Crazy seedling and some pics from this season

teyo(7b)November 6, 2013

Hi guys :)
haven't been around lately, a lot of stuff happening in the garden and all over.
but this is too exciting not to brag about just a little bit :D

this ladies and gentlemen, is a seedling that is less than 3 months old. the scale is in cm.

this is an absolute record for me, and what's more exciting there is another one in that bunch that has buds, only it is about 2 cm taller than this one. i cannot express how impatient i am to see the blooms :D

okay, if the above isn't enough for you, here are some pics from my adeniums this season, they really made a ton of progress, and some bloomed their little butts off

arabicum seedling first bloom, lovely intensive color and nice shape

a little under one year old, one of my most vigorous seedlings. unpruned, unpinched,it grows like that on its own

purple seedling

crazy bloomer, store bought cutting, ugly otherwise :D

another cuttings

fat little obesum

arabicum seedling with a lovely shape

that's it for now,i have a ton more pictures but the page will take forever to load
if you got this far, thank you and i hope you had a nice walk through my collection :)

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greenclaws UKzone8a

I certainly did! Wow, that seedling, it's leafy, healthy, branchy and even flowery, what have you fed it on? You have a great collection there with lovely caudex shapes, gorgeous blooms and all looking a picture of health...well done.... I admit I'm slowly changing to a fetching shade of pale green (with envy!) ha-ha!
You say the other 2cm bigger seedling has buds, but, surely that first pic has buds on the terminal point?/
Gill UK

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 2:42PM
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AMAZING! Good work teyo. How's the weather there where you live? Still have the plants outside? They all look so healthy.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 3:39PM
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Oh-my-god! I'm speechless - can they really grow THAT fast THAT big?! You have very beautiful plants!
How old are the obesum and arabicum seedlings (second and third before last)?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 3:48PM
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Nice to see you back.
Your photo's and your plants are unbelieveable. What a collection and how special to have started these. I can only hope to get something similar.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 8:34PM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

Wow! They are all so awesome! I really love the purple seedling, adding that to my want list now.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 9:56PM
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Teyo- absolutely Stunning!!! Great job ;-)
The purple seedling is beautiful- I need one of those now!!
Thanks for sharing


    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 11:25PM
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Thanks guys, glad you like my plants! i enjoy every moment in their company.

Gill - yes this one has buds, that's why i'm so proud of it :) the other one may even flower sooner, i think it's buds are developing a bit faster. that is, if they manage to flower at all, being so small and having no sun for quite a long time over the winter. i feed them a water soluble complete fertilizer with a lower nitrogen level, that's why they keep their compact form and branch out like crazy.
you can see in this pic some of my seedlings from the side

Otis, the weather is really crappy, foggy all day long. and it will stay like that for the next... phew, 5-6 months :( we have little sunshine over the winter unfortunately. My plants have been inside for the last month, it got too cold during the night to keep them outside, and i don't have a greenhouse (don't ask how i fit them all in, lets just say house jungle is a fair description).

hi parodise, thank you! the arabicum and obesum are 8 and 6 months old there respectively. yes they can grow that fast, but much depends on the genetic potential of each plant! Some grow slower, but that does not mean the plant is of lower quality, some are slower growers but with a special or exquisite form, with experience i've learned to appreciate those as much as the early bloomers!
here is another arabicum seedling that was about 6-7 months old here, you can see it is quite small, but the form is amazing to me, i am keeping a very close eye on that one!

and here is another very rare case of fast growth. this plant just now turned a year old, this pic was taken somewhere in august, so it was much younger then. it just decided it would shift into fifth gear at one point. it was growing in a communal pot, and i noticed one day it was kicking out it's neighbors (who were much smaller and slower growing, even though they all had exactly the same conditions). some are just like that, crazy.

Hi Rick! Thank you so much for your kind words, i'm glad you enjoyed the walk through my little adenium corner!

