Advice needed on broken branch

ginger9899(10 SW Florida)September 9, 2013

Update in post below at end - success!!

Below are pictures of my young grafted King Violet adenium. When I got her earlier this summer she already had a very tall main branch, like 8 inches from the top of the caudex and I planned on probably pruning next spring. She was on my back porch and only got 4-5 hours of direct sun a day and then grew like 6 inches more. I decided she was already too tall and maybe needed more sun and was stretching so I moved her out to my plant bench so she could get 6-8 hours. Of course, even though she was on a bottom shelf in the corner of cement I came home one day after a storm and she was toppled over on the ground :( one tiny lower branch broke clean off but the only other damage was a scrape on the main branch not even deep at all. I potted back up and gave her rest in the shade for a week and them resumed watering last week. I am now disturbed to see the scraped part is wrinkled and sunken, but don't know what to think of it as the whole caudex, including the wrinkled sunken part is very firm as it should be. Also new leaves at the top have continued to grow.

Do I need to take action? Does it look like I will lose this branch or is it normal? Thanks for any insight, I'm worried. I have it staked now for more support. Sorry, I am long winded as usual.


This post was edited by ginger9899 on Sat, Nov 16, 13 at 1:05

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In my humble opinion.
Not sure by photo, if green branch is from scion grafted onto root stock or whether it is on rootstock?

The wrinkled piece of stem should definitely be pruned off. I would.
Start pruning of just below wrinkled piece and keep pruning little by little until the cambium layer is clear and whitish without any Biege discloloration.
(rubbing alcohol).
Hope fully you can keep your cutting above the healed area of the graft so that you do not lose your King Violet plant.
Pruning now is fine.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 8:09PM
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Rick, great info.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 9:34PM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

Thank you for your advice Rick. The small green branch you see is part of the King Violet scion section that was grafted onto the root stock. It was this tiny branch (or the one just like it that broke on the other side) that gave me the big beautiful purple triple flower this summer. I'm really hoping there will be growth from the spot where the little branch on the other side broke also. It was pretty close to flush on the main branch, but ive seen new growth sprout from less than that so im really hoping. If I were to cut just below the wrinkled portion I would still have the little branch and its broken counterpart on about 2 inches of the grafted scion.

Am I correct in assuming that this is probably enough to keep the grafted King Violet part going? I'm really really hoping so.

I'm sick sick sick at the thought of cutting this big branch right now. In anyone's opinion is it less successful to graft or to root a cutting? I ask because I have tried to root dozens of cuttings and have never had one grow yet. They just shrivel up and rot. They have all been pretty small cuttings though, is the likelihood of success better with a very long cutting? This cutting will still be like 8" and have 2 small branches coming off of it at the top. They are all currently full of big beautiful leaves.

I will probably start a new thread asking for help advice on rooting a cutting because like I said, I'm like 0 and 12 doing it :(

Thanks again.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 9:58PM
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The damaged or wrinkled area could heel, but I believe will always be a weak point for this plant. Also, the question is. How long do you leave it to see if it is going to heel or continue down the stem?
You have quite a few internodes on the stem portion below wrinkled area and above the graft union.
This is your call. Fortunately with you in Florida, your weather is warm and growing season not over. So should get some growth coming.

As for the stem. Thinking about doing a cutting. You will still need to cut upward at bottom of stem to make sure there is not rot or discoloration to use for rooting.

There are a few people on this site that have done rooted cuttings.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 10:15PM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

On second thought I might as well not start a new thread on rooting a cutting. I've examined every post here and everywhere on that subject already. Sigh.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 10:16PM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

Thanks again Rick. I posted my defeatist comment before I saw your latest. I'll probably tackle cutting this weekend. If at first you don't succeed.......


    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 10:19PM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

Oh no, as of today I have buds! Beautiful flower buds are sprouting from the very tip top of the aforementioned adenium! Does this change anything about cutting it? Do I dare wait to see if the buds open before I do anything so I can enjoy them? If not, do I physically remove the buds when I remove the leaves to root the cutting? Thanks again for your opinions.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 7:35PM
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ilovetogrow z9 Jax Florida

A happy plant blooms. I would let it bloom and cut later. Paula

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 8:37PM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

Thanks Paula. I will keep watch on the bad spot to make sure it doesn't start moving down if these buds progress.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 11:16AM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

This is a hint at why I am waiting to prune this branch. The big bud is so big and plump it looks like its about to burst. I just hope it actually opens before the weight of it makes it drop right off. The bud alone is 4 inches! Going to be gorgeous though.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 1:30AM
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Heather, that flower doesnt even need to open, I like it already!


