small succulent caudiciform plant, native to southern Africa. It is a small bush, with a large woody caudex at its base, from which long thorny branches branch out, with trilobed, deciduous, bright green leaves, slightly waxy in appearance. It is a very long-lived plant, which can reach even large dimensions, with a diameter exceeding one metre and a height of 70-80 cm; in summer, it produces small cream or white small flowers, and then the fruits containing the small dark seeds. A.
globosa has roundish caudex, with thorny branches without leaves; A. venata has green or purple caudex, with very thin, climbing and fast-growing branches.
prefers very bright positions, possibly leaving the caudex in a cool and shady area and the leaves in full sun; it does not tolerate temperatures below 10-15°C, therefore in winter it is to be admitted to the house or to a temperate greenhouse.
during the vegetative period it needs abundant and regular watering, avoiding however water stagnations; it bears without any problems short periods of drought. From when the leaves dry up, till the appearance of the new shoots, thin the watering almost to suspend them. From March to October, provide fertiliser for succulent plants, mixed with the water of the watering every 10-15 days.
prefers loose, fertile and very well drained soils; we suggest cultivating the the adenia in slightly acidic soil. Peat, mixed with sand and lapillus, can be used.
occurs by seed, utilizing the fresh seeds in autumn; the seedbed is to be kept in a humid place and sheltered until the germination of the small plants, which are to be repotted in a single container the following year; this plant has a very slow growth, therefore it is often propagated by semi-woody cutting, but the new plants will not develop the characteristic caudex, on the other hand, they will grow faster and will bloom early and abundantly.
Adenia – Adenia spinosa: Pests and diseases
adenias are often attacked by cochineals and whitefly.
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