Heather and Chuy, thank you for the kind words! The purple one is a really interesting case. When it was little it was attacked by a fungus on soil level. it was before i learned how to prepare a proper mix for them, so there were some casualties. this is how it looked then:

this caused some sort of deformation in caudex growth for the little guy, it behaved more like a cutting from then on than a seedling. by the time winter came, it was a scraggly bugger, and i was seriously considering getting rid of it. but then it put out buds, which fell of later, and i left it be. it was 5 months old then so it promised to be a bloomer.

then spring came, and the little guy immediately put out a bunch of buds. i wanted to let it bloom and then cut it for grafting. you can see here the line where i noted where i'd cut it. you can also see the flower color was plain old pink, nothing special. that's the weird part.

you can see the scar from the fungus here

the plant bloomed like above, but then immediately put out another large cluster of buds, i had work with other plants so i left it alone for the time being, it was nice to have a constant bloomer.
then the next flush came out purple like in the picture above O.o so i decided to not graft it, though i did cut it pretty severely before winter storage, to at least cultivate a better shape now that it would keep it's flowers.

i hope this isn't too much babbling, there is just so much weirdness sometimes with these plants, always a surprise lurking somewhere. but that's why we love them, right? :)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 3:14AM
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I took another look at your "crazy bloomer ugly otherwise" you bought as a cutting. Are leaves on that plant smaller and fewer than on your other adeniums? It clearly looks "balder" than your other very "leafy" adeniums. Or could it be just the seedlings vs adult plant thing?
Did you buy/ sow the purple one as some particular hybrid?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 6:05AM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

Teyo, please babble on! I was so transfixed with your photos and discussion about each of your plants. Beautiful collection you have!

The purple flower is stunning and I am glad you are going to keep that little guy. I'm curious how you stopped that fungus? I had a couple that started showing something right at the soil line and flopped over. I would like to stop that if it happens again in the future.

What is the plant in the 4th photo, it has the dark pink flowers with stripes going down the throat...but the interesting part for me are the leaves, they look blue green with a very distinct mid vein and longer looking leaves than your others plants.

Congrats on the early buds on your seedlings. That is amazing. I'm going to try to push flowering and growth next spring with fertilizer and hope for some blooms.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 9:44AM
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Junglajungle(9b Arizona)

Teyo very nice plants. Love love the purple one. I have one that is nine years old and never bloomed, the only flowers I have seen is the ones posted on this forum lol.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 10:55AM
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Teyo, thank you for sharing and it was so very informative. I loved looking at your beautiful collection, the only problem was I wanted to see more.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 12:08PM
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After a fungus attack and still such interesting caudex.
Or maybe because of the rot, the survival instinct kicked in, and the plant produced all those roots to heal. Incredible.
I enjoyed reading the "history" of your plants, and I'm sure others do too. So, keep them coming.
How many "plant pictures" do you have, teyo? (Rough guess). Each plant is unique, even the ones with the common pink could be really interesting, we'd never know. After reading your post, how can I part with any of my plants? I might just miss something really wonderful I have been waiting for all along, lol?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 8:12PM
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Lena, the cuttings from the store are standard dutch grown crappy exports. i got them from the discount isle so they were in bad condition to begin with. they kinda got shocked when i put them outside (it was quite cold still) and dropped a lot of leaves. i then took that chance and pruned them some more. after that they put out a lot of new shoots that as usual were first bud clusters and then regular growth. interestingly, they bloomed heavily but are rather naked even now. part of it is surely my lack of care, i experiment on those plants a lot, since i kinda don't feel very sorry for them :)) but the cultivar is very floriferous on its own, and pretty hard to kill too.

ladylotus, the fungus stopped on it's own, or the plant fought back actually. i've learned that if it's warm weather, it is better not to fumble with young plants if they get attacked by something. many will recover, but if pulled out, cut out or something like that they have low survival rates. again, entirely different with older plants.
you can of course always spray them with fungicide. a good medium is the best prevention for bad fungi in my opinion. if you manage to colonize it with symbiotic fungi you will have no problems at all, but that is easier said than done.

here's one that had severe sunburn on it's caudex when it was smaller. i didn't touch anything and it healed on its own

the purple one was from a random batch of seeds from ebay,nothing special.

the plant in the 4th photo has some crispum genes in it's parentage, that's why the leaves are like that and the flower has stripes. I bought it online, but the seller is not someone i want to advertise (bad experience).

thank you for the little advanced seedling, do push them with fertilizer, they need a lot of it.

Ariana, thanks! If your plant is 9 years old then it is certainly capable of blooming, you have to fertilize it with each watering to get it going! just use a very low dose of fertilizer,and one with a low nitrogen content. i'm sure it could put out buds in two months of this treatment ;)

Dottie, thank you for stopping by. i will try to organize my photos and post some more!