    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 6:31AM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

96% opened today!


    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 10:24PM
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So, what made the colour different? Flash/no flash or different time of day or just time?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 12:48AM
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kodom087 z9a

Wow! Very nice flower! Love it.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 8:54AM
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That is absolutely gorgeous. What a find that is.
You definitely want to do a cutting of that as well as keep grafted part going.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 9:11AM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

Thank you everybody. I do really love this young plant. Otis11, I meant to only post the bottom picture. The bottom darker pic is more true to color I think. I took a bunch with and without flash, in and out of sun, etc trying to get the correct color and not a blurry pic - with my cell phone.

I hope I'm not making a mistake waiting for these flowers before cutting it. The bad part of the stem doesn't appear to be going up or down the stem, but does seem to have moved further through it horizontally a little.

Does anyone know if a cutting can be made and rooted using a middle branch section, or of only a tip cutting would have any chance of rooting?


    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 9:53AM
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Stunning flowers! Good luck dealing with your branch issues, whenever you should try to tackle them ... I hope the patient makes it through surgery and recovers with flying (gorgeous) colors!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 5:38PM
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Wow. Very beautiful!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 10:07PM
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To me it looks like rot. I would chop asap as Rick mentioned earlier.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 8:23AM
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I am going to try and quote info from Mark Dimmitt's (an absolute must have for Adenium-aholics).
He shows that you can take cuttings from more mature branch (leafless).
It does state during active growing season though. Treat with rooting stimulant, place in clean rooting substrate, place in shaded spot.
Because they are leafless, not necessary to mist. Usually benefit from being cover with polyethylene and root faster if placed on bottom heat.
Mature leafless cuttings usually take longer to root than long leafy stem cuttings, but the success rate is often higher.
Hope this helps somewhat.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:07AM
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Wow....that is beautiful bloom.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:11AM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

Thanks everybody, I appreciate the support. This is tough but I am thinking more sooner than later for the cutting. I don't want to cut below the bad spot and be surprised how far down it is inside. Not that that couldn't already happen...but I shouldn't take any more chances.

Anything from Mark Dimmitt helps Rick! Thanks a lot. I really would like to wait until spring to do it but obviously that's not a good idea. Luckily I am in SW FL and there is still plenty of warm weather and sunshine to be had.

These will be the last known pics of this plant as it is now......pardon the dramatics lol.

Flower lightened up a little in the sun - pic yesterday:

It obviously needs pruned anyway:


    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 10:05AM
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Try multiple cuttings. You might have enough stem to do several.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 10:45AM
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ilovetogrow z9 Jax Florida

Beautiful flower. It is hard to be a parent.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 8:27PM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

So true Paula.

Rick, that's what I plan on doing, a tip cutting and at least one medial cutting. Not sure how many inches I'll end up with when I start to cut and check it out without the tons of leaves blocking the view. I don't want to go too small, I think that and restricting moisture too much have been big issues with my past tries.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:54PM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

I decided to post an update because I finally have some good news. When I cut off the bad part of the branch in October I was dismayed to find it indeed looked like rot and it was down much farther in the caudex than I could imagine. I cut down as far as I had to, which left very little above the graft. I didn't have a choice though, and I'm glad I went ahead and did it. It was so sad, big shiny leaves, gorgeous flower and beautiful buds discarded everywhere. After cutting I ended up with 2 6" cuttings, a tip and a mid section. Now, 2 months later, I HAVE A ROOTED CUTTING! I am so happy to say I have growth on my mid section cutting. The tip cutting dried out and shriveled to nothing a while ago, but this thick crazy section has a couple growths poking out of the main branch and leaves starting on 3 of the little branches! I finally was able to root a cutting, an important one at that. The parent Adenium also has new growth, and I think is may be above the graft point, barely. I have the cutting in a stupid little plastic pot in a gritty mix. I guess I will start watering when dry by the skewer method regularly now.

I'm so happy, thanks again everybody for the support.

Growth on the cutting:

Whole ugly cutting:

Original Adenium with new growth:


Edited to add this took 1 month, not 2 like I said in my post above. I'm trying to make this year go uneven faster I guess.

This post was edited by ginger9899 on Sat, Nov 16, 13 at 21:28

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 1:03AM
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This is so nice to hear. I am glad they started, because it is a remarkable flower on that plant and I think you fancied it very much.
The branches do look like they a from the original scion section. Line from top of root stock seems to be below them.
Good for you, now you have a few of them to grow.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 9:04AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Great job Heather!!!

