Spekboom update

A few months back we posted a story about spekboom and its amazing carbon-soaking potential (How cool is spekboom?).  Since then we’ve noticed it sprouting up all over the place.

  • In an ad campaign for Spec-Savers where they promise to plant over 4000 spekboom trees as part of a sub-tropical thicket rehabilation project in Baviaanskloof, Eastern Cape (https://www.specsavers.co.za/social.aspx).
  • The wine industry has also bought into the benefits of spekboom and Columbit has launched a project where they distribute small plants to vineyards around the Cape (https://www.wineland.co.za/200902-spekboom.php3).
  • There were features on spekboom in episodes of 50/50 and Fokus.
  • Lastly, there is a Facebook group, Spekboom Carbon and Poverty Alleviation Project, which is actively growing and distributing spekboom plants by obtaining sponsorships that enables them “to provide Spekboom cuttings to, and pay impoverished citizens to plant spekboom in rural communities such as Barrydale in the Western Cape, South Africa.”  Join the group at https://tinyurl.com/spekboom

If anyone in Durban is looking for spekboom plants, I can supply cuttings and they are really easy to grow.

Pic from the Spekboom Carbon and Poverty Alleviation Project.

Pic from the Spekboom Carbon and Poverty Alleviation Project.

Spreading the Spekboom love

So far, we’ve given cuttings to a farmer, a nursery-man, an eco-friendly neighbour and an NGO.

Spekboom cuttings in a jar.

Spekboom cuttings in a jar.

22 Responses to Spekboom update

  1. emme July 7, 2009 at 10:00 am #

    hi smile! wow, that’s really awesome. it’s reassuring to know that some corporates are starting to recognise that we can make a positive difference to climate change through such small and effortless interventions. YAY. thanks for sharing the good news. have a great tuesday.

  2. Dagmar July 7, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    i love the planters in the photo – did you design them yourself?

  3. Niall McNulty July 9, 2009 at 6:56 am #

    yeah, it is great when corporates get involved as they have the means to make a difference.

    dux, the planters are from the Spekboom Carbon and Poverty Alleviation Project, more at https://tinyurl.com/spekboom

  4. Pi May 7, 2010 at 7:12 am #

    Hi Niall, I’d love to have some cuttings when its convenient for you,I was wondering if they would take in the rather dry soil around here but the recent rains give hope.

  5. Niall May 12, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    Hi Pi. Sure, we must arrange a meeting place and I can hand them over. Pretty sure they’ll grow just about anywhere!

  6. John M Riggs September 21, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    Well, great concept. In order to really alleviate poverty one has to make the land produce as much Spekboom as possible. It is indeed a very long term project but it would be best we started to do some work too. There is a voluntary carbon sequestration (by means of Spekboom) project opportunity on 0.4 hectares in Steytlerville, Bavianskloof Rural District. Besides availing stock for bonsai or potplant production, this also facilitates DWAF Working for Water and STRP (Subtropical Thicket Restoration Program). This project is a motherstock and propagation material supply for subtropical thicket restorations program for afforestation and rehabilitation of valley bushveld and spekboom or noorsveld.

  7. Reginah moletsane December 27, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    I would like to have some spekboom cuttings to start a project. How can you help me?

  8. Clare Denning December 29, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    Reginah, What area are you in ?…would love to help..I am in Polokwane / Limpopo Province

  9. Nicky December 30, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    I have been trying to get a spekboom as well but so far have not succeeded. Where could I get a cutting or seed or anything. Cape area.

  10. janey December 31, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    stodels kenilworth giving the trees away at the moment for club members.I was going to use mine for a school project but if you are desperate you can have mine

  11. mol-d January 1, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    @nicky, check the comments under this article:


    sue or others might be able to help you out…

  12. Tanith May 5, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    I love the idea of having spekboom pot plants (especially as any potplant that I even look at doesn’t last too long). I live in the Eastern Cape and it’s everywhere – is it as easy as breaking off a branch and planting it? I am no grren-fingers so I need to know how deep into the soil do you plant it, and how much water, how often?

  13. mol-d May 6, 2011 at 12:04 am #

    hi tanith,

    it is pretty hardy and a succulent. i would say just break a bit off, shove it in a potplant and give it a bit more water initially and then every few days after that… hopefully someone else will be more specific…

    otherwise, there is a fair bit on spekboom on the blog:


  14. Wain Hawkes August 27, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    I think spekboom is great .
    It is new frontier in the green revolution .

  15. Marietjie September 1, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    During the last 2 years I have planted about six Spekboom trees. The leaves are delicious in salads and I believe very nutritious too. If someone can elaborate on the nutritional side it will help more people to invest in this wonderful carbon clearing miracle.

  16. Paula November 5, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    I found some spekboom in my garden when I moved into my house four years ago (i live in Australia). It was in a dried up little pot and I almost threw it out. It looked unappealing to me;I then I pretty much ignored it for 2 years and one day, for no particular reason, I decided to put it in a nicer pot and add some potting mix and water. About a week later it had turned into an absolutely gorgeous plant. Now it is on my verandah looking really loved and luscious. My SA friends always compliment the plant on being so healthy looking. I am really fond of it but do wonder if it will ever have flowers ( hope so). Fabulous to find out that spekboom has powerful air cleaning abilities and also that it is a favorite food for elephants. Go spekboom.

  17. mol-d November 7, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    @paula, it is pretty hardy stuff and as a succulent can probably survive for a while without water. glad it has come back to life 🙂

    as far as i know, you won’t get any flowers but it has a load of uses, including salad… see marietjie above…

  18. Ockert Meyer March 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    I have just planted 75 spekboom trees -20 cm to 1 m. high will sheep feed on it ?

  19. vector March 20, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

    how do you wwater a spekboom
    i dont want to kill it

  20. Niall March 22, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    Hi Vector. They are pretty hardy and don’t need that much water. I’d say once a week is fine.

  21. Andre Diederichs June 16, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    Hi I have juts planted a spekboom in a pot. It is placed under a roof where my herbs are growing, but on the side to ensure it receives ample sunlight. QUESTION: How much water does this spekboom need? Please advise

  22. Niall June 17, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Andre, I would water it once a week or so. They are very hardy plants and will survive on less once rooted.

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