Adenium getting to big

abraham1(mi)October 7, 2013

I have been growing a seedling from on of my other plants. I am growing it in a indoor grow tent under 18 hrs of light. It is about 20 weeks old right now and almost 4 feet tall. It is however starting to wilt over on the top. Its is otherwise healthy. I prunned the top to slow the growth but now it is branching and making the top even heavier.. I have it tied off but it is not to attractive the way its growing now. Two questions. Is there anything else I can do? Also, should I take it out of the grow lights for over winter? I did not last year but have read that they need a dormancy period. Maybe that is why it is growing to fast for its own good. Even though I want max growth should I take it out of the lights for winter?

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11otis

Hi Abraham: being a newbie I am of no authority to answer any of your questions but if you don't mind, I do have a question for you. What did you feed them to get 4 ft. tall in 20 weeks? Some of my seedlings are 2 months old (8 weeks give or take), still under grow lights, and they're barely 2" tall.
O.

This post was edited by otis11 on Mon, Oct 7, 13 at 17:58

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 5:56PM
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rcharles_gw

Abraham,
That seems very tall for a seedling of 20 weeks for sure. I am confused a bit as you mention that you you did not take the lights off it last year? Is it older than weeks? A photo would definitely help with help.
Rick

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 8:28PM
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fakechuchi(7)

whoa, Abraham. Four feet?! My oldest seedlings are 8 months and they're not even 3 inches! How wide is the base? Show us a picture? What's your grow light set-up?

Personally, I would totally whack it down to about 4 inches, depending on how it looks. That way, the base can support the weight if it sprouts multiple branches. This, of course, is because I prefer them to be really compact.

Pagan

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 8:31PM
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abraham1(mi)

Sorry, it is 20 MONTHS old NOT 20 WEEKS.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 7:31AM
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abraham1(mi)

the caudex is about 5 inches wide with the main branch being about inch and a half maybe a touch bigger. Some of the leaves closer to the light are a faded green. Not the nice deep green like alot of the leaves. It has a ton of sprouts. as soon as a leave falls off a new branch starts growing. I'm hoping that after its tied up and grows some more bulk it will be able to hold its own weight. If I untie it now the top foot or so just slumps over then the new growth starts growing up from there but it is not attractive.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 7:35AM
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abraham1(mi)

Heres the other smaller one. It was doing good then had a burst of growth and this is what it looked like just before I tied it up

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 7:40AM
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abraham1(mi)

I guess I'll lay off the nitrogen. I have a 0-50-30 that I will stick with for awhile. Maybe that will work. They are under 6 t5 lights. I think about 300watts. 18 hrs a day of light. Also its sitting in my ultra organic soil that I made up . Tons of nutrients in there.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 8:02AM
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abraham1(mi)

And a pic of the proud mom or dad? Its about 20 years old. I bought it from Le Jardin about 16 years ago and it was 5 years old then.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 8:16AM
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Aggie2(10a)

Abraham,

Is it possible that 18hrs of light is just to much? Keep in mind that DRs are from tropical regions, day is surprisingly short there! Even in south Florida day is only 9 -12.5 hours, so it must be shorter in Yemen, Socotra etc.
Looks like your plants are growing fast but weak , and can't support its own weight. I would chop them where branches start bending, reduce water, stop fertilizer and shorten light time. This size plants should go dormant over winter with only occasional water.

Aggie

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 8:24AM
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fakechuchi(7)

That plant is absolutely rocking, Abraham! Too bad it can not support the top because it looked amazing until it toppled over. I'd still trim it down if only to help it balance the weight.

I cant get over the fact that you've had the parent plant for 16 years. Sheesh. WTF was I doing 16 years ago that it didn't cross my mind plants could be fun!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 8:42AM
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rcharles_gw

It is definitely a very healthy plant, but to achieve a similar shape as parent, you will need to prune it. As Aggie mentioned. The number of hours of artificial light, I believe is too long. They should receive atleast 8hrs. of uninterrupted darkness each day. Definitely reduce fertilizing and with one that is lower nitrogen.
You keep them looking very lush.
Rick

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 8:52AM
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ltran54(9)

At first when I read 20 weeks, I said to myself, he had to have magic. But even at 20 months, the plant still very good for 20 months. Abraham, if you do hard prune, the base will grow bigger.
Your plant likes the light setting.
Marie

