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

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Portulacaceae (Purslanes)
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
Drought Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Portulacaria afra 'Variegata' (Rainbow Bush, Variegated Elephant Food) - A sprawling, slow growing succulent shrub with attractive reddish-brown stems and a variegated cream and green inch 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 likely the variegated form will remain considerably smaller and in containers even more so and size is easily controlled with selective pruning and pot size. 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 foil 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. 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 and Portulacaria afra forma macrophylla , a large leafed form. All are great drought tolerant plants useful in the landscape or as container specimens.  This description is based on our research and the observations we have made of this plant as it grows in containers at our nursery, in our own garden and in other gardens. We also 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'.