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Beginner Gardening: Desert Rose (adenium obesum) pruning?

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Forum: Beginner GardeningReplies: 3, Views: 53
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Kansas City, KS
(Zone 5a)

August 22, 2011
1:23 AM

Post #8770128


I started a Desert Rose from seed in late spring this year. The plant is now a little over 10" tall, and has a single stalk coming from the caudex. I was curious if Desert Roses require pruning when they are this young, and if so, how/when? I've included a picture I took today of my DR. Thanks for your help!!!


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Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

September 5, 2011
10:54 AM

Post #8794459

Hi Jordan, sorry no one else has came in with help or answers for you so will give you some tip's / hint's.
I don't know the plant by the name Desert Rose, but from your picture, you have done really good growing this from seed, so well done !!!!!
Normally when new seedlings start to grow too tall with no side shoots (unless they are single stem plants) what you do is pinch out the small growing tip right at the top of the plant, this stops the plant growing up-wards singley and makes the plant grow side branches to help thicken up the whole plant, after you pinch out the tip, within a few weeks or months you will notice little side nodes starting to grow from the sides / leaf Axel's, these new little growths will turn into new side branches and help balance the plant up. As I don't know your plant I would say you should look out for any sap that will show at the tip when you nip the top off (this sap may be white or clear IF it does weep at all) not all plants do but I am covering all events here, should it weep, just wait a few minutes and wipe the sap away with a cotton tip or tissue.
When you see the plant growing bushier I would then re-pot it in the same type of soil and maybe give a half strength feed, then continue treating as before.
Hope someone who grows these plants can give you better instructions than this as I have given general tips for most seedlings.
Good luck have fun and let's know how the Desert Rose gets on. WeeNel.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

November 1, 2011
11:03 AM

Post #8871952

As a general rule you do not need to prune a Desert Rose. If for some reason you want it will not hurt it in any way. Desert Roses are very hybridized so there are literally thousands of varieties out there. Some grow tall and skinny. Some grow short and fat. Some have lots of branches and some have very few.

I say do nothing. Feed it heavy and let it do the rest. At the end of the day the plant knows better what it wants than we do anyway :-)
Kansas City, KS
(Zone 5a)

November 2, 2011
1:42 AM

Post #8872909

Thanks for the advice, guys! Everyone I've talked to has told me that it's very hard to maintain adeniums past seedling stage because they're prone to root rot. I started the seeds in jiffy seed starting mix, kept it under a 26w cool white cfl after it sprouted, watered it only when the mix was almost bone dry, and when it was large enough, I transplanted it to a small, 5" clay pot with miracle-gro cactus, palm , and succulent mix and a lot of added perlite (about a 1:1 mixture).

Since that picture was taken, the caudex has fattened up even more, and where the very bottom leaves were, three small shoots have emerged. I will probably end up doing some light pruning encourage some branching out, but I'll hold off on that until spring time. I included a newer pic of it. Again, thanks for the advice guys!


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