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Avatar for Mc357
Jan 25, 2019 7:08 PM CST

My adenium is growing mishapen and marbled leaves. My other one is starting to also grow curled leaves.
Does anyone know what is going on? Maybe a nutrition deficiency?

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Last edited by Mc357 Jan 25, 2019 9:29 PM Icon for preview
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Jan 25, 2019 8:28 PM CST
Name: James
North Louisiana (Zone 8b)
Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Growing under artificial light Ferns Garden Photography
Region: Louisiana Region: Gulf Coast Enjoys or suffers hot summers Critters Allowed Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Container Gardener
Depends on where you live

If its cold where you are, the plant is indoors & going through dormancy .... new growth that is curled, or odd shaped - is just lack of water ... and as long as the caudex is firm to the touch - all is normal .... nothing to be concerned about

Once its warm enough to leave outdoors...and the plant is back to regular watering - the plant leaves will return to "normal"......

Not sure what you mean by "marbles" ....if it means the 2 shades of green ...fertilizer may clear that up ...but wait for spring before adding any fertilizer

might also google > "chlorotic" or "chlorosis" > images ...then compare your plant leaves with examples shown in pictures

usually, 2 shades of green, means a lack of iron, or an iron deficiency - but sometimes fertilizer that is high in phosphorus will cause it ... so check your fertilizer ....
Look at the NPK ...(N = nitrogen P = phosphorus K = potassium) and it will be 3 numbers like 13-12-6 ....
If the middle number is higher than the rest, consider another fertilizer ...that has a lower number
Avatar for Mc357
Jan 25, 2019 9:31 PM CST

Thank you, I meant marbled, like sort of blotchy, it has a lighter shade of green, it reminds me of marbled fat in beef.
That makes sense , the lack of water is making the leaves grow in curled up. I live in North East US.
I let the caudex feel a little less firm, and then I add a little water, and it firms right back up.
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Jan 25, 2019 10:40 PM CST
Name: James
North Louisiana (Zone 8b)
Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Growing under artificial light Ferns Garden Photography
Region: Louisiana Region: Gulf Coast Enjoys or suffers hot summers Critters Allowed Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Container Gardener
ah ...almost certain fertilizer will clear up the blotchy shades of green ....
(still, if possible, check or ask the vendor what the phosphorus levels were....and also compare "chlorotic" or "chlorosis" leaf images )

Place plant near a south facing window where it will receive daily sunshine ... (east or west windows will work too, south facing, being preferred)

wait to water ....for the next 3 months ....resist the urge to water any amount, even "just a little"..... any water now, may kill it ...
Over that 3 months the caudex will begin to look wrinkled (a little or a lot ....like a raisin) .... and there may be a
void (or a "cavity") in the potting media beside or around the caudex ....and the caudex and main stem
will feel a little on the soft side ...but that's okay .....
when you water again, once the 3 months is up ....the wrinkled caudex / main stem will fill in (in less than a day) ...and the plant will perk up and look normal again ...minus a few / many leaves

adeniums have 2 seasons - wet & dry ....now, it is in its dry / dormant season -
in the summer, treat it like a tropical plant, and water at least once a week ...and if daytime high temperatures go above 90°, water at least twice a week

- Fertilizer -
during re-potting .... can recommend: Osmocote (NPK 14-14-14) ...... sprinkle in about 2 tablespoons, through all the layers of potting mix....no need to do it again until its time to re-pot
then, once every 2 weeks or so, instead of "just watering" - can recommend Miracle-Gro ~ All Purpose Plant Food (NPK 24-8-16) water soluble .....use either a watering wand & end of hose feeder attachment....or a bucket / pitcher ....
using both will take care of the plants nutritional needs .......
Avatar for Mc357
Jan 30, 2019 10:05 PM CST

I have been using Dyna gro, gro
7-9-5 and Dyna go protekt, silica additive.

The blotchy leaves do look a little like the chlorosis you mention.

It's so hard to let it go %100 dry, but I will. I don't want to lose it, so I was giving it small amount of water when caudex started feeling a little soft, it would firm right back up. I will let it get soft, and lose the leaves. Thank you for the detailed response
Avatar for Canderose
Jun 24, 2019 11:08 AM CST

This is very likely a mosaic virus. Many grafted plants are being created without proper disinfection. I'd keep it away from your other plants for now. Absolutely do not use the same cutting tools. I have been dealing with these same symptoms.
All efforts were made for nutritional deficiencies, pests, etc. Then I found that my adenium nursery had thousands of sick plants that were imported from Thailand. They exhibit every textbook symptom of mosaic.
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Jun 24, 2019 6:25 PM CST
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Bookworm Charter ATP Member Region: California Hummingbirder Orchids Plant Identifier
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Canderose, I understand privacy on the internet, but I'm seeing no countries on this thread, other than Thailand, so where are these nurseries? We have lots of imported Asian pests in the US, but is that where you are?...Or the poster who asked the original question. We don't need your home address, but a clue to country/ region would get answers that are more accurate.
Avatar for FATPLANT1NY
Sep 22, 2020 5:27 AM CST
Name: Frank [email protected]
Bronx, NYC (Zone 7b)
Millions of imported Adenium are loaded with virus. THROW OUT THE PLANT, WASH HANDS, TOOLS, WITH HIGH-PROOF ALCOHOL, and dump any other plants that show symptoms. Virus can spread and infect all, or surrounding plants, Insects also carry and spread this virus. DUMP THE PLANTS AND DON'T TRY TO SAVE THEM...IT AIN'T WORTH THE EFFORT.
Avatar for TeamCll
Sep 25, 2020 9:36 AM CST
Name: Jason
Houston, Tx.
Brugmansias Garden Photography Dog Lover Plumerias Region: Texas
I have encountered leaf miners on rare occasions with my adenium. They can make the leaves look like that as well.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
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Sep 25, 2020 11:40 AM CST
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Bookworm Charter ATP Member Region: California Hummingbirder Orchids Plant Identifier
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
That doesn't look like leaf miner damage!
Avatar for Kayjayr
Jul 13, 2021 9:06 AM CST

@Mc357 wondering how your plant is doing? I have had DRs do this in the past. After giving them Epsom salts it seems to have corrected the issue. Plus, it only happens at the beginning of their growing season
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