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succulent sustainability

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 replies on “Spekboom update”

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

hi
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

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?

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:

https://www.sprig.co.za/tag/spekboom/

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.

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.

@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…

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

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

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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