Table of contents:
- What to plant adenium in
- Adenium primer
- Lighting and watering
- Top dressing
- Wintering adeniums
- Pests and diseases
- Crown and caudex formation
Outwardly, adenium does not look like a rose, of course, but its second name is fully justified - it is one of the most beautiful flowers of the desert. Natural habitat Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Central and South Africa. However, the "desert rose" is very successfully cultivated in the humid tropics - Thailand, India, Malaysia, the Philippines. It is there that enterprising producers experiment, cross, breed new varieties and distribute adeniums to other countries and even to other continents.
Adenium is a slow-growing bush or small tree with a fleshy trunk that has a thickening at the base, the so-called caudex. Under natural conditions, adeniums grow up to 1.5-2 meters in height. Of course, they cannot reach such a height on our windowsills - only 50-60 centimeters, according to the books.
The color and shape of the leaves varies with the species or variety of plants. By the way, the question of the systematization of adeniums remains open, since it is not clear whether to consider the genus monotypic or to single out regional forms into independent species. In the literature, you may come across the following names: Adenium obesum, Adenium swazicum, Adenium arabicum, Adenium oleifolium, Adenium somalense, Adenium socotranum and Adenium multiflorum. They differ in their habitat and in the peculiarities of care in culture, as well as the timing of the beginning of flowering.
The most common species on our windowsills is Adenium obesum. He is the earliest flowering and unpretentious. Leaves are most often green (oblong, rounded or slightly pointed at the ends), but there are also variegated, yellow, white and even red. However, they can be shiny and glossy, or they can be dull or slightly pubescent. And the color of flowers through the efforts of breeders simply amazes the imagination - from pure white to dark red and even burgundy with blue, while different varieties may have all kinds of edges, strokes, stripes, etc. on the petals. Consider, however, the following: the more extraordinary the “coloring” of the leaf, the more capricious the plant itself. Adeniums with variegated and colored leaves require maximum sun, grow slower, and often bloom reluctantly. There are, however, pleasant exceptions to the rules - for example,variegated adenium Daang Nab Anant, which has already been tested on Russian windowsills. It grows without problems and blooms willingly. Thai producers themselves praise him.
The size of flowers in Adenium obesum is on average 6-7 cm in diameter, but sometimes it is smaller and larger. Flowering usually begins at the age of 1.5-2 years, and its duration ranges from 2-3 months to a year. Of course, a lot depends not only on the variety, but also on the conditions of detention.
It should not be forgotten that adenium belongs to kutrovye, which means that all parts of the plant are poisonous. Some articles warn that “the juice is especially poisonous, which, penetrating through the skin, can cause intoxication. Signs of poisoning appear after 12-36 hours: malaise, dizziness, nausea, vomiting. To avoid poisoning, carry out all work with gloves, and do not smoke, do not take food, etc. " After such serious warnings on the forums, questions are often encountered: "I want to buy adenium, but how poisonous is it?" Poisonous, no doubt. But the same euphorbia (euphorbia), for example, is more poisonous. By the way, in Africa, some species of animals safely feed on leaves and even branches of adeniums (I do not advise you to try it - it’s bitter, so “a piece will not go down your throat”). But seriously,then I myself do not use gloves when working with adeniums - I am so uncomfortable. Eating them, too, somehow does not occur. I just wash my hands thoroughly after work. If you have a wound on your hand or just with gloves it is calmer, then no one bothers you to use them.
What to plant adenium in
Adeniums need ample root space. If the plant is young, it is advisable to transplant it more often, sometimes even twice a year - until the plants reach the desired size.
The material of the pot doesn't matter, the shape is much more important. It is better to use shallow wide round pots for planting, with lots of drainage holes. For small plants, the pot can be taken deeper - the root system of adenium develops quickly. But the color of the container matters. Since your adenium will constantly be in the sun, do not choose dark pots - they get very hot, which is not at all good for the roots.
A planned transplant is carried out at the beginning of the growing season, so that by autumn the substrate is completely mastered by the roots. We don't need an extra risk of decay from waterlogging. For the same reasons, if you bought a plant in the fall, choose a new pot, the same or just a little larger.