Otis, yes the caudex started growing but actually that is the root tops, not the usual stem. I did pull it out as much as i could when repotting, so that helped. i'll have to take a photo of it now, it actually looks rather nice.
pictures, ah tons, i don't know. i do have some uploaded already that i'll tag along posts then :)
About the unique thing, yes! i was worried later that some plants i may have cut up or grafted on could have had totally different flowers the next time they bloomed. i asked some more experienced growers about it, but didn't get much useful info. but i think i am going to let my plants bloom at least twice now just in case :D

this is what my windows look like now, for some reason a whole bunch of baby adeniums decided to bloom once taken inside.

a really small plant that was sown this spring, but it has ginormous flowers for its size

white seedling. loving this one, i have to take a newer pic, it has more flowers open now. and a nice form, but i have to pull it out of the bunch to be able to photograph it properly

this one found a new home, i'm posting it because it had a really nice caudex and shows some crispum parentage

a somalense

a very interesting seedling with folded leaves. it had very dark buds which turned out red when opened. i suspect this one may show a different color when it blooms the next time

this one is called lipstick

you know how adeniums hate water? well this one lived like this for three months. it was an experiment. and it grew like crazy. but that is because i knew the media didn't pull water through capillary action, almost nothing.

i'm very proud of the healthy rootballs

a ton of buds on the purple one (this was before i knew it was purple)

the ugly cutting preparing for blooming

nice branching on arabicum

thats it for now, i am late already :D gotta run, talk to you guys later!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 3:07AM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

What lovely plants you have, they are all looking in the best of health.
I especially like the Crispum flowers and the small one with huge flowers, thats a real achievement to get it to respond so early. Then the rootball on that plant is tremendous, it's no wonder the top growths do so well with root systems like that.
Just checked your region and see it's Croatia, a place I can honestly say I know little of...what is your' typical' climate like please, do you usually have a long growing season? Just curious as usual!
I had also thought that the gritty mix wouldn't be capable of much capillary action from saucer to roots, and your plant goes a long way in proving that fact.....especially as it was in leaf and warm weather I guess? Mine were in the gritty mix when unfortunately they were greatly overwatered by our house minder, but, it was winter and we left no heating on, plus they were semi-dormant.....the outcomes were not good.
Thanks for all the great pics, such a welcome sight at this time of year!
Gill UK

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 8:42AM
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Thanks Gill! somehow always when the cold days come i like to revisit photos from spring/summer and bring up memories of warmer days :) i think that is what all gardeners do in the winter, along with counting our seed baggies and planning out the new season :D

The rootballs are something my plants develop very nicely, though i am not completely sure of the reason. probably watering and fertilizing very often.
here's the white flower seedling from above, when i repotted it in the summer

i found a pic of the heavily branching seedling from above, whose rootball that is in the previous picture. it is absolutely amazing how much it grew.
this was last fall just before winter storage:

this was around january/february this year. the coin is croatian currency, of no use to you all unfortunately, but you see the size compared to my hand

this is in april, when i repotted it thinking it could last the season in that bowl. it didn't.

Croatia has two distinct climate regions (for such a small country): the coastal part which has a true mediterranean climate, southern parts even go up to zone 9. and then there is the northern, continental part, with cold harsh winters, heavy fog, very little sunshine around the parts with rivers etc. Unfortunately, there is a stretch of mountains between these two regions that blocks warm air from the coast (it's parallel to the coast so we're really out of luck) so the north (where i live) is really cold compared to the south. i live in the outskirts of the capital city, which has a river going through it and lots of fog therefore, and my area has several smaller rivers too. winters go down to -20 C or even more, while summers are very dry and hot, with temperatures upwards of 40C easily, especially in recent years.
Adeniums can be kept outside from around the first of may if we're lucky (it can still take a lot of dragging in and out of the house since late frosts happen often), up until the first of october. Not much of a growing season :/
My current greatest wish is to pick up my stuff and move somewhere tropical and sunny. i don't care if it's a war zone, i lived through one already, as long as it has sun and no cold :D

