Trunk soft on Adenium Arabicum

TeeInTO(6a)October 2, 2012

I'm new to this forum, and am hoping I can get some help/advice. I purchased an adenium arabicum from the Toronto C&S club sale this June. It's my first adenium, so no prior experience. It's sitting in an east-facing window, with full morning sun (live in an apartment, so no option for a south-facing window).

After about a month, I noticed that an occasional leaf would turn yellow, then eventually fall off (about 1 leaf per week). I also noticed the trunk felt a bit soft, but wasn't sure if this was a change from when I first purchased it.

I did some research and found that it might be due to over-watering - although I also read that a soft trunk could be due to under-watering. I figured over-watering was more likely the problem, so I drastically reduced watering to about once every three weeks from about mid-July until September.

Despite the reduced watering, there has been little change to the plant - the occasional leaf still turns yellow and falls off (though the frequency seems to have decreased), and the trunk feels about the same. The plant seems more-or-less the same as it did in July. The trunk has a bit of a depression on one side, but otherwise seems to look okay.

I've pulled the plant out of the pot and examined the roots. There is no bad smell, although some roots (towards the bottom) do seem dried out and brittle. Soil looks like a mixture of regular potting soil, with some extra perlite and sand (I think).

Hope to get some advice on whether I'm over/under-watering, or if this is not an issue with watering at all. For the first month, I watered probably about once a week, and fertilized with 10-52-10 every two weeks, as instructed by the vendor I bought it from.

Also, I've been holding off re-potting it until spring, but am wondering if perhaps re-potting into a faster-draining soil mix might be helpful at this time?

Will try to add some pictures to help with visuals. Thanks in advance for any help!!

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Picture of the depression on the trunk

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 5:02PM
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Some of the roots towards the bottom are brown and brittle. Others (towards the mid-left) are more white/yellow-ish and look healthy.

Sorry for the multiple postings - haven't figured out how to post more than one picture in a posting.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 5:05PM
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It does look pretty root bound and even though the soil appears to have sufficient perlite it looks like it's very moist. Some of the roots look dead but there's plenty of healthy roots visible. The depression looks like the shape of the caudex and doesn't appear to be rotted but I can't really tell from a pic.

I normally wouldn't repot until spring but I might be tempted to transplant your adenium now. Use a pot a couple inches bigger then what it's currently in. I prefer terra cotta to plastic and make a gritty, very well draining potting mix. If you are in Toronto I'm guessing your plant is going into dormancy and will likely lose all it's foliage. When (and if) you repot it I'd water it in once and not again for quite some time if it's going into dormancy. I only water my dormant adeniums every 6 or so weeks, if at all. From the pic your plant doesn't look bad to me.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 8:19PM
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Your Arabicum looks very nice. They grow different than the obesum in the leaf structure and caudex. Their caudex becomes larger across the soil. So it will need a wider pot as it grows.
I would repot it as karyn mentioned. The leaf drop is common at this time of year.
I had one of mine have it's caudex become quite soft (pliably soft not mushy) and it firmed up after a little drink.
Nice plant.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:36PM
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Thanks karyn1 and rcharles for your advice! I've been wanting to re-pot, but was apprehensive because everything I read seemed to indicate it would be better to wait until spring. As for the soil, it is still a bit wet from when I watered it on Saturday. Probably not ideal that it stays wet for 4 days, but it's getting cooler here so it doesn't dry out as quickly.

Regarding the caudex, it's definitely not mushy - just not rock hard. I came across an adenium obesum at a garden centre over the weekend (about the same size) and the caudex was hard as a tree trunk... quite different from mine, which caused additional worry. I first noticed the softness in July, so it's been a while. That said, if it were rotted, wouldn't the plant be in pretty rough shape by now?

I will plan to re-pot into Al's gritty mix, as that seems to be what is most recommended. When I do, is it safe to assume that I should remove as much of the existing soil as possible? And should I remove the brittle (dead) roots? I'll raise the caudex a bit, and I've got a round ceramic pot that's about 1.5" larger than the one it's in (see picture). I could use a larger/wider terracotta pot, if that would be better for it?