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:03AM
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abraham1(mi)

Yea, I thought the light may be an issue. We get about 12 currently here in MI with about 15 during summer. I have pruned about 4 or 5 times so far. If I prune the top it just branches and gets heavier. Unless I trip off a foot or two. I want as big of a plant as possible so really hate to do that. I think I will hold off on N and hope it strengthens up. Another question I had was on dormancy or not. I have read about 5-6 sites that say must have dormancy and about as many that say it is not needed. I guess they grow continusly in Hawaii, and did fine for me last year so I guess the more opinions I can get on the matter the better. My plan was to push the plant for the first three years then take it out of the grow lights and bring outside then back in during the winter where it will go dormant, but I still have a year or so more. I guess I will bring it out this time next year. Hopefully it will strengthen up if not I can always chop it at any time.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:07AM
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abraham1(mi)

Yep, bought that plant way back when I was a wee 26 year old. I am going to hard prune the smaller plant pictured third. Can I go ahead and chop it down to a few inches of the caudex?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:12AM
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rcharles_gw

Abraham,
For me, if they go dormant then they do and cannot change this. Most of mine do not go dormant. I only keep my seedlings under lights for their first winter.
They live in an area that gets south facing sun, although lower light intensity.
They do not need to go dormant, but they will slow down or stop growing and retain their leaves. Needing less water.
Our length of daytime in summer is 15-16hrs. and shorter during winter.
In Hawaii and tropics they get 12hrs. all year round.
Rick

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:16AM
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abraham1(mi)

Well I took about 2 feet off the top of my smaller one. I may do a good shaping prune with the bi.g one but am still wresteling with the idea. I hate to give up that growth but if it looks bad then may as well shape it up

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:51AM
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abraham1(mi)

Heres the before pic

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:52AM
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abraham1(mi)

One more of this mess. I was going under the assumption from an article I read from Mark dimmit(?). Saying to push the plant for two to three years and not to worry about it getting to spindley because it will bulk up later. He did have some impressive plants. Within weeks after pruning the plant is growing multiple stems and fast. that in turn just adds weight. Unless I prune a majority of the branch/s off. I just hate to do that but may. I wish the pics were better. Its hard to see the branch structure from the pics. Plus it hardly looses any leaves. You can hardly see the branches

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:59AM
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kodom087 z9a

I like your idea of pushing as much growth as possible. Every thing I've read says that after the first three years that growth will then slow down considerably. So I like that you are pushing to get the size you want and then concentrate on shape. Wish I had a setup to experiment in this.
I would probably go ahead and prune some of it down. You can always prune off more later as you decide on the shape as it grows. Or you can just leave it and keep it tied up/wired until it gets enough strength to hold the weight if you're also going for height.
Either way I probably would relax on the nitrogen for sure.

But great job you've done. I'm impressed!

Kirk

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 10:03AM
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Aggie2(10a)

I don't really see them slowing down, at least not in Florida! On top of it, pruning always promotes new growth! Oldest plant I own is over 6 years old with caudex about 8 inches in diameter, but I keep it short, not more than 1.5 feet.
We get about 8-9 hours of light in winter and 12 in the summer, all mine are grown in full sun in gritty mix with very limited fertilizing. Not all go dormant, but if I stop watering it will push them into it!
If you stop fertilizing until spring, there is a chance that instead of growing up it will get thicker and stronger, and eventually able to support it's own weight.
In my experience only down site of not resting in the winter, is decreased bloom, and way more leaves than I have seen on Mark Dimmit pictures of his plants and specimens in Africa! Our plants tend to be greener and lusher, although, this is true for obesum, not for swazicum which always has limited number of leaves on top of the branches!

Happy growing!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 10:51AM
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abraham1(mi)

I put it under 12 hrs of light. Going to use only pot. and phos. in a limited fashion. No N. I put a big fan on the plant also. I think not having any movement weakens the branches. Now its blowing like 10 knots right on the plant. I'll post up results in several months or when/if it topples over or I decide to prune.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Tolip(Tropical)

Abraham, you have a perfect growing condition for your plant. It's doing great. If I were you, I would keep the lights on and keep it growing, even through winter. What's the heck, give it 24hrs if you can afford it. Obviously what you are using to prod the plant up isn't strong enough. Use something stronger to help it along. And show us in due time the biggest adenium plant ever!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 12:15AM
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len76(Frazer Coast. Qld.)

