Desert Rose (Adenium Obesum)

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Desert Rose (Adenium Obesum)

Desert Rose (Adenium Obesum), originally uploaded by malyousif.

I got these cuttings as a gift this morning, I’ve gone to 4 garden centres in Bahrain before receiving them and they didn’t have any Adeniums in stock, and they didn’t know when they would be getting any in…

These are going to be my pride and joy if they “take” into my garden (in pots initially). I fell in love with this plant immediately I saw it the first time.. absolutely gorgeous.

(this is my side cabinet in the office by the way)

references, if you’re interested in this plant: 1, 2 and 3.

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33 Comments
  • Citizen Quasar
    1 May 2006

    They are beautiful. I am a big fan of your gardening efforts, Mahmood. Please, keep up the good work!

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    1 May 2006

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  • Anonymous
    1 May 2006

    HAHAHAHAHAHA I can’t stop laughing, help me. Highly confidential and he posts it in your blog. Some people are so stupid they actually fall for this in the Gulf.

  • Omar
    1 May 2006

    Frangipani! That reminds me ONLY of one place – Nairobi: it seems wherever one finds trees there, there’s the scent of Frangipani! It is getting hot and more humid here too; but, strangely – that’s when I am mostly healthy.

  • CerebralWaste
    1 May 2006

    Mahmood

    What are you doing to propagate these? I have 2 of these myself, 1 houseplant and 1 quasi bonsai I somehow managed to acquire. For some reason never thought of trying to root any cuttings from them.

    They are wonderful plants and for being tropicals they are surprisingly tough in my opinion.

    My best wishes to you with these!

  • mahmood
    1 May 2006

    Omar, my wife and I are in love with Frangipanis. We (now) have more than 10 in and out of our garden! There are 6 in the outside planters, and 5 inside the garden, with one of those the red-flowered variety. You can imagine the scents that greet you when you enter the house if the breeze is coming from the right direction and they are in bloom!

  • mahmood
    1 May 2006

    Mark, I just planted them into 5-inch plastic pots at the moment, filled with sandy soil from a prepared bed (about 80% garden sand/20% peet-moss and compost with a little manure).

    Before planting, I made the 45-degrees cut to the bottom of the cutting, dipped it (about 3 inches) into rooting powder, made a hole for it in the pot and put it there.

    The next few days are going to be interesting.

  • tooners
    2 May 2006

    Aaahh, these are beautiful. One day, I can dream can’t I, I hope to have a garden that looks a little bit like yours… it amazes me how I am completely unable to grow anything in this country! I seem to have luck w/ the things I don’t really care for… figures.

  • Jared in NYC
    2 May 2006

    Stunning, and I’m as envious as tooners. Unfortunately, I have a brown thumb and my wife does too, but we’ve discovered that we’re unable to kill Bamboo cuttings, which look very nice in the kitchen!

  • mahmood
    2 May 2006

    tooners and Jared the secret is in the soil preparation! Believe me if you spend the time and effort making sure your soil is good (for the type of plants you wish to grow) then you have already won 80% of the battle.

    I don’t want to brag – but am amazed even now – that I practically threw sun flower seeds, zinneas, cockscomb and celosia seeds in various beds (kept them in separate parts of the bed) and just made sure that they are well hydrated and they have all grown. I’ve even started thinning them and will soon (the weekend probably) start transplanting them to the various prepared beds in the garden as well as the planters outside of the house. These are seeds sown directly into the soil, not in nurseries or individual pots and didn’t require any special attention (other than shading some after transplanting).

    So it’s in the soil prep more than anything else – oh, and being lucky!

  • Lujayn
    2 May 2006

    What is rooting powder?

  • mahmood
    2 May 2006

    It’s a growth hormone which you are well advised to use for propagating plants asexually. They develop much bigger and better roots much faster with the hormone rooting powder or jell than they would just planted normally. Most rooting compounds also have fungicide in them so it would protect your cutting from fungus infections at its early life.

    They’re sold in most garden shops.

  • CerebralWaste
    2 May 2006

    Neem is also a good thing to use when propagating Mahmood. A little mist into the propagation tray can greatly reduce those pesky associated problems that can happen during the rooting process.