I remember when you wrote how your house minder drowned your plants. i didn't know they were in gritty mix though. i am so sorry, i don't let anyone mess with my plants precisely for that reason, id rather let them dry out, less damage.
However, i have to note that my mix is much coarser than the usual gritty mix. 1/8 inch is about 3 mm, while my particle size is 4-8 mm for crushed expanded clay, 4-8 mm for zeolite and large nuggets (cca 2 cm) if i can find them, or sifted mulch with variable bark size if i can't find the nuggets. i use smaller zeolite (2-4 mm) for small seedlings, and the sifted mulch which will have smaller particles mixed with the larger. So taking all that in mind, my mix is even less capable of pulling water. i suggest you try making a small batch and testing it on a plant or two, mine seem to be enjoying it. I also always try to overpot the plants, to keep the mix moist longer (i'm lazy with watering), and to give them room for rootball development.

tagging along a few more pics, this is a seedling that i put up on ebay and no one wanted it. it later found a new home locally. it was a crazy bloomer

micrografting. the graft took, but i had to put the plant inside soon and then it kinda went dormant and the little guy withered away. it's always better to graft on a naked caudex, instead like this on a plant that has other branches. it tends to reject the graft.

another shot of the purple, though the phone camera enhanced the color more than it was in real life

interesting arabicum seedling

this seedling just burst apart at one point. there was no fungus or pests on it. weirdo. i didn't touch it, it healed on its own and continued on its merry way. i haven't repotted it since spring, i'll take a pic one of these days, it is going to destroy the pot soon :D

arabicum with a yellowish caudex

this little b@stard refused a graft. you may notice how it is waving it's new hands at me and laughing, literally.

this one had a little something poking out of the soil, it looked hilarious when i pulled it out :))

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 2:51PM
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Thank you for taking the time to post the pictures and write your comments teyo.
The one I like the most: the seedling waving and laughing at you. Nice photography btw. and I can't stop admiring your plants, even without flowers. I think I'm more into caudex but I don't mind nice flowers too. Call me greedy.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 7:42PM
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Wonderful Teyo,
You can send that Purple one here anytime you like.
Superb photography.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 8:04PM
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thank you so much for the new batch of photos - your thread is turning into "The Illustrated Adenium Grower's Guide", love it!:))
I'm sorry, but I have to ask you this dumb question - you have so many amazing plants and seedlings (that probably take up a lot of space) - why would you buy Dutch cutting-started plants? Just so you have some guinea pigs to experiment on? I'm asking as someone with space constrains and unhealthy urges in the flower stores to scoop up a lot of plants I'd probably be better off without...

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 6:47AM
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Teyo, the roots of your adeniums are something to be proud of alright! Overpotting is what I noticed works great for my cacti too - I see great well developed roots and very good healthy growth rates. Is it only older plants that you plant into larger pots or this goes for seedlings too?

Last question - where and in what conditions do you overwinter your plants? Thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 7:14AM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

Teyo, I am at a loss for words. Your plants are so incredibly healthy and it is apparent you know exactly how to tend them.

If I understood correctly your soil is as follows:

1/8 to1/4 inch size bark
1/8 to 1/4 inch clay (we use turface or hydroponic balls)
1/8 to 1/4 inch perlite (what we have here which I believe might be close to zeolite)

This is similar to what I'm using except I add chicken grit, which is crushed granite.

My problem is I'm not really sure when to water with this mix as with soil, You can feel the pot is lighter or stab a finger in the soil and feel if it is wet. I can't do that with my gritty mix. So, I am actually experimenting with this mix and hope I eventually get the hang of it.

On to your beautiful photos, I LOOOOVE your somalense. I don't know why these plants appeal to me so much but I think it is that dark green narrow leaf form. I'm going to order more seeds this winter and most are going to be Somlense, Aribicum and I would like to find some Crispum and a few other interesting specie seeds.

The purple plant is amazing with all those buds forming for you. I bet that is going to be gorgeous once they all begin to open. I really hope you share photos of that.

The one you call 'Ugly cutting' I'm actually super impressed with it. My plants usually have the buds mostly on the tips of the branches, this plant seems to produce buds everywhere even on the old woody stems on the inside of the plant. That is crazy. What an unusual plant.

The branching of your plants and the root systems are amazing. So incredibly healthy. I am really enjoying all your photos and your wisdom on growing these plants to such beautiful specimen. You seem to have similar growing conditions to mine, I start taking my plants out the 2nd week of May and bring them in sometime by the 1st week in October (sometimes sooner).

