Need help for a new adenium arabicum owner.

BonsaiBuddy

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Hi all! I just bought my Mom an adenium arabicum as a gift, she has always wanted a desert rose. We intend on growing it as a bonsai, but until next spring it will be in a nursery pot. But while we have rudimentary knowledge of non succulent bonsai neither one of us has any experience with desert roses. We got it from a local nursery where it was growing in a greenhouse. At the point of purchase it looked very healthy, but now that it’s been with us a few days some of the leaves are turning yellowish. We placed it a few inches from a southeastern facing window indoors that gets constant light all day and good direct sun for about 2 and a half hours a day. Only doing this indoors because temps can fall below 40 degrees F at night and I read that that was dangerous. Could the leaf discoloration be due to it acclimating? The caudex is nice and firm and we have not watered it yet. The man at the nursery said they watered everything about once a week so not exactly sure when he watered last prior to purchase but probably over a week ago now. When do you guys think it might be safe to water? I know that they need very little water this time of year but it’s indoors. I have even read some do not water at all during winter... Any advice would be great thanks! And yes we are going to put it outside with our other bonsais once the growing season starts hehe. Thanks again. :)
 

Cadillactaste

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I don't have a lot experience with them...this is my second winter. There was a Facebook group for just adenium. But I no longer do Facebook. So can't give you the name. But if you are affiliated there a quick search. There was several.

What I do know...young plants shouldn't go dormant...but be under grow lights when they come inside. (18 hours on a timer.) Without lights...they can go dormant. This was what I was told...mine being under grow lights when making the transition from being outside to indoors never had an issue. Foliage stayed green. So I suggest a grow light...unless you don't mind a dormant plant. Care would be different...

Water...you don't happen to have a water softener on your water do you? If so you can't use that to water these or any plants. It can cause nutrient block. Where the plant stops taking in nutrients.

Medusa Dorset Horn Adenium.
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LittleDingus

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I have a couple of arabicum that I started from seed back in Mayish. I also have an obesum cultivar that is maybe 4 years old now that I purchased about the same time. I'm in a much colder climate so need to bring mine in for many months at a time.

When I brought them in this year, they still had leaves thought most were starting to yellow. I wanted to pot everybody up anyway so I depotted them all and tossed them in a box for a month hoping they would go fully dormant for the winter. After a month or so, the babies were still clinging to a few leaves and were starting to go soft a bit...they start to feel like and old potato rather than a fresh one. So I gave in and repotted them and moved them into a south east window and gave them a weekly shot of water.

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All but the one on the far right had lost all their leaves by the time I potted them. You can see that the baby on the left has grown a few small leaves back. The closeup is the one on the far right that never did loose all its leaves...but they aren't the happiest looking leaves either ;)

Anyway, the point of all this is: they can take abuse! In fact, the worst thing you can do to them is water them too frequently...especially when they are dormant!

You mention the caudex is nice and firm...great! Learn that feeling. When dormant...as they likely are now...don't worry too much about water until they start feeling noticeably less firm. If watering once a week is your jam...fine...but make sure the soil dries fully between waterings. If the plant is dormant and you go to water and the soil is wet...skip that week :)

When the temps rise, they will start putting on more leaves. At that time, you can start watering a little more. Until you get a feel for things though, always error on too little water rather than too much. Most succulents are very prone to rot when over watered. They can live for months without water. Rot can kill them in days if it gets a foothold :(

...and welcome to the forum :D
 

Carol 83

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I've had one for years. It loses it's leaves after it comes inside for the winter. It doesn't make the cut to get under the lights, the pot is too big. It does get natural sunlight from a southern exposure. I water once a week and it is just now starting to put out new leaves.
 

Cadillactaste

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I've had one for years. It loses it's leaves after it comes inside for the winter. It doesn't make the cut to get under the lights, the pot is too big. It does get natural sunlight from a southern exposure. I water once a week and it is just now starting to put out new leaves.
So you think it went dormant for a brief time with it having no foliage? Just curious how long of a dormant period they take...yours getting leaves on now. Their dormancy doesn't last long...or it was sulking. Very curious your thoughts...
 