    Misting with neem over seedlings will reduce “damping off” as well.

    (Also neem is great for controlling fleas and ticks on the dogs!)

  • Lujayn
    2 May 2006

    I remember someone mentioning Neem oil from an earlier post, and I tried to find it here in Dubai, but nobody knew what it was. Any other names it goes by?

  • mahmood
    2 May 2006

    You should be able to get it, there is one garden centre in Bahrain that sells it and it imports it from India. If you still can’t get it, I’m going to be in Dubai again on the 24th of this month and certainly can bring a bottle for you with me. Let me know would you?

  • Lujayn
    2 May 2006

    Will do, thanks a million, Mahmood. Now why cant Steve the American lighten up and discuss plants? 🙂

  • tooners
    2 May 2006

    Well, I’ve tried preparing my soil properly, but my dear ole father-in-law insists on bringing in sand and they put it into our garden. This year we didn’t allow it for the most part, but they still did it while we were away. aarrgghhh… maybe this next time we’ll have better luck in keeping it the way we want.. I hope.

    Where do you get the manure? So you use manure, peat moss, compost and sand?

    I bought some seeds while in the States and I want to use them – they’re wild flowers. Have you ever tried growing these?

    What type of shading material do you use?

  • CerebralWaste
    3 May 2006

    Tooners

    If the sand being brought in is the right kind that can be a good thing to help keep the soil loose and free from being compacted. Bahrain’s native soil (if you can call it soil) is very alkaline and compacts to near hard pan conditions. The whole Island if you haven’t noticed seems like one big piece of limestone.

    Soil prep like Mahmood talks about and has done is what you have to do if you want to grow anything in Bahrain. To maximize results you should “tweak” the soil to meet the individual requirements of the various plants you will be planting. This isn’t as hard as it sounds it just takes a little basic understanding of what the plants like and a little trial and error. The bougainvillea I have here from Bahrain require a constant PH adjustment to maintain LUSH growth and blooms BUT the seem to like a slightly acidic mix when rooting cuttings. (weird!) #:-o!Though in the past 2 years I have been weaning them towards a slightly more neutral soil PH. Plants can adapt.

    You should be able to grab some horse manure at any of the local horse stables. Most of the time they are more than happy to give you all you want. Just a word of warning. Horse manure can contain lots of unwanted weed seeds.

  • mahmood
    3 May 2006

    Lujayn email me your contact details please (not sure if I got your card when we met?) and I’ll get a bottle of Neem tree oil to you in a couple of weeks. No hope for Steve though, just consider him sitting mumbling to himself in a corner somewhere if he gets too much on your nerves, learn to filter!

    tooners, like Mark intimated, there are kits available for testing the PH level of your soil if you want to do it properly. This way you would know exactly how to get your soil acidic or alkalinic for your plants; however, as I am just a starter in this business, I tend to go with the “hit and miss” scheme which is much more rewarding!!

    What I do is bring in the special washed garden sand, as your father-in-law has done, but that really does not contain any nutrients (I think) so it is a medium to host the nutrients.

    My way of doing things is shape the beds with the sand, then layer about 1cm of peat moss on top of the sand, mix it in by turning the earth properly then water the beds thoroughly for a couple of days. Then I would add a sprinkling of manure (look for Al-Bustan manure bags as they are sorted and all seeds and pests are removed from it, they sell it at garden centres) but be careful as a lot of plants just don’t like manure, check on the internet or ask the guys at the garden centre for advice. Turn the earth quite good again (I would go down to at least 4 – 6 inches during turning for both the peat and the manure) then I water again for a couple of days then shape the beds again and then I plant the stuff in there.

    Don’t forget to feed the beds at least once every 4 – 6 weeks by placing NPK (10-10-10 or 15-15-15) pallets around the beds, but away from plants’ roots or stems. Water thoroughly to get that to soak, and as the NPK pallets are slow release, the bed would stay fed and nutrients released for quite a while.

    So far this has been working quite well for me. If you are using a sprinkler or drip system for your watering, make sure that the patches get watered properly! I’ve had problems getting my tear-drop and bulbs-patch to behave themselves until I came to the realisation that although the soil is prepared well, the watering system was less than good. I had to buy very small sprinklers which I attached to the drip lines to get better watering coverage. I’ll let you know how that goes in a couple of weeks.

