bad luck last year

irun5kJanuary 27, 2014

Hello all,

Last year was not a good one for adeniums in my yard. To spite having some experience and reasonable results in past years, I managed to kill multiple plants last year.

Problem #1: every time I pruned, regardless of how carefully I picked the spot, the plant would insist on putting out new branches exactly at the point I pruned. For me, pruned branches tend to have about 1/8" or so of "shrivel" before they harden up, and as a result the new branches ended up going brown and mushy over time.

Problem #2, caudex rot. I had the caudex of a couple established plants go soft.

I use Gritty Mix, modified 4:3:2. I never thought I'd say this about a Gritty Mix but I wonder if this ratio is holding too much water and I need to revert to 1:1:1? I use 4:3:2 for my Plumeria to deal with the hot and sometimes dry FL spring through fall but I realize they have different requirements. The monsoon periods (heavy rain for days) seemed to really do some damage to my adeniums, maybe the need to go out of the rain when it starts?

Also I am thinking I need to seal prunes with caulk or something. However I'd still like to keep new branches from growing so close to the prune but many branches have so many "eyes" that this seems difficult. Pruning led to so many problems for me this year, I'm wondering if it wouldn't be healthier just to let them branch naturally?

Thanks for any advice; I plan to try it again this year.

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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Brian!!

Nice to see you!!!

I use the 1-1-1 ratio for the Adeniums and change it up for the plumeria like you do.

So sorry to hear about the troubles this past season for you. Makes me think about how I like to prune in the summer when they are at the max peak for growing and recovering due to pruning , repotting, etc. I have pruned at different times of the year as well but I haven't had to many losses with my trees. I have had some branches that will go soft and then it will stop on its own or I will take my pruners and cut the soft tissue.

When I prune my trees , I like to seal with Elmer's waterproof Wood Glue. It works great. You can find it at Lowes in the paint section.

Maybe you can experiment will two similar trees and let one go "natural" and prune the other. That would be interesting.

Good luck!!

So nice to see you!! I wish I was in Florida.. We are expecting 12 inches here in VB.. Not fun...


    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 5:26PM
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Irun5k, don't feel so bad. We are having bad weather for this winter too. It doesn't matter good or bad winter, some plants will not survive. Do you want to see my plants right now? They looked terrible and many branches were dead.

I can't wait until end of March.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 1:37PM
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Hi Marie & Laura, thanks for the replies. I hope you guys are staying warm; we'll be out of this mess of a winter in no time. (I hope!)

Waterproof glue sounds like a reasonable option, I have heard others say caulk but I haven't look into what kind- but caulk can be sort of a mess, an I generally make a mess of things anyway, so I can imagine how it might look! Plus, wood glue typically dries clear-ish.

Sometimes I wonder when I question how much water these plants really need, I think maybe I believe they need more thank they really do? I remember those photos of the huge ones over in Dubai the size of grizzly bears.... of course they may get supplementary water... but still. Rainy season in FL does seem to be an enemy of these plants.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 9:48PM
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Hi Brian,

In Miami I keep adeniums in 1:1:1 (with reptile bark and napa dry), some times they need to be watered twice a week during dry season, but surviving rain really well.
I have them a bit over potted, as I have learnt hard way that roots will cook in our heat in small pots, and you need light colored outer pots or tubes to shade . Other thing to remember is to keep pots of the ground, patio floor etc. better air circulation helps and ho heat-cold transferring from the floor. After initial set back with small adeniums due to overheated pots I believe that they not only can handle a lot of water, they benefit from it in right mix. Sudden cold snaps with a lot of water may be bigger problem, although we got down to 40F in my yard this winter, so far big ones which were outside look fine.

Good luck, Aggie

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 12:40PM
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Forgot to mention, that I used to have same problem with half an inch or so shriveling after pruning, stayed away from it for 2 years... Now I do occasional pruning, and wood glue prevents it from happening. I like when they sprout close to the cut, bc in a year or so new growth kind of mask scars from cuts, leaving (or not) just a kink on the branch.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 12:46PM
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