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Portulacaria

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Portulacaria

The genus Portulacaria includes very few species of succulents with a shrubby habit. From the name, it is clear, that this succulent has many characteristics, that link it to the Portulaca genus. It is particularly appreciated for its stem, which becomes woody, as it grows, of a characteristic purplish color, on which small and graceful fleshy and very shiny leaves are born, of various shapes, depending on the species. In their homeland, these plants reach up to three meters in height and are commonly used to feed elephants; for us, however, its diffusion in pots as bonsai is renowned: a valid expedient to bring a bit of Africa to your house! Here are some easy tips for its proper care and cultivation: It requires a lot of light throughout the year, however, avoid direct sun rays, especially during the hottest hours of the day, as long as they might burn the leaves. It is preferable to keep it at mild temperatures and never below 10 °C, for this reason it is recommended to shelter it during the winter period. Water regularly in spring-summer, always making sure that the soil is always dry between one watering and another one. During the winter period, reduce watering to once every two months, avoiding stagnation of water. A well-draining soil is an optimal solution, even better if further enriched with inert materials such as pumice or lapilli. They do not need frequent fertilization, it is sufficient to dilute the fertilizer with watering once a year.