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.
Reason #2: Too much nutrients
May we share with you the principle for reproduction. It's something like when the surrounding nutrients reach its lower limit, things will begin too shoot out younger generations.
We can see examples from other species like mushroom, which will reproduce when the substrate 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 stop feeding them for about a week.
Likewise, check if there's too much nutrients in the soil of your desert roses. The plants may still be in their peak development stage to shoot out branches. See the fat branches & the number of new shoot-outs. As the plant is still growing, they may not throw out flowers yet. It's not yet the time.
In cases like this, you may sometimes see the tree 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 or cut off some branches to hamper growth.
Reason #3: Too much bad stuff
Strong chemical boosters like Atonik might weaken the overall health of the trees. 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 detox their trees completely. 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, 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 adenium variety. It's a double-layer pink desert rose. Many call this variety Grace. The bugs party here all the time:
Here are some white mealybugs:
The mealybugs you see here are the females. They 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 try:
- 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 is 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 specific 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.
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.
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.
Good luck & enjoy admiring and taking photos of adenium blooming again.
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