an indoor plant fertilizer diluted by half.

Like most succulents, Elephant Bush is easy to reproduce from cuttings. Take cuttings in spring or summer for best results. 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.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for an Elephant Bush (Portulacaria afra).


Portulacaria afra 'Medio-picta' is a variegated cultivar of Portulacaria afra.


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Care for Portulacaria afra

To care for Portulacaria afra, you should grow it in a suitable soil type that has sufficient nutrients and offers good drainage. Make sure that it is receiving proper watering and the sunlight supply. Here are the steps that will ensure that your plant is growing under optimal conditions.

Soil and fertilizer

The soil type that will ensure the proper growth of Portulacaria afra is the well-draining soils. Sandy soils are the best for your plant though you can opt for other soil types provided that they have good drainage.

You can also learn more about the suitable soil types that will favor the growth of succulent plants. Fertilizers may not be necessary, but you can add a soluble fertilizer once a year to be sure that your plant is getting all the essential nutrients.

Sun-light and water

Portulacaria afra is not like other succulent plants for it can tolerate full sun. It needs bright sunlight though it may experience mild sunburn instances where the sun heat is extreme.

Your Portulacaria afra will need water. So you may opt to water it if the conditions are not favorable. The plant can adapt to dry conditions, though extreme dryness will force you to water it systematically.

Humidity and temperature

The best temperature ranges for the plant during the winter seasons should range from 50 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit. Low to no humid conditions are the best for the better growth of Portulacaria afra


Repotting Portulacaria afra is easy. All you need to do is to remove a stem cutting from the main stem. You can get as many stem cuttings as possible after which you place them at some specific place to callous.

When they are ready, you will then transfer them to well-drained soils. You will be doing regular watering whenever the soil dries out. The best seasons to repot are during the spring and summers for it will enhance better growth.

Pruning and propagation

Finally, the other care step that you will be giving to your Portulacaria afra is to prune and propagate. First, you will be making good use of the stem cuttings or even the leaf cuttings.

Give it time to dry after which you dip the stem cuttings or leaf cuttings on a rooting hormone. The sooner the cuttings dry or start healing, you will then stick it to well-drained soil in a pot.

Your pot must not be in a place where it will be facing issues with direct sunlight. It will take a few weeks before you begin noticing some roots. By the end of 6 weeks, your stem or leaf cuttings should fully grow roots.

Pests and diseases

Like any other succulent plant, Portulacaria afra faces problems of pests and diseases. Excess watering can lead to root decay. Too much watering will enhance the growth of fungal diseases that will make the plant to start rotting. Other diseases include leaf drop, though it often occurs in rare cases.

Plants→Portulacaria→Elephant Bush (Portulacaria afra)

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9b -3.9 °C (25 °F) to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height : Up to 8 - 15 feet
Plant Spread : Up to 4 - 6 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Other: Small pink dry berry-like fruits, each containing a single seed.
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Pink
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Suitable for miniature gardens
Edible Parts: Leaves
Eating Methods: Raw
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Fire Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Suitable for hanging baskets
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Large, leafy succulent shrub from South Africa which is relatively common in cultivation, second only to the jade (Crassula ovata) in this category. The common name elephant bush refers to the fact that it's consumed by elephants in Africa. Incredibly easy to propagate from cuttings of different sizes (sometimes by accident from prunings). A member of the Didiereaceae.

Relatively popular as a bonsai subject. Large, gnarly, fat-stemmed plants in small pots (especially bonsai pots) were most likely grown to size in larger pots or the ground and then cut and rooted for display. Long lived and growth limited in smaller containers.

This plant is quite drought tolerant and easily shaped by pruning, often used for hedges in dry climates. Left unchecked it will grow to be a large, multibranched shrub in just a few years. Provide strong light for the strongest, most compact form.

Tiny pink flowers appear at the ends of stems in early summer. Young plants do not flower and even older plants may vary quite a bit from year to year in this respect.

Watch the video: Portulacaria afra variegata: Budget bonsai and basic care


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