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  #1  
Old 02-07-2019, 09:08 AM
Arizona Jeanie Arizona Jeanie is offline
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Adenia glauca care questions
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Hello All,
I've been volunteering in a local greenhouse (at the VA), and have been trying to figure out what some of the unlabeled plants are. This one has been a bare caudex sitting, mostly unwatered, in a neglected corner all winter. I thought it looked a lot like a desert rose, but how can you tell just from a caudex? Well, it finally leafed out, and I think I've ID'd it as Adenia glauca. It has a viney stem and deeply lobed (palmate?) leaves.
Now I need some care advice. The leaves are all chlorotic--yellow leaf tissue between green veins, and I'd like to correct that of course. Is it OK to fertilize aggressively, now that there are leaves and active growth? I'm thinking an all-purpose complete fertilizer for acid-loving plants. I'm inclined to Jack's Petunia Feed, as it is formulated with micronutrients and iron, in case that is the problem.
Next question is about repotting. Should it be repotted when it is dormant or actively growing or somewhere in between? Also, how do I make a succulent mix that is more acidic but still fast draining?
I'd greatly appreciate any advice you expert growers out there could give me. I'm not finding a lot of information online about this plant, and I always find it helpful to get some tips from real people I trust--like Orchid Board people.
Thanks
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:58 AM
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Wait to repot until warm weather. More later, gotta go to work.
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  #3  
Old 02-07-2019, 11:09 AM
Arizona Jeanie Arizona Jeanie is offline
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Thanks ES, I was hoping to hear from you. It's 16 F outside my house right now, warmer weather will be welcome. The plant is in a greenhouse, just leafed out two weeks ago.
Please let me know everything I can do to help this plant, I'll tune in later for more. Meanwhile--carry on in your work world, I'm wishing you an unstressful day.
Regards
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:29 PM
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This is all with presumption it's Adenia glauca:

Adenia glauca. It has a viney stem and deeply lobed (palmate?) leaves.
Sounds like Adenia glauca. You can cut back vine but I'd only do when dormant. Do you know it's highly toxic? Use gloves when repotting or pruning. Wash hands if you mess with it.
leaves are all chlorotic--yellow leaf tissue between green veins, OK to fertilize aggressively, now that there are leaves and active growth? I'm thinking an all-purpose complete fertilizer for acid-loving plants. I'm inclined to Jack's Petunia Feed, as it is formulated with micronutrients and iron, in case that is the problem.
I'd use a 5:10:10 fertilizer (easiest/cheapest is likely found in tomato/vegetable fertilizers). Supplement iron separately. Fertilize every two or three weeks (I do three) only after dormancy. Don't overwater. No water when in dormancy other than a bit every six or so weeks. When it begins to break dormancy, water sparingly and gradually bump up as it becomes less dormant. If it gets wet and it's cold, it rots
Should it be repotted when it is dormant or actively growing or somewhere in between?
Sounds like it's just breaking dormancy, which is time to repot, i.e., spring. Don't know your temp levels, but I'd wait until it's warmer than it is here in Kansas right now. Roots should be very fiberous...don't under or over-pot, but give it some breathing room
how do I make a succulent mix that is more acidic but still fast draining?
For Adenia, no more than 10%-30% organic. I use washed granite chicken grit (get the fines out), LECA, sponge rock, small volcanic rock, etc. For the organic part I use peat and composted leaf and alpaca or rabbit poop. Throw in some pine needles for the acidity.
Good Golly, I'm sounding like a Mother Earth hippie type.

Edited to add: Hmmmm, E.S. posted while I was blahdeblahing. If he gives conflicting info to mine, go with his. I'm just the Mother Earth hippie type.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:24 PM
Arizona Jeanie Arizona Jeanie is offline
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Thank you WW,
Don't worry, I compile all the information I can get, then do what seems best. (That has gotten me in a lot of trouble in life, however. )
Sounds like you have a lot of experience with this plant. Do you grow it as bonsai? I'm not at all familiar with it, so I'm trying to learn all I can. It sat all winter in a corner of the greenhouse, I kept waiting for a leaf to try and identify it. Now I'd like to get it in better health, we'll see how it goes. Thank you for your advice

---------- Post added at 10:24 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:16 AM ----------

Two new questions have occurred to me.
When repotting, do you try to keep the caudex at the same level with the potting mix, or do you raise or lower it a bit?
When speaking of toxicity--is it like euphorbia, causing irritation and burning with contact? Or something else? I'm allergic to latex, I get a skin reaction to a lot of plants that have latex-related sap.
Thanks.
One more (possibly quite ignorant) question: are Adenia and Adenium the same genera? Related? Would cultural requirements be similar? I'm finding quite a bit of information about Adenium, very little about Adenia.
More Thanks.

Last edited by Arizona Jeanie; 02-08-2019 at 12:57 AM.. Reason: I think slow.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:23 AM
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Adenia is a genus in the passion flower family. Adenium is a genus in the oleander family. Very different from each other in flower and plant details. However....

Almost all succulents with thick stems for water storage use the water to get through a long dry season. During the summer rainy season they expect large amounts of water. Adenia species, like other passion flowers, are rampant vines that should grow many feet / meters of viny tops each hot and rainy season. If not, you're not watering/feeding enough.

Adenia seem to struggle with humidity lower than 60%-70% during the growing season. This makes them hard to grow well in low-humidity areas without a very humid greenhouse. They are very susceptible to spider mites. In winter they should be kept warm and dry. Most of the top growth, and all the leaves, will fall off in fall. When it warms up and they start to grow, start watering plentifully.