Lastly, any thoughts on the type of fertilizer I am using? I'm not familiar with the brands that are often mentioned on this forum - perhaps they are not available in Canada? I've been using a 10-52-10 as I was originally instructed, but I've also got a 24-8-16 that I use on my other plants, and a 15-15-30 that I use on my tomatoes. I can certainly get another fertilizer, but having three different kinds already seems a bit much!

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 12:48AM
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I'm undecided about that pot. I might be ok if you do some careful root pruning because it looks fairly shallow. I would remove whatever soil you can and trim away the unhealthy roots. The high phosphorous, low nitrogen fertilizer (10-52-10) is best but I'd discontinue feeding until next spring. You don't want to feed a plant going into dormancy.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 7:47AM
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If you look at photo's of the Arabicums/Thai Socotranums in Thailand and many Australian growers. They are grown in pots wide and not overly deep as they grow across the soil as caudex becomes larger. The pot size obviously in relation to plant in question.
I tend to agree with karyn that the depth of that pot may not be adequate.
I planted up my Thaisoco into a bonsai pot too small and it was not happy.
Probably my soil and pot size (too small) and required more frequent watering than I was giving. Repotted into bigger pot and new soil.
I tend to use a mix of 50% Turface,, 30% coarse coconut husks, 20% well composted manure and some slow release fertilizer in it.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 9:08AM
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Ok, thanks for the advice. In that case, I will go with a larger terracotta pot.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 1:34AM
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So I've begun re-potting my adenium. I began by removing the plant from the pot. The soil is pretty dry, and seems to consist of mostly perlite and sand, with a bit of potting soil.

As I began to gently brush off the existing soil, most of the fine/brittle brown-ish roots fell off. I tried to be very careful as I removed the soil, but these roots were pretty brittle and came off with little/no resistance.

After I got most of the soil off, I gave it a good rinse in a bowl of water. The part of the caudex that is underground feels pretty much the same as the above-ground trunk. A bit soft, but not too mushy. This is what I was left with:

There are a few dark brown depressions which I'm concerned about. They are not mushy (pretty firm inside), and do not smell bad, but they don't look ideal. They are a dark brown colour - looks a lot like tree bark.

As you can see, there are very few roots remaining on my plant, and some of the roots that do remain attached are papery, which seems odd. I've got the plant sitting on some newspaper at the moment to let the roots dry out a bit before planting. I'm planning to plant into some dry gritty mix later on tonight, and probably wait a few days before I water.

Anything else I should do? Should I remove the papery-type roots? Another rinse to get rid of the rest of the soil (there's a tiny bit left, but I was concerned about further damaging the root system).

Any further advice? I really don't want to lose my only adenium... Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 3:58PM
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Also, would this be a good time to slightly raise the caudex? I was originally planning to do this, but after seeing how few roots there are, it seems a bit uncertain. There are three sections of roots that would be above the soil level if I raised it about 1/2". I assume those would be useless if they were not under the soil level.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 4:17PM
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It looks like there is quite a bit of root die back. If there is any dead tissue it would definitely have to be cut out and dried back before being repotted.
Someone may come on and give solid advice, which is what I would want.
Why don't you put a post in the adenium 'purple flower' posting and ask Itran if she would know. She is very knowledgeable and may have dealt with this before or karyn also.
Definitely check it out first before replanting. There should be only white/yellowish roots (healthy).
Hope it works out for you. I know it is troublesome.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 8:19PM
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Thanks for the suggestion, rcharles. I'm quite concerned, as the roots didn't quite look as full as I had expected (hoped).

I'll post on the other forum and hopefully Itran will offer her expertise...

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 8:45PM
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TeeInTO, I am sorry that your arabicum didn't do well. If I was you, I cut all the mushy roots off and let it dry for few days before repot. Those black spots seem okay for now. Keep in the shade few weeks before full sun again. Hold the water for awhile.
This will slow down the growth since no roots, but you still have a chance.
I don't see your zone, so I don't know your weather for October or until the winter comes.

I hope it is okay after the repot. I will keep my fingers cross for you.

