Should I trick them into not going dormant

karyn1(7a)September 14, 2012

I have about a dozen seed grown plants that I really would like to see blooms already. I'd severely pruned them earlier this season to increase caudex growth but that delayed flowering. I'm tight for space and should really allow them to go dormant in some out of the way space but want to know if there's anything besides solid pink and pink picotee flowers. I can keep them from going dormant by setting them under grow lights for 14 hours a day. I need to decide very soon or the choice will be out of my hands as the days are getting short and evening temps are cooling. Another issue with keeping them growing inside is the inevitable mealy bug infestation. Space, flowers, bugs, space, flowers, bugs.....

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Oh Karyn, I know you hate winter.....and it is coming. I hope you find the solution for your plants soon.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 1:35PM
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I do hate this time of year. I have to cut most of the tropicals way back and decide who will be sacrificed. It's certainly easier then it used to be. I used to not only winter over every plant but rooted almost all the cuttings I took. I have no problem composting cuttings now but it still bothers me to leave plants out to die over the winter. Even with sacrificing a number of plants I'll have at least 400 containers to move into the greenhouse and almost every other available space. It's not a pretty sight. lol

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 10:04AM
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hookilau(long island NY)

good googly moogly that's a whole lotta plants. Maybe you should start selling them on ebay or have a plant garage sale.

I can't imagine what that many plants must look like, can we see a pic? What kind of tropicals are they?

Since you enjoy growing & propagating them (and with over 400 plants, I'd say you're pretty successful at it) maybe you can plant them in the ground and treat them as annuals (next year of course).

I am a collecting sort of person but I'm working on trying to keep my collections manageable. This means a good deal of culling & repotting in pretty containers to give away.

Maybe you could donate some to a nursing home, schools, local businesses, or craigslist would be a good place to start too.

Every time I prune I have the same dilemma, toss or root. My mom's in my head 'waste not want not'. Sometimes I say shut up ma, but not NEARLY enough 8)


    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 10:42AM
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Hi Kayrn1,
I have a few older Adeniums and I was concerned about similar issues last fall. I decided to give them the best natural light I could and they remained in leaf all winter. Thought if they went dormant then so be it.
My seedlings I kept them growing over last winter.
I have not had any of my seed grown plants flower, but they are not mature enough yet.
Although Pink is the most common color for them, there are some beautiful colors and doubles, triple flowers out now.
I have a few grafted ones as I wanted a particular flower and would not get it from seed grown.
These are relatively new to me, but enjoy them very much. Most of the people that I have corresponded with live in climates that can grow them outdoors all year round, outside of having to give either protection from too much sun or rainfall.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 12:17PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

I have also wondered about this too Karyn. Maybe as all of my plants have yet to go dormant for the first time is because I overwinter them in the warmest room in the house in it's sunniest window? The older three are now 4.5 yrs old and I have noticed this past week some changes in leaf colour, they are starting to yellow. I hope this is not something sinister and is only their dormancy starting to kick in. I've never had this happen before, well not yellowing in such a degree as this, an odd leaf here and there but not on so many. Our nightime lows are in single digits C at the moment.
I just went upstairs to check the dates on them as they are currently in a sunny bedroom window, and had a shock. In the half light (the low energy bulbs are slow to make a decent light), I noticed one plant had an deep pink appearance on it's terminal point...ah-haaahhhh, at last, my very first elusive flower bud! That developed fast I thought as I only watered them yesterday and hadn't noticed it then. Alas, my delight was soon dampened as the light got better and I realised it was the underside of a leaf that had turned very red :( hmmmmph!
Gill from the UK.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 3:17PM
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I grow a lot of a few things and a bit of everything else. lol I have a number of pots sunk inground. Most will be lifted but some won't.

Selling would be too much like work and it would take the enjoyment out of it. I do trade many of my extras to a local nursery for the Oriental design pottery that I like for my succulents and caudiciforms.

I used to send out boxes and boxes of plants every fall but it got to be too much work. I invite some local garden friends to take what they want and my sister recently moved to FL so I just sent her a bunch of stuff. As for sending plants to nursing homes and places like that. Most of these aren't plants that will do well inside unless they are under HID or other grow lights. I've posted on Freecycle and Craigslist when I have extra bulbs and bedding plants that I leave on the driveway and even then I don't really like all those strangers coming by. I did get a 10 year old overgrown lily bed cleared in a matter of hours a few years ago when I posted a 'you dig' lily offer. lol

I probably have to decide about dormancy in the next few days as some of my adeniums are already starting to prepare for dormancy. Gill I'm surprised that none of yours have gone dormant as many we started at the same time. Most of mine begin going dormant the second full year. Even when I've left them in a heated GH the majority still go dormant. Congrats on your bud!!!! Is this the first you've gotten from one of your seed grown plants?

