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How to Repot Elephant Bush Plant

Updated: July 8, 2022

The elephant bush plant, also known as Portulacaria afra, is a succulent that is native to South Africa. It is a popular houseplant because of its easy care and attractive appearance. However, as the plant grows, it may need to be repotted to provide more room for its roots and to promote healthy growth. In this article, we will guide you through the process of repotting an elephant bush plant.

Materials Needed

Before we start repotting, make sure you have the following materials:

  • New pot: Choose a pot that is one size larger than the current pot of the plant.
  • Soil: Use well-draining soil that is formulated for cactus and succulent plants.
  • Garden gloves: Wear gloves to protect your hands from thorns and prickles.
  • Trowel: A small hand-held trowel will help you scoop the soil into the new pot.
  • Watering can: You will need to water the plant after repotting.

Steps for Repotting an Elephant Bush Plant

  1. Choose the Right Time
    The best time to repot your elephant bush plant is in spring or early summer when the plant is in its active growing phase.

  2. Prepare the New Pot
    Fill the new pot with well-draining soil up to about ⅓ full.

  3. Remove the Plant from Its Current Pot
    Gently remove the elephant bush plant from its current pot by gently tapping it on the sides and bottom. If the plant seems stuck, carefully loosen it with a trowel or knife.

  4. Inspect and Trim any Damaged Roots
    Check for any damaged or brown roots and trim them with a clean, sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears. This will encourage new root growth.

  5. Place the Plant into the New Pot
    Place the plant in the center of the new pot and fill the surrounding area with soil. Gently press down on the soil to remove any air pockets.

  6. Water the Plant
    Water the plant thoroughly until water comes out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Allow the water to drain completely before placing the plant in a bright, sunny spot.

Tips for Caring for Your Repotted Elephant Bush Plant

  • Avoid overwatering as this can cause root rot.
  • Place the plant in a bright, sunny spot but avoid direct sunlight during peak hours.
  • Fertilize the plant with a half-strength succulent fertilizer once a month during the growing season.
  • Prune your elephant bush plant regularly to promote bushier growth.


Can I use regular potting soil for my elephant bush plant?

No, it is best to use well-draining soil formulated for cactus and succulent plants.

How often should I repot my elephant bush plant?

Repotting is only necessary when the plant outgrows its current pot or when you notice its roots are growing out of the drainage holes. This could take several years depending on how fast your plant is growing.

Can I propagate my elephant bush plant after repotting?

Yes, you can propagate your elephant bush plant by taking stem cuttings and rooting them in well-draining soil. Make sure to let the cuttings dry for a day or two before planting them in soil.

Should I water my elephant bush plant immediately after repotting?

Yes, you should water your elephant bush plant immediately after repotting to help settle the soil and encourage new root growth.

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