Adeniums forum: Rather new to Adeniums and could use some advice...

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Name: Michael Hamilton
Corpus Christi, TX (Zone 9b)
Region: Texas Hibiscus Plumerias Cactus and Succulents
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Blondmyk
Oct 2, 2014 7:16 AM CST
Hi Folks,

I'm Mike, and I'm new to ATP, but not to gardening. I'm also fairly new to Adeniums, but I love this plant. I don't know what it is about it--the Caudex's or the flowers, but I just think it's a cool plant. Perhaps it's also the challenge of it? Anyway, I have a few problems and I"m wondering if perhaps you folks could give me some ideas for next year.

I live in zone 9b in Corpus Christi, TX. My first Adenium died of (I'm guessing) overwatering, since it was just something I'd acquired from a friend and didn't know squat about. After that one died, I bought a new one. I've had it for two years, and during that time it has given me FITS. It's tried to die on me twice--again water (but this time it was natural rainfall!) and then again some form of tree rot that I managed to reverse by pulling it out of the pot and letting it dry out almost completely.

I want to ID the thing as it was purchased unmarked from a local greenhouse. It's NEVER bloomed for me. Is it too young? What do you folks do to make Adeniums bloom? Is this as large as the Caudex will get, or can I make it any larger? Is there any specific way to keep it from rotting in the winters here? I don't have heat in my house, and sometimes it drops to below 50 degrees.

Any advice would certainly be appreciated. I'm providing a shot of my plant below.... TIA!!
Thumb of 2014-10-02/Blondmyk/5dde97


Thumb of 2014-10-02/Blondmyk/494ba3

[Last edited by Blondmyk - Oct 2, 2014 7:19 AM (+)]
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Name: JT Sessions
Milton,Fl.
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Level 1
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gone2seed
Oct 2, 2014 7:26 AM CST
The caudex will get much larger but they are slow growers. Temps below 50 are ok for short periods providing you have held back on the water.I regularly let nighttime temps in my greenhouse go into the low forties with no problems but the plants are dry and the temperature goes right back up when the morning sun comes out. It looks like an obesum and should bloom next spring.
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
Charter ATP Member
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coconut
Oct 2, 2014 8:34 AM CST
Hi, JT!

Oh, and Mike, Welcome!

JT's advice is good, I won't repeat his answers.

See if you can find some bougainvillea fertilizer, called Bougain. You want a ratio of 1-2-3, rather than 10-10-10, or 'bloom booster at 15-35-15 or whatever. Adeniums don't need much nitrogen, makes them just grow leaves.

The pot looks rather deep, is the white part painted or baked on? Not good, the roots and mix can't breathe through that. Find a shorter, wider pot. If you dislike plain clay pots, put it in a roomy pretty container.

And start cutting way back on watering for the rest of fall/winter., as you might know. These plants can be bare root, out of any soil for many months and survive.

Definitely is old enough to bloom. Give as much full sun as you can.

Keep in touch!
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Oct 2, 2014 9:40 AM CST
Hi Michael! That is a lovely Adenium! Love the caudex! Yeah, it has its own unique appeal that quickly wins you over. Smiling
During summer I put my plant in the sunniest area of my garden. It can take all the heat and sun it can take, and it is at that time that I can water it more. But since we do not get a drop of rain here, I can control the watering a bit, just on the root zone and I do my watering early in the day.

Try to add more drainage holes in your container, if you wish to keep it in that container, or if you can find shallow bonsai type containers, those works very well. You can also try to make your media a bit more coarse so it also helps facilitate more draining during rainy days. My plant only got some bulb fertilizer during repot this year and some osmocote in August, got lots of sun and water and it bloomed nicely this year.

Fall is here, the sun still up, the overnights are slowly getting cooler. Watch your overnight temps. If it starts to go below 58F or if your rains are becoming too frequent as the seasons transition to cooler Fall temps, you may want to start preparing it to head indoors, and it will just shed the leaves later, as it goes to sleep for the cold season. I just keep mine dry during the cold season, near a window. When Spring comes it slowly wakes up again, and I bring it out in mid to late Spring, coz sometimes we have some hail as seasons change again. As it is about to wake up you can uproot and check below again, maybe change your soil.

Yes, that caudex can grow bigger..depending on your container..especially during summer. It drinks a lot..very thirsty! Sometimes I think I water more for that caudex. Our area is so dry and very low humidity so it needs all the drink it can get here.
Name: Michael Hamilton
Corpus Christi, TX (Zone 9b)
Region: Texas Hibiscus Plumerias Cactus and Succulents
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Blondmyk
Oct 2, 2014 11:24 AM CST
The pot does look a bit deep, I realize, but I should have included that probably the bottom 1/3 of the container is filled with pea sized river gravel. I did that to help provide more drainage since the pot only has one hole in it. To be honest, there isn't a whole lot of potting type medium in it at all. I've used the Miracle Grow Palm and Cactus soil for the bulk, and just recently added a tiny bit of regular MG soil to it to fill up the pot due to wind erosion...I guess you'd call it that. I water very sparingly nowadays and take it inside if I suspect rain at all.