Thank you for all the information and especially all the photos you are sharing.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 9:08AM
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Otis - yeah it's not greedy to want both caudex and flowers :D luckily there are specief of adenium that will provide both. I think of adeniums as plants that wear their caudex permanently and their flowers like dresses picked on the whim of the grower :) you can always graft and re-graft a plant with a good caudex, giving it a different attire :)
tomorrow i'm going to pull out my biggest arabicum and photograph it for you, it is dormant now but looks at it's best without leaves in my opinion :)

rcharles, i wouldn't have minded sending out cuttings of the purple one, had i known anyone would want it :) (maybe next year?) i thought with all the fascinating new hybrids appearing daily no one would be interested in my plant. note though, the camera really brings out the color more intensely than it is in real life, though whether the plant is in full sun or not affects it greatly, like all purples.

Lena, thank you for the kind words again, i am trying to post pictures that give more than oooh's and aaaaah's, something to learn from and discuss(my mistakes haha). i don't have that much experience but i try to learn at the fastest pace possible (i'm a biologist by trade so that comes naturally).
I bought dutch grown plants to use as experimental specimens, firstly to practice grafting (which actually didn't turn out well, i think they're not suited for rootstock as a cultivar), and then to test all my crazy ideas about nutrient balance, substrate type, pruning, pollination, wiring etc. and at the time i found the little buggers on the discount isle i didn't have any decent plants to practice on, i still had that beginners attachment to seedlings you develop when you have few plants :) so butchering these was easier on the mind and it allowed me to observe how adult plants reacted to my ideas. i learned very early on seedlings and adult plants had totally different requirements. But as for your question on overpotting, i especially like to overpot young plants (you may not see it in recent pictures, i literally ran out of bigger pots, next year i will have to buy or make a ton of those). having unrestricted space for root growth creates a more streamlined rate of growth, although that may conflict with desires to raise the plants pretty early, which also has it's uses. but overall, some of my biggest plants developed in ordinary narrow but deep windowsill boxes in which you would usually plant geraniums and petunias. which is against traditional adenium lore of using wide shallow pots. surely a big factor was that such seedlings in window boxes didn't need to be repotted very often, and thus were unobstructed in their growth cycles.

i keep my plants inside the house, i have a couple of spare rooms, but still my windows now look horrific, all crammed up with plants on shelves :) and it's not only adeniums i grow, i'm overwintering a bunch of superhot peppers, some ornamentals, some passifloras which are getting huge, a few hibiscus, and i still have about 30 gigantic brugmansias outside which i have to cut down and prepare for winter. ugh, talk about hoarding. however, adeniums get window space, the rest isn't that needy and can be managed. This year is the first i've put some adeniums into hybernation intentionally, and to my great joy arabicums seem to have taken the hint and went to sleep mostly on their own. so i can just hide them somewhere and leave them be until spring. it gets easier when they're bigger, much much easier. the little ones that require constant care are the worst.

ladylotus, thank you, i am constantly learning and experimenting though, one can never know enough :D
my bark is closer to 1 inch mostly, my clay is around 1/4, and perlite i used before but stopped, it's irritating when pulled out of the bag and full of dust, plus perlite tends to float when watering and i don't like that, that creates separation in the media. also, perlite doesn't absorb water internally, but keeps it bound on the surface of the granules, but that is a big no no in my opinion. we have here clay granules which are not crushed, and are from 1-3 mm size. i tried using those and it was horrible, i realized later they kept a lot of water bound to the outside of the granule, which when the medium settles creates an anaerobic enviroment, perfect for anaerobic microorganisms which cause rot. Zeolite absorbs water interally, like your turface, and then releases it gradually. pumice and ground brick (tenisite) does similar. Granite i've had trouble finding in the right size, i will however try quartzite next year, it's mostly the same chemically, i need something to weigh the pots down, that's the only reason i'd consider it. Since zeolite and pumice are hard to find here, i've often just made the medium with bark and clay, and had no problems with it. whatever works and is available at the moment i need it.

here's how my media looks without zeolite

about watering, in my experience, you can water it as much as you want, i've had more trouble watering often enough and found it almost impossible to overwater. if you're concerned, stick a piece of rope through one of the holes on the bottom of the pot and push it into the media, it will make sure all excess water gets out. as for testing for moisture, people use wooden sticks to gauge moisture, i did too, but found it mostly unnecessary, but hey, if it helps absolutely use it.

somalense are cute as hell, they grow fast, they bloom also at about 6 months of age, only problem is they are more sensitive to cold than obesums. i bought seeds from a really nice guy at, he had somalense and true socotranums at normal prices. he's a botanist so i had trust, and every single one of the seed germinated.