If the roots of your adenium were damaged during transplantation, it should not be watered for at least a week. If the weather is rainy, humid and cloudy, you can also not water after planting (or just a little). But if the plants are quite healthy, the weather is sunny, hot, they begin to water immediately, otherwise your pet will be offended and decide that he has come to a rest period.
What kind of earthen mixture should you plant? When this question came up before me, I read a lot of recommendations, often advising the exact opposite. For example, someone admits to use peat as a basis, while someone categorically does not recommend peat. The same applies to the use of sand in the mixture, even coarse (there is no talk about fine sand), although sand for succulents is a native element. We will not talk about such exotic ingredients as pieces of coconut peel, rice husks, lava stones, tree fern fibers, etc., which are added by producers of Southeast Asia. Therefore, first about the general requirements for the soil for adeniums.
- It should be nutritious, loose and permeable.
- Acidity - from slightly acidic to neutral.
- The addition of crushed charcoal (or small pieces of it) and some fungicidal agent is very welcome (the easiest way to find "Trichodermin" is in our stores).
Now, in more detail, point by point. Ideally, to please opponents of peat and sand, an earthen mixture for adenium should look like this: coconut fiber - 50%; deciduous-humus land - 20-30%; perlite 10-20%; small, up to 3 mm expanded clay 10-20%; charcoal.
However, it is far from always possible to find coconut fiber, sometimes there is no perlite at hand either, there is no time to get out beyond the leafy ground under linden, birch or hazel … What to do? Buy a package of soil for succulents in the store and add to it what you need that is at hand.
Buying ready-made soil in the store, we, of course, automatically get both peat and sand in the land mixture (adeniums, apparently, do not know that they do not like peat and sand, therefore they grow well and even bloom). But we are simply obliged to improve the purchased mixture as much as possible. I consider charcoal and inert leavening agents - perlite and vermiculite - to be obligatory additives. Be careful with vermiculite, do not overdo it, because it is very moisture-absorbing (perlite is preferable in this case). Instead of small expanded clay, you can add broken brick (you have to work hard, the fractions should be small). By the way, the older the adenium, the more it is advised to add expanded clay (or brick) to the ground mixture - up to 70%.
What, you don't even have a brick? Then the simplest, cheapest and most effective baking powder is small expanded polystyrene crumbs. Break off two pieces from some packaging container, rub them against each other and get a wonderful and completely free baking powder (it is better to choose with small fractions - it rubs better and less electrified).
Lighting and watering
Adeniums need the maximum possible lighting in our conditions. The more sun, the better. Of course, if the plant came to you in a parcel or was in a store in a dark corner, you should not immediately put it in the sun - teach it to be good gradually. But always remember that in the conditions of central Russia there is not a lot of sun for adeniums. Even if the leaves are burned out of habit after a cloudy winter, the plant will grow new foliage. But only in the bright sun does the plant gain strength for flowering.
Some experts advise not to change the position of the adeniums during the growth period so that areas of the stem that were previously in the shade do not get burned. It is also recommended for young specimens (less than 7-8 cm in thickness) in spring and autumn, when the sun is low, to protect the base of the stem, which is sensitive to burns. I do not in any way refute these advice, but I myself have never used them: I twist the plants around my axis and do not shade the stem of the seedlings. Perhaps, if you live on a high floor, and the sun persistently beats out your window from early morning until late at night, these tips will be relevant for you. Observe and draw your own conclusions.
The question "how often to water" depends, of course, on the conditions of maintenance and the season. In general, it is recommended to water the adeniums by completely soaking the earthy clod, and then letting the substrate dry properly. But in the summer, during the active growing season, you can water more often - the complete drying out of the earthen coma during this period is not necessary or even undesirable, since the plant may stop growing. Of course, if the soil is constantly wet, adeniums can rot even in the warm season, so be careful not to overdo it.
Adenium fertilizers are very positive. You can add slowly dissolving, "long-playing" fertilizers to the substrate or regularly feed with a solution of organo-mineral fertilizer with an equal ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Top dressing is carried out during the growing season and flowering once or twice a month. If you want your pet to build up its vegetative mass, occasionally at the beginning of the season you can regale him with a "cocktail" with a high nitrogen content. Phosphorus-potassium fertilizers promote flowering and strengthen the plant.