    Don’t give up! And have fun.

  • Anonymous
    3 May 2006

    Where do you get the washed garden sand mahmood ?

  • mahmood
    3 May 2006

    The government! Go to the Ministry of Agriculture and buy it from there. Their place is at the end of the Budaiya road and they might advise you on prices and lorry-loads etc.

  • sumanta mandal
    4 May 2006

    Dear Sir
    We are cultivating Adenium Obesum for last two years. Now we are having sufficient
    quantity of seedlings ( 1″/ 2″ / 3″ ) if you have any requirement please let as know .
    We shall dliver you our best price.
    Thanking you

    yours faithfully
    Sky wave

    [ Sky wave Adenium exporter]

  • Lujayn
    4 May 2006

    Wow, even nurseries are reading your blog! Impressive!

  • mahmood
    4 May 2006

    unbelievable!! I’m flattered. Targetted spam? I’ll let this one go however as they weren’t over the top, were on-topic and didn’t provide links all over the place.

  • Mary
    13 May 2006

    I am a Master Gardener, and I love the Desert Rose. I am always thrilled to see someone else decide to grow them. This is a site that I often send “new parents” to learn more about their new charges.

    http://www.tropicanursery.com/adenium/cultivation.htm#basic

    Best of luck with your beautiful new plant!

  • mahmood
    13 May 2006

    Thank you very much Mary, much appreciated!

  • babu
    29 May 2006

    Adeniums are basically desert plants.Adenium Arabicum as the name indicates are from Arabia.They grow naturally in abundance in Oman,Yemen and Saudi. There is a great group in yahoo groups for adenium lovers.You can become a member to know more.
    I am from Dubai and I grow them here very easily. These plants are available in most garden shops in Dubai. You can also get them from Taiwan. Mr.Ko he sells them from Ebay.He is very reliable.I have bought plants from him. http://web.my8d.net/adeniumseeds/index.html this is his site.You will be amazed at the colours available.
    Best of luck with your rooting efforts.

  • mahmood
    29 May 2006

    Unfortunately it all came to nought. All 6 cuttings went mushy at the parts that were inserted into the soil, I probably over-watered them. I threw them all out and hopefully within the next few days I’ll buy a couple of plants and see if I can kill them off too!

  • babu
    30 May 2006

    Not very surprising! To grow them from cutting you need to dry them for a few days a in shaded, cool and dry place. The planting mix has to be with good drainage.The easiest way to kill an Adenium is to over water the plants.The same is the case with cuttings.
    I have some seeds which are fresh and I can send it to you if you are interested. I have no idea what colours they will give you as they are naturally polinated. I have quite a few colours blooming in my garden.
    Best of luck with your Adenium growing efforts.

  • Dypsis
    24 July 2006

    Actually, frangipani are plumeria, closely related to adenium. Frangipani have emuch bigger leaves and can take much more moisture.

    Here in california, our winters are wet and cold, so Adenium cannot be grown outside in the soil here, or else the roots rot and the plant dies. so they stay in pots. I’ve got one of my own. No flowers yet though.

    The soil where I live is almost pure sand as my house sits upon old sand dunes. I can grow quite a bit in it, but anything that likes moisture needs constant watering.

  • Margot
    11 October 2006

    My daughter has brought me a desert rose from Sharm. Its dried up like parchment. She said I need a glass bowl to grow it in. I havent a clue where to start, Can you help Thank you

  • mahmood
    11 October 2006

    Margot I’ve never been successful with desert rose cuttings, but I can tell you that when I bought a young plant and put it in its bigger pot and took care of NOT over watering, it is doing rather well at the moment!

    So my advice is ditch the cuttings if you are not an experienced gardener and go buy a small desert rose that you can take care of.

    I’ve got to post a picture of my desert rose, but my camera is still in the shop at the moment. I shall though, immediately I get it back.

  • Anonymous
    25 February 2007

    السلاام عليكم
    اسمي طلال انة امووت باالأدينيوم

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