During the rainy season, the number one thing you should keep in mind when taking care of your lovely desert roses is water drainage.
You'd want to make sure the soil that houses your adenium has very good drainage so that the roots won’t get soaked in too much water and become rotted.
Come on in. Let's check out some good ways to care for your plants during this rainy season.
1. Prepare a soil-less potting medium
Regular black garden soil tends to drain more slowly and holds water for a longer period of time. This is unfavorable especially in the rainy season because the excess amount of water might damage our plants’ roots.
What we want here is an environment that has good air flow and water drainage. To achieve this, you can use well-draining components found easily at many nurseries or online like:
• Pine bark
• Coco peat
• Lava rock
• Crushed brick
• Expanded clay
• Red wood fiber
Yes, there are lots of options. These components let water flow through very easily thanks to the hundreds of tiny pores on their surface. Desert rose roots can grab on components like perlite and therefore develop a stronger foundation.
You can add in about 1 or 2 parts of black garden soil or bonsai / cactus soil if you want. If your plant is quite young and may not have enough nutrients for self sufficiency, then we may want to add in some yummy bits.
Otherwise, creatively mix these components however you see fit.
Here are some ideas:
Adenium Mix 1 for Rainy Season
|Red lava rock||Allow air flow through root system & water drainage|
|Agricultural pumice||Build a strong root foundation|
|Expanded clay||Keep moisture & air|
|Horticultural charcoal||Improve aeration, drainage & kill germ|
|Turface||Add acidity & retain moisture|
Adenium Mix 2 for Rainy Season
|Crushed brick||Keep moisture|
|Wood charcoal||Provide good air flow|
|Perlite||Improve drainage & root development|
|Sand||Keep moisture & drain water well|
|Coco peat||Provide good drainage|
2. Cover your plants with clear sheets
Use a plastic grocery bag or a clear polythene sheet to cover up your plants. The clear bag allows some sunlight to get through while still protecting our plants from getting lots of rainwater.
|Get Cheap Rain-Protecting Drop Cloths|
|* Strong protective sheet to keep your plants from rainwater|
|* Can be easily cut into any size & length|
|* Clear to allow sunlight through for desert rose growth|
The way you cover the plants varies depending on the size of your adenium and your pot. However, remember to be gentle. You can cut the sheets or bags and cover the caudex and root part. Tie the sheets together using some wires, tapes, or zip ties.
We generally cover the lower part because that is the main water tank for the plant and we don’t want it to get imploded with a lot of water.
The upper part usually doesn’t take up a lot of water so it should be fine. You may want to cover it up too if you want to protect the flowers and foliage from splashing rain.
3. Move your plants under a clear shelter
Another fun idea you can try is just to build a simple sort of clear canopy to house the plants under. With the clear roof above them, the plants can still enjoy some sunlight in the morning. They will, however, be protected from too much rainwater that can damage the roots.
You can use polythene material for the roof. This material is strong and sturdy. A roll can be had for very cheap. If you don’t want to buy those rolls, you can try using clear garbage bag. That works as well.
Use some bamboo columns to set the shade up or some plumbing pipes as the base structure for your shelter. Then safely place your desert roses under it and be worry-free throughout the rainy season.
4. Spray some fungicide at least once a week
This is a protective method to keep our plants safe from nasty bacteria or fungi that could eat them up. You can use systemic and contact fungicide and spray it onto the plants.
Basically, systemic fungicide gets absorbed through the roots and contact fungicide gets absorbed through contact with the leaves. A good dosage can be about 2 grams or ¼ teaspoon of fungicide powder per one liter of water.
At the start of the rainy season, you can start spraying the stuff. Then, adjust the dosage depending on the weather conditions and the condition of your plants. Every three or five days is also fine. Spray it once a week if your plants are strong and can fight the harmful stuff on their own.
We do recommend using natural pesticide like a mixture of garlic, onion, ginger, pepper, and ghost chilli. These veggies have natural chemicals that can fight against the bad guys.
The mixture is also gentler to our plants, the underground water source, and has minimal side effects. You can try soaking them in water so they will release those natural chemicals and use them to spray on our desert roses.
Also try mixing in some red wood fiber. Termites HATE this thing so they will stay away from your lovely adenium.
Should I Water My Adenium During the Rainy Season?
This depends on the weather condition, the condition of your desert rose, the potting medium, the pot, and so on. If you use a well-draining mixture, you can try touching the medium to see if it’s too dry the next day. If you want to cut the guesswork altogether, a soil tester tool might help:
|Get Accurate 3-Way Soil Tester Tool|
|* 3-in-1 accurate reading of pH, moisture & light|
|* No batteries needed, ready to work out of the box|
|* Compact & portable for indoor and outdoor use|
After checking the moisture, if the soil is dry then you can water it. Watering in the morning is good because the plant can re-hydrate after a long night. If the potting medium is still moist or wet, then you may not need to water that much.
Tool in action (for 3 seconds):
Should I Add Fertilizer to My Desert Roses On Rainy Days?
Make sure not to supply your plants with extra fertilizer during this time of year. Because during the rainy season, the air has a higher amount of nitrogen that can be taken up immediately by the plants.
This amount is more than enough for our babies. If we supply more nutrients at this time, it might actually do more harm than good. The plants don’t really need more food at this point. So be careful about their diet and keep this in mind
Rain, rain go away...
Rain, a great source of water and nutrients for many plants, can unfortunately be a great source of damage to our adenium. Now you know some of the practical and easy ways to take care of your plants on rainy days.
Remember, use a soil-less potting mix that drains water well. You can cover your plants using a plastic grocery bag. Build a nice shelter to protect them from excess rainwater. If your plants are quite weak, consider spraying some fungicide or natural pesticide to keep the bad guys away.
Water your plants during monsoon if the potting medium is too dry. If it is moist, then just leave it as it is. Don’t give our babies too much food during this time of year or they might become overfed. Rainy season provides lots of free nitrogen in the air already, so we don’t need to do the hard work.
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