Is this plant in a pot? A greenhouse bed? Why do you think you should repot it?
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:58 AM
Arizona Jeanie Arizona Jeanie is offline
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Hello ES, thanks for getting back to me. I appreciate the basic information about passionflowers, I'm not at all familiar with the group and had confused Adenia and Adenium. It's always good to start at the beginning.
The plant is in a pot, in unknown medium but it seems to be remarkably hydrophobic whatever it is. Someone who worked there before me recalls it being there for at least five years with no attention. No one knew what it was. I've found a number of succulents there not doing well, potted in poorly-draining, compacted houseplant mix, some with a large amount of small-particle sand clogging the bottom of the pot. They compensated for this by only lightly watering the surface, apparently a common misconception about succulents. Also, this Adenia being severely chlorotic makes me suspect it needs proper medium to develop the healthy roots needed to absorb nutrients. I'd like it to be able to utilize the increased watering and feeding I'll be giving it. I have not seen the roots.
The greenhouse is tied into the circa 1910? steam heat system that serves the entire VA complex. (I'd like to see the boiler, but that's another story.) Temperatures are not tightly controlled, but seem to be staying between about 55 and 70F through the winter. There's a bit of a steam leak (or something) that keeps the humidity high all winter. I can't do anything about that, except by withholding water from the few winter-dormant plants.
In summer, the greenhouse is served by somewhat creaky evaporative coolers. Again, temperatures are poorly controlled, getting close to 100F at times, but it does keep the humidity up. I don't have an exact number.
The slightly warmer weather a few weeks ago, and slightly longer days seem to have triggered the spindly, chlorotic top growth, so I think it's time to start the increased watering and feeding.
Do you have this plant yourself? It doesn't seem to be common in cultivation, I can't find much information online. It took me a couple of weeks after the leaves came out to even identify it, but I'm pretty certain I have that right. I have no idea how it ended up in the greenhouse, but we do get donations of plants people are no longer able to care for, for whatever reasons.
I'm very grateful for any and all information and detailed recommendations you can share with me. I'd like to see those rampant vines this year.
Thanks.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arizona Jeanie View Post
Thank you WW,
Don't worry, I compile all the information I can get, then do what seems best. (That has gotten me in a lot of trouble in life, however. )
Sounds like you have a lot of experience with this plant. Do you grow it as bonsai? I'm not at all familiar with it, so I'm trying to learn all I can. It sat all winter in a corner of the greenhouse, I kept waiting for a leaf to try and identify it. Now I'd like to get it in better health, we'll see how it goes. Thank you for your advice

---------- Post added at 10:24 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:16 AM ----------

Two new questions have occurred to me.
When repotting, do you try to keep the caudex at the same level with the potting mix, or do you raise or lower it a bit?
When speaking of toxicity--is it like euphorbia, causing irritation and burning with contact? Or something else? I'm allergic to latex, I get a skin reaction to a lot of plants that have latex-related sap.
Thanks.
One more (possibly quite ignorant) question: are Adenia and Adenium the same genera? Related? Would cultural requirements be similar? I'm finding quite a bit of information about Adenium, very little about Adenia.
More Thanks.
Yes, I had one for years, grown as a bonsai. I don't do bonsai anymore. Started it as a curiosity when Karate Kid came out. It, plus several others, were given to a friend who wanted them.

I still grow Madagascar Jewel, but not as bonsai of course. The toxicity is similar to Madagascar Jewel, euphorbia, pencil plant (name escapes me at the moment, that's generic), etc. Yes, if you're allergic to latex, wear gloves.

Edited to add: I didn't repot mine, but I know it should be at same level or a teeny bit higher when repotting, but not much. As ES says, do you know it needs repotting? If originally potted correctly, doubtful unless it's outgrowing its pot. IF it looks like potting soil, I'd consider it. When it's warmer. Using gloves. Okay, I read the posts again. Yes, consider repotting. And yes, water+cold equals a rotting Adenia

Last edited by WaterWitchin; 02-08-2019 at 11:10 AM..
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:44 AM
Arizona Jeanie Arizona Jeanie is offline
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Thank you WaterWitchin, I'm so happy to have found two knowledgeable people to advise me! This plant is completely new to me, I'm learning a lot.
I suspect it is not potted correctly, it's obviously not doing well as-is. I will wait until the weather's a bit warmer, then see if I can repot, with gloves on. I'm thinking terracotta pot, about the same size, and some fast draining and acidic succulent mix. Meanwhile, I'll cautiously increase watering and feeding. Does that sound about right? I'm very open to suggestions.

BTW, I would have been a hippie myself, but never could get into the drugs, even the botanical ones. Just having fun now working with other plants.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:09 PM
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WaterWitchin WaterWitchin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arizona Jeanie View Post
Thank you WaterWitchin, I'm so happy to have found two knowledgeable people to advise me! This plant is completely new to me, I'm learning a lot.
I suspect it is not potted correctly, it's obviously not doing well as-is. I will wait until the weather's a bit warmer, then see if I can repot, with gloves on. I'm thinking terracotta pot, about the same size, and some fast draining and acidic succulent mix. Meanwhile, I'll cautiously increase watering and feeding. Does that sound about right? I'm very open to suggestions.

BTW, I would have been a hippie myself, but never could get into the drugs, even the botanical ones. Just having fun now working with other plants.
Read what I said a few posts above about the best formula for that particular plant. Especially the organic percentage part.

I never made a very good hippie, nor a very good Mother Earth type. My zen was always being disrupted by squirrels, bright shiny objects, and pulling out random weeds.
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