Adeniums are having problem. Need help, please.

Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

Sorry everyone. Have to ask more questions here, having problematic week with plants....This is the recent one.

Just received 3 adeniums seedlings from a friend in florida, about 6 inches tall each, on August 9th. Didn't water them since I was adviced to repot them to bigger pots. Repotted 2 days later, August 11th. Didn't want to water right away because scared of root rots.
Finally watered them around Aug. 16th. Also added Sea Kelp to the water.

I noticed the leaves were yellowing about 2 days ago or so, around Aug 19th.
Checked for root rots just now, they all look white and fine. Soil is dry though. The caudex is a little on the softer side. One of them is pretty firm, this is the one that has less yellow leaves.

Ever since I repotted them, they're sitting outside under full sun almost the whole day. Could this be the cause? I think my friend had them in her greenhouse, in Florida. So the adeniums might not be adjusted to the full sun?
Also, it's hotter and more humid in florida than here in the Bay Area. Right now here we're having mid 70's during the day and mid 50's at night, where I live. While over there is around the 90's, when I asked. Maybe temperature change play a role here?

But my main suspicion is they are underwatered. Basically within this 3 weeks, it's only been watered once. I just asked and my friend told me that she didn't water them prior to shipping them to me, that's why I added 1 more week, although I only have them for about 2 weeks. YKWIM?

I read from older posts and referenced websites that adenium seedlings needs more water.

Can I water them soon? Like within a day from today? I unpotted and repotted them again just now since I was checking the root, but I don't think I disturbed any big roots. The soil is really dry.

What do you think is wrong with them?

Everyone that have experience with adeniums, please advice me!

Thanks very much!

Plumiedelphia, PA(Zone 7a)

During growing season they like to be watered when dry,
even everyday if the growth is agressive.
Depending on the species, probably Obesum,
They tend to drop leaves when roots are disturbed during repotting.
Moving from Greenhouse to full sun would cause burn on the leaves and caudex if the sun was intense or if the angle of sun was different than in the greenhouse.
This site is helpful as is a google on adeniums

Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

Thanks for your reply Malestrom!

They are Adenium Obesum.

I checked out that website before posting last night, that was what prompted me to check out their roots, because from the description of the leaves, seems like they would have caudex rot. But they seem to be healthy on those parts.

So since the soil is dry now, shall I water them even though I just unpotted and repotted them again last night for the purpose of checking if they are having root rots or not?
Or wait again for a few days?

Now, I'm blaming the sun and lack of water.....LOL.

Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

Here's the close up of the worse looking one

Thumbnail by baileykat
Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

Top view of all three in trouble

Thumbnail by baileykat
Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

Full view of all three.

Note that their leaves don't look that shiny in real life. Somehow the picture made them shine.

Hope the pics help a bit to identify what could be wrong with it.

Thumbnail by baileykat
Vista, CA

New root growth must occur before the plant will uptake moisture and nutrients from the roots.

Having the old roots in place and healthy is good, but tiny new roots need to form before it will begin to grow. The purpose of not watering them for a bit is to allow any root damage that occurs during transplant to heal before puting moisture to them.

I would water them well after a couple of days. But I would then not water them again till you see growth. Leaves may drop. Adeniums lilke warm weather. The night temperature drop (in and of itself) while cool, shouldn't be enough for the plants to defoliate. But there are multiple stress factors here. It is pretty important that these plants be established in the place they will winter soon. I grow in Vista, CA and don't like to get too far into Septermber before having plants established for winter.

I wouldn't worry too much about defoliation after what the plants have undergone. Adeniums will grow leaves within a few weeks after repotting, and it isn't unusual for them to drop their leaves. Most leafed-desert plants do this to protect themself from dehydration during stressful situations and Adeniums are xeriphytic, so employ the same survival tactic. After initial watering, I don't water again till I see some minute sign of new growth. Then don't flood it. Take it easy with a little water and watch to see if the growth is accelerating, then increase the water. When its stops growing decrease the water..

If one feels comfortable with them outdoors for the winter, one should expect defoliation and should ensure they have good drainage. If they don't get "rooted in" before winter they are at risk in an environment of rain and cold combined. If they are undercover in the cold, one should stop watering them entirely once the night temperatures drop below 50 F.


Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

Well, thank you very much for your explanation, Bob!
That really put my worries aside.

