Obesum vs Arabicum seedlings.

11otisSeptember 24, 2013

My obesum seedlings are short and chubby. On the other hand, the arabicums are taller and by proportion compared to the obesums, the stems don't have that fat chubby bottle shape. Is this how they are, or could my lighting be off?
This is my first time ever raising adeniums from seed, so, just wondering. I'd appreciate some input/ feed back from the more experienced growers. Thanks.

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The majority of my Arabicums and Thai Arabicums got taller than most of my obesum also. A few of them this past summer have started to get very fat.
Not fat and bulbous, but thick and missile shaped. Not sure if this is normal growth for them? These are two years now.
My Arabicum 'Bouguet' are a little shorter, but still tubular, not bulbous.
They are only 7-8 mths.
I do not believe that it is the lighting, atleast not for mine as they all received the same.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 11:59PM
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Rick: Thank you for your input.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 12:56PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Otis,...

Rick has it right.. Mine do the same..

Takes time for the Caudex to finally show its true self. Like Rick mentioned, mine are also missile shaped and are finally beginning to fatten up these are about I year old seedlings.. Arabicums and Obesums.

Mine are all grown in the same environment too.

Take care,


    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 9:15PM
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Thanks for your comment Laura.
My arabicum seeds came later and from a different seller. Therefore, they're in a different tray on a different shelf.
I'll just be patient and wait it out.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 6:43PM
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Can leaf shape also help identify species? I received a few different batches of adenium seeds through trades/seed exchanges on this site, planted a few from each batch and numbered them, and one of the batches has narrower leaves, and the grooves in the "bark" on the caudexes aren't as defined as the other 9. They've all received the same light/soil/fertilizer schedule, and are all healthy. They're all approximately two years-old. Thanks for any input!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 2:27AM
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Many of the experienced growers can tell by leaf shape and flower as to what sp/ssp the parentage is. Not sure at what age though.
In my limited experience growing from seed. I have had many differences in leaf shape and caudex development or lack of, within the same seed package received.
It seems that these character differences are just what is to be expected when growing Adeniums from seed.

Many believe that the different specie are so mixed up, that it is hard to say that it is true to one specie along. So I am told.
The one seed pack that I receive for true Swazicum, do all have the same leaf type reminiscent of the Swazicum specie.
I am just waiting on my seedlings to see what I get for blooms.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 9:02AM
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For being overly cautious not to over-water them I almost killed some of my 5 weeks old obesum seedlings due to under-watering. I am still using the spray bottle to water and I thought I overwatered them the day before. When I checked the following pm., many of them had shriveled and soft caudices. A good friend mentioned super-thrive some time ago and it seems to be an "über" something so I ordered a small bottle. Luckily the order has arrived.
I lifted the shriveled seedlings and soaked them in a weak superthrive solution for 3 min. or so. They are OK now. Phew!

This post was edited by otis11 on Sun, Sep 29, 13 at 17:23

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 5:16PM
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Sorry, double post!

This post was edited by otis11 on Sun, Sep 29, 13 at 17:21

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 5:19PM
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Glad they survived Otis.
It is a funny thing, learning curve for me I think?
I have always used the weight that a pot felt for watering, outside of the surface drying.
With my newly seeded Adeniums, because they are always in a coir/perlite mix. I use th weight method. Although as soon as they are potted up into the free draining mix, I have found the weight method of lifting to check is not always an exact for me.
The new seedlings definitely require more water than more mature ones.
I like to use a slow stream of water because it gets the water down into the soil.
Sounds like you are going to have a nice bunch of plants.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 7:41PM
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WonderWeasel: what is your planting zone? Some people in warmer zones got their DR blooming at 8 months. Did any of yours flower yet?
""planted a few from each batch and numbered them"". You realize that the older the seeds get, germination rate gets down, in theory anyway. I think Richard still got good germination after a year or two old seeds. I don't want to risk it so I sowed all the seeds I received. Also thinking how long I have to wait till I'd see any flower, I thought the sooner the better. All those members posting their wonderful flowers make me impatient.

This post was edited by otis11 on Tue, Oct 1, 13 at 14:55

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 1:38AM
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Hi Otis--

I'm in zone 6. I planted them in November 2011, and allowed them to go dormant the past two winters indoors under a couple of t12 lights. A few of them finally bloomed late this past summer. I have a high output t5 light fixture now, so I'm going to see if I can get a few more to bloom this winter.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 10:46PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Otis, Rick, Wonderweasel and anyone else out there with Arabicum youngsters....could you post some pics of your seedlings as we rarely get to see many of these either in their early stages or indeed as mature plants? The obesums being more popular I feel ...I'm just curious as I too have some and would like a look at other growers results. To Rick especially...as my seeds were from you :))
Thanks in advance guys/gals...whoever!
Gill UK

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 4:38PM
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Here are a few photo's of my Arabicum 'bouquet'
and some other's.