I sometimes don't understand of my adenium either.
Karyn....where are you?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 9:02PM
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Marie - thanks for the advice. I'm in Toronto, so zone 6a I believe. I don't know why it doesn't show next to my posts. (now I see - you have to manually enter it in the box above) I've got only an east-facing window, so with the shorter days I'm only getting maybe 4 hrs of sunlight over the winter (much more in the summer).

There actually weren't any mushy roots to cut away - just a lot of papery/dry roots that fell off without much resistance. I removed most of them, as they don't seem useful. The bottom of the caudex (that was below the soil level) is actually quite hard - probably a bit harder than the part above ground. My biggest concern has to do with the amount of roots that were lost (already dead, I think), and the general lack of roots on the plant.

I did only buy the plant in June and had some problems with yellowing leaves that eventually fell off, but the plant always re-grew new leaves and never looked to be in really rough shape. I thought the soft caudex was due to over-watering, so I cut back watering to about once every three weeks from July-September, but there was no noticeable change to the plant. Perhaps that was due to the lack of roots rather than a problem with watering.

For now, I've re-potted it into some dry gritty mix (from the container forum), since I didn't cut away any rotted/mushy roots. I can always remove it later if necessary, as the gritty mix is very loose and should fall away easily.

Any further advice would definitely be appreciated. Next time, I will pay more attention and try to make sure I buy a plant with lots of roots!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 10:40PM
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During summer months, (mid April-to the end of September) I water my adenium every single day, unlet it is raining.(Remember Houston is hotter than Toronto). From October to November, about every 2-3 days. So don't hold back water during growing season. Because those months you will see the most growth.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 11:14PM
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The black spots don't concern me but there appears to be quite a bit of root rot and the very base of the plant appears rotted. I would remove all the bad roots and any part of the very bottom (not the upper soft part of the caudex) that is mushy then dust the entire bottom with a fungicide. Allow it to dry out until it's completely dry where it was cut before repotting, probably 3-5 days. After repotting place ot somewhere with bottom heat and hope for the best. I'd hold off on watering for a while. Maybe give it a small drink after a week or two and don't water again until you see new growth which might not be until the spring. In your zone an adenium would be going dormant this time of year. I water very little during dormancy, if at all. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 8:57AM
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I've removed the remaining bad (papery/dry?) roots - I think this is about all I can remove without further hurting the few remaining good roots.

I don't really see anything that is mushy - even at the very bottom - so I don't know what to cut away. There is a pretty big dark "cavern", but when I look inside with a flashlight, it seems to look (and smell) okay, and it doesn't feel soft when I poke in there with a stick. There are some good (white) roots growing inside, so I don't want to dig around too much.

Here's a pic of the bottom. The yellow part at the bottom of the caudex is hard (not mushy at all). Actually, the entire root system seems pretty dry, except for the few white roots.

Here's another pic of the "cavern" area. You can see some of the healthy roots growing inside.

I've dusted any slightly moist areas with cinnamon (that works as a fungicide, right?), and it's now sitting unpotted in a shady area. Here's a pic of how it looks now.

Since I didn't cut anything away, should I still leave it to dry for a few days? I've got a clay pot filled with dry gritty mix, so it should be easy to keep dry for the dormant winter. I will find somewhere with some bottom heat to store for the winter.

I really wasn't expecting this to be in such rough shape - thanks again for all the advice!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 11:21AM
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Don't worry about the crater as long as it's callused. You can go ahead and plant it but I would consider using a fungicide first as a prophylactic measure. I have a large adenium that has at least a 3" deep and wide chunk taken out of the caudex due to rot and it's been growing fine. Even though there's no active rot be careful about watering.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 12:37PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Looks like you have done a great job and have great advise...

I would raise the Caudex and i would also stake after you repot your DR. Make sure it doesn't have any wiggle room so the Caudex stays secure.

Like Marie and Karen said.. water only when necessary especially now that you are trying to grow more roots and it is probably dormant. Im sure it is stressed a little.. so i would let it rest and im sure it is happy in the new fast draining gritty mix.

good luck and keep us posted..


    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 5:17PM
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TeeInTO, do you ever use root estimulator? It is great for root system. I bought one gallon for $9.99 last me 11 years and I still have a little bit. Consider I have so many plants, I only feed to the ones need more roots, or the cuttings.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 6:36PM
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Firstly, thanks for all the advice!