Great advise everyone..

Before I could get to the bottom.. I was saying. " cut!!!" Lol.. The tree will back bud and have a better overall look to the tree. Then you will eliminate the infected area and the tree will be clean and able to grow without limitations.

Great advise, Rick!!!

Congratulations on rooting the cutting!!!

Strong work!! ;-)


    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 1:02PM
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double congratulations heather

timely advice rick

but i have a question......

the rooted cuttings will they flower ?

i guess the rooted cutting don't have a good caudex but the caudex can be trained by lifting & replanting that makes it bigger (my guess)

but will the cuttings flower ? ????
that is the main question

because i've asked people and they all said they dont flower but they can be used as root stocks

kindly update me on this.

i have 3 cuttings sitting in 3 pots since last 45 days don't have the heart to check weather it is rooted or not.
but seem to be alive.

i cut them 'off season' precisely fearing the same events as mentioned by heather

fortune favors the brave heather...... great job

correct me if i'm wrong
but wouldn't it would have been more prudent to try for graft also on a small root stock, just wondering , as the plant seems to be precious with a beautiful flower , an extra experiment on a cheaper plant wouldn't have harmed...

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 4:43PM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

Thanks Rick, this was a favorite of mine for its beautiful flower and I get the feeling it is a very tough plant.

Thanks Laura, sometimes it's tough to do the right thing and also know what the right thing is!

Anurag: Thank you!

I believe they will flower just fine. I have never rooted a cutting but others here have and I think have shown pics of flowering. It is true it may never grow a good caudex, or if it will it will take a very long time. I have seen pics of a cutting with a caudex but I won't hold my breath. It won't bother me, it was done out of love, not to grow the best looking plant. I don't know about your cuttings, mine took about 30 days to show signs and I was careful to not move or jostle it at all. Yours may be ok, as in the past any of mine that weren't going to root shriveled up fast. It was very noticeable.

I did consider graft actually, but having never done that ever and not having any root stock I would want to mess with I didn't try. Looking back I think now I wish I had tried it with the tip cutting that didn't make it. Maybe that will be my next adventure ha ha.

- H

Edited and changed post to say it took 30 days, not 60 like I originally said.

This post was edited by ginger9899 on Sat, Nov 16, 13 at 21:34

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 5:25PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)


Great job on cutting back your plant. At least you were able to stop the rotting and save your gorgeous Adenium.

I also hope your cuttings survive and thrive. I've seen photos of some very positive results with cuttings, they do flower and eventually they obtain a nice size caudex too, it just takes a lot longer... from what I read and seen photos of on another forum.

I cannot wait to see your results in a few years.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 9:31PM
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Hi Heather:

I was researching how to do cuttings and saw that you were successful. Would you mind sharing your process? Medium, how often watered, sunlight, bottom heat, etc...
I had to prune a thick branch off of one of mine as it was getting top heavy. I would love to be able to get it to root.
Thank you!


    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 3:05AM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

Hi Laurie! This last time I tried to root a cutting was the first time I was successful. I think my problem In the past was not watering them enough really. I used the advice of another forum member Melody26 this time and was successful. I am linking to the post where she explains her method in great detail, so be sure to read it through.

I found that for me thicker cuttings have worked better than smaller thin ones. I placed my successfully one in a small plastic pot in gritty mix - very fast draining. I think I dusted the bottom with a rooting powder and staked iit steady with a bamboo skewer. I watered it and left it in shade for a few days, then morning sun for several hours a day and watered it every few days and in several weeks I saw leaves growing. I did water with seaweed or KLN rooting liquid often also. I did not use bottom heat though, as it was plenty warm here.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Excellent rooting advice from Melody26:

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 11:27AM
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that was very helpful Heather
even I succeed this may in rooting 3 of my normal obesum cuttings
the hybrids did not make it because I used fast draining mix
for the ones which were successful I used -
30% perlite
70% vermiculite

I was very sure that these will never make it coz they were just other cutting in my cutting flats thought the infection & water will kill them but viola 3 survived out of 10
I know bad rate but I am so happy that finally I have a mix at hand
and your post proves it
thanks for the link that was really helpful can't understand the mixes
one thing is sure never wet the medium soaking nor allow the medium dry even if it means twice watering at 114F temperature
water is also an important key in rooting
thanks again for the post
I'm getting ready for last pruning + cutting planting of the year, just can't wait


    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 4:23PM
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