Saturday, 3 November 2012

Growth Report: Adenium


So this is how all my Adenium look after their second summer. It has not been a particularly good summer and I think that goes some way towards explaining why they have not grown that much. No flowers yet (they are capable of blooming in their first year though that is rare) and though they have grown they have not done it that fast. That said most have grown a little caudex and branched. And when you take some side by side with pictures from spring you can see that they have indeed grown up a bit.




Here I have Adenium Arabicum 'Desert Night Fork' (the biggest plant in the group photo).



And here are the two Adenium arabicum 'Desert night fork'  in March. The test was to see if a bigger pot would mean more growth. And indeed it seemed this has had some effect. On the other hand the other arabicum that I left in a small pot is the second largest Adenium in the group shot so it seems that genetically this one is programmed to grow bigger and faster than their obesum brothers.



 Here we have Adenium obesum 'Fragrant star' , when looking at the photo's from March you can see this has done some admirable growing. It is sprouting a multitude of branches at the moment which is going to make for a nice specimen.

 Here is one with my finger next to it for perspective.

Here are the fragrant stars in March. I guess you can say that though they haven't grown much taller they are shedding their seedling look and getting nice caudex and looking much sturdier.



This is probably my favourite. It is Adenium  obesum 'Dwarf Black Giant' which is meant to stay quite short. But its main attraction is the colour of the stem which gets darker with sun exposure. It is getting nice and fat and has nice low and symmetrical branches, I think this will be a very good looking plant.


Here it is in spring as you can see it has done some good growing and it gained a lot of colour in the sun.


I think I am wrong to be too disappointed with the growth this year. There are websites claiming you can grow big specimens in a matter of years but I am not sure you should want this. Most of my plants have gone from being short thin and soft seedlings to indeed still short but much sturdier and 'adult' looking plants (some have not yet grown a caudex but most have). I am actually quite pleased with how stubby they remained seeing as it was quite a dark summer and I could have ended up with lanky plants that would never be able to grow into nice specimens. Last winter I kept them watered and heated on the radiator and I did not let them go dormant. This meant that they grew all winter (albeit slowly). This year I think it would be best to let them go dormant, especially the arabicums. For now I still water them and I have them on the orchid table but come December I will stop watering and move them to a cooler bedroom when completely dry. I might only do this with the ones that have a caudex because those without one might not have enough water stored to survive dormancy. Come spring all are getting repotted. Some will go onto other pots but others will just get new soil. Then I can check if it is indeed true that smaller pots mean bigger caudex.

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