To think about this dainty succulent plant is very amusing as it has unusual names. Portulacaria afra is also commonly known as Elephant Bush, Elephant Food or Porkbush. The Dutch name is Spekboom and it also means Bacon Tree. No resemblance at all to bacon, pork or pigs🙂, this sprawling succulent is quite small. I imagine an elephant can eat this poor plant in a matter of a second. But I guess elephants like it because of the tender, fleshy and juicy foliage. After an elephant devoured it almost to the ground level, I think this hardy plant will quickly grow new shoots.
Portulacaria afra is native to South Africa and can grow up to 4 meters if left grown in the ground, but it will stay relatively small if grown in pots. Although it is a very good plant for bonsai, I have never tried to grow it as a bonsai.
Just like any other succulent, this Elephant bush plant is quite hardy and it needs well drain soil and full sun exposure. It will grow well if watered regularly in hot weather and during cold weather it only needs to be watered when the soil is dry. I apply a small amount of complete fertilizer to keep this plant happy. If you live in a very cold area, it is better to grow this plant in a pot or container so it can be brought inside during heavy frost. I read that this plant has small pinkish white flowers similar to Jade (Crassula ovata), but the ones I have never flower at all.
As it resembles to miniature type of Jade or Money Plant (Crassula ovata), some people also call it Lucky Plant.