I have placed it into a terracotta pot filled with dry gritty mix. As advised, I will hold off watering for a while (probably about a week), give it one more watering, and then probably leave it be for the winter. I did dust any moist/questionable spots with cinnamon (as a fungicide), but to be honest, there were very few. I also raised the caudex a bit (1/3 to 1/2 inch).

Laura - how would you stake this? I googled it and didn't come up with anything. It is pretty stable, but I suppose it could wiggle a bit if I weren't careful while moving it. It's inside (so no wind), and after I water it next week, I probably won't have to move it for a few months...

Marie - I don't have any root stimulator, but I can certainly pick some up. Is this what you're talking about?

or just a fertilizer with a high "P" ratio?

As people have suggested, I will hold off with fertilizer/nutrients until the spring either way.

Anyhow, here's a pic of how it looks now - hopefully it survives until spring and will be able to grow some new roots!

Thanks again for all the help. I will definitely report back with any news...

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 8:23PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

IT actually looks stable to me. As long as you don't move it alot, im sure it will be fine. In the future, you could secure it with styrofoam blocks cut to size to make small pieces to fit at the 9-3 position of the tree or say 12-6 position. We also do this for Plumeria cuttings to keep from moving. Some use tie down clamps with string to secure. I have even used to secure movement.

Looks great Tee. You did a great job with this repot and i can't wait until spring to see how it responds for you.

Remember the Gritty mix can take a little more water than some might think. I know you are in Canada and the temps are cool. Some don't water at all during the winter months, but i always give my trees a little water even during the dormant season. Just my 2 cents...especially after repotting and doing root pruning. It may need just a little water to help the rooting process.

Good Luck!!


    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 2:30AM
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teeinto, Your plant is looking really good. This has been a really informative thread for me, a beginner. Good luck I hope all goes well with your plant
Kind rgds
Averil (UK)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 7:40AM
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It looks much better in it's new home and looks stable. B1 is a root stimulator. If you can't find plain B1 Superthrive contains a small amount and works well. I use B1 whenever I transplant and for all stressed plants. Fertilizers listed as bloom boosters have a very similar NPK ratio as a root stimulator fertilizer. I prefer to use just B1, no fertilizer but it can be difficult to find but Superthrive should be available.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 7:52AM
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Thanks everyone - I'm glad to hear it's looking better! Will do my best to keep it alive over the winter, and hope for some new growth in the spring.

Will report back in a few (long) months!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 6:24PM
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Wanted to give a quick update on my plant with the soft trunk...

After a long winter of nothingness (all the leaves fell off except for a few small ones), my plant started showing some new leaf growth about 4 weeks ago. I began watering a bit more frequently since then, and it has really sprung back to life. New leaves growing from every stem - and even more encouraging is that the trunk has become significantly more solid! There's still a bit of give to it - so not as hard as most others I've seen - but much more solid than last fall!

I'm very encouraged by the new growth, and hope the trunk continues to become more solid - though not sure if it will ever go entirely back to normal given it is partially hollow.

Given it's in the gritty mix, I'm watering each time with a dilute solution of 24-8-16 fertilizer and epsom salts. Will keep this post updated if there are any changes, but wanted to pass on my thanks for all the great advice last fall!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 4:06PM
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Junglajungle(9b Arizona)

Very inspiring!! That's what is great about everyone here, they are so helpful and knowledgable. Congratulation on reviving your plant.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 4:34PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Congratulations Tee!

It looks great and all of your hard work to get this baby healthy paid off...

I just want to caution you on fertilizing to much as well as adding Mg at every watering...Using a weak mix is alright during the growing season and adding Mg and Ca is a good thing, but when you can't determine how much you are adding .. You want to water and flush the salt build up in the mix.. I just don't want to see you burn or cause an over amount of Mg in your container. It will eventually cause problems. If you like to dilute your fertilizer.. Then I would alternate using plain water.. Limit the Mg. I use Foliage pro and it comes with all the essential nutrients in it so I don't have to add it to the fertlilizer.

Growing Plumeria, lots of us will add Mg to the water to help the tree wake up. This is done only a few times during the growing season and is limited in the amount added to the water. ( actually twice a season) so adding more would hurt the root system and then you would see the tree decline .

