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
- 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.
- With all your décor charms on display, encourage the kids to play and have fun!
- 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.
Unhappy spekkie symptoms and diagnoses
- Scorched yellowing foliage
Problem: Too much direct light or sun.