Arabicum 'lopbhuri' (Jan.2011)

Arabicum Thai Soco 'Golden Crown' (Jan.2012)

Arabicum 'Dwarf RCN' (Jan.2012)

These next 2 photo's taken on 2 different dates.
Arabicum Thai Soco 'Golden Crown'

L. to R. Obesum 'Zahra', 'Venus', 'Capricorn'

This one I did not grow. Very fortunate to get from a local gentleman. I do not know of partentage or name,
other than it is an Arabicum.

They seem to be so diverse in their growing. I have nothing to compare with.


    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 1:18PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Thanks Rick for the picture show, they're all are looking like really good strong plants. It will be intresting to see the progress of the Golden Crown, that's a lovely variety.

I wonder when the Arabicums will begin to spread sideways? Mine are real chunky at the moment, like fat sausages, and they already have branches, maybe it's how they are grown....hard. Maybe it's the mistake with my fertiliser that does it? None of my varieties seem to get long and drawn out, so that knocks the UK's lower light level theory on the head maybe?

However, I just cannot for the life of me see how our Arabicum babies will get from what we have now into something that even slightly resembles what you have showed us above. Crikey, that is a real stunner, it's absolutely fantastic. If I can ever get one of mine to look anything half like that, even without flowers, I would be in Adenium heaven for sure. I really like the look of Obesum caudexes, but the Arabicums hit the spot for me every time.

Hope Otis/Wonderweasel and any other Arabicum nuts chime in. thanks Rick!
Gill UK

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 3:02PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

I did not take separate photos of my Arabicums but I spent the entire weekend out in my greenhouse organizing, bringing all my plants in and cleaning up. I did take a photo so some of my babies I planted in Feb & March. They are a mix of Obesum, Somalense, Socotranum and Arabiums. I am really hoping this year I can get a few Swazicum seedlings going.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 7:47PM
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You have quite a group of seedlings there. Very nice.
Can you leave yours in the greenhouse over the winter?
Interesting that you mention Swazicums. I was checking things over today and the swazicum seedlings I started in Feb. are about the same size as many of the obesum's, but I noticed today that those Swazicums when you
Hold on to them gently, they are so rigid and sturdy. Not sure if it is that their roots go down further (do not want to check), but a lot more sturdy than the obesums.
I was able to get some wild collected swazicum seeds. Will check to see if they have any more, if you would like.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 8:08PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

Yeah, it has been quite a challenge with these seedlings. The first ones I up-potted to their individual pots are doing well, had no problems with them. I then ran out of time and left the rest in the seedling trays and up-potted them about a month ago, they are all damping off or rotting right above the soil line and I am just not sure what I can do to save them.

Not to mention I unfortunately brought a plant into my greenhouse (unknowingly) this summer that had mealy bugs, now they have attacked my seedlings and I am battling them. I will start a new post with this as I have many questions on how to handle and need help.

I do leave my seedlings in my greenhouse. I heat it to 45 degrees. I do not water them much. Most things in my greenhouse go into dormancy.

I just hope I can get these seedlings into next summer. As the older they get the easier it is to keep them alive.

I would love to purchase some Swazicum seeds if you have a reliable source. That would be AWESOME. Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 8:36PM
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Hi Gill: Sorry for the delay. First I've got an empty battery in the camera, then I had to "study" several tutorials on GW how to load pics. on the forum. Hope I'm up to it now. Most of the seeds are Mr. Ko's. The Thai socco are from Adenium Seeds (28.08.2013).

Please note the ruler didn't start at zero on the 1st.pic. My boo-boo. Sorry.
These are the Thai socco Golden Bell & Golden Corral.
I decapitated one when removing the cap and it's still alive but no leaves.

Close-up of Golden Bell

Left: Thai Socco KHZ, right: mix Arabicum

Close-up KHZ

Albino Arabicum?


PBN from above

Arabicum DesertNight Fork (18.08.2013)

Arabicum Tiny Ding Dong (18.08.2013)

Various Obesums (08.08.2013)

Obesum close-up

Obesum trunk close-up

Various obesums (18.08.2013)

Trunk close-up

Close-up from top. Variegated/Albino?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 6:31AM
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I think what ever you are doing is excellent. You have such a uniform growth on the greater percentage of your 'Obesum's with such squat growth.
Love them.
You also have a wonderful selection of Arabicums going on there as well.
The Arabicum 'Tiny Ding Dong' looks like a cool one. Have seen it on Ko's site.
In my humble opinion. What ever you have going on there is working. Cannot wait to see them later on. If you keep them growing as you are, I would say your going to have a bunch of 'fat' little guys there.
Nice to see,

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 9:04AM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

LadyL, you have some good looking seedlings there, they are growing away nicely for you. All very similar in size to mine in fact, so that makes me quite content, lol.

It looks like there are errr, 'several' others too in the sidelines! How many hae you got in there?

I agree, their first winter can be a bit daunting, both for them and us! As they get older along comes strength and bulk so giving them more resources to pull on and get them through the colder months. Mine first went truly dormant last winter, they were almost 5yrs old. I like to sow my DR's in Jan/Feb, as early in the year as possible, then they can get as big as possible in time for winter, thats my theory anyway...it may not work for others. Best to keep seedlings growing for as long as we can I think, more growth is put on in their earliest years.