In the spring and autumn, it is advisable to apply micronutrient fertilizers.
This is the most difficult time for our ward. Theoretically, a dormant period occurs when the leaves fall off completely or partially, and watering should be greatly reduced. Why theoretically? Because the conditions of detention on our windowsills are far from natural. In addition, someone believes that for normal growth and abundant flowering of adeniums, it is imperative to observe a dormant period, someone says that this is desirable, and someone - that it is not at all necessary. Let's figure it out.
The resting period in some species of adenium may be complete (A. boehmianum and A. multiflorum) or partial, when the growth of shoots (A. somalense) only stops, but the leaves remain. Some species bloom for the first time during dormancy (A. somalense, A. multiflorum), and if there is not enough light (and we do not have enough in autumn and winter), then flowering will not work.
In nature, the dormant period in obesum adenium (A. obesum) lasts several months. If you can keep it dry and cool, then it will. But on our windowsills it is often warm (with the exception of extreme winter days), therefore, in culture, the dormant period will be very short, and the leaves may only partially fall off or not at all. And if you also provide illumination, then the plant can even bloom, although the usual time of flowering of adeniums in our latitudes is summer and early autumn.
This is how the “change of seasons” looks like for adeniums on windowsills in practice. In spring and summer, the temperature of the content ranges from 22 to 35 ° C (most of all adeniums like about 30 ° C). With a decrease in daylight hours and a decrease in temperature to 16-20 ° C, growth slows down. At the same time, part of the foliage may turn yellow and fall off (adenium itself suggests that it wants to rest). At this time, watering should be significantly reduced and fertilizing should be stopped. At temperatures below 15 ° C, adenium begins a dormant period. In winter, it is recommended to keep it at a temperature of 10-15 ° C. Please note that the temperature should not drop below 10 ° C. Adult adeniums can withstand a temperature drop of up to + 4 ° C with an absolutely dry earthen coma, but it is better not to risk it. If the apartment is warm in winter, do not stop watering. Of course, you need to water less than in summer,but how much less - only you can determine, focusing on the temperature on your windowsill. Consider the age of your adenium - an adult plant at 10-15 ° C will withstand a long time without watering at all, but a seedling is unlikely.
And another important point. The first watering after a long dry maintenance can be very dangerous - the plant is completely asleep, all processes have slowed down, and here we are with our “care”. Even a small amount of water can be fatal for unawakened adenium. In this way, I destroyed two strong seedlings: I did not water it for a long time, because it was very cold, and then I "regretted it." The result was disastrous. The conclusion on the winter content was as follows:
- seedlings in winter should be watered moderately, but regularly;
- large plants should also be watered (even adenium that has thrown off all the leaves can be watered about once a month);
- if the conditions of detention were 10-15 ° C and without watering at all, then it is important to determine the end of the dormant period. To do this, in the spring, you need to transfer the plant to a bright place and carefully monitor the awakening of the buds. Start watering in 2-3 weeks, when the plant wakes up, and increase it gradually, when active growth begins.
Attention: sometimes adenium leaves turn yellow and fall off after flowering, mistakes in care or a sharp change in weather. If the plant continues to produce new leaves, then do not confuse this with the onset of a dormant period and continue to water.
Pests and diseases
It is very interesting to read in some sources that "adeniums have practically no pests, maybe only a random scabbard will hit the leaves …" And what, the scabbard is not a pest? And somehow I missed the tick on the adeniums obtained from Thailand (they were practically without leaves, well, where should the tick be placed there, especially since the adeniums have "practically no pests?"). I took it out for almost six months!
So keep in mind: despite the toxicity, adeniums are damaged by insects (mealybugs, mites, etc.). Control measures are generally accepted. My adeniums were quite loyal to such common drugs as Fitoverm and Actellic. If you have to deal with pests with some new means, it is better to try it first on one, the least valuable specimen.
But the main enemy of adeniums is root and other rot. We do not allow water gulf and stagnation! Correctly formulate an earthen mixture with an obligatory drainage layer in a pot! When the temperature drops below 20 ° C and insufficient lighting, we significantly reduce watering!
Adeniums reproduce in almost every way possible in plants, and each method has its pros and cons.
