ADENIUM CARE & INFO (DESERT ROSES)
Adenium ~ Desert Roses ~
Often called Desert Roses, Adenium are in the milkweed family (Apocynaceae). They are succulent plants that form a thickened stem/trunk (caudex) to store water and food during the tough times in their dry, harsh habitats. There are currently 11 species and subspecies, from the enormous tree like Adenium somalense to the compact little Adenium crispum.
They have a fantastic bonsai shape and beautiful, showy flowers.
Light: Very bright light for 6+ hours a day. Can slowly be introduced into direct sunlight depending on your region. May burn if moved from shady to full sun conditions. During dormancy (the shorter days of the year, cooler temps) light is not as important but the plant will continue to photosynthesize through the tissue on the caudex and branches. VERY COLD SENSITIVE, especially Adenium swazicum.
Soil: Likes a fast draining soil that won’t hold onto excess water, but not too porous. We like a 70/30 mix of either perlite or pumice to coco coir. Can use compost or general potting soil, but you may need to cut with more grit.
Water: Water only when drying out but long periods of drought during their active growing season will stress the plant and slow optimum growth. Plants will drop leaves during the active growing season if they are severely dehydrated or have an issue with the roots under the soil. If you are an overwaterer, compensate with faster draining soil. Cut back on your frequency of watering when the plant goes dormant in the winter but don’t completely withhold water - plants will drop feeder roots and deflate even when dormant.
Does your plant have a shriveled caudex? It’s very thirsty!
Fertilizer: Use a slow release, water soluble fertilizer such as Osmocote plus during the growing season. Make sure it has micro nutrients! Sprinkle around the base in early spring, mid summer, and again mid fall. Do not use a fertilizer stronger than 10-10-10 - it will cause rapid, weak and unhealthy growth. Not necessary to fertilize while the plant is dormant.
Spring: Aphids and mealie bugs at the fresh new growth on the tips. Spray with any botanical oil, insecticidal soap, or Dawn/Castille soap mixed with water. Hit the undersides of the leaves. Let it sit on the plant for 15 minutes and rinse with water - repeat in 7 days to kill any eggs that may have hatched.
Hot summer: Spider Mites: Knock down with Neem oil on all surfaces of the plant. Repeat in 7 days, and again in 7-10 days.This is the best practice to avoid chemical resistance.
DO NOT USE MITICIDES unless you plan on using a different miticide chemical EVERY APPLICATION. Mites can become resistant after one application! Proper miticide rotation will cost you hundreds, and the correct miticides are not sold at big box stores. Improper use of miticides has resulted in “super mites” that are resistant to all products on the market.