Portulacaria afra is a sweet little trailing succulent. Even though not related, some people say it resembles Crassula ovata “Jade”. I suppose it gets this comparison because it can grow a “woody” stem over time and appear “tree or shrub ” like. It can be grown as a bonsai and it goes by a plethora of common names:
- Elephant Bush
- Dwarf Jade
- Rainbow Bush
- Pork Bush
Portulacaria is a genus of succulent in its own sub-family, Portulacarioideae. The sub-family belongs to the family Didiereaceae. This family is only found in Africa and Madagascar and contains of 20 plants classified in 3 sub-families.
Care for this succulent is pretty easy. It likes a dry soil with a not so frequent watering. Just give it a drink when the soil is dry. It comes from South Africa and can be found in dry and rocky areas.
Although the growth habit is more upright and shrub like, when it gets tall enough the stems will hang over and trail. So consider planting the Rainbow Bush on the edge of an arrangement or in a hanging basket if you want it to flop over.
Easily propagate Portulacaria afra by cuttings. Just as most succulent cuttings, take a snip, let it dry out and then stick the cut end into some succulent or cactus mix.