the picture of purple buds is from the summer, that was the bud cluster i talked about before, why i didn't cut it up. then it turned out purple and i was amazed lol

the cutting does develop a bunch of buds from the woody stem, but that's the only cultivar i've seen that does that. it's really really floriferous, i understand why the dutch picked it out to grow. shame they shape them so ugly, all cut up and shaped without knowledge of adenium standard. ah well, they're sold for the flowers not the caudex, though contrary to another ingrained "wisdom" these plants WILL develop a caudex even from a cutting, and pretty fast too. you just have to give them good conditions to do so.
here's one of the ugly cuttings at repotting, only a few months after i bought it at the store.

about wisdom, please keep in mind i've been growing these plants for a mere... about 2.5 or 3 years or so. so yeah, not that much wisdom, more observation and experimentation :) and your climate really does sound like mine, we can move to the tropics together and grow adeniums all year long :D i am so jelaous when i see pics of adeniums from SE asia now on facebook, theirs are just going into the fall cycle of blooming, mine are either squishing against the window trying to break out or sleeping. not fair.

on an ending note to this really to long post (feel free to stop me anytime guys, i really should work on a blog and post all of this there to be nicely presented), i would like to share with you something that made me infinitely happy today. it's not an adenium, but a hibiscus seedling, my first ever hibiscus seedling to flower :) it's from some ordinary seed because i couldn't afford the insanely pricey exotic crosses but it 'll do. funny, i have a few more seedlings, and this one is the smallest, but the first to flower.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 12:12PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

What a good read your posts are Teyo, I find it all very interesting...I'm sure we can all pick out some aspect of your writings to help our own plants grow...hopefully as well as yours do...thank you!

Your plants are beautiful, what more can I say?...and the size of the Hibiscus is incredible! The info of your home countries climate I also find interesting as us growers are from such diverse regions, it truly is incredible that we get the results we do...I think we ALL deserve a huge pat on the back!!

With regard to the gritty mixes ability to draw up water by capillary action, I agree that it is minimal. However, if the plant pot is sitting in a saucer that is filled with, say for example, 1inch of water, surely the pot itself will have 1inch of water in it as water will always find it's own level? I appreciate that the upper levels of the mix would be drier obviously. Several other factors contributed to the demise of some of my plants I think..the fact the plants were dormant anyway, they were in an unheated room, and some were rather small seedlings. Oh well, we can learn by not only our own mistakes but also by those that others make can't we? At least they seem to be doing just fine now!

Gill UK

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 2:31PM
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Thanks Gill, the idea is to spark discussion and learning. I'd love to hear everyone's critiques and ideas too, more heads are smarter than one, that's what my grandma always says :))

Yup, everyone who manages to keep adeniums alive in cold climates is already doing an incredible job. I look at growers in tropical regions, they keep adeniums in rock chips and pig manure. Or in river mud and some gravel, it's ridiculous, especially considering what hoops we jump though to get them to just survive. Each of us must have a masochistic streak to do this in the first place :)))

