Friday, 16 March 2012

Adventures In Growing Adenium

Maybe it's a shame I didn't start blogging about growing Adenium from the start, since I started these seeds a year and a couple months earlier. On the other hand there are a lot of blogs about germinating the seed (which is a doddle) and also how to grow fully grown specimens but not much about what happens inbetween. Adenium Obesum and their species cuisins the Arabicum and Multiflorum are the ones I am growing at the moment. When fully grown these become not lovely plants with a fat caudex and impressive flowers. I bought my seed at (they now have a sister site I believe Germination was impressive and I ended up with way more seedlings than I could handle. Though usually I treat every seedling like a delicate flower I decided I would let Darwin thin out crowd and I ended up with a good collection of strong healthy seedlings. Here they are amongst some other plants soaking in some rare March sun.

Overwintering these was actually way easier than I thought. I had them in a low metal oven dish placed in front of the window on the central heating grill. This meant they got as much light as possible (though regrettably not southern exposure) and also an extreme amount of heat. They never went dormant even though I restricted their watering quite allot just throwing the odd glass of water in the dish when they appeared bone dry. From the start of March I started giving them more water (even a bit of diluted orchid fertiliser) and when it is sunny and mild (above 10 degrees Celsius) they come outside to soak up the sun. Some of the seedlings are branching, some are starting to get a nice caudex and some got a little sun burnt but all in all I hope they will grow a lot this season, maybe some will even bloom.

Which brings me to what fertiliser I use. A lot of messages on the web are contradictionary in how much they should be fertilised, some say quite a lot others advice against it. Besides it's not easy getting special bloombuster or other specialist formula's here. I ran out of superthrive that I bought with the seeds and I'm not sure I'm going to waste postage on it. So far I've given them some mild orchid feed and I'll be on a lookout for some high middle number fertiliser for the rest of the season. Here are a couple of them: 

Adenium Obesum 'Star of Top' 

Adenium Arabicum 'Desert night fork'

Adenium Obesum '???"

Adenium Arabicum 'Dwarf Black Giant' 

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