THE DECIDUOUS SPEKBOOM (portulacaria afra)

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THE DECIDUOUS SPEKBOOM (portulacaria afra)

Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai on Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:15 pm

Ladies and Germs !!! Step right up to see the freak of nature !!! Yes - From the dark heart of Africa we present (drum roll)...... A DECIDUOUS SPEKBOOM !!!








I can not figure this out but every single year, my large spekbooms drop nearly every leaf shortly after bringing them in for the winter...

It does not seem to affect their health as they then immediately begin making new leaves and by late spring when they get back outside they look spectacular again...

It does not matter where i site them (south facing full sun garden window, artificial light or just afternoon light.)...

A real head scratcher as my little ones do not exhibit the same behavior... scratch

While I am not overly concerned, I wonder if anyone else has experienced this, or has any insight on it

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Re: THE DECIDUOUS SPEKBOOM (portulacaria afra)

Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai on Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:25 pm

And yes... it is overgrown... I am done showing this one for a bit and am letting it run some...

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Portulacara

Post  tonywel on Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:20 pm

I have a prrtulacara for many years , and never heard the tree referred to a Spekboom. It's hard to tell from the pic's, but you may not be giving the tree enough of water. The portulacara is a small leaf jade, so treat them the same way as a jade.
From the pic's the tree needs to be cut back and opened up, so more sun light can into the internal buds. When was the last time this tree was repotted, is the water running freely from the holes in the pot.
Just like a jade all the cutting will grow new plants all summer long. Just leave the cuttings on a table over night till the cut edge calluses over than plant them in a good bonsai soil , since the plants has no root spray the tree at least once a dat, till you see new growth. It is a good idea to kept the cutting in the shade till you get new growth...
Also clean off all the old dead leaves off the soil, or you may get bugs.

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Re: THE DECIDUOUS SPEKBOOM (portulacaria afra)

Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai on Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:20 pm

Tony - It is not a water issue (i have experimented)... I have spoken with bonsai friends in varying climates and many experience the same seasonal thing.

re: the name Spekboom, that is what it is called in its native Afrikaans, and i like the ring of it...

These are not "jades" (Jades being crassula)

It is not in need of repotting, having done so 1.5 years ago (and these like "tight feet")

And yes, you are correct in how easily these root...
I am probably responsible for the majority of these now in existence in SE Wisconsin lol!

But still, thanks for the input Wink


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Re: THE DECIDUOUS SPEKBOOM (portulacaria afra)

Post  Michigander on Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:07 pm

They need to have approximately the same light inside as outside for at least one month before you bring it indoors.
I put mine on lower benches all summer, but move them to less light beginning ~August~. They need to get used to having less light instead of suddenly going from full sun to approximately a tropical Hell. It's like you going from outdoors to inside a closet, -your light receptors need to take time to adjust, and so do theirs.
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Re: THE DECIDUOUS SPEKBOOM (portulacaria afra)

Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai on Fri Dec 28, 2018 7:17 pm

now that sounds like sound advice !
and from someone in a similar climate Wink
cheers !

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Re: THE DECIDUOUS SPEKBOOM (portulacaria afra)

Post  Robert J. Baran on Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:57 am

Some background info on this plant can be found here, http://www.magiminiland.org/Portulacaria.html
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Re: THE DECIDUOUS SPEKBOOM (portulacaria afra)

Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai on Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:26 pm

solid info Robert !

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Re: THE DECIDUOUS SPEKBOOM (portulacaria afra)

Post  Marco Giai-Coletti on Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:11 am

Hi, I live in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and the Spekboom is one of my favourite trees. When we visit the Addo Elephant National Park, it always amazes me how tall they can get. Elephants LOVE eating them and can completely vanish inside a Spekboom forest. I've seen may variants while walking around here, variegated, green leaf, yellow leaf, large leaf, small leaf, etc. but I can't say I've seen deciduous. They do respond to their environment fairly quickly. The leaves usually go yellow if the plant gets too much water, or they grow small leaves if they're in full sun all day. So perhaps, it's responding to the colder conditions in the north.
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Re: THE DECIDUOUS SPEKBOOM (portulacaria afra)

Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai on Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:20 pm

well Marco, I do get them in before the colder temps set in, so I think that the best explanation was posted earlier and being the sudden reduction in the amount of light they receive...

I was actually joking when i referred to them as deciduous Wink

You are right though in their adaptability !!!

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Re: THE DECIDUOUS SPEKBOOM (portulacaria afra)

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