Rcharles 80%+ of seed grown adeniums are solid pink. I'll either cull the pinks or use them as rootstock for grafting, depending on the caudex. Actually most of these have developed nicely shaped caudexes. I'll have to take recent pics. What a change from just under a year ago when they were tall and lanky. I have a few grafted doubles/triples and variegated foliage DR's. I'm just hoping for something other then a solid pink or pink picotee from my seed grown plants. Not sure how many I've grown from seed that have already bloomed but out of all I only had 2 that I considered keepers.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 8:01PM
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Considered keepers from the caudex point or the flower?
Yes, I understand that the pink are most dominant. Many of the seed sources are to blame for much of this as well. Punk (neo-doxon) is proving to have very good success and also they are not open pollinated flowers (seed).
I guess I will find out when I get blooms.
I am enjoying these and am not too concerned at this point about color.
Have some Arabicums showing nice shape. Swazicum and multiform are growing nicely.
Thank you karyn1 for your knowledge and from the UK.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 8:39PM
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Karyn, when do you sleep if you have 400 plants? Wow...I love to live by you and come to visit with a cup of tea in hand....(minus mosquitoes.)You probably spend most of your time in the garden....

I think I was bad, but only 1/3 of what you had.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 9:39PM
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I spend less time then you'd think actually doing anything with the plants except in the fall and spring when everything gets moved. God how I HATE that! Now that the kids are back in school it's easier for me to pay a bit more attention. Gardening is my sanity saver. I can completely block out everything else and play in the dirt.

Rcharles it's mainly from a bloom point. When I get something that's not pink I don't care if the caudex isn't nice. When I do get another pink I keep it if I like the caudex. I have almost all obesums, 1 somalense and one that I think is a cross. The flowers are typically somalense but not the foliage. I'll eventually get more varieties but am in no rush. I'm so tight for space and like an idiot I just placed an order for another dozen plants (not adeniums) from Miles to Go. Not the smartest move but I couldn't help myself : )

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 11:05PM
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Sounds like you have a marvelous selection karyn.
I can understand your addiction to plants. I keep starting all these plants from seed and they are all sub-tropical or tropical, yet I do not live in the tropics.
I appreciate your feedback.
Do you have to keep your greenhouse well heated where you are?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 9:40AM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Hi Karyn, errrr, if you re-read my post again you will see that the dratted thing wasn't a bud after all! Merely the underside of a leaf that had turned a rather fetching shade of pink/red for some reason best known to itself!!! One plant did form buds 2 years in sucession, in Sept/Oct each time, but they all fell off before they were say 1/3 inch in length. Last year it didn't even do that much so you can imagine how excited I was, only to have my wishes for my first flower well and truly dashed :(
Oh well. I am really pleased with them as the larger ones have some good shapes. Just hope they overwinter OK this time again.
Regards, Gill from the UK.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 3:16PM
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That's too bad Gill. At least they have some really nice caudexes going for them and those are usually more interesting then the flowers anyway.

I live in MD, about 13 miles outside of DC, zone 7a. We have cold winters and hot humid summers. I keep one GH quite warm and the others are kept above freezing. I also take over the garage and keep that a minimum of about 45 F with 2 1000 watt HID grow lights. No getting into warm cars during the winter here. lol I keep the majority of my succulents and cacti in the house. I have 16 30" shelves, lit with T5 fluorescent tubes. It's too bad that I dislike keeping plants inside. Doesn't make a lot of sense for someone that loves plants.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 3:56PM
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karyn, you have quite the set up. I have a greenhouse, but I do not heat mine. Have to bring all tender plants inside for winter.
I am on Vancouver Island (coast of B.C.)

Glen,(greenclaw) I had my first flower on a grafted plant this year. My one plant set buds and they all aborted before maturing. It has two branches with buds on it now, so I had better speak quitely or it my do the same?

I was hoping that I could get feedback from others growing these gems in similar climates.
Most of the people that I have spoken with (all amazing and unbelieveably helpful), but they can grow there adeniums outsied all year round. Except for during extreme dry heat and heavy rainfall.

This is my first flower

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 6:19PM
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rcharles - love that flower!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 9:27PM
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rcharles you must be really chuffed! that flower is beautiful

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 6:54AM
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That's a beauty. One of the grafted doubles that Marie sent me began budding again about a week ago. Often times the buds will drop when I move them but so far they are holding. Hopefully I didn't just jinx myself.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 9:29AM
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Thank you everyone. I was/am excited about it. I can imagine that the bloom on your own seed grown plant would being quite a treat.
Yes karyn, a different plant was the first to show flower buds and they started to form and dropped off. Very disappointed. It has since set out three more bud clusters, so we will see.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 9:39AM
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Rcharles, that is beautiful for your first bloom. It took me so many years and so many plants before I had my first double bloom.
I don't had that one, do you know the name of the bloom?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 11:02PM
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I cannot take credit for growing this one from seed as many of you. I do have many young plants, but yet to flower.
I got this one from a friend and it is a grafted Adenium. It is called
Double Waterfall. I have looked at photo's on line of it, but photography can be so jaded. Either way, I am happy with this onemas it is my first.
You have quite a collection.
I would like to keep my Adenium similar to yours in the way that they are so well branched and not leggy. I like this form.
Probably will have to wait to prune until next spring.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 9:12AM
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