Adeniums forum: Excellent write up

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Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
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coconut
Mar 16, 2015 10:56 AM CST
http://labellegardenclub.org/docs/DesertRoseCulture.pdf

A lot on potting mix.

At the end, he says,,,,,"Personally I just start out with a permanent 12 inch 2 gallon plastic container, permanent,
uncompressible media and don’t repot until the container begins to fail from old age. "

!!!




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[Last edited by coconut - Mar 16, 2015 11:04 AM (+)]
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Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
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rattlebox
Mar 31, 2015 10:02 PM CST
Thanks for the link. Quite an interesting article. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

I was glad to read that Adeniums grow faster and larger in larger pots, that they do not like to be root-bound. I know from my own experience my three "mature" Adeniums (two obesum and one somalense) that had scarcely grown in the four or five years they were in an "appropriate" sized pot, more than doubled in size the first year after having been repotted into way over-sized pots.

I'm just glad I had repotted them before "learning" they preferred to be root-bound. I had been considering down-sizing their pots, but now realize I don't need to.

They do, however, need to be repotted, simply because the "compressible" media they have been growing in the past few years has decomposed to the point their pots are now only half-full of soil. So I'll be considering the media he suggests.

Timely article for me! Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up

[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
Name: Kim
Beaver Falls, PA (Zone 6a)
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klc
Apr 1, 2015 5:37 AM CST
Wow!! I actually lucked out with my 1st DRs!! Mine are in large pots...guess I knew what I was doing before I knew what I was doing!! Rolling on the floor laughing

OMGoodness!! The DRs in the article are magnificent!!!
I hate losing plants....I know they are "just plants" but when you nurse them along and baby them and get them to grow, bloom, and be pretty and they die....it's like losing a friend..... Crying
[Last edited by klc - Apr 1, 2015 5:39 AM (+)]
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EnlightenTreasures
Apr 4, 2015 11:12 PM CST
Great info I am in the same zone on the east side of Florida as the author, so it was really great reading for me. I am gonna put the suggested soil mixes in practice on my big adeniums I need to move them up a notch so I will try it out on them and you really don't need too much soil on the older plants because the roots and caudex take up most of the room in the pot. But they are so heavy and this soil media will make them twice as heavy. I am also gonna try cutting my plants back to the extreme to shape them and try and get more flowers. I have never cut them back I have always been afraid of the stems rotting. But I will be brave and cut away.
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
Charter ATP Member
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coconut
Apr 7, 2015 9:24 AM CST
Oh, they can take a lot of pruning. It will upset them, and they reply with blooms!
Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
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orchidgal
May 10, 2015 9:39 PM CST
Thanks Melissa for the link to the article on growing Adeniums. I have bookmarked it. I probably could up-pot a bunch of mine since I'm realizing their pots are probably too small (so much for past advice everyone was given on keeping them root bound). I already have some cheap clumping kitty litter (bought that so I can sprinkle some in the flower beds now and then over my sandy soil). Thank You!
“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen”
Eeyore
Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Hibiscus Sempervivums Sedums Dragonflies
Herbs Roses Foliage Fan Annuals Cut Flowers Ferns
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orchidgal
May 10, 2015 9:39 PM CST
Thanks Melissa for the link to the article on growing Adeniums. I have bookmarked it. I probably could up-pot a bunch of mine since I'm realizing their pots are probably too small (so much for past advice everyone was given on keeping them root bound). I already have some cheap non-clumping kitty litter (bought that so I can sprinkle some in the flower beds now and then over my sandy soil). Thank You!
“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen”
Eeyore
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
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coconut
May 11, 2015 9:23 AM CST
---
NOT CLUMPING!!!! Not clumping kitty litter!

Think about it.
Name: KadieD
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Rainbow
May 11, 2015 9:49 AM CST
What's your take on their claim: "The 'root' caudex will be small or non-existent and most of the caudex will form above the soil line when the adenium is grown in non-compressible media."
This sentence is contained in a paragraph located directly below a picture of a flowering mature adenium. Blinking
-Kadie
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
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coconut
May 11, 2015 11:12 AM CST
I don't know. The words are confusing me. I would have to re read taking notes.
Name: Doris Klene
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kareoke
May 11, 2015 4:01 PM CST
What is non compressable media. I planted mine in regular potting soil, nothing mixed and they do great good Caudex an beautiful blooms.
Name: Rick
Vancouver Island, Canada (Zone 8a)
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RCanada
May 11, 2015 8:18 PM CST
A non compressible media would be one with out peatmoss, coconut coir, soil would be my take on it. A media with pumice, Turface, Quincan and such would not compress.
The thing that would make it more true is if the top was enclosed the same as the sides of a pot. As long as the media can be displaced upwards, the roots would continue to grow and slowly raise the plant up if not breaking the container.
When you see them on Socotra and rocky terrain, where they are growing in a crevice, then you can see how the caudex is growing ontop of the ground and developing larger.
I think when we talk about the caudex, it is quite conveluded. If a plant was left with never being raised. We would then call what was above the soil line the caudex and what is underground the root system. The present root system, then becomes the caudex when raised.
In light of raising or not a plant as it grows will become larger in girth, but some more so depending on it's genetic make up (some fatter).
My thoughts on this subject.
Rick
"Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I received"
Name: Doris Klene
Greensburg,Indiana.
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kareoke
May 12, 2015 5:14 AM CST
Thank you Rick.
Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
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rattlebox
May 12, 2015 10:00 AM CST
Non-compressible in this context means the planting media particles are rigid in terms of size and shape. They do not shrink in size over the course of years. Gravel, for example, is non-compressible.