About pots in water. Yes, if a pot is sitting in an inch of water there will very soon be an inch of water in the bottom, immediately in case of gritty mixes. But there are other things to consider here. Did you know you could grow adeniums in hydroponic systems? And i'm not talking about the drip system, i'm talking about full blown deep water culture. An nft system works like a breeze, and that one is the closest to your pot with an inch of water. The only difference between them is the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water. A gritty mix when properly sifted is basically a hydroponics medium. A coarser mix like mine even more so. The difference between a pot of soil in an inch of water and a pot of gritty in an inch of water and a full hydro medium (say hydroton) in an inch of water? The rate of water circulation through the layer of medium immersed in water. The coarser the particles the better the water circulation,the better the dissolved gasses equilibrium between pot and surrounding layer of water. Now, in a hydro system we use a pump to move water, and usually an air pump to push air through the nutrient solution (water in our case) and increase the amount of dissolved gasses (oxygen primarily) in it. Now, take a look at my pic above with the seedling living in a saucer filled with water, what do you see? No air pump for sure. But the saucer is wide, much wider than the pot. Why? Because it makes the surface of water exposed to surrounding air much bigger. What does this do? It creates a primitive but constant exchange system that ensures that as the oxygen is expended in the water it dissolves slowly back in from the surrounding air. There is an equasion that defines the concentration of a dissolved gas in an aqeous solution, and that concentration is dependant on the partial pressure of that gas in the mixture above the solution. This is the principle i am talking about. I've used this principle to grow huge chillies in tiny 3l pots by creating a similar primitive gas exchange system by filling a tarp with a few cm of water and having the pots "swim" in it :)) i'm going to put up some interesting pics tomorrow, on mobile now.
So how does this translate to your plants? Don't ever put the pot into an outer closed ceramic pot, or anything that will constrict air flow around the BOTTOM of the pot. When having someone else water the plants, put them on a tray or if you have a saucer either make it much wider than the pot, or my favorite solution - put pebbles in the tray/saucer so the plant is basically standing on them and the water is below. If you leave the pot on the pebbles and there is water below you will often see tiny roots growing out in a few days and reaching into the water with no ill effect :)
There were a couple of details possible for your plants that surely contributed to rot (cold as no1),and it's a big question where the roots actually were in the pot (if there was a large mass in the bottom it would make them hard to survive), i just wanted to use this example to explain some details on why gritty works as it does, hope it's not out of line.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 4:22PM
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Teyo, you have a nice collection ,well done. Try to use seramis for your growing media. I am using even hydroton+bark+bazalt for growing sansevierias ,agaves and adeniums,they are growing well in this media.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 2:01PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Teyo, thanks for the info on the gritty mix and the hydroponic systems, yet another good read. I have had to re-read it a few times, but it's making sense...slowly :)

I don't use the ceramic outers and I do now grow all my youngsters on a couple of community trays filled with gravel, the run-off water I let sit there but make sure the pot bottoms are not touching it. However, my 3 larger plants are just in saucers but I am careful to tip away the run-off. I've got plenty of wider ones and will do the gravel base for them... I'll check for those white roots too!

I must add that the pics of those rows of fat little seedlings in the 'window boxes' is a sight to behold, how old are they? They appear to be very uniform in not only size but also caudex shape...are they the same species/variety?
Gill UK

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 3:18PM
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teyo: Thank you for your post and your Hibiscus is beautiful. Congratulations.
About your seedlings in the community pot on your window sill, at what age will you start transplanting them.
I have a tray with obesum seedlings, about 3 months old now and they have grown quite close together. It's true that gritty mix will free the roots but I don't dare to keep them too long in the community pot.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 9:28PM
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longaeva, thank you, and i'd love to try seramis but where i live it's not available for sale anywhere. we have very few options here, but this expanded clay is perfect in size and function for now. if zeolite becomes available more often most of my problems will be solved. wait, actually it would be even better if that cheap DE earth kitty litter became available, that would really end all searching.

Gill, i hope it made some sense, but just to reiterate, i am not advocating keeping adeniums in water of course :) i just tried to explain why i was pretty sure my experiment would work, and during our cold winter adeniums mostly stop taking up much water anyhow. but it's fun to experiment :)
the little seedlings in the window box were about... 4-5 months old here. they were sown in autumn, so they didn't get much sun during their first months and they grew pretty slowly. but when i separated them in spring they took off. they were from a random mix of obesum seeds, nothing special.

otis, as i mentioned above, these seedlings were about 4-5 months old (i think the pictures were taken at different times too, about a month apart or so), i transplanted them soon after the first picture was taken (which is later in the timeline than the second pic). i had some other seedlings in a similar pot, but i let those grow much longer because i ran out of pots to transplant into. in the end they had about a cm of space between them, they were packed like sardines, but i had no trouble separating them. it is always easy in gritty mix, just use a spoon to lift the seedling a little, then shake it a bit and it comes out and all the mix falls off the roots. i love it for that, never ever had trouble separating plants, even when they tangle together, it's much easier because the mix just falls off with a gentle shake.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 2:41AM
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What a huge flower your hibiscus sports! Will you let it grow into a much larger tree/bush or will trim it similar to your adeniums? From what I know, they tend to grow to large and cumbersome size. Yours looks very neat, though.
I found your pics of young adeniums in flower boxes really interesting. Am I right to assume that this larger amount of substrate allows for more stability and consistency in terms of moisture and nutrients retention/distribution inside the medium?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 7:10AM
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Hi Lena!
These tropical hibiscus (hibisci?) don't grow as large as the hardy varieties, especially in my climate. but mine are off to a good start i must admit, this one is the smallest of the bunch, there are a few that were sown on the same day and they're twice it's size. i do have one i bought at the store which is getting huge, in spite of being told it wouldn't grow much because the dutch growers who sell them treat them with a growth retardant hormone... i think they missed mine for the dose lol i'd like the seedlings to get big, and the store one not to get any bigger, if that makes sense :)

about the amount of substrate for adeniums, yes it does give them more stability and consistency of moisture, that is exactly what i was aiming for. low amount of nutrients and moisture but in a greater volume, it stimulates strong root systems for them, though it may not be the most ideal situation for root training. but i don't even think of root training in the first year so...

