Adenia glauca.....Container-Grown Culture

bronxfigsMay 10, 2012

Some questions about growing this plant in containers:

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Should the quick-draining medium contain organic matter, and in what proportion? I plan on growing in equal parts Repti-Bark, Turface-MVP, and aquarium gravel.

Fertilizers: Would Dyna-Gro Foliage-Pro/Pro-Tekt work with this plant? What would you recommend?

Growing conditions: Full sun for stems and leaves, shade for caudex. Outside all summer until fall/dormancy, then bright, sunny window.

Basically, grow-and-clip training for stems and branches? When?...in fall, or spring...just before new growth begins?

Should this plant be grown "hard" to retain the caudex shape?

Winter dormancy treatment: bright light, warm temps... keep medium barely moist?

How can I get the plant/caudex to increase in size? Should the container be large, for root-run?

Any help with suggestions/comments would be very helpful. If I forgot anything important, please let me know.

Thanks,

Frank

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cactusmcharris

Treat it like your Cyphostemmas, Frank, and it should be fine. I don't know if it will go deciduous on you, but if it does, again, like the Cyphos and just a sip a month until it comes out of dormancy.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 12:18AM
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bronxfigs

Cactus...

I will do just as you suggest.

My Cyphos are coming out of dormancy, and they are starting to sprout some wine-red, serrated leaves, from dormant buds that are popping out from unexpected places near the top of the caudex. Very strange/exotic plant...ugly as sin, too. I love it!

Upon reflection, I think that the Adenia branches/stems will have to be clipped back to a manageable length, when it eventually goes dormant. Ditto for my Fockea edulis.

Thanks for the useful comments.

Frank

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 5:59AM
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johnsonm08(5a)

Frank,
My growing conditions are similar to yours, my Fockea never goes dormant, but my Adenia does.
Mike

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 7:29AM
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karyn1(7a)

I've had mine going on 3 years and it has gone dormant over the winter. I treat it the same as most of my other caudiciforms. I transplanted it for the 1st time last week and raised it a bit. I water it maybe once every 6 weeks while dormant. I get a good amount of vines during the growing season but have never had blooms.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 8:27AM
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caudex1

If you can not provide free root run large containers are the next best thing. You can attain some impressive size in a 24in diameter pot. As soon as you see new growth and temps are above 65deg water frequently, more like a tropical than a succulent. These look better if not grown hard, grow fast and prune frequently.

Winter dormancy can be pitch black as there is not growth at this time, even barerooted if you need the space. Temps can go as low as 25. My plants outdoors survive this as long as dry

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 8:41AM
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bronxfigs

Mike:

Should I keep the Fockea going full speed throughout the winter, or do I hold back slightly until better growing conditions return? Or, should I just take cues from the plant itself?

Karyn:

How long did the Adenia stay dormant? Did it start back up quickly? Did you start the plant back up, or did the plant break dormancy at its own pace?

Thanks for the added information.

Frank

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 8:42AM
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cactusmcharris

Frank,

My F. e. kept its leaves all throughout winter - it did get a prime position near a window for all of the weak sun we got during then, but given warmish temps (minimum of 66F / 19C), sun and water, your plant should grow throughout, though without the lushness one gets in summertime climes.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 9:53AM
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caudex1

For comparison my Fockea are outdoors all winter in the rain and cold. They loose about half the foliage around Jan and March start pushing new. This year was mild so now foliage was dropped. Coldest was 25f

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 10:53AM
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cactusmcharris

Frank,

I've never experienced the temps that Keith has when I lived in San Diego, but I had several F. e. there - they were happiest in pots on my stairwell, vining along the metal handrail. They never lost their leaves, either, but as Keith notes, they were at their nadir in February / March, but they kept leaves all throughout the year.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:29AM
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johnsonm08(5a)

Mine grows all winter in a south window --I do water it less so it grows slower!
Mike

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 12:04PM
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bronxfigs

Thanks for all the great additional information. I was very surprised to read about the Adenia and Fockea cultural recommendations. I would never have even thought about pushing the growing limits to the extant noted in some of the above postings.

