I bought this Adenium arabicum last fall from Arid Lands. Has been outside all summer and though it looks healthy the thing has hardly grown at all. Does it need more water, more fertilizer, more time?? I'm hoping those who are more experienced with these plants can tell me how to make my plant happier.
New to Adeniums
I keep mine out all summer and have had one for 3 years now. It was already pretty mature when I bought it. What I keep reading is they grow the most in the first 3 years. I bought some seedlings this spring and started with a daily or every other day watering program as well as fertilizing (weak) several times a week. My seedlings have put on tremendous growth and I will definately repeat this program next season. Sun and water when its hot and no water in winter. Lots of people on here will have good advice and there is good information on the web.
It looks like you have little rocks on top of the soil. That looks nice, but how can you tell if it needs water?
I'll agree with newtonsthirdlaw: lots of water with a very diluted fertilizer while there is lots of sunshine & heat. Very little water when dormant.
I only water it once a week or less because it's so small in relation to the pot so I didn't want to rot it.
Do you just water once a week, or do you check to see if it needs water? Is it outdoors in full sunshine or sitting on a window sill?
I have some new seedlings a little smaller than yours and they are in full sun every day. They are in 6" pots. Whenever the top 3-4" is dry, they get a thorough watering. Sometimes this is every 2-3 days.
It's outdoors in full sun in the late afternoon and evening so I don't check to see if it needs water, I just water about once a week. The mix is a fast draining mix of sand, gravel, potting soil, and perlite. It is about 50% perlite so that is why I put the rocks on top otherwise the perlite would all float to the top. It has been a brutally hot summer here this year (when isn't it? worse than usual though) and like I said it's healthy other than its extremely slow growth. I just fertilized it last week but has not put out any new growth in the last week. My thought is that with the hot temps and location I don't really have to worry about rot and that it probably would tolerate more water. Would this make it grow faster though. It's never looked like it was thirsty (ie shriveled trunk, droopy leaves).
By no means am I an expert, I'm just saying what is working for me. It maybe could use more water. Move the stones over in a small spot & stick in a finger. If it's dry down to 2-3" then water. Even if it's every day.
It looks a little dry to me. The bottom, the caudex, looks almost wrinkled.
Your mix sounds good, but quick drying. Next spring, I'd say to start watering it every other day, or maybe even every morning. They are not cactus.
This time of year, over this winter, and until early March, you shouldn't water much, as that is when rot sets in, when the days are shorter and cooler, and the plant can't respirate the water fast enough.
I water with weak fertilizer almost every day. Depends on how much rain there's been overnight or in the last few days.
Before you water, pick up the pot and hold it a bit to become accustomed to how heavy it is. Then give it a good soak, and pick up the pot again to feel the difference. That is the best way to tell how much water is in the soil mix.
Welcome to the Adenium Club! They are unique and wonderful plants. Did you know they can live 100 years or more? the photo is one by the side of the road here, about four feet tall. They sort of need to mow their grass...
Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately the days are not yet cooler here. We are having record highs this week, near 110. Don't they know it's halfway through September already. Anyway, I will try more water for another couple weeks and see if the growth picks up. It starts cooling off here about mid October so I have more time before rot season. One thing I was told when I bought the plant was to not water much at all from October till it's starts growing again in spring.
Watering while dormant is true. When mine start dropping their leaves when the weather turns cooler, I drastically reduce the watering. When the nights start being below 50 degrees or when most of the leaves are gone, I bring them inside with very little light. Last year, I even moved some to a dark closet. They get a very little water about every 2-4 weeks depending on the size. This is when they are most prone to rot.
When the outdoor temps get above 50, I start bringing them to a bright spot outside & giving them a little more water, gradually moving into full sun. If they need any pruning, this is when I do it. When the buds start appearing, that's the time to start watering generously. I give a diluted fertilizer with every watering.
I take the no water a little farther, mine get water about once a month or less in the winter. I put them in a bedroom near a window where they get almost no light and forget about them until March when it starts to warm up here.
Hi, newton. I'll have to try cutting back my water even more. Last spring, I had a touch of rot on my largest one, which was eliminated. But I think I may have added a little to much water. So I'll try even less water.