Innovating from the traditional method of pruning desert roses, growers have experimented with another way to get even more flowers & branches. Without the cuttings and without the ugly scars.

This fun method is called wiring. It may be practiced more frequently by bonsai experts. I am grateful to Ms Hang Le for sharing her unique way of doing things with us. Join us now & let's see if it actually works.

Wiring The Branches Down

The basic idea is that you use wires to bend the branches of the desert roses downward. Without breaking the branch of course. You can see an example right here:


Why Bending Downward?

When we wire the branches down, the nutrient transportation on the underside of the branch gets blocked out a bit more than usual.

Because of this sort of congestion & imbalance, the nutrients have to look for more ways out to even things out.

The good bits then will outflow to the little eyes on the upper-side of the branch. New branches will then shoot out from the outlets with little leaves & flowers.

The Results

It takes a little more than 2 weeks to see the young, new sprouts flowing out from the branches.

Have a look at the before:

Wiring done on Nov 2

And about 2 weeks after (Nov 20), we can see new young leaves developing. Compared to the pruning method, wiring does seem to give a little push & makes the young leaves a bit larger.

New leaves shooting out
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The Advantage

The good thing about this method, compared to pruning desert roses, is that it doesn't leave ugly scars on the branches. Also, you can more creatively design the structure that suits your eye of beauty best.

As for sprouting time, it's about the same with pruning. When the flowers bloom, you'll get a super dense canopy. This is the young sprout after 2 weeks of pruning. It's comparatively smaller than the other plant we saw.

New sprouts using pruning method

Give It a Try

All it takes is some wires & a little bit of patience. Credit goes to Hang Le for sharing her idea. If you like it, give it a try. We'd love to hear how it turns out for you! Until next time, cheers.

Responses to Readers' Questions

Can GI wire be used??or any particular variety??

--> Thanks for your question. To be honest, I am not sure but my guess is it could.

For your information:

Some folks worry about general watering with GI wire, which could wash off the zinc coating flushing it gradually into the soil. On the other side, this may only happen if your water source is extremely acidic. And even in acidic conditions, zinc leaching will be extremely minimal.

Another possible issue could be that the zinc coating breaks, and rusts settle in, leaving rust staining on the adenium bark. But then again, if the coating is thick and durable, things like this may not happen in a long time.  

To be on the safe side, you could use those for bonsai like aluminum or copper. But the cost is higher. GI is more cost-efficient and is strong enough to hold the tree in shape. You could try these like zip ties, plastic covered wires, copper wires in left-over cables, etc. I hope this helps!


Hi, using the wiring and bending down method, how do I gauge when is the right time to fertilise and water the adenium? Thank you.

--> Hi, thank you for your question. When using the wiring and bending down method, you will still see the little leaf sprout or growth. If you notice the new leaf growth, you can start watering it gradually again. A good time to fertilise is as the leaves are growing out (and as a general rule of thumb: some nitrogen for leaf/branch stage and some phosphorous-potassium for the flowering stage). After blooming is also a good time to add some nutrients back to the soil. Somehow I hope this helps! Any more questions, please let me know. See you again next time!

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