So you’ve pruned your adenium desert roses the way that you like, now how do you take care of them after that then? There are only a few points you should keep in mind. It’s not too difficult at all. Come with us & let’s see some of them right now.
1. Place your desert rose plant somewhere dry & sunny
After you’ve cut off the branches, its roots and caudex tend to get weaker than usual. That’s why at this stage they won’t have enough energy to absorb more water or nutes (short for nutrients), especially the rainwater that might contain many other things in it.
After pruning your desert roses, make sure to place your plants somewhere dry and sunny. This helps heal and dry the wounds. It also helps your plants avoid contact with excess water.
What you can also do is use a plastic grocery bag or a garbage bag to cover the caudex. This is to make sure no water can get through the bark and therefore not cause infections to our babies.
Don't water your plants at this stage as well. Just leave the babies there as they are. Let them bathe in the sunlight to heal the cuts. After they’ve recovered, they will have the strength to process and transport water and nutrients again.
2. Mist the young sprouts
Depending on the weather where you live and the species of adenium you have, your plants may grow new sprouts 10-15 days after pruning.
Some plants may sprout sooner or later than this because of the soil condition as well. It’s best to take note of the time to know your unique plants better.
As you can see here, we pruned this branch back on Halloween. And about 2 weeks later, the little eyes are opening up, shooting out new sprouts, yay:
When you see new sprouts shooting out, it’s time to mist our babies. This is a sign that the caudex and roots have started functioning properly again, pushing water and nutes from the bottom to the top. We know now they have been recovered and can begin water lightly our babies after a period of no water.
3. Feed our desert roses with N, P, K
The way we feed our babies varies depending on the type of desert rose and its development stages. You can see how the prune-to-bloom days differ for different type of adenium in a readable post on how to prune your desert roses.
The prune-to-bloom days of single petal desert roses are about 60 days. If you prune your plants around November, the expected time for blooming is 2 months later, which is around January.
Based on this rough estimation, you would space out the time you feed your babies accordingly.
Here's a timeline for feeding:
10-14 days after pruning
When you see new sprouts starting out, start misting and supplying some extra nutes to promote the growth of new roots. At this stage, mix some root hormones or powder and spray around the caudex once every 10 days.
The dosage depends on the product maker. However, usually you can dissolve 1 teaspoon or about 2 grams per 1-2 liters of water. We don’t want to spray too much at once.
Because the powder may get washed away as the water drains out of the soil. And it may be too much for our recovering plants and may “fry” or “burn” the roots with no mercy.
Young leaves growing bigger
Or, you can spray the root powder twice a month, on the 15th and the 30th. This also works as well. When you complete 2 rounds of spraying, you know we’re half-way (30 days completed) to blooming. Then, at this point, we will ramp up the N, P, K amount.
Flowers beginning to bloom
Feed the plants first with slow-release organic fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. This helps build up our plants and the overall bodies and leaves. The 30-10-10 one is a suitable choice.
When the blooming period approaches, you can increase the P, K amount. Phosphorous (P) helps the plants to bloom more flowers at once. Potassium (K) helps our flowers become more beautiful, brighter, and stronger. The 6-30-30 at this stage works like a charm.
The importance of N, P, K and other key factors in the soil mix affect our desert roses as you can see. If you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, don’t be.
Let’s recap what we just went over and you’ll get a clearer idea on what to do with your plants:
|Days||Signals||What to do|
|10 days||Some new sprouts||Misting|
|10 days||Young leaves growing||Misting, spraying root growth powder|
|10 days||Leaves getting bigger||Same as above|
|15 days||More leaves, some small buds||Mixing 30-10-10 slow-release Nitrogen fertilizer|
|15 days||Some small buds||Mixing 6-30-30 high in P, K|
|TOTAL: 60 days||Flowers||Water more every day when bloom|
This table lays out what you can expect at each different stage and what the best practices are. We can’t emphasize enough that the pruning, growing, and recovery process are very different and unique for each plant.
We recommend that you take note of the plants cycle. Some double petal desert roses will take longer to heal and regrow. Sometimes, the weather this year may also make the plants bloom sooner or later.
Although the time frame may be different for various plants, these are general guidelines for what to do at each stage and not hard-and-fast rules. You should also be flexible depending on where you live and the materials available in your area as well.
It's Recovery & Bloom Time!
As you can see, there are only several things you should take note of when taking care of your desert roses after pruning. It's not too difficult right?!
Here are the takeaways:
- After pruning, keep your plants in a nice, dry, sunny place
- Prevent any water from getting into the plants
- Start misting your babies when some new sprouts shooting out
The trickiest part of this process is probably the feeding stages. As a general rule of thumb, feed the plants slowly to prevent the nutes from being washed away with the water and to prevent the roots from being burned by too much goodies.
When your plants are regrowing, feed them with the "protein" Nitrogen. When they are about to bloom, increase the amount of Phosphorous and Potassium. Then you will get strong, healthy desert roses with bright, beautiful flowers.
Hope this brief post helped answer some of your questions. If you have any more questions, leave us a comment. We and many other much more experienced growers in the community will try to help out. We like this idea from Maria’s Garden: Our mission is to keep every desert rose on this planet alive!
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