Should I Prune and Repot?

elucas101(8)May 21, 2012

Hi everyone, I'm extremely excited, I just purchased my very first Adenium! I've tried to do my research and I believe I found a plant with gorgeous flowers and wonderful caudex potential. It's 14" tall, it's called "Big Red" and I confirmed it's a seedling, not a graft or cutting.

I'm wondering if I should re-pot when I get it, and also what to do with those stringy roots hanging down - do I cut them, re-pot them, leave them dangling?

and a close up of the flower!

Thanks for the help!

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Very nice. It looks like there's still plenty of room in that pot. I wouldn't worry about repotting yet, maybe in another year. When you do repot I'd raise the caudex up a bit. I'd prune the couple stringy roots that are growing out of the pot.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 7:56AM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Hello and welcome to the adenium addicts forum! Thats a nice plant you have there, congrats. I too would leave it in the same pot providing that the compost is free draining. Judging by the plant I would assume it is, just make sure it's not fibrous or peaty. As for those thin dangly roots, they are serving no purpose so I too would chop them off flush with the caudex....mind the sap, it's a skin irritant to some, very bitter AND poisonous.
Gill from the UK.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 11:49AM
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Ok, thank you so very much for the info! - I really am a complete newbie to these and am trying to learn as much as I can. I'm swooning over them! How did I not know about these sooner?!!!

I haven't received the plant yet, it should be here tomorrow I think, I wanted to be prepared when it arrived! Do you think it's ok to put it right out in the sun or should I do anything special since it has been traveling / do they experience shock?

So are you typically re-potting and raising the caudex once a year in the spring?

And when people pot over a rock, is this just to make sure the plant stays raised up?

Do you wait to go up in pot size until the caudex fills the pot width wise, or is it a combination of width and how deep the roots are?

Thanks again for helping me, I do appreciate it!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 12:46PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Emily!!

Beautiful blooms on your DR!!

I like to raise my Caudex every year or two. The ones i repotted last year are doing fine, so i will raise them next spring. When i repot i like to lift and expose more of the Caudex.

When i hear of potting over rock. I believe this is when they are Growing their trees as Bonsia trees. Rooting over rock makes them look aged and more for the look of it being a natural look like you would see a natural tree in the wild. It is something special to get Bonsia rtained with root over rock. Quite beautiful i might add!!!

Some like to use all different sizes, I like to keep my trees in a smaller container only for the DR's to show case the Caudex. i wll show you a repot into a new pot and show you how much i lifted it. This is for you!! :) My Plumie Friend!!!

before i repotted..

After i repotted and lifted the Caudex un a bit..

Same tree now..

I likw to keep my pot smaller then most like to use. I like to make the Caudex the center of attention i hope this helps!!! i like to use Foliage Pro and Pro TeKt on my trees....

Take care Emily!!

Hi Jackie!!!



    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 1:22AM
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Laura your pics are always such a treat. I just love them, your plumies too.

I would put your new plant in a shady area to start and slowly acclimate it to full sun. This type of transition will help lessen any shock even if it was in a full sun environment before coming to you. I do like ProTekt. I also use CalMag Plus. The DynaGro product line, including fertilizers, is very good IMO. There's also a foliar feed called Spray-n-Grow trio that I like. B1 and/or Superthrive is good to help prevent transplant shock, root development and a cocktail when breaking dormancy. If you have a nearby hydroponics store they usually carry high quality products. If you don't have one locally there's several online hydroponics shops. The products are considerably more expensive then what you find at the big box stores but I think they are worth it. Homemade compost and compost tea are also good

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 6:54AM
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Good info, thanks so much everyone! Hi Plumie friend Laura!!! You DR's are AWESOME, I saw your other photos too and they are all really lovely.

I am loving that I can use all of plumie stuff for my DR's as well it sounds like - no wonder I took to them, they're related to plumies! Ha! I have Foliage Pro, and my ProTekt and neem should be arriving any day.

So I stopped in at WalMart yesterday - just to check if they by chance had any DR's since I heard people saying they had seen them there...they had about 4-5 of them there and let me tell you, this was a mission of mercy, really. One of them was completely rotten, the others looking a bit rough -raggedy caudex, huge pock mark on caudex, etc. -and one that appeared to actually be really healthy. I decided to rescue it from certain death! $13.88 is what I paid.

They were in a very wet peat and wouldn't last long that way. I repotted it into well draining MG / perlite and made my first attempt at raising the caudex a little, but now I'm thinking I probably didn't raise it enough. I was breaking a lot of little fine roots and there were a lot of little roots on one side that were a lot higher than on the other side. I wasn't sure if I could leave them exposed to dry out or if they should be under soil.

Please take a look and tell me if I should raise it more and expose more of the caudex.

Plant in it's awful peat mix when I got it home.

Bare roots, as much of the peat as I could get off of the roots.

After my repot, I only raised it almost a half inch because of those roots being high on the other side.

So what do you think?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 10:23AM
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Glad you rescued it. They would have made short work of it if it had stayed there much longer. It looks like a nice DR. I think it's raised enough. You can raise it again the next time you repot it.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 10:51AM
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Elucas, congrats on your first and beautiful DR.
Walmart had a few DR in each store, look carefully to get a grafted one, because my girlfriend got a grafted one and was lucky it was double bloom.

Laura, your plant looks very healthy.
Most of my big pots are in fully bloom right now. I will find time to post for every one to see.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 11:26AM
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I received my Big Red! She is a little beat up from traveling but should recover nicely. The seller bent it into a smaller box than expected and the post office beat the crap out of the box. It looks like the one piece of tape the seller put on there came open when the post office rammed their truck into it or whatever happened, but hey, no breaks so it should recover.