I now have some very interesting plants in my small collection, and I almost made a very expensive mistake only a few days ago, when I mistook my New York climate for the Baja deserts. I ordered, then cancelled a very expensive Boojum tree, not realizing it needs conditions that I could never hope to provide, and that it is winter-dormant. How would I grow this plant through the winters in NYC? I e-mailed my concerns to a more experienced grower who posts on this forum, and reading between the lines of the reply, I realized that this plant will not do well in The Bronx. I also received a call from the growers of the Boojum tree, and he also expressed a concern that this plant is not matched to a NYC climate. We both laughed at my ridiculous choice. By the way, "ARIZONA CACTUS SALES" has some fantastic Boojum specimens in case you're interested.

Thank-you all, for adding to my knowledge.

Frank

PS....
caudex1...Thanks! By the way, the pots in which you display all your specimen cactus and succulents are absolutely great, and very artistic. The textured surfaces match the plant material perfectly! Do you throw these pots? They are all hand-thrown, I'm sure. Just wondering.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 12:08PM
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cactusmcharris

Some art to spend your NYC potting dollars on, Frank. They don't even have to have a plant in them to be simply awesome, but I bet your F.e. would look better in them than, say, a Bic pen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Keith's Kedostris Kontainers

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 12:24PM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

I've grown my Boojum here in MN for two years now, and it does fine. It goes dormant during the winter when I water it only occasionally, then it leafs out again in the spring and I start watering more. It hasn't gotten much taller yet, but it's grown several new branches and the trunk has thickened. I should think about repotting it because it may benefit from a larger pot like these other plants being discussed.

-Chris

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 1:55PM
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bronxfigs

cactus....
Thanks for the KKK link to those beautiful pots. They're worth the bucks for a special plants.

A few years back, when I had the time, I threw some pots, but I could never get that type of cracking, barky-looking texture. I threw away more pots than I kept. My attempts were good for pens and pencils.

Thanks for the "eye candy".

Frank

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 1:55PM
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karyn1(7a)

Frank I leave mine outside as long as possible then store it in the laundry room. It doesn't get any light and the temp stays between 65-70. I put it under lights and give it a drink with some B1 in late winter. It breaks dormancy pretty fast.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 4:37PM
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bronxfigs

Karyn...

Thanks for the additional tips.

When you say "I leave mine outside as long as possible"...at what point/or temps. do you bring it inside for storage, and what part of the growing cycle is the plant when you bring it inside? Is the plant fully dormant, entering dormancy? Does the cooler weather trigger the plant to go into rest period?

While dormant do you keep the medium slightly moist?

Thanks for the help.

Frank

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 5:01PM
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cactusmcharris

Frank,

'While dormant do you keep the medium slightly moist'

Do you not see something in contradiction there?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 5:07PM
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bronxfigs

cactus....

Yes, it does seem like a contradiction, but I actually asked this because some sources that I've read say to keep the roots slightly hydrated, or they will die off. Then the plants must regrow a new root system the following spring, and waste energy and resources building roots instead of leaves. Yet, I also read that these plants can be un-potted and stored on shelves in a cool area until dormancy breaks. Very confusing, for me, anyway. I also have no, or little experience with these plants, so it's better to ask than be sorry.

My first instinct was to keep the plants dry, cool, and, forget about them until they break dormancy. I asked the experienced growers for cultural advice because I sometimes find conflicting, cultural information.

The forum members have been very helpful by passing along their growing experiences. Within this very thread, I learned some infromation that I never would have expected, especially about Fockea edulis.

When I'm in doubt, I just ask.

Thanks,
Frank

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 6:46PM
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caudex1

>>>Yes, it does seem like a contradiction, but I actually asked this because some sources that I've read say to keep the roots slightly hydrated, or they will die off. Then the plants must regrow a new root system the following spring, and waste energy and resources building roots instead of leaves. If that was the case all my plants would be dead.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 6:50PM
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jeepman69(8b)

How do you know if you have a male or female plant?

Glenn

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 7:58PM
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bronxfigs

OK....dry and cool, until plants make the next move. Less work for me, and easier to remember. No water until buds move.

