Often, to create a bonsai, a plant such as portulacaria afra is used (in Latin: portulacaria afra). The unique indoor flower captivates with its unusual appearance and ease of care.
What does portulacaria afra look like to which family
The plant, which is also called the "elephant shrub", belongs to the Portulak family. 5 species are reckoned to this genus and all of them are of the same type.
The plant sprouts mainly in the hot parts of South Africa. But today portulacaria is widespread literally around the world and feels rather well, growing at home.
Succulent perennial is distinguished by powerful rhizome and fleshy shoots, which are covered with smooth, but quite strong bark. It is painted in light brown or even gray. A leaf, 2-3 cm long and 1-2 cm wide, the flower has a fleshy, light green color.
For reference! Variegated Portulacaria (tricolor) - one of the varieties of the plant - is characterized by variegation in the center of the leaves.
Portulacaria - home care
Before buying a bonsai, it is better to study in advance information on how to care for a flower at home.
African Portulacaria will grow well at normal room temperature. In the spring and summer, it will be nice to take out a flower pot, for example, in the garden or on the balcony.
Afrah needs only fresh air, so it is better to ventilate the room where the flower is constantly located from time to time.
In winter, the room should not be less than 10 degrees, otherwise the succulent will freeze.
The pot should be placed only in brightly lit areas of the house. Artificial light sources do not need to be installed for succulents.
Watering portulacaria bonsai, like other succulents, is often not required. In a hot summer, it is enough to moisten the soil only 1 time per week, and in the cold season - 1 time per month.
In rare cases, a warm shower is arranged for indoor succulents. This allows you to remove dust accumulated on the leaves.
Attention! Artificially increase air humidity is not necessary.
Loose soil is suitable. A prerequisite is the presence of a drainage layer, because the soil of the plant should not be constantly wet.
Fertilizers with a low nitrogen content are applied to the soil once every 2 weeks. In autumn and winter, feeding is not needed.
When and how it blooms
In fact, it will be quite difficult to achieve flowering of an indoor decorative plant at home. If the flower grows in a greenhouse or in a winter garden, then the chances are many times greater.
It is possible to observe flowering if artificial conditions, very close to real ones, are established by Portulacaria. In addition, a dormant period is mandatory, after which the flowering phase begins.
For reference! To organize peace, you just need to reduce watering and put the plant in a dark and cold corner of the room.
The indoor plant blooms with small flowers that have a soft pink hue. 5-petal flowers collected at the ends of branches. The length of the inflorescences is 7.5 cm.
Color appears from February to April in natural conditions. With home care, the succulent blooms quite rarely due to the constant formation of the crown.
Portulacaria at home requires trimming. This will allow you to form a crown of a flower and embody the most daring ideas in reality.
In addition, pruning will slow down flower growth.
It is best to clean the young shoots in the spring. After pruning, the flower should be watered less often, otherwise the soil may rot.
Attention! For some time immediately after pruning, it is better not to water the portulacaria, but spray it with clean water from the atomizer.
Pruning and pinching varulata portulacaria are important steps in plant care. Reproduction can also be carried out by seed, however, it is very difficult.
To get a healthy and beautiful plant, you should choose a strong side shoot with 2-3 leaves. In just a few days, the first roots will already appear.
Attractive succulent does not like permanent transplants from pot to pot. If you need to transfer the plant to a large capacity, you should not disturb the earthen lump in the roots. You just need to remove it, and then place it in a new flower pot and sprinkle with soil.
Possible problems in growing
In fact, portulacaria afra variegata is a universal flower, but it is still important to know why its appearance may deteriorate.
Why drops leaves? Sometimes portulacaria variegata may discard foliage due to low light. If the soil is constantly wet, then the leaves initially turn yellow, and then fall off.
In fact, this plant is resistant to pests, but sometimes with improper care, portulacaria afra variegata can be affected by powdery mildew. Rarely enough, parts of a plant are affected by aphids, mealybugs and scale insects.
The leaves of a flower may become wrinkled if it lacks moisture.
Portulacaria today has become an integral part of office space, where it fits perfectly. In warm regions, a flower is used to decorate the landscape or alpine slides in the conservatory. It will also be interesting to form your own bonsai, which will look spectacular in the living room.