Fat plants

Adenia - Adenia spinosa

Adenia - Adenia spinosa

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small caudiciform succulent plant, native to southern Africa. It constitutes a small bush, with a large woody caudex at the base, from which branch off long thorny branches, with trilobate, deciduous, bright green leaves, with a slightly waxy appearance. It is a very long-lived plant, which can reach even large dimensions, with a diameter greater than one meter and a height of 70-80 cm; in summer it produces small cream-colored or white flowers, and then the fruits that contain the small dark seeds. A. globosa has roundish caudex, with thorny branches devoid of leaves; A. venata has green or purple caudex, with very thin, climbing and fast-growing branches.


he prefers very luminous positions, possibly leaving the caudex in a shaded and cool area and the leaves in full sun; it does not tolerate temperatures below 10-15 ° C, therefore in winter it must be kept indoors or in a temperate greenhouse.


in the vegetative period it needs abundant and regular watering, avoiding in any case the water stagnations; it easily supports short periods of drought. From when the leaves dry, until new shoots appear, thin out the waterings until they almost suspend them. From March to October, provide fertilizer for succulent plants, mixed with the irrigation water every 10-15 days.


prefers loose, fertile and very well drained soils; it is advisable to cultivate the adenia in slightly acid soil. Peat can be used, mixed with sand and lapillus.


occurs by seed, using fresh seeds in autumn; the seedbed must be kept in a humid and sheltered place until the seedlings are germinated, which must be repotted in a single container the following year; this plant has very slow growth, so it is often propagated by semi-woody cuttings, but the new plants will not develop the characteristic caudex, on the other hand they will grow faster and bloom early and abundantly.

Adenia - Adenia spinosa: Pests and diseases

adenias are often attacked by cochineal and whitefly.


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