My desert rose is doing beautifully thanks to the excellent advice I've received on this forum. It needs pruning though - very badly. What should I prune with and how much should I take off?
If it were mine, I would prune back to a few inches above each place the plant branches. You will end up with a very nicely shaped plant.
I use a razor sharp 6" fillet knife and slice down through the limb at about a 45 degree angle. I start the cut about a half inch above the eye where I hope the new upper most branch will grow from.
Do you usually keep it on the porch or was that a convenient place to snap the photo? Full sun would be better if so.
Thanks Randy! I'll prune this weekend.
It lives on the porch. The porch faces south so it gets strong sunlight from about 1:00-6:00 in the afternoons. It's not enough but it's the best I can do for now. I've had plants stolen in the past so I have to be careful where I put them. :-( Hopefully, I'll be able to provide better accommodations for them soon.
Why at a 45 degree angle? Do you angle the cut in toward the base of the plant, or away from it?
I do it for a few reasons. A flat 90 degree angle cut across a stem looks butt ugly, usually doesn't allow a new apex to grow at a decent angle off the cut, and never heals very well. I have seen many mangled Adeniums in my day.
The number 1 reason is it creates a sense or feel of natural taper on the plant where you cut it.
I'll use this plant as an example. It was originally about 3 feet tall a few years ago. It's now about 17 1/2" tall from the soil line.
The cut was made so the top of the cut is on the front of the branch. Or you want the cut to be on the back of the branch hidden from view.
You can see where I recently took my fillet knife and cleaned up the edges of the cut to give it more natural taper.
Until you can provide more sun, I really wouldn't prune it. You'll just get more leggy growth where you keep it now. These plants really do best in full sun.
You don't have a fenced back yard?
Randy: Excellent advice about cutting at an angle. The included photos convinced me that is without doubt the best way to get more natural looking cuts. That technique is now officially added to me repertoire!
Randy, unfortunately I don't have a backyard at all right now. I'm looking though.
The caudex on this plant is soft. It was inside in a south window all winter. If it gets full sun, will it harden up like my ponytail plant?
Thanks for all the information.
Soft is not a good thing. Can be from being too dry or too wet. I would pull it out of the pot and look at the roots.
Hi Randy -
I understand the "trunk chop" at an angle technique - I have used it with non-succulent bonsai, as well. But, are you pruning at a 45 degree angle when you prune all the branch tips, too? I can't really tell from the picture.
Great adenium, btw.
If I'm just defoliating for ramification, no, I just lightly take my leaf trimmers and trim off the growing tip. If I'm shortening the branch at a point where thickness may be about like a pencil or larger, yes, I cut at a 45 degree angle.
It's not real soft. It just sort of gives a little when pressure is applied. It may be too dry though. I tried to keep it dry during the winter and it's hard to get used to watering it a lot more that warm weather is here.
Hey Randy-Just moved my three desert roses out to full sun as they have been in the shade under a big tree.Feeding them once a week and gave them some slow release fert too.I hope to get some blooms:0)
Is that pot as shallow as it appears?
The pot is less than 3" deep.
Here is one I took a photo of today.
Put it in this pot in April.
Great looking plant, Randy!
Thanks for the updated image!
Wow!! Randy, that is absolutely beautiful!! Thanks for posting.
About 3 or 4 weeks ago I finally got the nerve to prune my desert rose. I followed Randy's directions as closely as possible but know I made many mistakes, especially with the angles. Overall, I've been very please with the results. The plant seems to be healthier and the caudex doesn't seem as soft anymore. You can see before pictures at the top.
Great job txcactus!! You will definitely love it especially after all the leaves fill in and it starts flowering. It will be bushier and wider, to me I like that look so much more, IMO... Good luck!!
Randy does really have some Gorgeous Adeniums, and Jades for that matter. His Bonsais are my fav's!
Oh you guys have some beautiful Adneiums. How often should they be watered when grown in such tiny pots?
Also, what time of year should they be pruned?
Also, how much should be pruned off? Especially if the Adenium is grafted?
I have a few Adeniums that were shipped bare-root. Very few roots. There's not many stems either. Would pruning encourage new stems? Thanks, Toni
Thanks for the tips, Randy. I've been doing mine wrong for a long time.
my first desert rose I bought from Lowes, its now 3 months, and I pruned it because all leaves turned yellow, brown, and then fell off. Some of them were still green, I know it was the change of scenery/repotting shock, but now it has very tiny new growth on all of the stems forming. SO HAPPY!! I keep it on the dry side, its in my cactus room, I use bonsai soil, orchid bark, very small bit of Logee's soil, and top dress with pebbles. It gets morning sun only & afternoon-evening reflected light since sun goes to the back.
Resurrection time. I've got to get some pictures - I have two remaining Adeniums from a kindly Oklahoman who now, if he gets his choice, consorts with otters and bison. No More Ads for Randy, so I have to keep them alive - it's sometimes a rum thing.
Update on my above pic 5/30/13: now it's July 2nd 2013 and from the pruning out grow new healthy full branched leaves. The salt lamp stays on all day/night I have 1 in each room which the plants love. Belowe are some seeds I got from online site Florida based top tropics which are lotus and supermoon desert rose seeds. The seeds were simple I just laid them on top of moist potting mix, misted to keep it moist, and kept grow light on from 5am-5pm (get ready for work @5 and get back home before 5pm). So I'll post a pic of my closet grow area where I've started to do all my seeds & also rehab other plants. The air in my house is super dry so it's gotta transition but now since its summer it's to humid and AC stays on 75'degrees all day. Baltimore, MD indoors
Grow area for seeds and plant rehab