Tag: caudiciforms

An experiment with semi hydroponics

I have thought about experimenting with growing my plants in semi hydroponics for a while now. It’s supposed to work well with Hoyas, but I recently changed their soil and didn’t want to stress them too much, so I went with the next best thing – my Adenium arabicum. This one have always had a bit of trouble growing new feeder roots after a heavy handed repot. Maybe the new, fine roots couldn’t find their way through the fresh soil and they just decided to not grow at all. This makes it a good candidate for semi hydroponics. Apparently, even caudiciforms, like Adenium, like to grow freely in Leca and water instead of soil. Semi hydroponics is basically water therapy for plants. The roots grow straight down into a reservoir of water with nutrients and you never let it dry completely.

How I’m doing it.
The first thing I did was to clean the roots. It took a while to remove every single piece of soil and clay, even with most of the roots gone from the last repotting session, but I think I got it all in the end. If I accidentally leave a piece of dirt in there, it may end up causing root rot.
I decided to use a plastic nursery pot and a transparent glass reservoir, so I know how high the water level is inside the plastic pot. I decided to keep the water level low at first, because Leca will act as a wick and transport water to the roots. Right now I don’t know how well my setup works. I just want to avoid causing harm to the roots before they get used to growing in Leca and water instead of soil.
I decided to order a set with 3 different kinds of fertilizer, specifically made for a semi hydroponic setup. I think they’re called Micro, Grow and Bloom. Leca doesn’t have any nutrients in it, so I’ll have to carefully monitor how much to add and when to do so. All of this is basically an exciting experiment for me. I’ve never done anything like this before.

I’ll make sure to keep you updated on my new project. Maybe it will end up being a huge project with different types of plants. Or maybe it will kill my Adenium. Only time will tell.

Adenium obesum, 7 months old

My Adenium obesum seedlings are already 7 months old. I’m using my hand as a size reference. The seedlings are getting kind of big.

I’ve been leaving them alone, letting them grow as they please until next spring. If I keep pruning them in fall, there’s a chance that they won’t grow new leaves and branches immediately, because their growth slows down when the weather and room temperature gets colder.

Adenium obesum, 5 months old (and update on the A. arabicum)

My Adenium obesum seedlings are now 5 months old and look like little trees! They’re doing awesome right now, rocking their new branches like pros. Look how fat they’ve gotten too.
I included a picture of my adult Adenium arabicum, which is doing great as well. I had to loosen its korok mask a couple of times since I put it on him, which is a good sign that it’s growing, even though it’s hard to see when you just look at it.

Adenium obesum, 3,5 months old

It’s been a couple of weeks since I cut the tap roots on my Adenium obesum seedlings. Most of them are doing okay, especially this one seedling. This one had a lot of feeder roots after the cut, so it was able to drink almost like it used to. The other seedlings still need a bit of rest before I do anything too drastic to them.
As you can see, I also pruned the branches on some of the seedlings, including this one. I’m trying to make them grow more branches as well as help the caudex grow thicker. It seems like it’s working, too. This seedling almost immediately grew two branches after I cut the one it started with. When these two branches grow tall enough, I’ll pinch them and watch the plant grow even more branches. This one is going to be magnificent!

Adenium obesum repotting and root trimming

My tiny 3 months old Adenium obesum seedlings needed new pots because I wanted to make sure they didn’t have too much room for root growth. If you leave these in a tall pot, chances are that the plant will put too much energy into vertical root growth and it will end up tall and lanky. I’m experimenting a bit, too. Some people cut off the tap root and train the remaining roots to grow near the surface of the soil. There so many cool pictures of bonsai-like Adenium with roots growing in all directions around the base of the plant and I want one of those! So I removed the tap roots from some of my seedlings, making sure to leave a few feeder roots behind. My plants are still very small and wouldn’t last long without water.

Sinningia leucotricha care guide

Sinningia leucotricha

The new leaf sprouts on a Sinningia leucotricha bulb are always absolutely adorable. They’re so white and fluffy I want to give the plant a hug!
The bulb itself is now just around 10 cm in diameter.

Care guide
If anyone finds one, but haven’t bought it because they’re afraid of killing it, just know that this is the most hardy caudiciform I’ve ever owned. It stays outside (protected from frost) both in winter and in summer and it loves whatever I do to it. Forget to water? Don’t worry, the bulb is made of water and will pull from its reserves whenever it needs to. Afraid you’ll overwater? This thing LOVES water (in summer). I had to repot mine and add more regular potting soil because the soil was drying out too fast.

The only rules are:
Water it regularly in spring and summer, whenever the soil looks dry.
No water in winter. Keep it completely dry and protected from frost.
Give it as much sun as possible.

Adenium obesum, 6 weeks old

My Adenium seedlings have so many leaves now! They started to grow really fast when I put them in my window with strong sunlight. They seem to be able to handle the sun and heat, even though they’re still pretty young.
I’m currently keeping the “soil“ lightly moist at all times. I’ve fertilized once already, using a weak slow release fertilizer for young plants.