The top rim of the pot is simple terra cotta, but the bottom 2/3rds are a baked on glaze. It was the only pot at the time that I had that was available to use. I'm on a fixed income (disability) and money is extremely tight, so I buy what I can when I can find it deeply discounted. Makes for a lot of plastic greenhouse pots and only a few nice clay ones when you consider that I have 100+ plants in containers overall. It's a bit overwhelming at times...sigh. I have a BEAUTIFUL Bonzai pot, but alas, it has no drainage so I didn't even consider it for this even though it is available for use right at the moment. With it's water issues, I don't even want to attempt that particular pot! LOL!

I don't have it in Full sun. We get 12 hrs of full, excrutiatingly HOT sun down here and I've sunburnt the plant in the past too. Right now it only gets about 2-3 hours of full morning sun where it sits. It's healthy green now, which it hasn't always been in the past... So is this a mistake to do that? It's been there for most of the year now. The first year it was in full sun and looked miserable! I just don't know what to do down here because the humidity is also so very high...usually 60-100 percent humidity. Does that factor in at all?

We still have about a month to eight weeks of growing season here. Should I just put off changes until next year?

Thanks again folks...I'm filing all of this away in the back of my mind. Glad it's here to come back and reference though!
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Oct 2, 2014 12:03 PM CST
If it does not get full sun, then you just get leaves..the blooms may not show, it needs more sun to do it, like with most flowering plants.
But the season is now heading into Fall, so just remember that next year, slowly introduce to full sun, it will acclimate gradually, and it loves the sun and heat after that, with frequent to almost daily watering during the months of June to August, if it is the same as with our area okay, where we do not get a drop of rain at all. But if your humidity is quite high, then you an give it some interval in watering. But watch you temps..I tend to care for it like a tropical plant in need of lots of moisture especially when our temps start reaching 90F everyday and higher.

Hey, if you still have good 8 weeks there..who knows, try to give it a little more sun, it may just try to catch up and give you some sporadic late Oct to Nov blooms, before it heads to sleep finally. But if it just starts dropping leaves..no worries, it is just saying it wants to prepare to for its winter sleep.
[Last edited by tarev - Oct 2, 2014 12:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
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Deebie
Oct 3, 2014 7:26 PM CST
I agree Go ahead and give it more sun. I have buds on mine , one has 2 seed pods, and it's time to bring them in as nighttime temps are dropping. I brought mine into the garage today, but I think I'll take them back out during the day for a little while yet. If mine get enough light and warmth, they will not drop all of their leaves, and will even continue blooming indoors during the colder months. Welcome! and Happy gardening!
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Oct 4, 2014 10:07 PM CST
Hi Mike/@blondmyk. Welcome! I fell in love with a Desert Rose for the first time when I saw the blooms on one at your South Texas Botanical Gardens. It wasn't labeled and I had to ask around to find out what it was. Since then, I have enjoyed our visits to Corpus and visiting the nurseries there. It has been a love affair with adenium ever since. 5 that I have are in pots like yours. They were gifts from an ATP member and are thriving on my sunny outside window sill. two others are also doing well in Bonsai pots. But listen to the Experts here, They will steer you well with their knowledge and experience.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
Charter ATP Member
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coconut
Oct 6, 2014 8:55 AM CST
Oh, I said that about deep pots and rocks in the bottom 1/2 because I did that!! The plant hated it, and stopped growing and just sat there for six months. Stuffy air in a room is not what they like.
Thumb of 2014-10-06/coconut/85a742

Name: Michael Hamilton
Corpus Christi, TX (Zone 9b)
Region: Texas Hibiscus Plumerias Cactus and Succulents
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Blondmyk
Oct 6, 2014 11:49 AM CST
Okay then...today I am going to head out and try to locate a good pot for this, purchase some sort of Cactus and Succulent soil and some extra perlite to add to it. Single layers of rocks in the bottom for drainage assistance, shallow pot, and full sun until leaves start to drop or night temps drop below 60 degrees. How often should I water in winter? Just once per month? I know that I have the worst time with these during the winters, so I want to be really careful and know what I'm doing as I'm going in. That's one thing I don't like about TX...we have two seasons: Summer and a sort of cool Fall.

