Adenium plant, commonly known as Desert rose, native of East Africa and Arabia, is well adapted to warm climates and is suitable for making bonsai. The fleshy leaves, attractive flowers in different colours and a bulbous stem base called caudex make the Adenium bonsai unique. The one most suitable for a bonsai, is Adenium obesum with pink, red or white flowers.
Tips for making Adenium bonsai
Dry seeds collected from pod like mature fruits are used for propagation.
Sow seeds half inch deep in trays, filled with fertilised well drained garden soil. Keep it in partial sunlight and spray water regularly. Avoid overwatering, as it may cause seeds to decay. The seeds will be germinated within 7 to 10 days.
After one or two months, carefully replant the seedlings to small pots, filled with potting mixture containing river sand and dried cow dung or compost in the ratio 3:1. Keep it in direct sunlight, giving adequate quantity of water as and when the soil seems dry.
The plant starts blooming about one year after replanting. As the caudex becomes larger, transfer the plant to a much wider shallow pot filled with potting mixture, having the same combination as stated in step 2, keeping the caudex above the soil level. There should be a gap of about two inches between the caudex and the edges of the pots.
Pruning can be done at any time of the year. Cut the stem above the caudex, with a sterilised sharp knife or a new shaving blade, and apply some fungicide on the wound. Natural fungicides such as organic turmeric powder or apple cider vinegar can be used. A large number of new shoots develop from the cuts, producing new flower buds.
Wiring gives the required shape to your bonsai, but care should be taken to avoid winding too tightly, as it may leave marks on the stem.
6. Repotting :
Repot your Adenium bonsai every two or three years, and the same methods given in step 3 can be applied while replanting each time.