You have done such a great job, so I had to say what I was thinking..

I hope this helps...

Take care,


    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 12:19AM
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Thanks for the replies and encouragement! I've been very happy that my adenium has bounced back as it has.

With the fertilizer/epsom salts, I thought I had read last fall that I should use a dilute solution every time I water with the gritty mix... of course I can't be exactly specific on how dilute. I have just two plants in the gritty mix, so I mix a small amount at a time, and my ratios are very approximate. I would estimate the fertilizer is used at 1/4 to 1/2 strength, with maybe 1/8 teaspoon of epsom salts per litre or so... should I be reducing this strength, or alternating watering with plain water?

Since I barely had to water it during the winter, I really didn't have to think much about this until now. I can definitely give these plants a good watering with plain water every few weeks to remove any salt buildup, if that would be sufficient? Are there any telltale signs of too much Mg buildup?

Thanks again... this forum has been so informative! Would love to grow some plumeria as well, but my only window is east-facing, so am afraid it wouldn't get sufficient light.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 12:58AM
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Tee, your plant looks great...
Thank you for the update on the plant.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 7:39AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Tee,

I went searching for some information on Mg and why to much may be a problem. The fertilizer you are using is a good one .. Here is a copy from a similar discussion on the Plumeria Forum about Epson salts..

Maybe this will help.

You are doing a great job on your DR.. I just wanted to add info to help you and your tree.

Take care,


This came from Tapla ( Al) from the thread Fertilizer Question Oct 26, 2011

The easiest way to achieve this fairly narrow range of 'ideal' fertility is with frequent applications of a fertilizer solution at reduced rates, using a fertilizer that ensures the plant will have all essential nutrients available and that they (nutrients) are present in the ratio at which plants take them up. This is important because an excess of any one nutrient can be as limiting as a deficiency ..... which leads me directly to a discussion about Epsom salts.

Epsom salts (MgSO4) supply magnesium (Mg) and sulfur (S). Sulfur is only very rarely deficient in soils, which leaves us with the assumption that any benefit derived from Epsom salts would come in the form of its Mg content. The question that needs to be asked before you use Epsom salts is, "What leads me to think I have a Mg deficiency?" If you don't have an answer or a reason to apply something, especially when it's an element or compound targeted at increasing the amount of a singular nutrient, you're better to forgo the application; because if it's (magnesium) not deficient, more can't possibly help; rather, it will be a limiting factor. That is a point that can't be argued without first refuting Liebig's Law of the Minimum, which addresses limiting factors.

Not only can applying Epsom salts when Mg is not deficient needlessly raise the level of dissolved solids in the soil (solution), making it more difficult for the plant to take up water and the nutrients dissolved in water, it can also create what is called an antagonistic deficiency of Ca. Ca and Mg need to be present in a ratio somewhere in the 2-4.5:1, Ca:Mg range. When that ratio becomes skewed through the addition of only Ca or only Mg, the other nutrient (in this case, Ca) is more difficult for the plant to take up.

If you're using a commercial soil, it's unlikely you would have a Ca or Mg deficiency because the soil would have been pH adjusted with dolomite CaMg(CO3)2, which as you can see supplies both Ca and Mg, and in a favorable ratio. The same is true if using your own soil made with dolomitic lime. Also, it's very unlikely you would have a Mg deficiency when using Foliage-Pro fertilizer, because it's included in the fertilizer in soluble form.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fertilizer question

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 10:38AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Tee,

I know that using the Gritty Mix we have to add to the nutritional make up, but I thought this thread may help .. To answer your question about using plain water to flush. Yes! I would definitely flush very other time you water. Just be careful with adding the Mg.. That's all I wanted to mention. I also dilute my fertilizer in the fall and spring, but when I grow in the summer, I use it full strength as per the instructions on the bottle. It seems I use the fertilizer once every two weeks , but between the rain and just using plain water, it will be flushed naturally. I also wet the mix a little before I give it the fertilizer in the summer at full strength. Just wanted to add this... I keep thinking about your beautiful DR !!! ;-)

I hope I didn't confuse you with adding the link.. I hope this helps you!!!

