Adenium Obesum, or as it is more commonly referred to, the desert rose, impala lily and the mock azalea, is a succulent plant indigenous to East Africa. In its natural setting, it can grow to between 6 and 12 feet tall, while grown as a houseplant, it usually only reaches 10 to 12 inches in height. Adenium Obesum has 2-inch wide flowers that can range in colour from shades of red, pink, bi-colours and white. It thrives if given plenty of light, warmth and regular doses of fertiliser.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Adenium Obesum seeds
- Seed-starting tray or planting cells
- Growing media
- Sprayer bottle
- Potting mix
Fill a seed-starting flat with a quality seed-starting compost. Alternatively, make your own soil by mixing together equal portions of coarse sand, peat moss and potting mix.
Pack down the growing media in the tray using the back of a spoon, a small piece of wood or the base of a small planting pot.
Moisten the growing media in the seed-starting flat until it's moist to the touch. Remove the tufts from each of the seeds, if they are present.
Place the seeds over the surface of the growing media so there are about 2 to 3 seeds every inch. Set the seeds firmly by pushing them into the soil using your fingers.
Cover the Adenium Obesum seeds with no more than 1/3 of an inch of the growing media and mist the top of the soil thoroughly.
Transfer the seed-starting tray to a warm (above 12.8 degrees Celsius), light-filled location within your home that gets 8 to 10 hours of filtered light a day. Spray water onto the growing media to keep it moist, but not sodden wet. Germination of Adenium Obesum seeds will begin in 7 to 10 days.
Prepare to transplant the seedlings when they have about 6 true leaves and are at least one month old.
Mix together a good quality potting mix, with about 1/3 to 1/2 its amount of perlite, small gravel or coarse sand. Place the mixture into individual 4- or 5-inch pots until each is about 2/3 full.
Dig out the seedlings from the seed-starting tray using a small spoon and set them into a pot, using care not to plant too low in the pot. The seedlings need to be planted at the same depth as they are currently growing.
Scoop in the potting mixture to fill each pot. Transfer the seedlings back into the warm, bright area in your home.
Tips and warnings
- Always wear gloves when handing an Adenium Obesum. According to the University of Wisconsin, their sap is highly toxic.
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