Mpumalanga is home to many plant species. When visiting Mpumalanga, it may be tempting to take some plants home with you. It will be really disappointing if the specific plant does not do well in your garden should you reside in another province. With that being said, here is a list of 5 water wise plants that thrive in the Lowveld and is suitable for visitors to Mpumalanga to take home and enjoy!
Portulacaria Afra (Spekboom)
This hardy tree can grow up to 4.5 metres and is a semi-evergreen plant. It enjoys a humid climate and grows best in rocky areas. This tree will do well in the Little Karoo in the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape due to its drought tolerance and fire resistance. Plant the tree in full sun and give it water once a week. Be sure to cover it during frost season as this can damage the plant. It is very easy to make root cuttings from this plant and it is very popular amongst Bonsai enthusiasts. Some antelope species love the pods of this tree.
Adenium Obesum (Impala Lily)
The Impala Lily or Desert rose as some call it is native to tropical areas. It is an evergreen succulent that is incredibly drought tolerant. Overwatering may kill the plant that can grow up to 3m tall. Plant it in full sun and enjoy beautiful red and pink flowers. These flowers are often found on stamps due to their striking nature. They will easily grow in the Free State, the Northern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Pachypodium saundersii (Kudu Lily)
This succulent will grow well in Swaziland, Kwazulu-Natal and the Lebombo Mountains area. The small shrub will get 1.5m tall and should only be watered once a week. Be careful of this one as it has sharp thorns. However, it makes up for this with an abundance of white flowers with a touch of pink that one can enjoy. The Kudu Lily grows almost everywhere in South Africa except around the coast. Give it very little water and it will thrive. Remember to protect the plant against frost.
Bauhinia galpinii (Pride of De Kaap)
This shrub is known as “Pride of De Kaap” in southern Africa but is called the Orchid Tree, African Plume and even Red Orchid Bush in other parts. When driving through Nelspruit and surrounding areas, one will see this red flower next to the road growing like there’s no tomorrow. However, do not try to re-plant it as it will not do well. Best to buy this evergreen plant at a reputable nursery. The bush can grow up to 3m tall and it attracts birds and butterflies that use it for nesting and pollination. Grow this plant in dry provinces and water once a week.
Aloe Petricola (Stone Aloe)
This season, aloes and succulents are trending but be careful which of these plants you take home. They may not be suitable for your garden. One that you do not have to worry about is the Stone Aloe. Besides having vibrant flowers, this aloe is great for treating wounds and burns. The aloe can grow up to 4 feet tall and is at its prime during winter. As with all aloes, do not overwater it. Once a week is sufficient and it prefers full sun. Plant it in rocky slopes where other plants do not want to row.