Among the decorative plants, suitable for apartments, too, we find theAdenium, very beautiful plant, also nicknamed "desert rose "or" Madagascar oleander " because of the similarity of the flowers. Among other things, it belongs to the same family of oleanders, which is why the graft between the two can be done. Native to tropical areas of the African continent, this plant belongs to the Apocynaceae family. Let's get to know it better and understand how it can be grown even in a non-tropical climate like ours.
Adenium has a shrubby habit and is evergreen, showing oval-shaped leaves, bright green in color and shiny on the surface. Which makes the color even brighter, especially on the top page. There base of Adenium it has a rounded shape, it is swollen because it must serve as a reservoir for water which could always be used in times of prolonged drought. If well cultivated, or in nature in its natural environment, this plant can reach up to three meters in height.
It is a succulent plant and has all the characteristics, both in the appearance of the leaves and in that of the flowers which are decidedly showy, whether they are white and fuchsia color. After the flowers come the fruits, towards the summer, large and with an arched shape that contain seeds. At times it may even seem like a bonsai, when it is small in size, technically it is not but it can be grown as such.
Flashy and beautiful, but how are these flowers made? They have a total of five petals, white or pink. If pink, they have darker ends as if they had been dipped in ink. When good pruning is done, the branches can develop very large flowers, even of fifteen centimeters, from spring to full autumn. These are very delicate flowers but the blooms are multiple and long lasting.
The two most common species of Adenium in our area are the Multiflorum and Arabicum. The first is loved for its flowers, composed of five petals of an intense red color, more charged on the ends and lighter towards the center. This species has several blooms during the year and is very sensitive to periods of drought. L'Adenium arabicum it is native to Yemen and is one of those species that we find treated as a bonsai, among other things it grows well even on rocky soils.
Before describing the good practices for growing this succulent, we immediately specify that it is not a plant that everyone can keep because it requires a lot of attention and a little experience. Certainly the two most delicate aspects concern the low temperatures, that it bears very little, and the lack of water, which can cause a lot of damage.
The most favorable position for its growth is that brighter, this applies whether it is grown in the garden or in an apartment where it is better to put it in front of the windows, where it can be easily reached by sunlight.
The temperatures this plant is used to are high so we try to spare it the cold and keep temperatures always above 16 degrees, if possible. The right number would be 20. This makes it clear that it is impossible to always grow it outside, even if the climate in Italy is rather mild. The best move is to keep it in the garden or on the balcony throughout the spring and even the summer by moving it into the apartment to spend the winter away from the cold. Let's not worry too much though loses leaves, when it's cold, because the next spring it will be as good as new. To understand if we have placed it in the right position, we look closely at how the branches are developing, if we notice that they are very elongated, the plant is telling us that we have placed it too far from the light source. Let's try to move it where there is more light.
The ideal soil for adenium is well-drained so that no gods are created stagnant water. Normally, normal earth is used and mixed in equal doses with slate flakes, avoiding pressing it. From April to September, fertilization can be carried out using a mixed fertilizer with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. You can also choose the liquid fertilizer suitable for cacti, taking care to reduce the doses indicated on the package by half and administer them once a month.
Being a succulent plant, it doesn't need to too much water so let's not overdo the watering. In spring we check the soil so that it never remains dry and the caudex (the bush of leaves) when it starts to wither, it should be watered. In winter, let's bathe it a maximum of twice a month, although in some cases it is better to suspend it completely, if it loses its leaves, for example. In winter, watering can be suspended, especially if the plant loses its leaves.
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