Spekboom Plant : Complete Guide And Care Tips

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The Spekboom Plant: A Complete Guide and Care Tips

Are you looking for a unique and low-maintenance plant to add to your garden? Look no further than the spekboom plant! This South African succulent, also known as Portulacaria afra, is gaining popularity among gardeners for its remarkable ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in its leaves.

In this complete guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about spekboom care.

Background Information

The spekboom plant is native to South Africa but can also be found in other parts of the world with similar climates.

It has been dubbed as a “miracle” plant due to its impressive carbon sequestration abilities.

According to research conducted by the University of Stellenbosch, one hectare of spekboom can remove up to 4.2 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

Plant Characteristics


  • The spekboom plant has small round leaves that are glossy and fleshy.
  • It can grow up to six meters tall but is typically grown as a low-growing shrub or ground cover.
  • In late summer, it produces small pink flowers that attract bees and other pollinators.
  • Spekboom plants are drought-tolerant and prefer well-draining soil with minimal water requirements once established.

Care Tips

Caring for your new spekboom plant is easy! Follow these tips:

Sunlight Requirements


Your spekboom will thrive in bright sunlight but can also tolerate partial shade.

Aim for at least four hours of direct sunlight each day if possible.


Spekboom plants are drought-tolerant and only need to be watered once a week during the growing season.

Water sparingly in the winter months.



You don’t need to fertilize your spekboom plant often, as too much fertilizer can harm it.

A light application of balanced fertilizer once every six months is sufficient.


If you want to encourage bushier growth, prune your spekboom plant in late winter or early spring before new growth appears.

You can also pinch off the tips of the stems to promote branching.

Potting and Propagation

  • Spekboom does well in containers if filled with a good quality potting mix and drainage holes punctured at its bottom for excess water runoff.
  • The best time for propagation is during spring or summer when there’s active growth on the mother plant.
  • Cuttings should be taken from healthy branches about ten centimeters long, with most leaves removed off their lower nodes leaving two sets remaining at topmost nodes.
    Place them upright into a half-and-half mixture of coarse river sand that has good drainage qualities and perlite until they develop roots which will take around three weeks.


In Conclusion

The spekboom plant is an excellent addition to any garden due to its unique characteristics and low-maintenance care requirements.

Its carbon sequestration abilities make it an attractive option for those looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint while beautifying their surroundings at the same time! With proper care, your spekboom will thrive in sunny conditions with minimal watering needs, making it an ideal plant for those who are busy or new to gardening.

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