Hi Abraham, could you post a full detailed set up with soil, fert. and watering,lights etc. Would love to have a go at reproducing your effort. I think you are onto something,even just for fun. Len.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 8:23PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Looking great...

I agree that it needs to be cut back.. Don't forget to seal the cuts!!!

Your trees are really growing well... I bet in the spring when and if you do a bareroot, you will find a very interesting Caudex. I can see from your first pic it has some great character under that soil... It's screaming for everyone to see!!! ;-).

Awwww.. Plumeria I see? Lol...

Thanks for the pics.. Don't be shy about cutting back , you trees will thank you!!!

I always seal after cutting to prevent fungus, mold or just plain problems. I like to use a waterproof wood glue found at Lowes. ( Elmer's ). Simply use your finger to seal the entire area after cutting.. ( I wait an hour or so...)

Take care,

Laura

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 2:53AM
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abraham1(mi)

Amendments:

Greensand
alfalfa meal
Fish Bone Meal

Blood Meal

Kelp Meal

Soft Rock Phosphate

Azomite

Indo. Bat Guano

This is is rough breakdown of a standard organic soil mix - this is not set in stone -

This is Per Cubic Foot - which breaks down to approximately 7.48 gallons.

50% Sphagnum Peat/ProMix/Premier Peat - whatever
25% compost and or earthworm castings or mix of both
25% aeration - lava rock/Perlite/Rice Hulls - etc.

This is your "base mix".

To this add 2 to 3 cups per CF of base of your "nutritional amendments" - total. Mix roughly even amounts, and then add 2-3 cups of this mix to your base. By nutritional amendments I am referring to your alfalfa, kelp, fish bone meal, guanos, etc.

On top of this, I add 4-5 cups of "mineral mix". By this I am referring to Glacial Rock Dust, (this is preferred), Azomite, greensand, SRP.

After mixing this all up, moisten well and allow to sit and "cook", or "nutrient cycle" for around 4 weeks before use. If you can, use an Aerated Compost Tea to moisten instead of regular (de-chlorinated) water.

This allows the bacteria and fungi in the compost to spread throughout the soil and begin breaking down the nutritional amendments to be used by the plant(s)

The plants are growing in a grow tent with 6 four foot t5 flourescent lights on for 18 hrs a day. No real watering schedule. Maybe two or three times a week. No real fert schedule either maybe every three waterings. I use the fox farm liquid fert (grow big and tiger bloom). I use super thrive also. reverse osmosis water. Thats about it. I have pruned it two or three times so far in 20 weeks. Also have transplanted it twice. Its currently in a 14 or 16 inch pot, fairly deep. as you can see the other seedling did not do as well. Still doing good but was always way smaller than its bigger brother. Although they are the same age from the same set of seeds.
Oh, just to add. I never use water from the tap as it has clorine in it and that will kill all beneficial bacteria and the like. One can let the water sit for 24 hrs to evaporate the chlorine or use some sort of filter. I use a reverse osmosis thingy.

This post was edited by abraham1 on Sat, Oct 12, 13 at 9:34

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 7:14AM
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abraham1(mi)

Thought I'd ad a few pics from earlier. this is the plant on aug 31st, just before it really started saggin. Thats directly next to a highchair.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 9:30AM
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abraham1(mi)

and one from back in Feb of this year. Grew alot in 8 months. This is at one year old, maybe 13 months.

This post was edited by abraham1 on Sat, Oct 12, 13 at 9:38

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 9:32AM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

Abraham,

That is truly amazing. My seedlings that are now almost a year old are NO WHERE near that size. I would love to see growth on mine like that. Nice job! Your plants look very healthy!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 8:49PM
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abraham1(mi)

Just posting a follow up on the smaller plant I pruned. Heres a new pic about 6 or 7 weeks later. Looking good.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 3:56PM
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abraham1(mi)

Heres the big one I decided to chop down a tad. Took almost a foot off those three top branches and a few inches off the side branches. Nothing really growing back yet. Only did the chop about two weeks ago.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 4:01PM
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