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Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Posted by BronxFigs Zone-7 (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 12, 12 at 12:18

I would like to ask some questions:

The Adeniums that I see for sale are probably selected forms, or hybridized for flowers. Assuming that they are grown well, will they become as large as the wild, plants....eventually becoming small, fat, trees, with a few branches on top? The photos of "wild" Adenium show plants with "Baobab"-looking fat trunks, 2-6 meters tall. Will cultivated Adenium have this potential also?

Should Adenium have a cooler rest period, or, should they be kept growing year round, in full, sunny windows?

Any good books on Adenium culture/growing?

Thanks for the help.

Frank


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Here's a plant I saw at the New Orleans Botanical Gardens recently. It was in a greenhouse and didn't seem to be resting. I think with good culture they'll become trees even in container. This plant was easily three feet tall and it is in a tiny container.

IMG_1293


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

WOW!

Frank...Are you Fig grower too? If so, can you e-mail me?

Those are some very HUGE trees there. I wonder how in the world do they do a transplant, with a crane?
And, do they ever trim the roots to keep them in pots that small. It does not make sense that they could be that big and still not out grow their pots.

Mike


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Thanks for the updated information a pictures of those amazing Adeniums. I can't figure out how such a tiny amount of roots could support the nutritional needs of such a huge plant. My guess.... the roots are growing out of the bottom of the pot, and into are spreading out into the drainage gravel. Nature does what it must to sustain life.

Another question:
Do Adeniums grown from cuttings develop a huge caudex, or do only seed-grown plants make the typical fat trunks that are seen in the photos? Will cuttings, once established, grow normally, or do they stay relatively skinnier than seed-grown plants?

Just curious.

Frank


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Hello Frank, having read many articles as far as I'm aware, Adeniums grown from cuttings do not 'generally' have the large fattened caudexes of seed grown or grafted ones. That's not to say that none ever do, as I have read that it is possible. So I guess it's a game of chance really. Growing all my own Adeniums from seed I can only say that my plants do have fat bottoms!
As regards the plants growing in minute amounts of soil....if you google 'Socotra Island' which is off the coast of Yemen, you will see amazing pics of Adeniums growing in very obscure places with hardly any soil at all...they are well worth a look at believe me!
Gill from the UK.


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Hello...Gill, from the UK....

Thanks for giving us some more information about the Adenium plants. Disappointing news that rooted cuttings usually don't develop the huge, fat "trunks" like seedlings. Actually, that's THE reason that I want to grow these plants. The flowers are OK, but the colors,... especially the pinks, fuchsias, violets and pinky-reds can be very garish, and too harsh for my eyes...and that tissue-paper substance of the easily damaged blossoms doesn't do much for me either. But, if I can grow a nice, juicy, fat trunk, then I can overlook the rest. So, I guess that means that I'll have to grow plants from seeds, or pay the price for a larger plant.

That Socotra Island has some very strange plants! Amazing how Nature causes such adaptations in plants and animals!

Thanks for the information....especially about the Adenium cuttings.

Frank


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Frank,

You're not alone there in wanting the knuckled, gnarly stuff.

For an inexpensive treat, please look for Mr. Adenium's (Mark Dimmitt) book - it's fairly inexpensive, as monographs go, and you'll have a lot of fun with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Adenium Book Is Terribly Eye-Catching


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

cactusmcharris....et al:

My stomach turns after realizing that I can almost never grow the plants that interest me. Too many dark, cold days in NYC for high sunlight users like Adenium, unless... I start using supplemental lighting. More expense, and who's got the space?

The book is beautiful, but it's a "look-and-dream" book for me.

Thank-you for the useful information. It helps.

Frank


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Another question for experienced Adenium growers...

Since grafted, named, plants seem the only real way of getting a big, fat caudex with nice flowers, will the unsightly scars left by the graft-union eventually disappear as the caudex grows...and is this graft-union a weakened area that's prone to tissue failure, rot,....and, possibly the early death of the plant?

Thanks for the answers and patience with my basic questions.

