Adenium Caudex

June 14, 2008

One of the things I like about Adeniums is the interesting caudex that some of them have. Does this occur naturally or are there tricks that can be done to promote more interesting and larger caudexes? Would appreciate any hints on how it can be enhanced.

Comments (13)

  • xerophyte NYC

    1st: not all species and clones develop the same type of caudex. some get huge, others short and squat, etc.
    2nd: seed grown plants are more likely to develop the characteristic caudex than cutting grown plants
    3rd, and perhaps the most important: growth seems to be quickest when plants are young, at which point they should take ample root room, water, heat and nutrition. These are really tropical plants and should be treated as such.

    They are succulents because they have adapted to seasonal drought but that doesn't mean it should be duplicated during cultivation.

  • felipo

    The Adeniums I have have somewhat of a caudex. I assume that that they are from seed. I do not know how old they are. They are approximately 2 feet high. They are in the sun, get plenty of water, and I am fertilizing them with the same fertilizer I use for my plumerias which is a 50-50 mix of Colorburst and Dynamite. They have a lot of flowers and seem to be doing well. I have transplanted them into larger containers twice in the last year and each time I pulled the caudex up about 1/2 inch or so which is what I had read could help with caudex growth. Anything else that I can do to stimulate caudex growth?

  • xerophyte NYC

    Florida conditions should suit it just fine, except for the winters which depending on where you are, you may need to protect your plants from rain.

  • rita_h

    Mine didn't have a real obvious caudex above the soil line, but had one developing underneath the potting media, discovered at the last repotting. Pretty cool -- it was all twisty and fat.

  • puglvr1

    Here is a picture of my Adenium's Caudex. I bought it over 3 years ago(maybe almost 4)? at H. Depot in an 8" pot, I up-potted it every 4-6 months exposing a little more of the caudex each time I raised it. I went a size or so larger pot once a year. I also live in FL so my weather allowed me to raise it more often. I trim it once a year to keep it wide instead of tall/lanky. I only have one D. rose, so I am not an expert just letting you know what has worked for me...Apparently I was lucky that my plant's caudex had a nice form, all I did was raised it to expose it.

    Good luck!



  • felipo

    That is gorgeous!!! I love it!! When you raised it, how much did you raise it---1/2 inch or more? I am always afraid that I will raise it too much and kill it. Did you also trim some of the smaller roots that became exposed when you raised it or not?

  • martindk

    @Puglv1: What a wonderful display of flowers.:-) Does it bloom continuously through the growing season?

    Btw, it looks like a nicely grown cutting.

    -- Martin

  • puglvr1

    Thanks very much!!

    Felipo, I raised it appx. 1" every time I did it. Just remember do it slowly, better to do it a little at a time than to go too much. You can always raise it a little more in a few months. I know what you mean, the first I did it, I was so sure I was going to kill it. I read about raising the caudex on one of the articles I read on the web, not really knowing what I was doing was the correct way, I went ahead and went for it. I figured I had to try it, ever since I saw pictures of how cool they look with their knarly caudex. Yes, I did trim the smaller roots right after I raised it or soon afterwards. It didn't seem to hurt it any. Just use a very sharp knife or pruners and cut as close to the trunk to make a clean cut. I just raised the caudex again two weeks ago, trimmed some of the bottom roots and trimmed the top.I have it in semi shade right now since it is very hot. I wouldn't recommend doing it right now though, might be better to wait till fall,or early spring when our temps are a little cooler during the day. Mine was getting root bound and I did not want to go to a bigger pot, this pot is heavy enough as it is. I am going to try to keep it in this size pot as long as I can...

    Martin, it doesn't bloom continously, but late April/May is when it seems to "Peak" when I seem to have more flowers than leaves, then after that till winter it always has a few blooms here and there. I think our weather in summer is just way too hot/humid to keep lots of blooms on it.

  • rjj1

    It's a beautiful plant, but I wouldn't blame heat in Florida on lack of continual blooming. Florida is warm, but not hot. :-) You have ocean breezes that keep your temperatures down.

    I would blame genetics. It's probably a common pink Adenium that has been dumped on the market for many years here. There are superior cultivars across the world that preform well almost year round in tropical areas with a similar climate to Florida.

    I have a few cultivars that bloom almost non stop here during the summer here. And it gets hot here. :-)


  • puglvr1

    Randy, I never thought of that, you're right about it being the commom pink. There is nothing special or unique about this flower/variety. Unfortunately I don't get any ocean breezes where I live. I live right smack down the middle of the state, 2 hours south of Orlando. The closest ocean is three hours away...It was 97 degrees today, humidity was 70%. We have been in the upper 90's for several weeks, no relief in sight. We have had rain all around us, but not here. *Sigh*. One day I would like to try a less common variety. Similar to one like your many gorgeous D. Roses!

  • rjj1

    I guess if you live in the middle of the state about 120 miles south of Oralndo, you may not have a lot of ocean breezes. I'm not real familair with that part of the state.

    But you can't be more than 70 miles from the ocean east or west. Ocean breezes don't have to get in the car and drive the back roads to get to your house. :-)

    July and August it will regularly hit over 110 degrees on the back porch where I keep my plants. Been hitting mid 90's already and it's not hot yet.


  • Dave in NoVA • N. Virginia • zone 7A

    Puglover --

    Gotta say WOW! That's beautiful!! My adenium is getting a bit tall and lanky. It's ready to bloom, so I'll trim back like yours after the bloom. I agree, the wider look is better. That looks like a very fast-draining soil. What's in it?


  • puglvr1

    Thanks Dave...Its a mixture of Turface(high fired clay)Pine Bark Fines, Granite(or very Coarse Silica Sand)not regular play sand and very little Cactus soil.

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