Take good care and keep doing a great job!!,


    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 12:05PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Hi, Laura!

I think it's important to ensure the Ca & Mg missing from your MG 24-8-16 is available for uptake. You can do this by adding a little gypsum to your soil when you make it (for the Ca) and then adding a little Epsom salts when you fertilizer. For your plant, I'd probably add a teaspoon/gal of CaSO4 to the soil when you make it, then add a pinch (1/8 tsp) of Epsom salts to each gallon of fertilizer solution.

Much easier would be to switch to FP 9-3-6 fertilizer, which has the added + of deriving its N from nitrate and ammoniacal sources and not from urea. This will help keep your plant compact & internodes short.

Best luck!


    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 1:41PM
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Thanks Laura and Al for the info...

I think what I'll do is start flushing with plain water every week or two (depending on how frequently I'm watering), and reduce the amount of epsom salts in my dilute fertilizer solution to be closer to what Al has recommended.

I did look everywhere for Foliage Pro last fall, but it does not seem to be available in Canada, and the shipping cost of ordering from the US was prohibitive!

Laura - always appreciate more info! Just hope I manage to not kill my plant, especially now that it is doing so much better :)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 7:52PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Hello, I'm glad to see your plant has responded and is now looking rather lovely! Congrats, hope to see you around again!
Gill, UK.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 6:36AM
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Well, maybe I was getting a bit ahead of myself... the trunk has once again gone a bit soft/squishy, just like last year. It had definitely firmed up for a few weeks, but in the past week it has taken a turn for the worse.

It has been unusually sunny here in Toronto, and with all the new leaves/growth, I had begun watering it more frequently - about every other day, along with a good flush with plain water last weekend. The leaves all still look okay, and I took the plant out of the gritty mix and found lots of new, healthy, white root growth. Didn't seem to be any signs of rot, and no smell.

I know this can't be a good sign.... should I reduce watering frequency? I thought with the gritty mix, it would be difficult to over-water!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 6:32PM
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Teen, buy a garden "moisture meter."
I used moisture meter all the time to know when not to water my DR.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 10:03PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia


You can also use a wooden skewer to check moisture levels.. When dry, water. If moist or wet, wait to water.

Every other day sounds like a lot of water... I'm sure the mix is still holding moisture . Let it dry out before you water ...

Check the levels before you water again.

The roots sound like they are doing fine too!

Good luck,


    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 12:34AM
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Actually, I'm starting to think it's a problem of being underwatered... late last summer when I had the same problem, I greatly reduced watering, and nothing changed.

I checked the soil (gritty mix) again and it's totally bone dry. I had been watering pretty frequently, but very little each time - maybe only 20-30ml each time. The trunk only started to become a lot more solid when I began watering about a month ago, so maybe I just need to water a bit more each time I water.

There are lots of new, white roots growing and no new signs of rot... it had been unusually sunny for about 2 weeks so perhaps the plant needed a bit more water during this period?

I'll try watering a bit more each time I water, and maybe reduce the frequency a bit. Will keep you posted on how this goes...

Thanks again for the suggestions!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 4:23PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If you are using a properly made gritty mix, you shouldn't actually NEED to water more often than every 4-7 days, unless the container/soil volume is very small in relation to the root volume/plant mass. When you DO water, you should flush the soil thoroughly. There is no such thing as applying too much water at any one time if the gritty mix is made correctly. You CAN over-water, but you have to work hard at it. The soil is extremely forgiving of what would be over-watering if using other, more water-retentive soils.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 6:24PM
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Thanks Al. I have done a lot of reading on the gritty mix in the various forums, but with so much info out there, it's tough to remember everything!

I was watering quite sparingly each time - usually not enough for any to run out of the hole in the bottom of the pot - which is very different from what you've suggested. I did a much more thorough watering the last two times, and the trunk has firmed up considerably!

I'm quite relieved... hopefully I've finally figured out how to properly take care of my adenium - It has been quite the learning process! Thanks again to all for the suggestions.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 10:51AM
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kodom087 z9a

Glad to hear it's perking up. I know I get terrified when mine start doing that soft thing and I see no signs of rot.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 11:06AM
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