Thanks,

Frank

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 8:04PM
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caudex1

See link for male flower

Female flower
http://www.rare-succulents.com/webphotos_sales/adenias/ade_flowers/adeglau_fmflow.html

Here is a link that might be useful: male glauca flower

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 8:25PM
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cactusmcharris

Frank,

These plants require but a sip a month when dormant - none of this moist stuff should be tolerated in the winter, otherwise you're going to tolerate its demise, too, IME.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 8:27PM
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jeepman69(8b)

Thanks, caudex1

Glenn

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 9:26PM
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bronxfigs

Thanks for the male/female flower links...and the culture caveats about too much moisture.

Frank

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 9:44PM
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karyn1(7a)

I usually leave it out until the first frost or until the nighttime temps are consistently in the lower 40's. It's pretty much dormant by the time it comes in. The cold and shortened hours of daylight cause the foliage to yellow & drop in a short amount of time. I keep the potting medium very dry while dormant and actually begin decreasing the amount of water it gets before it goes dormant. By the time temps are in the 40's I want the soil to be dry. It can withstand cool/cold temps much better if the soil is dry. Cold & moist = rot.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 10:25PM
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bronxfigs

Karyn..

Very good....I could do that without any problems. Thanks for the quick answers, too.

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Thanks all, for the quick course on Adenia glauca culture tailored to my growing conditions. You have all helped more than you could imagine.

Happy growing,
Frank

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 10:49PM
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robinpla(10b)

Not sure if anyone mentioned this, but it likes to grow in a rather acidic soil. I had a clauca for a couple of years, wouldn't do anything. A few months ago I gave it acidifying fertilizer and it took off like crazy.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 2:17AM
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bronxfigs

@ robinpla....Thanks for the acidic soil tip. Very difficult to find cultural details regarding some of these specialized plants.

My A. glauca is just about finished for the season. It is going dormant in a full-sun location, but in my kitchen. It will be moved to a cooler spot after it goes fully dormant, along with my Cyphostemmas, and a few other fat-plants.

I have about six feet of woody vines coming out of the A.glauca....can I cut these vines back closer to the caudex, or, do the vines need to stay on? If I leave them on will they continue to increase in diameter, and become "woody" and very stiff...too stiff to reposition?

Thanks for any additional suggestions.

Frank

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 6:38AM
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karyn1(7a)

Mine grew like crazy this summer, stems and caudex but still no blooms. It's been dormant for about a month now. This season I'm leaving it in the GH all winter. It gets much cooler at night in the GH then the house but I think it should be ok.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:22AM
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robinpla(10b)

Vines? Six feet? I think we need a picture :)

I am in zone 10b in Southern California and it is still green and growing. The night temp is in the lower 50s.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:31AM
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Fionsai

Anyone knows if this plant has a dormancy period (in the winter)?

Can it survive in Singapore(Summer all year round)?

I have palced it outdoor but in a shady position, under some huge trees. It gets some morning and evening sun.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 3:03AM
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Fionsai

Sorry to hijack your post Frank, I should have create a new one. I tried to delete my post but there's no way I could delete. I am New here and just found this forum.

Fion

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 3:27AM
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karyn1(7a)

Nice specimen Fion! Mine goes dormant during the winter but I'm in zone 7a (near Washington, DC). It starts dropping foliage when the hours of daylight shorten and temps cool down and will resume growth in the spring. I winter it over in a greenhouse. I read that it prefers being somewhat shaded and that will keep the caudex green like yours is. I've had mine in too much sun and the caudex is kind of bleached out looking (but still healthy). Next summer I'll keep it in filtered light. I don't see why you would have any problem growing it, on the contrary the dormancy period would probably be fairly short in your climate. I do reduce the amount of water mine gets during dormancy.

6' of vine doesn't sound unusual. Mine only has a single growth point on the caudex and if I didn't cut it back would just end up with 1 really long branch.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 6:37AM
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Fionsai

Many thanks for the great info karyn. I don't know much and was probably doing this wrong as the caudex is changing to a beige color on top (got the plant a few days back from a nursery at California).

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 4:02AM
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