Compressible media can expand and contract. Think coir. Have you ever added water to a coir brick and seen how much it expands in volume? Loose media like peat and coir offer no resistance to root expansion. It goes hand-in-hand with decomposition, for as the organic material decomposes and the particle size gets smaller, it tends to pack tightly, staying really wet and excluding oxygen from the roots for extended periods of time when watered. This, of course is dangerous for rot-sensitive roots like Adenium.

The problem I have with the "non-compressible" media, with large particle size (1/8"+) that the author recommends, is that it will dry out too quickly.

I also am in south Florida. In our rainy season (which we are just now entering) it rains most every day and humidity is high (therefore evaporation is low), and during this time of year his media likely works wonderfully. However, during our fall and spring, when it still gets hot during the day and stays warm at night, the warm, dry wind tends to suck the moisture out of everything, especially in the sun, including "organic, compressible" media. Open media like he suggests would dry out in a few hours and would need to be watered at least twice per day.

Perhaps the author has his Adenium on an automatic watering system, or he is retired and has plenty of time on his hands to water his Adeniums. For me, I have problems with plants in soil in 1-gal containers on workdays when I can only water once. On my days off, I water when I get up in the morning, then again in early evening.

OK. Let me play devil's advocate against myself. I have not actually (yet) tried his media. Perhaps the organic materials tend to wick the moisture up as the surface dries, and so dries out the whole pot. Perhaps his moisture-absorbing clay will hold moisture better than moisture-retentive soil against the sun and the hot, dry wind. I don't know. I'll concede I may be wrong in my assumptions above, so will be interested to hear how it works for others under different climate conditions, as well as experimenting for myself.

I do take issue with a couple of his photos

He emphasizes non-clumping cat litter, yet the photo he shows is clearly marked "Bentonite Cat Litter", which is the clumping kind, NOT the type litter you should be looking for.

Charcoal is not light grey, it is very, very black. Almost black-hole black. I recognize the material shown as aquarium filter media, possibly another variety of zeolite.

I'm also not sure about his plant-growth aquarium gravel. Be sure to note the particle size if you are looking for this. The type I'm familiar with that has the larger particle size he recommends tend to an overall dark red-brown color, not black. The black type is more sandy with a high percentage of small particles.

I'll get off my soap-box now.

Overall, this article is very good and I am certainly not trying to discredit the author. It needs to be widely read and considered by anyone serious about potted Adeniums. Dave Bogert provides us with a lot of good information, and does a wonderful job helping us to think in new ways about growing our Adeniums. So still, I tip my hat to you. to him!

I'm just offering a couple thoughts, my 2¢ worth.

[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
[Last edited by rattlebox - May 13, 2015 7:51 AM (+)]
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Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
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coconut
May 13, 2015 8:47 AM CST
Good observations and thoughts, Ron. Thanks for your comments!

treehugger100
Jul 20, 2015 3:34 PM CST
Coconut, This is awesome. However, he keeps talking about Florida-specific things like the "soil" mix he uses. I am in PA and just posted here asking about which potting mix to go with. After reading this article, I am confused again. My plant will be out in full sun during Summer months and we do get some heavy rain storms. On the other hand, it will be living as a houseplant half of the year. Any thought?
Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Xeriscape Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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rattlebox
Jul 20, 2015 7:52 PM CST

The main things to consider with Adeniums are:

1. These are tropical plants that thrive with consistent moisture in their planting mix
2. If the soil is dense and has a tendency to stay wet for a while after watering, rather than just moist, the roots will likely rot
3. If the soil gets too dry, the plant will likely lose it's leaves and go dormant

The use of non-compressible media is an interesting concept and worth experimenting with if one has extra plants, but if you have one or two prize Adeniums, I wouldn't risk it. Adeniums have been grown by thousands of people for many, many years in more typical media.

A good soil mix that drains freely is all that is really needed. Water well, let drain (don't let sit in a saucer of water), and don't re-water until the soil starts to dry. Adeniums don't wilt, they drop their leaves if they get too dry for too long, so that won't be a guide to help you learn Dig your finger into the soil. If it feels damp, it's OK. If it feels dry, then water it. This is especially important during winter when indoors. If the plant drops it leaves, keep the soil just dry-damp until it starts producing leaves again. When leaves start to grow once more, increase the watering. Try to keep the soil lightly moist and you won't have to worry.

As for summer rains, don't worry. As long as the soil drains freely and doesn't become water-logged, and does not sit in a puddle of water, you will be all right. This is the time of best growth for Adeniums, the time when they act like tropical plants that expect regular water.

[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett

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