Frank


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Frank,
This past summer was the only time I saw desert rose plants in my area.(wal-mart,Lowes) the plants are 1 1/2 feet high,for $15.00. They had to be grafted,since the plants grow slow. Glasses had to be put on,but if my plants were grafted,I cannot tell. Just saying.....
Sharon


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Thanks Sharon for the comments. My first Adenium came from Home Depot in Yonkers, New York, and it was also about 18" tall, with a caudex about the size of a small football. It was not grafted, and it made just the usual flowers...white with a garish, pink-fuchsia picotee edge around each petal. I killed it eventually, after growing it for three years by keeping it out in weather that was too cold. I didn't miss it either. It never looked healthy, and my guess would be that the leaves had some kind of mosaic virus. It also attracted plenty of aphids too.

I'd still like to try growing another plant, but a plant with some good genetics, this time around....and nicer flowers. The grafted plants that I see in photos and catalogs, look like real hack jobs, and the graft-unions are very obvious, and to my eyes, unsightly. That's why I wondered if the graft-unions disappear with age.

I'll probably buy a plant in the coming months, and see what happens. If I hate the plant, I'll just give it away, if I don't kill it first. : )

Thanks for the information.

Frank...freezing in NYC


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Hello Frank, to answer your question about "unsightly scars left by the graft-union eventually disappear as the caudex grows" yes, it will, but it takes a few years.
I learned how to flat graft last year, and flat grafting will heal faster and it is earier to graft.
I will do more graft this summer after the first bloom season is over.
Marie


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Marie....

Thanks for the up-date re: graft scars.

The grafted, named plants that are shown in photos, are obviously grown to be mass produced for the market. The grafting unions are horribly mismatched and look hideous. Hack-jobs, like I mentioned in a previous posting. Glad to learn that the scars will eventually blend into the rest of the plant in a few years. I still wonder if this union will fail if the plant is stressed in any way.

Glad that you replied with the information that I needed.

Frank


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

You can grow Adenium in NY, just understand the limitations. They thrive in heat and humidity, and without supplemental warmth don't expect blooms until August.

The plants sold at Home Depot are generic, poor quality plants. You will be happier purchasing a nice grafted specimen from any of several reputable online vendors.

If flowers don't interest you, get yourself an Adenium arabicum variety - these are grown more for their caudex and stems, the flowers are insignificant.

Cutting grown plants can develop knobbly thickened roots, but for the exaggerated trunk you need a seed grown plant. Most grafted varieties use a seed grown root stock and in time the graft union is not noticeable.

X


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

"X" marks the spot! : )

Yes, NYC weather has its limitations....but you do what you can. I plan on growing the plant on a south-facing back deck, in full summer sun and broiling heat until the onset of cooler weather. Then the plant goes on the floor, up against sliding glass doors, in my kitchen. So temp's in the cooler months will not be the problem...light quality, might. Jan-Feb can get pretty dreary if there is no direct sum shining on this type of plant. High-Intensity LED lights might help, if necessary.

Home Depot plants are crap, and too often half dead from poor quality and worse care.

I will probably have to get a grafted variety, and grow it until the graft union disappears, or becomes less noticeable. I wish there was an alternative, but it looks like there isn't.

Thanks for the information. I'm sure that a named variety plant has to be far better than any generic Adenium.

Frank


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Hello again Frank. I'm sure you will be able to grow adeniums in NY, just as I'm able to grow them over here in the less than tropical UK.
Mine live in the g/h during what we call summer (lol!) and in the cooler months they are on a south facing windowcill getting as much light as posssible and heat from the radiator. I got one to bud two years in a row but the flowers all fell off before opening, sigh. They are relatively slow from seeds as this far north our growing season is short and we don't get the high light levels...that said my plants are thriving!
I'll post some pics for you in a couple of days when I'm off work again under a separate thread as one of mine is particularly 'baobab' like. I have 4yr old and seedling obesums and some seedling arabicums too.

Have you read the recent thread on carved adeniums? I've linked it below....the fact that the caudexes can be carved in this way makes me suggest that a graft union that is not quite 'matched' up perfectly could be smoothed out possibly? What do others think?
Regards, Gill from the UK.

Here is a link that might be useful: carved adeniums


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Frank,you can try Cyphostemma juttae.
Here is a link that might be useful:cyphostemma juttae
Marie,I bought six grafted adeniums from Thailand through Ebay. I want to regraft them. when is the best time to graft Adeniums? Thanks.


