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How to Grow and Care for Adenia

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Adenia is a genus of flowering plants in the Passion-flower family (Passifloraceae). It is distributed in the Old World tropics and subtropics. The centers of diversity are in Madagascar, eastern and western tropical Africa, and Southeast Asia. The genus name comes from "aden", reported as the Arabic name for the plant by Peter Forsskål, the author of the genus.

Adenias have some very interesting characteristics. They are excellent members of the caudiciform succulents and some species can attain a base of more than 6.6 feet (2 m) wide. Most Adenia plants are vine growers and form a large canopy of heart shaped leaves that shade the base. Most Adenias have green trunks and branches. Some species have overlaid reds, browns, or purples that add to the beauty of the caudex. Adenias typically flower in the spring before the leaves appear.

Growing Conditions and General Care

Adenia plants are summer growers and can be watered and fed regularly if planted in fast draining soil. Let the soil dry between watering if you are in a humid climate.

Most of your growth will be during the warm season and the plant will have the most leaves. The plant will also grow best with the leaves exposed to bright light, but the caudex shaded.

Photo via flickr.com

During the cool months protect the plant from frost to keep it alive. The plant normally rests during this period and water should be kept to a minimum. However, you can keep the plant active, if you can keep it above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).

Their sap is poisonous, and they should be handled with caution, particularly when pruning.

Propagation

Most cuttings do not produce a caudex so it is best to propagate by seeds. Adenias are either male or female so one of each is required to produce seeds.

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