Thanks again, folks!
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Oct 6, 2014 12:42 PM CST
I do not water my Adenium at all in winter as it stays indoors by then, it just goes to sleep here, dropping the leaves. But I keep it near a sunny window. I just resume watering in late to mid Spring when it shows it is waking up.
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
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Deebie
Oct 6, 2014 3:15 PM CST
I agree No water indoors in winter. Even if they don't drop all of their leaves, they could still be dormant (not able to take up any water). They will rot in the wet soil. Remember, these are desert plants. I had to learn the hard way. Whistling
Name: Doris Klene
Greensburg,Indiana.
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kareoke
Oct 8, 2014 6:04 AM CST
Guess I do mine different, I water mine all winter, once a week, and I get blooms in winter. I have always been afraid of losing them if I don't.
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Deebie
Oct 8, 2014 5:18 PM CST
Doris, I remember you mentioning that. I think your plants don't go dormant, which is a good thing. @Melissa, is it true that the seedlings should not be allowed to become dry?
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
Charter ATP Member
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coconut
Oct 9, 2014 11:08 AM CST
Debora, Seedlings are hungry babies that can grow quickly. I water and feed mine like I would petunias or even broccoli. About five to eight months to bloom time, some are precocious, some slow. Grown "hard", which means dry and not fed much, some don't bloom for two years or more. I don't do that!

I am beginning to believe Adeniums have ages like humans: baby, teenager, adult. Babies are up to just before their first blooms. They want to grow! Then they bloom and perhaps slow down a wee bit, then adults shortly afterward, with blooms becoming stable. The first blooms might change some the second and third time the plant blooms.

Where I live, the coldest nights are 67 or 68 degrees Fahrenheit, 20 degrees Celsius. I water and feed all year around, and they grow some leaves, bloom and then grow some more leaves. A constant cycle for most of them.

I'm beginning to grow mine like a nurseryman in India. He leaves the caudex under soil until the plant is three years old, repotting occasionally. This makes for huge caudices in the shortest time.

First day for this bloom, but the sun faded the dark, and now it's more of a brick red.
Thumb of 2014-10-09/coconut/cf453e

[Last edited by coconut - Oct 9, 2014 11:09 AM (+)]
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Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Deebie
Oct 9, 2014 7:54 PM CST
Thank You! Melissa. I will definitely keep the young ones growing, as well as any others that choose to do so.
Name: Doris Klene
Greensburg,Indiana.
Horse,cattle owners click klenepipe
Charter ATP Member Mules Daylilies Tropicals Plant and/or Seed Trader Cut Flowers
Container Gardener Birds Bromeliad Seed Starter Region: Indiana Plumerias
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kareoke
Oct 11, 2014 6:17 AM CST
You are right Deebie, I brought mine into the house two weeks ago and they are all full of blooms way back, one is so large I am thinking of cutting it way back,
Name: Michael Hamilton
Corpus Christi, TX (Zone 9b)
Region: Texas Hibiscus Plumerias Cactus and Succulents
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Blondmyk
Oct 11, 2014 12:23 PM CST
Argh!!! I'm concerned! I tried introducing my Adenium to more sunlight this week, and withing 2 days I had leaves yellowing and dying off of the plant. Now, I've seen it do this before flowering on another plant, but I don't know if this is normal behavior or not. Should I cut back on the sunlight again, or keep it out there to harden it off? I realize I'm probably worrying too much, so bear with me, please.

Thanks again!
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Oct 12, 2014 12:58 PM CST
I have a simple rule for dormant plants, and new cuttings in general, "No leaves. No water." These desert plants need little water as it is. They store their water source in the caudex/base. They need protection from rainfall even. Mine get winter protected indoors or in a covered area in the yard. And they tend to keep their leaves for most of the winter If they have leaves, they get watered every 3 weeks, and JUST A LITTLE to moisten the top of the soil as they would in the desert. Once they lose their leaves, I stop watering. They seem to be susceptible to spider mites in the winter.

Michael. You sun in Corpus is still fairly strong, as are the winds. Do you know what kind of exposure your plant had with the previous owner? I would replicate that for awhile if you can. Also protect it from those strong winds you get.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Michael Hamilton
Corpus Christi, TX (Zone 9b)
Region: Texas Hibiscus Plumerias Cactus and Succulents
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Blondmyk
Oct 13, 2014 8:12 AM CST
I believe it was dappled shade given from the greenhouse that I bought it from. Beyond that, it was with the grower and I would have no idea. I've got it in a place now that might be alright...we'll see how it does. It should get about 6-8 hours of full sunlight there during the days followed by the afternoon shade. The neighborhood cats will have the opportunity to play with it, but I'll take the risk for awhile until they discover it.

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