I've found that measuring adeniums in age is less precise than measuring the growth spurts or phases they succesfully went through. for instance my seedlings sown in autumn didn't have a single true growth spurt with the cold winter as their first 6 months. it reduces their "adjusted" age as i like to call it by about a half. a seedling sown in early spring that goes through two or even three growth spurts in the warm season usually looks twice the age of a similar seedling that had a months of cold weather. if that makes any sense (second time :)) ).

anyhow, here are a couple more pics with interesting developments from my herd :)

this is a pair of twin seedlings (two embryos from the same seed). They are highly unique in leaf form and branch development in my collection. One is a slower grower than the other but otherwise they seem identical. They have poor caudex deveopment, but the overall plant form is very interesting to me and i'm willing to forgive the lack of chubiness :)

this is what the larger one looks like now, notice there are bud clusters on every single branch tip. i can't wait to see the blooms,and later hope the smaller one will bloom to compare.

two arabicum seedlings. i have a whole tray full of similar plants, loving how their form is developing. all of them are going into hibernation, thank god, so i can put them away and free more space on the windows.

first one was incredibly hard to set up,the scion is a few mm in width and the rootstock is very young.

seedling grafted onto rootstock

notice how it is pushing out root nodes. i have no idea what to do with it. maybe try and airlayering setup and see if it will really send out roots to then detach it from the stock.

two seedlings on one rootstock. i removed the stock bud you can see on the side, to keep all nutrients going to the scions.

this plant looks pretty ugly now. i let it grow out because it will be trained in a cascade style in spring. pretty young plant, around a year old now.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 5:51AM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

Wow, those whole seedlings grafted on to rootstock are interesting. I didn't expect it would throw out new roots. Fascinating!

That pretty plant will make a very lovely cascade!


    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 10:45AM
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sam401(Cairns, Australia.)

Im very interested to hear more about your 'twin seedlings'
My seeds are 1 week old and I have found twins! I'm new to this forum and very new to growing adeniums from seeds. My very first lot of seeds have sprouted and I found twins!!!!. Do you leave them to grow as they are, or do I separate them sooner rather than later??????

In regards to fertilizers, im so new to this and find it very overwhelming, so I hope this isn't a stupid question. In your earlier posts you mentioned using one with a lower nitrogen level....... what is low? I have seasol powerfeed with 12% nitrogen 1.4% phosphorous 7% potassium and 3.08% potassium humate. Is this considered as high?

Your Adeniums are so beautiful! I hope mine look this good one day!
Thanks for your time
Sam from Far North Queensland.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 10:39PM
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sam401(Cairns, Australia.)

Im very interested to hear more about your 'twin seedlings'
My seeds are 1 week old and I have found twins! I'm new to this forum and very new to growing adeniums from seeds. My very first lot of seeds have sprouted and I found twins!!!!. Do you leave them to grow as they are, or do I separate them sooner rather than later??????

In regards to fertilizers, im so new to this and find it very overwhelming, so I hope this isn't a stupid question. In your earlier posts you mentioned using one with a lower nitrogen level....... what is low? I have seasol powerfeed with 12% nitrogen 1.4% phosphorous 7% potassium and 3.08% potassium humate. Is this considered as high?

Your Adeniums are so beautiful! I hope mine look this good one day!
Thanks for your time
Sam from Far North Queensland.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 10:41PM
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sam401(Cairns, Australia.)

Oops! Sorry! Didn't mean to post that twice!
Rookie mistake :)
Have a nice day

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 10:47PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

I am speechless.....

Just love the pure beauty of you blooms.

I need this right now that my trees are getting ready for there rest?

Beautiful job!!!

L.ove to see more of these beautiful pictures on these cold night here on the east coast of the US!'

great job!!! ;-)


    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 1:09AM
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