Rainbow Elephant Bush - Portulacaria afra variegata

Sprouts of Bristol
Checking local availability


Likes bright light and will do well with a couple of hours of morning or evening sun per day. An east- or west-facing window which doesn't get too much midday/afternoon sun would be ideal

Allow all the soil to dry out between waters; in its native South Africa, the Rainbow Bush gets watered by monsoons every so often so is used to getting all its water in one big downpour, then going for long periods without! Use lukewarm water and try and use rainwater, or leave your tapwater to stand for 24 hours

Low humidity is what this planyt is used to. An occasional hosing down of the leaves will help keep it hydrated as long as the foliage dries out thoroughly afterwards!

Use a well-draining soil with added sand and grit; a blend designed for cacti and succulents will work well here. Repot every 1-2 years in spring.

Feed every two months in the growing season, reduce to every three in autumn and winter. A fertiliser designed for cacti will be most suited for this plant, though generic houseplant feed will also do.

Average household temperatures of about 15-26°C are fine- make sure it doesn't drop below 10°C in winter.

The elephant bush is non-toxic but can cause a bad reaction if eaten by some pets, especially in larger amounts! They are a good food source for African elephants and tortoises, though.

Sprouts Top Tips
If you want to keep your Rainbow Bush small, it is important to prune it; there are many different styles you can choose to do this in, but if you want to follow a particular asthetic it may be worth looking up bonsai cultivation tips! Without pruning, the plant can grow up to 2m in height, though this will take 5-10 years and lots of diligent repotting.



Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
24cm rainbow elephant bush

Lovely centre piece plant. Very easy to take care of and the variegation is absolutely stunning.

Check out The Sprouts Blog

Sprouts insights to house plants, gardening, our favourite brands and plant hire case studies.
Ten of our most popular houseplants - Sprouts of Bristol
With nearly four years of business under our belt, and many more years of looking...
Jessy EdgarJun 07, 2024
Slugs… snails… and how to stop them eating your garden plants? - Sprouts of Bristol
It's an age old question. You might have tried salt, copper tape, egg shells, sheep...
Jessy EdgarJun 04, 2024
Spider Plants: Why Rhianna loves them, and why you should too - Sprouts of Bristol
Maybe your granny has one, or your parents. Maybe you see them in your local...
Rhianna BanghamMay 30, 2024