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Products > Portulacaria afra 'Variegata'
Portulacaria afra 'Variegata' - Rainbow Bush

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Didiereaceae
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Variegated Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Lavender
Bloomtime: Summer
Height: 8-12 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Portulacaria afra 'Variegata' (Rainbow Bush) - A sprawling, slow growing succulent shrub with attractive reddish-brown stems and variegated cream and green inch long leaves. A very easy to grow succulent that works as a great bonsai plant, hanging basket or even a hedge in frost free climates. The green form will slowly reach 12 feet in height with an equal spread but the variegated form is slower growing and will likely remain considerably smaller and in containers even more so. Size is also easily controlled with selective pruning and a smaller pot. The stems of this shrub will thicken very fast giving the plant an old appearance at a young age. The lavender pink flowers are seldom seen outside the wild but the knobbed tan-reddish stems makes a nice accent in the landscape. Plant in full sun to light shade and irrigated sparingly to not at all. Cold hardy to 25 F and useful in USDA zones 10-11 or Sunset 8,9, 12-27. Well suited for a xeriscape garden where it is drought tolerant once established and useful for succulent bonsai. For more information on the species see our listing for Portulacaria afra. We also grow Portulacaria afra 'Aurea' a prostrate plant but with yellow new growth and Portulacaria afra 'Low Form' another prostrate form with green leaves, Portulacaria afra forma macrophylla , a large leafed form and and Portulacaria afra 'Medio-picta' a stunning low growing plant with pink stems and leaves that have a wide central cream stripe. All are great drought tolerant plants useful in the landscape or as container specimens.  This description is based on our research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery and our own landscape plantings and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments we receive from others and appreciate receiving feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Portulacaria afra 'Variegata'