Cactus and Succulents forum→Adenia glauca: Promoting fat round bottomed caudex?

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Name: Sad Oscar
Los Angeles (Zone 10a)
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SadOscar
Jun 10, 2020 2:35 PM CST
Zone 10a. Growing indoors with grow light. 3.25" x 3.25" pot.

Hello! I have the photoed adenia glauca. I would like to promote a round thick caudex. I've seen many people cut the vein very close the top of the caudex.
I also watched videos where they remove the roots during repotting (though those were adeniums).

Would anyone have advice on how I can nurture a nice round fat caudex especially as it concerns my particular plant? I have allowed the vein to grow - should I cut it? If I cut the vein, can the top portion be propagated and develop roots? At what height should I cut and when?

If/when I repot, should I cut the root system down?

Thank you all!
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jun 10, 2020 3:53 PM CST

Moderator

I have no experience with Adenia, but I can offer some info from my go-to reference book for caudiciforms, Pachyforms (a 2-book set by Philippe de Vosjoli which I highly recommend).

A. glauca may be grown from seed or from cuttings. The former may develop a globose caudex (given the right treatment), the latter will only develop "pachycaul proportions". I don't know what you have, but this information may help guide your expectations for its form. De Vosjoli recommends pinching the tip at an early age and says "pruning practices will determine the branching pattern and form of seed-grown plants".

Now what specifically that means for you is not clear to me, but I would think the best time to pinch would be fairly early in the growing season, to the extent young plants may not actually experience dormancy. I guess we're still in late spring and that would qualify, but I cannot advise where or how to cut.

Can you contact the source you got the plant from, and see if they might be able to give specialist advice?

I would avoid pruning the roots at this stage, or pretty much ever, unless there's some compelling reason related to pot dimensions upon repotting. The form you desire is mostly accomplished through your actions above ground. It kind of depends on how much of a risk you're willing to take, but from what I've read I don't think that risk is particularly high with pruning this plant, when it's going strong to start with.

Welcome!
Name: Connor
Boerne, TX
Smotzer
Jun 11, 2020 9:55 AM CST
Okay so with Adenia's it really has a lot to do with how it was propagated and pruning early on, and the type of soil it was grown it.

Unfortunately a lot of Adenia you buy are from cuttings which will never truly form the caudex you are looking for. The reason for this is that plants are either male or female, which is less convenient to produce seeds, than for businesses to just take cuttings at a faster time and larger size intially. The swollen caudex comes from seed grown plant, and pruning early on in its life.

But you can develop some of that to an extent through pruning. I have done with with adenia and adenium cuttings. You can basically prune it very hard back to about a few inches above soil line. And It should produce denser branching from around that cut and promote the stem to increase in size.

But before I would recommend doing that, is I would make sure it is in a very fast draining soil mix first with high percentages of large particle size aggregates. This is the first step.

The reason for that being the first step is after the hard prune is made it will need to be on a higher fertilizer watering schedule. I do this with all my caudiciforms when they are young where they get put in almost extremely (80-90%) or instant draining mix (100% stone) and then get a 25-50% dilute fertilizer mix watering every time I water. The fast draining mix prevents build up of excess fertilizer in the soil while still being able to push faster growth development and better root development, and little to no risk of root rot during the dormant months in "juvenile" ages, which is a killer for young caudiciforms and pachycauls.

And with bajas comment about root pruning this is not super necessary and unless you actually know what to do and how to deal with it I would advise against it. That being said I prune almost all my caudiciforms especially my adenium and when I had a bunch of seed adenias. The only reason to do this is to develop radial roots and nebari. But this can be dangerous but with my adeniums I currently have at one point I completely cut off every root, I made a horizontal cut across where I wanted the base of the plant to be and where I wanted roots to form. This is also a step for bonsai pot training. But don't do this it's taxing on the plant and is a potentially dangerous process.

And don't prune the roots at time of repot just put it in a good mix.
Name: Sad Oscar
Los Angeles (Zone 10a)
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SadOscar
Jun 12, 2020 5:48 PM CST
Thank you both!

