Paul Nickerson

Posts Tagged ‘Desert Rose’

Desert Rose: Prune and Propagation

In Potting, Propagation on January 15, 2012 at 11:09 pm

I recently did some drastic pruning on my Desert Rose (A. Obesum). I bought the plant a while back as a rescue from a local nursery and have let it grow with little training until now. The plant developed a very prominent, Y, “slingshot” formation. The goal if this hard prune was to develop a better shape of the overall plants, while using the cuttings as propagation stock.

Being advised by a number of bonsai fanatics, I lopped off one of the branches, and truncated the other. I am hoping to use a Dremel to soften the hard edges that resulted from the prune.

The lengths of stock were cut into three-inch sections, each containing a couple nodes. They were potted in a well draining soil and are kept moist. A. Obesum is a relatively easy plant to root from cuttings.

Just for the sake of it, I tried a method typically used with ficus to develop a more developed caudex. Some of the segments I cut length-wise twice, creating a cross that could be opened up when potted. This should create a more flanged caudex. We’ll see how it goes!


Know Your Plants: Pick Your Poisons Wisely

In Identification, Potting on November 7, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Reading through my posts it may be evident that I have a small obsession with Adenium Obesum, the Desert Rose. This common houseplant is treasured for its beautiful blooms and uniquely shaped caudex. What is important to note is that while Adenium Obesum is a prized specimen, many of its parts contain a toxin that is very harmful to humans, pets, etc. In the past, this poison has been harvested from the sap and seeds of this plant as an aid in hunting and fishing.

When working with the Desert Rose, precautions should be taken to avoid contact with the poison. After working with the Desert Rose, especially if the sap comes in contact with your skin, thoroughly wash your hands. If you any part of the plant is ingested contact the Poison Control Center immediately. This goes for any inedible houseplant.

Many other common houseplants, such as Aloe Vera, Amaryllis, Barbados Lily, Bird of Paradise, and countless others are considered poisonous to pets and children. Be sure your know your plants and are aware of any dangers they pose. Full lists of poisonous plants can be found online.

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