Hope you get the mealies banished. The damping off is a worry...a product called Cheshunt Compound was a UK fav, but not sure if available still, was copper based I believe. Your gdn centre should have a prduct specifically for helping prevent damping off, if that's whats the prob. Good hygiene,(of soil etc, not personal you understand, lol) decent air flow and not overly wet soil will help....good luck.

Gill UK

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 5:48PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Otis, dear Otis, how many DR's have you got there? You have really been busy!

They are all looking very healthy, apart from the headless one, poor chap, well his body looks OK anyway...what did it do to deserve that fate I wonder? Will be interesting to see what his future holds in store.

I especially like the look of the Obesums, so chubby, stout and shiny too.

What are your plans for them all, you have loads to chose from, it would be fun chosing which ones to grow on, I would be totally spoilt for choice and end up keeping them all, lol!

Thanks for posting and keep up the good work.
Gill UK

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 5:58PM
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Rick & Gill: thank you for the nice words and encouragement.
For now, I'm just going through the motions of getting them through their 1st winter. And after that, I'll be so attach I might not be able to decide which ones to keep. How can one decide w/o having seen them flower? What if the ones I kept were all boring pinks and the others were the interesting ones?
There are a bit over 100 seedlings in that tray/flat.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 12:39AM
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Everyone has a seedling forest! I just counted how many surviving A.arabicum seedlings I have--it seems I have 5 missile-shaped, labelled ones out of 20 seeds sown earlier this year.

Otis, your seedlings look excellent and numerous!


    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 7:34PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

Thank you for the kind words Gill. I have a couple hundred seedlings. Hopefully, they get thru the winter and I will be a happy lady.

Otis, how the heck did you get your obesums so stout? What regimen did you have?

I hope more will share their seedlings.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 11:16PM
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Thanks Pagan.
ladylotus: I'm not sure what caused it. Besides the grow lights, I still have them on bottom heat at ca. 25C - 30C. I use 1/2 teaspoon/liter kelp fertilizer with every watering. Once a month I added 2 drops/liter of that Dyna Gro stuff and also once a month I watered them with a solution of worm compost (too lazy to make worm tea) and they are planted rather deep. My 2nd tray of seedlings started about a month after this one aren't planted as deep and they are not as stout (yet?). Can't really tell which one did it.

This post was edited by otis11 on Sat, Oct 26, 13 at 0:11

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 12:10AM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

That is interesting, if I ever start seeds again I am going to experiment with planting them a bit deeper. My luck none will come up. ha ha.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 11:31AM
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ladylotus: I didn't plant the seeds deep. Only after they germinated and by helping them get their cap off. I very often pulled them out of the medium by accident. Just pushed them back deeper, to make sure they stay put. Added more mix when ever the mix went further down from watering (even with a spray bottle) and started showing the white part at the bottom of the trunk.
However, I have read somewhere that planting too deep is not good either. The trunk can develop canker or something. I won't be planting them that deep when transplanting into their individual pots later on, just to be safe. I have resisted the urge to check how they look under the soil line. They are anchored quite stable right now, wouldn't give at all. I'm afraid I'd kill them if I mess around.

This post was edited by otis11 on Sat, Oct 26, 13 at 16:10

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 1:32PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

Gill, I worked in my gardens and greenhouse all day yesterday. It was so wonderful. While I was out there I took a few photos of various seedlings so that you could see the differences.

I changed from my shutterfly account which I could not post several pictures in a row to another acct. NOW...lets see if I can post several photos in a row.

This one is Arabicum Dwarf Black Knight

This is Thai Socotranum

This is Somalense

I have a few other varieties withing these species but wanted to hurry and get back to work as it is supposed to get cold and snowy again and I want to have all my gardens cleaned up.

Ok, It must be me...I will place them individually as I don't think the above is working.

Here is Arabicum Dwarf Black Knight

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 9:58AM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

Here is Somalense, I think this one for leaf structure is my favorite as the leaves are so dark green/blue with a distinct white midstripe and the leaves are becoming very elongated. I won't waste space adding the Socotranum as it looks very similar to my Arabicum above.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 10:02AM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

LadyL, thanks for the pics, all is loking good there! My Somalense also have the thinner leaves with a more distinct mid-rib, the Arabicums are tougher leaved, and the Obesums just do their own thing, as there's quite a variation in them so far. They all seem to be going through a growth spurt at the mo, all very odd at this time of year what with the dark evenings and colder weather. I'm not complaining mind you, the bigger the better!

I like nothing more than spending time in the garden or g/h, so I know what you mean! Hope the snow is not too bad, the UK is bracing itself for one of the worst storms for some years, coming across from the west (are you sending it over for us LadyL?!) it's due tonight/tomorrow so I have bought all my potted plants inside for safety....and warmth.
Gill UK

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 1:17PM
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