I received additional info from seller (and bought another one to experiment on Whistling - see photoed).

Background: They are grown from seed and a couple years old. Planted in mix of peat and perlite.

I would like to cut this one - Only if it will encourage a bigger caudex (so please let me know if in your opinion, it won't do a thing). I have bonsai mix 1/8 - 3/8 partial size. Once I find the courage - is there a location that you would recommend, would it be close to #1 or #2 (photoed)? This guy has been cut already towards the top which is why it's so bushy, has 3 growth points with leaves.
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Name: Bob
The Kau Desert, Hawaii (Zone 12a)
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OrchidBob
Jun 12, 2020 9:02 PM CST
Your first plant is top heavy already, why not cut that one?
If it were mine, I would make the cut higher. Position 3 or 4.
Leaving more nodes for more branches to sprout from.
The more branches and leaves it has...the faster it will grow.
Name: Sad Oscar
Los Angeles (Zone 10a)
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SadOscar
Jun 13, 2020 12:15 AM CST
@OrchidBob that had not occurred to me, but your suggestion seems so reasonable. It is now under consideration - I will update once the cut is made.

Would anyone know how viable the cutting would be as a new plant and the best procedure so it survives?
Name: Connor
Boerne, TX
Smotzer
Jun 13, 2020 10:46 AM CST
SadOscar said:Thank you both!

I received additional info from seller (and bought another one to experiment on Whistling - see photoed).

Background: They are grown from seed and a couple years old. Planted in mix of peat and perlite.

I would like to cut this one - Only if it will encourage a bigger caudex (so please let me know if in your opinion, it won't do a thing). I have bonsai mix 1/8 - 3/8 partial size. Once I find the courage - is there a location that you would recommend, would it be close to #1 or #2 (photoed)? This guy has been cut already towards the top which is why it's so bushy, has 3 growth points with leaves.
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Hey that's good they are seed grown! You're in lucky.

Actually where to cut I would cut actually I little higher up about an inch or two. 1-2nodes up from your number 2 line you want a caudex that has enough mass if you cut down low this won't develop as well. . Where the base stops slanting upwards and becomes even the rest of the way up there's like a "white" node line a little bit more than the distance between your first two lines. Don't cut down too too low.

Name: Sad Oscar
Los Angeles (Zone 10a)
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SadOscar
Jul 8, 2020 11:53 AM CST
Update:
I became too nervous to cut so low but I did cut!

Precut - Vine slanted because this guy really likes to follow light:

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Postcut - I may go (7) leaves lower:

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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Jul 8, 2020 12:00 PM CST

Moderator

I would do that.
Name: Sad Oscar
Los Angeles (Zone 10a)
Image
SadOscar
Jul 10, 2020 10:24 AM CST
Okay Baja, you convinced me.

Before & After:

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Thickness at white dot is 1.5"

I love these soft fuzzy leaves. I'm pressing some, hope it turns out. Lovey dubby
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Jul 10, 2020 6:04 PM CST

Moderator

Looks great! Smiling
Name: Connor
Boerne, TX
Smotzer
Jul 24, 2020 11:57 AM CST
SadOscar said:Okay Baja, you convinced me.

Before & After:

Thumb of 2020-07-10/SadOscar/1187b8
Thumb of 2020-07-10/SadOscar/c4baf3

Thickness at white dot is 1.5"

I love these soft fuzzy leaves. I'm pressing some, hope it turns out. Lovey dubby
Thumb of 2020-07-10/SadOscar/6de8e2



Looks better!! But from your previous post to this, next time dont be scared of hard pruning!! You could have easily taken it down a lot further!
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Stay Home-Save Lives-Wear a Mask!
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tarev
Jul 24, 2020 4:16 PM CST
Such a nice looking plant! Lovey dubby I have not grown Adenia. But reading the discussion above, I think it will grow much better outdoors, seems to behave like Adeniums. The warmer it goes, the faster it will drink and fatten up its caudex. That is what I will do if I have one like that. Smiling

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