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Longaeva54, you can start graft when the weather is hot and sunny. Keep it in the shade for about 3 weeks or the new union starting to spout. I hope that helps.
Marie


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Frank!! Fellow New Yorker out here!! Nassau County, I grow Adeniums from seed and in the winter I keep them in a grow tent under a cheap 150W HPS with a ballast, they are still flowering. I keep them warm with a heat mat because they are in clay pots which warm up all day and cool down slowly at night.

Bryan
(GreenThumb90)


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

How I wish we could have a dedicated Adenium forum on Gweb as they get talked about on c&s, plumeria and tropicals.
C'mon Gweb!!!!
Gill from the UK.


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Hey everybody!

Thanks so much for the great, new information about Adenium grafting, graft-union scars, and carving. The possibilities seem to be endless. I can't believe my eyes when I see what some growers can do with live plant material. Why?...who knows, but they do it, and do it well!

Bottom line....try. If it fails, throw out the plant and start over.

AND....thanks for the growing tips from the UK, Nassau, NY, and others. I will try again to grow some fat plants. I just sent fro Cyphostemma juttae seeds from MESA GARDENS in New Mexico. I never killed this kind of plant yet so I thought...Why not? : ) I think there might have to be some kind of light/heat-mat setup in my future. Now to find the room for this.

Your comments helped.

Frank


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Gill,

Have you written in to request same - start the rock rolling, as it were?

Frank,

Now that's a Cyphostemma that shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg. I have three of them (none very large - my largest is a smallish zucchini in size) and they're just thinking about starting to leaf-bud. That's unfortunate timing on their part, as we're having another snowfall as I write this.

Keith has one that's the size of a nearly-fully-grown Bouvier.


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

cactusmcharris....

My NYC background has instilled a great deal of impatience into mt outlook on almost all things, especially now, that I just turned 62. I can't wait for nothing. If I strike out with one plant quest, i.e. Adeniums...I move on to the next...Cyphostemma juttae...both plants being equally ugly, fat blobs,...only one makes a pretty flower. : )

I'll still look for a good Adenium. This will be the first time for the Cypho. for me, and growing it can't be too much different than growing Adeniums. I wonder if it's a slow grower. I would have preferred to buy a larger-size plant, but I can't find sources. The succulent-cactus greenhouse at Wave Hill Garden, Riverdale, NY has a huge specimen of Cyphostemma juttae, and when I first saw the plant a few years back, I thought that the leaves looked like pieces of green plastic sitting on top of a huge, brown, lumpy caudex. Very curious. So, I was hooked, and now I just ordered seeds....but, I'm still looking for a larger plant.

Thanks for the comments.

Frank

PS...does anyone on this forum sell off plants to make room for others? Contact me: fdvpiano@yahoo.com


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

check on Ebay or RareExotics.com


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Frank,

You'll find C. juttae to be a beast in growing, if you grow it with lots of heat, light, and a lot of organics in its mix - I have put a not-insignificant amount of manure in its mix and have been very pleased with its growth. I'd suspect a hot NY summer (and lots of those thunderstorms) would please it (the plant) very much.

longae,

Ebay over established nurseries like Miles2Go or Arid Lands? No, I disagree.


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

Cactusmcharris, You are right.


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RE: Adenium obesum...Life-Span, and Ultimate Size

cactusmcharris/longaeva54.....

Thanks for the possible sources, and for the encouraging news that I might yet be able to grow a respectable Cypho. specimen.

There is something about the fat, succulent trunks of these plants that appeals to my sensibilities...who knows why, but they do. So, I'll give the Cyphos. a try and see what happens over the hot, humid summer...assuming I find a plant that's worth growing. I'm really done trying to grow out tiny seedlings, and I order these small, pain-in-the-ass plants only as a last resort. Larger plants, are of course, more expensive, but sometimes they are worth the price if they chop off years from growing out small plants. More bang for the buck!

Anyway, thanks for the good news and for places to look for a new blob to add to my collection.

Frank


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RE: dedicated Adenium forum

Cactus, I hadn't, but I have now! Hopefully I will get a reply from the powers that be so I'll let you all know what happens.
Gill from the UK.


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