The tree of abundance, with the scientific name Portulacaria afra , is a succulent with a shrub bearing very popular for its striking appearance, as well as for its usefulness on slopes and delimiting gardens. This plant is also commonly called elephant bush due to the predilection that these animals feel for it, or also a coin plant or dwarf jade plant. However, we should not confuse it with the money tree, which commonly refers to the Pachira aquatica .
If you want to learn more about how to care for a tree of plenty , join us in this article.
Characteristics of the tree of abundance
These are the main characteristics of the tree of plenty or elephant bush :
- It is a shrub that stands out for its fleshy-looking leaves and shiny surface, as is common in many succulent plants .
- Outdoors and in optimal circumstances, a large abundance tree can reach heights of up to 5 or 6 meters, although it can be grown without problems indoors and in a pot, in which case it rarely exceeds 2 meters in height.
- In fact, it is possible to grow a bonsai tree of abundance with proper care, and it is quite popular with fans of this technique.
- Its nickname tree of abundance comes from its small, coin-like leaves that grow in large numbers from its brownish stems.
- The shrub blooms after the cold months have passed, producing small flowers and a very striking pink color , which are grouped in inflorescences at the end of the branches.
Light and location for the tree of plenty
This plant can be grown both indoors and outdoors, but it will grow more and better the more light it receives. If we want our tree of abundance to grow big and strong, the best we can do is place it in full sun .
If we are going to have it indoors, we advise looking for a very well lit room , but be careful with the windows. The sun through the glass can make a magnifying glass effect and burn the leaves of the plant, especially in hot climates. If it doesn’t get enough light, the plant will grow more slowly.
Watering the tree of plenty
As with many succulents, watering is vital to keep this plant in optimal condition. And it is very resistant to droughts , but even so, if we want our tree of abundance to look healthy and large, it will be necessary to refine with the waterings.
- To begin with, the most important thing is not to overwater , since we could cause rotting of the roots.
- In warmer months, water your elephant bush about every two weeks , paying attention that if its leaves appear to be wrinkling, it needs more water.
- As winter approaches, it will be necessary to space out the waterings, until the substrate is allowed to dry completely before watering during the cold months.
- If some leaves start to turn blackish, you are probably watering too much.
Substrate and compost for the tree of plenty
This shrub will respond well to a substrate or universal soil for succulents , or failing that, some mixture made with sand, vermiculite and pumice stone, for example. At this point, the most important thing is that it is a light mix that offers the best possible drainage .
Regarding the fertilizer, the plant will appreciate a periodic contribution of some fertilizer rich in nitrogen , such as worm castings , especially at the beginning of spring, when it begins its growth period.
How to prune a tree of plenty
This plant does not need pruning to develop well, but it is usual to practice it to limit its size or favor a greater leafiness. ¿ What is the proper way to prune the tree of abundance ? We give you these tips:
- The most aggressive formation pruning should be carried out in mid-spring.
- Clamping, on the other hand, can be done constantly.
- When we transplant the tree, every 2 or 3 years if it is in a pot, it is advisable to lightly prune its roots.
- Pruning tools should always be disinfected before and after use.
- Cut off the worn, weak, or diseased parts of the plant.
- Trim the branches that you see too long and give the plant the desired shape.
How to reproduce the tree of plenty
This succulent is very easy to reproduce by cuttings , especially stem. To do this, follow these steps
- Sterilize your pruning tools.
- Cut the cuttings to be propagated above a knot.
- Let the cut stem dry overnight.
- Then plant it in a specific substrate for succulents .
- Water the first time by spraying the water, always without puddling, and repeat when the substrate dries completely.
The tree of abundance according to Feng Shui
This plant is especially popular among Feng Shui lovers, because precisely because of the meaning of the tree of abundance , it is especially sought after when it comes to attracting both material and emotional abundance.
Where is the tree of plenty? Ideally, it will be located in the wealth zone of the house . If you stand at the entrance to it, this area will be located at the bottom on the left. To enhance its Feng Shui effect, place it near water sources or salt lamps , but without overusing or crowding them.