For adenium desert roses that are not blooming, please check if there's:
Reason #1: Insufficient Sunlight
Without enough sunlight, it can be difficult for the desert rose to convert energy & produce flowers. Even if they produce flowers, they usually won't be as bright & beautiful. Branches may flower at different time & not all at once. About 6-8 hrs of sunlight is good for desert roses. Make sure it's bright but not scorching sunlight, as scorching light could burn the desert rose leaves.
Reason #2: Too Much Fertilizer
The one common mistake growers have when feeding their plants is... feeding them too much. May we now share with you the principle for reproduction.
When the surrounding nutrients reach its lower limit, living things will begin too shoot out younger generations.
We can see examples from other species like mushroom, which will reproduce when the substrate (like the growing soil giving them nutrients) nearly runs low. Chickens or birds with excess body fat won't lay eggs soon. Similarly, in worm raising, to make them multiply faster, people 'trick' the worms by stopping feeding them for about a week. By being scared, they reproduce quickly for survival.
Likewise, check if there's too much nutrient in the soil of your desert roses. The plants may still be in their peak development stage to shoot out branches and leaves. See the fat branches & the number of new shoot-outs. As the plant is still growing, they may not throw out flowers yet. It may also not yet the time.
In some cases, you may sometimes see the adenium flowers but then continue to heighten up their branches. Narrowing it down, this can be excess nitrogen (the 'protein') in the soil. This slows down phosphorous & potassium intake which makes flowers & seed pods. We can wait for the nitrogen to be consumed or cut off some branches to hamper growth. Or an easy solution is to reduce the fertilizer amount in the soil.
For more tips on fertilizing your desert rose plants, check out this post:
>> Link Blog post: Best Fertilizer for Desert Roses
Reason #3: Chemicals
Strong chemical boosters like Atonik might weaken the overall health of the plants. This means a weaker natural root system. The plants may not flower in this case.
If this is the case, get rid of the bad stuff & replant your desert rose in clean, new soil. Some folks use sand as the substrate to cleanse or detox their plants. Then, they start feeding them moderately again depending on the development stages.
Reason #4: Insects & Fungi
These guys suck the nutrients out of your plants. They are the "partners in crime" of causing yellow leaves or black spots. When too much nutrients are leaking out to these parties, there may not be enough to support your trees.
Here are their faces:
Red spider mites sneaking under the leaves.
According to some growers, these guys are the most stubborn of all stubborn insects. They appear on other plants as well like strawberries & apples. They are tiny & often sneaking under the leaves. They suck out the good juice, make the leaves yellow & possibly slow the flowering stage down.
Red spider mites love this pink adenium variety. It's a double-layer pink desert rose. Many call this variety Grace Endless. The bugs party here all the time:
Here are some white mealybugs:
The mealybugs you see here are the females. The female mealybugs don't have wings & can't fly. They often lay eggs on the plants. Ants help carry the bugs or their eggs around. When the white wax is washed off, mealybugs show an orange body. These guys can affect the adenium leaves, caudex & root.
Fungi causing black spot & yellow leaves:
Many people call this leaf spot. It's caused by a fungi with this long romantic name Colletotrichum gloeosporioides penz. Fungi like this can penetrate deep into the desert rose's body, pulling back the speed of growth & flower production.
If from your observation, your desert roses are having these symptoms, you could try:
Getting Rid of Pests Safely
To get rid of the pests, you can use:
- 3 parts boiling water
- 2 parts room temperature water
- 3 cc (3 ml) dish soap
- Optional: mint essential oil, neem oil, horticultural oils, red wood fiber
This works to keep these guys away while still keeping your plants safe & alive. The dish soap & oils dissolve the protective cuticles or skin of the insects and mess a bit with their reproductive system. Spray the solution late in the evening for good results.
If your local area sells red wood fiber, get some because red spider mites hate this smell. It will also keep the ants away from your plants.
|Cold Pressed Neem Oil|
|100% pure oil (no chemical additives)|
|Does not burn plants|
If you use neem oil, be careful because this stuff smells bad (like vomit or dead bodies). People mix this with castille soap (not water) in their bathrooms to isolate the smell & to get it to work. But once it dries, the smell will be gone. This stuff is effective.
If you don't like the idea of killing insects, try a milder solution:
Soak some chopped onion in water & extract that juice. If there's chlorine in your tap water, let it sit outside for a few days to off gas. Spray or pour the onion extract around the caudex or roots.
There's some sulfur in onion (noticeable by its strong odor). Sulfur strengthens the plants' disease resistance. The bad guys just hate this smell so they'll find some other places to build their houses. Garlic or mustard also work for this purpose.
Beer + water as a prevention:
Another easy way to 'piss off' the pests is to spray the leaves with a high-pressure water hose. You could also try the beer + water mixture. It keeps the yellow bugs away and works as a prevention.
For dealing with fungi, you need to cut off the branches. So the fungi won't run their mycelium (dark strings) deep into the tree body & spread to other trees in the garden.
Other Possible Reasons
In other cases, the issue of desert roses not blooming may be the age and health of the plants. The plants may be young. Or in some varieties like Dorset Horn Adenium, it may take up to 3 years for it to produce its first flowers.
Some plants may be weak genetically. Or if it's been propagated by cutting, after many cloned generations, the plants may need time to get better health or adapt to the environment.
Desert Roses Blooming Again
If well-cared-for, your adenium will begin gathering all it needs to produce flowers & seeds again. It may flower again from 60-90 days.
If you believe the plants can do it, you can do it too. To sum up, look out for any lack of sunlight, too much good/bad stuff in the soil and any bad guys eyeing your desert roses.
Your adenium will bloom beautifully again. They will.
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