Carol 83

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So you think it went dormant for a brief time with it having no foliage? Just curious how long of a dormant period they take...yours getting leaves on now. Their dormancy doesn't last long...or it was sulking. Very curious your thoughts...
It always loses it's leaves after coming in, but usually doesn't put out any new ones this early. Not really sure what the difference is this year, maybe a bit more water.
 

rodeolthr

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FWIW, I grow them as landscape plants in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area). They love the intense sun and heat. Mine go dormant and lose most leaves during winter, but seem to cling to a few flowers. They really don't seem to get going again until the temps get back into the 80s, at which point they flush new leaves and flowers. They seem to flower through summer when the temps reach 120F. I have both obesum and arabicum. Those that seem to grow most quickly are on a south-facing white wall......so tons of reflective sun and heat. Mine are on a drip irrigation system. In summer, they get water every day. In winter, maybe once a week, depending on weather. Also, in winter, it can dip down into the 30s/40s at night, but since I assume this mimics their native climate, it doesn't seem to bother them.
 

BonsaiBuddy

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Thanks for all the wonderful feedback everyone! :D I just ordered a grow light, thanks for the suggestion @Cadillactaste we’ll see how it works! :) I’ve never used one before, the one I got has 9 brightness levels. What strength would you advise? By the way your adenium looks awesome. And @LittleDingus Thanks for welcoming me, I signed up months ago and only posted a few times. :) Did I understand your post correctly you repotted your little guys just recently in the winter? Is that doable with adenium’s if you overwinter them indoors? Please let me know. Thanks again everyone!
 

Cadillactaste

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I have no idea about the light system you have. Neither of my systems have that option. Maybe there will be guidance in the directions to help with that option. Or maybe another here has something similar and can offer direction.

Thanks, it's a quirky for sure. I bought it for its tight curled foliage. Looks like broccoli if you squint your eyes. *lol Not for everyone...but I like quirky.
 

LittleDingus

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And @LittleDingus Thanks for welcoming me, I signed up months ago and only posted a few times. :) Did I understand your post correctly you repotted your little guys just recently in the winter? Is that doable with adenium’s if you overwinter them indoors? Please let me know. Thanks again everyone!

I put them back in a pot after they sat bare root in a box on my floor for over a month with no light or water, yes. The big one would probably survive the winter that way no problem. The little ones don't have as much stored water and they were starting to feel less solid so I put them back in pots and watered them a bit to plump them back up.

I plant mine in 100% diatomaceous earth...bought as oil dry from my local NAPA auto parts dealer :) It's basically a coarse sand. These things don't get such an extensive root system that it's much of a problem pulling them out of DE. I just pulled the one in leaf out just now:

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It's back in the pot again and I doubt it even noticed.

Were it in a typical big box store cactus mix, I would not have pulled it out because the roots will cling to organics and finer sands a lot tighter. But I don't think twice about pulling these guys out of DE any time of the year for any reason...well, maybe if they were in flower, I'd think twice first.
 

Carol 83

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I put them back in a pot after they sat bare root in a box on my floor for over a month with no light or water, yes. The big one would probably survive the winter that way no problem. The little ones don't have as much stored water and they were starting to feel less solid so I put them back in pots and watered them a bit to plump them back up.

I plant mine in 100% diatomaceous earth...bought as oil dry from my local NAPA auto parts dealer :) It's basically a coarse sand. These things don't get such an extensive root system that it's much of a problem pulling them out of DE. I just pulled the one in leaf out just now:

View attachment 349843 View attachment 349842

It's back in the pot again and I doubt it even noticed.

Were it in a typical big box store cactus mix, I would not have pulled it out because the roots will cling to organics and finer sands a lot tighter. But I don't think twice about pulling these guys out of DE any time of the year for any reason...well, maybe if they were in flower, I'd think twice first.
I am a bit surprised they don't rot in DE. I think it holds way too much water for a bougie let alone a succulent. Just my $.02.
 

BonsaiBuddy

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Thanks for the help all! My Mom’s adenium seems to be doing well under it’s new grow light, going on it’s third day now. Thanks again everyone! :) And @Cadillactaste thanks for the video, I watch Jerome a lot, but hadn’t seen that one. Yeah that’s one massive adenium! :D
 

Cadillactaste

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Thanks for the help all! My Mom’s adenium seems to be doing well under it’s new grow light, going on it’s third day now. Thanks again everyone! :) And @Cadillactaste thanks for the video, I watch Jerome a lot, but hadn’t seen that one. Yeah that’s one massive adenium! :D
Welcome...in my bonsai circle. He's the go to for adenium. Which was why I went to YouTube. He has classes you can purchase relativity cheap. He has one on adenium too. But for a novelty piece...I've not taken it. If I get bored...I may,just for additional knowledge.
 

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