Adenium from seeds
If it is useless to look for adenium in your stores, the easiest way is to order seeds online. Pros: it is during seed reproduction that the plant most quickly forms a "bottom", that is, caudex. Cons: varietal characteristics may not be preserved, that is, there is no guarantee that you will receive exactly the color and size that you saw in the photo.
Sowing, of course, is better in spring or early summer, so that the seedlings have time to grow up before winter, although practice has shown that in January the seeds germinate quite successfully. Please note that the seeds of adeniums lose their germination rather quickly, so it is better not to pull with sowing. As a last resort, in autumn and winter, you can arrange additional lighting for your seedlings.
The substrate must be breathable and only slightly damp, never wet! It can be made from sand, perlite and crushed charcoal. You can also germinate in vermiculite, but then you need to be even more careful with moisture. The mixture must be neutral (the acidic substrate prevents germination, so peat is not used).
Before sowing, it is recommended to soak the seeds for two hours (no more!) In a warm, humid environment. Someone advises treating the seeds with a fungicide, someone says that adeniums do not like this … I soaked the seeds in a solution (more correctly, "suspension") of crushed coal - I took ordinary settled water, added coal to it with a generous hand, stirred it, threw seeds into it - and into a warm place.
Then we slightly deepen the seeds into the prepared substrate (put them horizontally so that the top and bottom are not confused), cover and place in a warm, bright place. Do not forget to regularly air our greenhouse!
Seeds should be germinated at a temperature of at least 24 ° (and preferably 28-35 ° C). If you like the seeds, they will germinate in 3-15 days. But with a cool content below 22-24 ° C and (or) too wet substrate, alas, they can rot.
At first, the seedlings are protected from direct sunlight, drafts and a drop in temperature below 18 ° C. When the real leaves are formed (1st pair), we gradually begin to accustom them to the sun, and with the appearance of the second pair we plant them in separate containers. Pots with a diameter of 5-6 cm are suitable for two to three month old adeniums.
Propagation by air layering, cuttings
This is one of the most effective methods (can be applied to shoots at least 2 cm in diameter). It is better to make layers during the active growing season. The technique is common for such events - make a circular incision with a clean sharp knife, dry the wound, treat it with a rooting stimulator, overlay the incision with wet sphagnum and wrap it with opaque cellophane or other suitable material (secure with wire or elastic tape). Moss the moss regularly. A month later, roots are formed on the shoot - now you can finally separate the layers and plant it.
But the cuttings of adeniums are not always successful, since the cuttings easily rot. The stalk is desirable at least 10 cm, the cut must be well dried and processed with crushed charcoal. Rooting substrate - any permeable.
The disadvantages of cuttings and cuttings include the fact that caudex is either absent at all, or is formed much later than in plants obtained from seeds.
You can graft adeniums on oleander and on adenium itself. The second option has acquired distribution - it is very convenient if you want to get a plant with a large caudex and specific varietal flowers or leaves. You can buy adenium with three or even five different vaccinations - a whole white-pink-red bouquet on one "priest".
The grafting technique is standard, as is the care of the grafted plant (it should be protected from direct sunlight until the active growth of the scion begins and the shoots appearing from the rootstock should be removed in time).
Crown and caudex formation
Adeniums sometimes begin to branch out at a young age, but more often after flowering or when the caudex is large enough. However, adenium growers do not expect "favor from nature" and pinch their seedlings to get a well-branched plant. This should be done before the start of intensive growth, that is, at the end of winter or early spring. And do not overdo it - if you cut the main trunk too low, many thin twigs ("broom") will climb, which is considered ugly for adenium. For mature plants, you can also prune or remove branches.
Caudex forms itself with age. If a simple bottle shape isn't to your liking, you can try to form a caudex with an unusual shape. With each transplant, raise the plant a few centimeters above the soil level, exposing some of the roots - they intertwine in a very intricate way under the ground. You can lay your seedling on its side, fixing it in this position - the branches will still stretch upward, and the caudex will gradually get used to it, and you will get an unusual “fallen tree”. You can generally learn the bonsai technique and apply some of its techniques to form an interesting trunk.
Article author Mila
Photos of Mila and Buttercup were used in the design of the article
Read on the forum topic How to grow adenium
Adenium in the Encyclopedia