Make your spekkie sparkle DIY

December, spekboom, spekkie, diy, life is a garden, plant, Christmas, garden, greenery, garden, activities for the kids, decorations, decorate

Instead of a faux tree, why not go for an indigenous living lovely this year? Life is a Garden’s sweet and simple DIY will give you some inspiration to bedazzle your spekboom (Portulacaria afra) for that holiday spirit. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, you could always decorate your tree with other fun goodies and use your creations as cheerful table décor. 

Did you know? Spekboom leaves are edible and non-toxic to animals and humans. Add a few leaves to your salad for a juicy citrus flavour (and bragging rights). 

 

You will need

  • A spekboom from your GCA garden centre (or multiple trees if you have many children who would like to each make their own spekkie sparkle)
  • A lovely new pot 
  • Potting soil and compost for transplanting 
  • Decoration goodies (we chose a Christmas theme, but different coloured ribbons and bells would also look fab) 
  • A cohort of kids, or just one
December, spekboom, spekkie, diy, life is a garden, plant, Christmas, garden, greenery, garden, activities for the kids, decorations, decorate
December, spekboom, spekkie, diy, life is a garden, plant, Christmas, garden, greenery, garden, activities for the kids, decorations, decorate

How to 

  1. Transplant your spekboom into its new home. Remember to push from the base up and not grab your plant by the neck. Add your potting soil and compost mix, water well, and allow it to drain. 
  2. With all your décor charms on display, encourage the kids to play and have fun! 
  3. Once your spekkie has undergone the makeover, place it in a sunny spot outdoors, a bright light area on the patio, or indoors near a window. Water your plant well, about once a week (depending on its location) and check out our guide below to ensure your plant thrives till next year. 

Pest patrol: Although not prone to pests, high humidity can sometimes invite mealy bugs or scale. Visit your GCA Garden Centre for appropriate products that will take care of the nasties.

December, spekboom, spekkie, diy, life is a garden, plant, Christmas, garden, greenery, garden, activities for the kids, decorations, decorate
December, spekboom, spekkie, diy, life is a garden, plant, Christmas, garden, greenery, garden, activities for the kids, decorations, decorate
December, spekboom, spekkie, diy, life is a garden, plant, Christmas, garden, greenery, garden, activities for the kids, decorations, decorate

Unhappy spekkie symptoms and diagnoses 

 

  • Scorched yellowing foliage

Problem: Too much direct light or sun. Light through a window may be magnifying the intensity of the sun or your area may be particularly UV harsh.  

Solution: Move your plant immediately into an area with gentler light/sun. Add a little fertiliser to the pot to help the plant bounce back in no time. 

 

  • Limp, brown or wilting leaves

Problem: These are signs of incorrect watering, either root rot as a result of overwatering or prolonged underwatering. If stems and roots are soft and mushy, too much water is the culprit. If leaves are wrinkled and roots crispy dry, insufficient water is the cause. 

Solution: If you have identified that your plant has root rot, the only solution is sadly to begin again by taking stem cuttings of your spekkie and rooting them in well-draining potting soil. For under-watered plants, increase your watering intervals but allow the soil to dry out between each drink. 

 

  • The plant has stopped growing 

Problem: Cold winters – but this is normal 

Solution: Spekbooms can go dormant during winter when temperatures drop. This is however nothing to be worried about as growth will resume when the warmth returns. Be sure to reduce watering during this time and increase only when the temperature rises and you can see the plant is active again.  

December, spekboom, spekkie, diy, life is a garden, plant, Christmas, garden, greenery, garden, activities for the kids, decorations, decorate
December, spekboom, spekkie, diy, life is a garden, plant, Christmas, garden, greenery, garden, activities for the kids, decorations, decorate

We love the spekboom for its versatility, durability, and no-fuss attitude! Enjoy incorporating this evergreen beauty as part of your living holiday décor that will reward you with many, many more years of companionship. Life is a Garden - make your plants sparkle! 

 

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