My parents have very large adeniums in their porch. The adeniums have been with them for at least 30 years or so, used to belong to my grandma, so I'm sure they are older than me since I've seen them for as long as I can remember. They are watered everyday! But then again, they live in S.E. Asia, where it's super hot, sunny, and humid. They seem to bloom all the time, too....
Much easier to take care of plants when you only have 2 seasons, rain and draught. LOL....

The up and down temps that we're having right now make my plants shriveled left and right, seems like.

Should the adeniums stay indoor with me for a bit, so they can stay warm or something?

Plumiedelphia, PA(Zone 7a)

I bring everything inside at the end of Sept.
I like to keep them going a little all winter.
Good info Bob thanks!
I was on short answer form today. ;^)
I forgot about the small roots forming after repotting.

Houston, TX(Zone 9b)

A good rule of thumb a collector (of cacti & succulents) told me one time in regards to adeniums, if the trunk feels spongy (as opposed to squishy), it needs water. If the trunk is turgid and hard, it doesn't need water. If it feels squishy, that indicates rot. That was probably 6 or 8 years ago and I still use it (on the same adenium he gave me).

Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

I watered them yesterday. Can't help thinking that they seem to need water. I also read somewhere that when the trunk feels spongy when you squeeze it, meaning it's thirsty. Mine felt pretty spongy on two of them, one of them was semi-spongy. So I watered all three.

Just now (about 24 hours later, more or less), I squeezed them again, one by one. They seem to firmed up, not like yesterday.
That's always a good thing, right?!!!!

So, now I'm crossing my fingers that they will be alright, and the yellow leaves and all were because I didn't water them thoroughly.Too bad one of them will most likely be bald for a few weeks after all its yellow leaves fell off...As long as they don't rot, I don't care.....Bald away!!! LOL :o)

Thanks again for all of you that came to the rescue!!

Edited: because I can't spell, again.

This message was edited Aug 22, 2006 11:05 AM

Vista, CA

The trunk will get spongy if te plant is established and needs water.

It will also get spongy if the roots are not accepting moisture. It can get in this condition in a transplant, cold shock and a couple of other things.

be careful using this rule as a constant for disupted conditions.


Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

Oh, didn't know about that.
Thanks for the warning, Bob!
I've been bringing them in at night these past few days so they won't get too cold and rot, especially since I just watered them as well. But in the morning they come out and sit under direct sun again from about 10 am - 1 pm, and the rest of the time until they come inside at night, they are under bright light, but no direct sun. This condition will be okay, right?

Tampa, FL

baileykat, My Adeniums are really blooming like mad at this i live in Tampa, they are getting rain everyday! They are getting more rain than i would think is healthy..but doing well so far? And you are right it is in the 90's here everyday, and 80s, and high 70's at night. Humidity is very high, (almost always is!) sigh...It sounds like they are in transplant shock...i have just planted one but roots were not disturbed much, and conditions were as usual...doing well. But then again it didn't go through a shipping process and into another climate...they will bounce back i am sure...sue

Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

Thanks for the encouraging words, Sue!

I surely hope they'll bounce back!

My grandma, aunt, and uncle live in Florida, and we talk on the phone often, that's how I'm familiar with the weather there as well, because they always ask how's the weather here, and I always ask back....LOL.
I literally just hung up the phone after talking to them, and they said it's been raining there. They're in West Palm Beach. Not sure if that's close by to Tampa or not though.

No rain here, but weird how in August when we go out in the evening, we have to wear a sweater, it's been like this for close to 3 weeks.

Tampa, FL

Gosh Bk, i am so jealous..we are positively wilting from the heat..i bike everyday..only the mornings are bearable...your relatives live nearer the tip of the "foot"..closer to Miami, I am on the other (west) side and central Fla. but on the coast in the little "notch" area..tampa bay area...they are even hotter in climate than us... floridians long for cooler weather..and then when it is here..we long for hotter weather...go figure? lol...sue

Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

Yeah, can't complain now, summer's been nice here. It always happens like that though, in winter we want summer, in summer we want winter. Just yesterday we (actually I was) were planning the next trip to Lake Tahoe for snow season. Isn't that still far away? LOL...
I've only been to FL. once, a few years ago. Can't wait till my son is older so I can take him there to visit his great grandma. Right now I can just picture him saying 'are we there yet' the whole plane ride.

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