Aside from these 2 mystery splits on the plant I'm very happy with it. (I started a new thread about it so someone can maybe help me understand if they are normal.) This plant shouldn't have been, and doesn't appear to have been grafted. Is it just a natural split?

And a back view, they are at the base of the main branches.

And now on to the good stuff. The plant was shipped bare root. This is how it looked. The branches are bent, but not broken.
Front side:

Back side:

I potted it up and trimmed up some of the scraggly roots:

Should I trim those roots on the back side of the plant? Are you supposed to leave some of those roots if they look "alive" and can reach the soil - will they dig in and grow or just die off?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 10:31AM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

I would think that anything that doesn't already get well under soil level will dry off and die, so, if it were my plant I would cut them off flat with the caudex as you have done with the others. Some ppl have read elsewhere and written on here that 'only the part of the root that is underground will swell and grow', that would imply that if left those thin bits would stay thin? That's not to say that my suggestion is the correct way to follow, it's just what I would do!! I prefer the clean lines of the caudex and don't personally like to see thin roots obscuring it. It appears to have plenty of thin feeder roots apart from the ones attached to that wayward root, so again, that would sway me to giving them the snip too!
Gill from the UK.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 3:28AM
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Thanks so much for your reply Gill, I think that's exactly what I'll do! :)

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 11:57AM
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It looks good and has a nice shape. I might consider pruning off the lowest small branch for asthetic value but that's just me. My only question is about the large roots that were cut. Had they already callused over before you repotted it? I usually dust any new large cuts, roots or branches, with a fungicide and then allow the ends to dry. If they were already callused it's a moot point.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 6:12PM
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Hmmmm, karyn, that's a good question. The plant wasn't growing in a very deep container from the seller, but to be honest I didn't really even look at them. I only cut the tiny ones and then I didn't even think about anything being cut from the seller recently...whoops.

So if I cut that one off in the back I should sprinkle a fungicide on the cut - is Rootone ok since it says it's a fungicide as well or could I use cinnamon? I will look again at that lower branch, you have a good point about it probably making it more aesthetically balanced.

Today I think the plant was showing signs of shock from traveling and being bare root for a couple of days- the leaves are yellowing and looking sad, but I heard that's normal, right? I'm keeping it out of direct sun too.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 11:14PM
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Gill, if you look at Laura's pics of hers when it was raised up and then what it looks like now you can see what looks like a ball that she is sitting on, did grow more even though it was raised up. So I would think they can continue to grow. At least judging from her before and after picks. Peg

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 1:03AM
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If you are talking about the branch that I mentioned I would prune I would dust the cut. I've used Rootone w/fungicide in the past and it's fine. I actually keep old Rootone. Even though the rooting hormones have expired the fungicide is still effective. I'd go with the Rootone before cinnamon but have seen cinnamon used as a fungicide and it smells nice : ) I don't use a fungicide on the very small roots that I cut but do dust almost all cut stems. I figure better safe then sorry, especially with the humidity here. Nothing seems to dry out except soil! lol

I use B1 and/or Superthrive on all new plants, when I transplant or during any time of stress. It helps prevent or at least lessen shock. I would definitely slowly acclimate it to full sun. A bit of shock isn't a concern, just keep your eye on it and make sure the stems aren't soft and you should see new growth fairly soon.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 7:58AM
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greenclaws UKzone8a are right, I'd missed that observation! It certainly does appear to have grown. Better get my specs on, lol!
Gill from the UK.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 3:48PM
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Nice choice, Emily. Beautiful caudex with lots of potential. Those scars look like old pruning scars that desiccated then shredded a bit, like on one of mine. They're unsightly now but if you keep them dry (sprinkled with fungicide, cinnamon, or sealed over as suggested by Karyn) then I think Marie's right that they'll be unnoticeable after this growing season.

The two I bought from ebay last winter were about the same size as Big Red and, boy, did they go through some shock--leaves yellowed and dropped off at an alarming rate--but they bounced right back this spring. No worries. I'm waiting for the first small flush of blooms on the picotee now. DRs sure give you a lot of bang for the buck!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 3:50PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hey Guys and Gals!!

I wanted to say that my DR that looked like a wommens backside has grown in size as well. SHe is spreading from old age..LOL!!! My other DR's are continuing to grow in size. Like Peg mentioned. The ball is getting bigger!!!LOL.. : ) I will post some pics of the young ladies backside and what she looks like now.. I dont want to tell her that she has "spread out.."


You have a great tree. I left you my suggestion on the other post about the "break" I use waterproof wood glue on my cuts after they seal for an hour or so. I also use the sealant too!

This is a nice DR. It will be fine in time!!!

Take care,


    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 3:34AM
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Thanks so much everyone, I do love the plant and am relieved you all are so reassuring! :) The flowers are just knockouts and I'm glad to hear you all think the caudex has potential too. It's hard to find a nice, fairly established plant with a different type of flower!

It's really showing the shock now, a good 75% or more of the leaves have yellowed and fallen off so I'm giving it a bit of a break for a while. I'll give it some water and ST this evening as well. How long can I generally expect for it to recover from shock? Hopefully Big Red will be back to her beautiful self soon!

You really do get a lot of bang for your buck with DR's, I still can't believe I've only just heard of them!!!

Laura's DR: "Does this pot make my caudex look fat?"

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 9:58AM
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