I have been growing adenium for four years. As it turned out, they grow very quickly and that is why during this time practically all other plants from my house "survived".
What will grow from seeds
It is interesting for me to grow adeniums from seeds, this is a very exciting activity. But I also learned to do vaccinations in order to quickly multiply interesting varieties, mainly terry, the so-called triplets. It is the grafting that guarantees the purity of the variety. But when growing from seeds, it is not worth talking about the grade of adeniums. It is not right.
From a botanical point of view, adenium varieties are not varieties at all, they are hybrids. With seed reproduction, their decorative characteristics are not preserved, and flowering in this case will always be a surprise. But hybrids attract florists because there is always a chance to grow something extraordinarily interesting and amazing. Therefore, when buying seeds, I do not advise you to believe the beautiful Internet pictures, moreover, very often they are made using Photoshop. However, recently in many nurseries they began to carry out manual pollination and this often increases the percentage of inheritance of the original forms and color of flowers, so there is still a small percentage of receiving the declared one.
When germinating seeds, if you dosed moisten the crops with drops, you can hardly hope for effective germination. In their homeland, adenium seeds begin their life journey precisely during the rainy season, so at this stage you should not be afraid of waterlogging. It does not threaten the seedlings up to three months. I only germinate seeds in pure coconut soil. And so far I haven’t found anything better for myself. It is quite breathable, keeps moisture well, and most importantly, sterile. Does not contain earth diseases. Seed germination is always very good. I transplant seedlings usually in 2-3 weeks.
Good nutrition is the key to success
For some reason, many growers consider adenium akin to cacti and grow it as a desert plant. Yes, adenium is called "desert rose" and it is a succulent, but not a cactus. Adenium loves both "eat" and "drink". So it makes no sense to keep it on a starvation diet, especially if you want to grow good caudex (caudex is the thickening roots that push mature adenium out of the ground. Beautiful caudex makes adenium look like a bonsai). Caudexes are what attracts me to them.
The key to success in growing adeniums is the correct composition of the soil. Therefore, I prepare the soil quite nutritious, but always well air and moisture permeable. For growing seedlings, I use humus and coconut soil in equal proportions, I add somewhere else a quarter of perlite. Be sure to add the powder fraction of long-acting AVA fertilizer (its effect is designed for a year) to the zone of future roots (already directly in the cup or pot). So in the process of growth, I practically do not feed my adeniums with anything. In order not to have problems with plant diseases, I always prepare the soil in advance (2-3 weeks before planting) and add Fitosporin-M powder (10 g per bucket of soil) to it, which allows it to “cleanse” the soil from bacterial and fungal infections.
How to care
In the summer, I water the plants quite abundantly, as the top layer of the soil in the pot dries out. In winter, I reduce watering. I water adult adeniums once every 10 days, "babies" - more often. The temperature of the content plays an important role here. My plants overwinter on the sills of the east and south windows, without additional lighting. In winter, hypothermia is fatal for adeniums, especially in wet soil, therefore, to keep their "legs" warm, I cover the window sill with insulating and insulating material. In severe frosts at night, I clean the pots from the windowsills into the room.
I transplant adult plants annually. At the same time, I always raise the upper part of the caudex above the ground.There are no specific rules for how many centimeters to lift, I just do it visually, as I see fit. I do not expect drying of small roots (caught outside), I cut them off immediately. The sections are treated with 3% hydrogen peroxide.
Basically, my most popular type of adenium is growing - obese adenium (Adenium obesum)... Plants of this species are varied in flowering, and they grow amazing caudexes. I also love arabicums - adenium Arabic(Adenium arabicum), this is a different kind. It does not surprise with flowering, the flowers are often not very large and mostly, these are white-pink-red tones. But he has gorgeous caudex shapes. Grow with me and mini adeniums... These are wonderful, long-flowering plants. Moreover, I am interested in plants grown from seeds of Russian selection.
And now about vaccinations
Vaccinations of mini adenium on arabicum are very interesting. I do vaccinations according to the method of the well-known adeniumovod Zhamyan Nimayev - "under the drill". This is a very simple and effective method. A round hole is drilled into the rootstock (or made with any convenient sharp object) and a scion stalk is inserted into it. The vaccination site is covered with a grafting tape. I place the inoculation in greenhouse conditions. I cover it with a jar or put a transparent plastic bag on it, periodically air it. Usually after 2-3 weeks, the vaccine takes root. It is better to do this in spring and summer, during a period of active growth.
Root and stem branching: is it worth pushing?
I am always surprised when I read how flower growers "operate" their adeniums (mainly seedlings): they cut the central root, apical shoots with them, thus trying to speed up the branching of both the crown and the root system. Based on my experience, I want to say that more often than not, such experiments do not give anything surprising. Adeniums grow an excellent root system even without any outside interference. It is important not to take the pots "for growth", it is better to transplant them once again using the transshipment method. In addition, in cramped pots, adeniums bloom faster.
If you take the branching of the stem, genetics plays an important role here, that is, the "pedigree" and quality of your seeds. Even very small seedlings often branch out at me, others grow with "fishing rods". If you cut off seedlings at an early age, the maximum they will give is one or two replacement shoots. I do very short pruning more often at the age of a little over a year, in which case lateral shoots from the caudex itself begin to grow and the plants become very attractive, with a beautiful compact crown.
Many growers use various chemicals to speed up the branching of their adeniums. Most often these are various growth hormones, both liquid and in the form of a paste or powder. I am always amazed at how thoughtlessly they do it. Such drugs, when in contact with the skin or respiratory tract, are not at all safe. They must be handled very carefully, observing all safety measures (gloves, face mask). And the results are not so significant and surprising - they are not worth risking their health.
Adult adeniums need to be pruned annually. At the same time, take into account that a short pruning will give the growth of lateral shoots, and a longer one will awaken flower buds.
Root pruning also has little effect on caudex growth. Here, species affiliation is also at the forefront, and the appearance of your plant will tend to the appearance of the "ancestors".
If there are small children in the house, it is better to place adeniums out of their reach. And be sure to wash your hands and tools after trimming your adeniums.
Photo by the author
Material provided by the editorial board of the newspaper "Flowers for Home and Garden", Nizhny Novgorod (No. 11, 2015)