21 September 2013


Bulaklak: (n) Tagalog word meaning "flower"; (v) namumulaklak (blooming), namulaklak (bloomed), mamulaklak (to bloom, to flower);
                    Non sequetur: suicide by yummy

Left: shortly after being potted up in winter 2012; Right: pruned to remove annoying slingshot look.
This plant was just brought indoors as night temperatures dip to about 10C. I think they can withstand lower temperatures than that but to save the buds from the cold, it needed to be indoors.
After about a week indoors, the smallest of the flower buds dried up and dropped off.

Adenium obesum "Rik Ni Ran" in bloom. It is possible that this particular plant was so stressed by pruning that it coughed up a bunch of buds as a result. Plants are often deliberately subjected to chronic stress to coax it into blooming.

Whatever you did to make your plant bloom, know that it is normal for buds to appear and discombobulate you by dropping off for no readily apparent reason. It takes about a month for the bud to acquire heft and mature. The thing is on some kind of schedule and you won't get any sort of briefing. It reaches some maximum bud size and for days, will look exactly the same. Ignore it.

When the damn thing finally opens, however, I have to admit it is a remarkable sight. Although not particularly entertaining in the way of structure and unique features, the Rik Ni Ran, at least, makes up for it in terms of violent chromatic assault. It is loud. This flower is not dark pink; it is very loud, very bright and very red. Lego red.

The Rik Ni Ran is supposedly a double-layer flower but one of these buds opened with three.
The flower is about 2 inches across, double layered.
The edges are dark purple and closer to the throat, they are dark pink, fading to white.
After about 7 days, all 3 buds are open.
One of the flowers turned out with three layers of petals.
So, you have adenium flowers.  Now what?

It turns out that if you take your blooming plant out of direct sun, the flowers keep their peak color longer. These Rik Ni Ran blooms, for instance, have not changed at all in a week.  This was discovered quite by accident as the plant was brought indoors when autumn set in.  Another grower in the hive had blooms early in the season and reported that the flowers did not stay red long in direct sun.

So moving a plant into dappled shade maybe with only morning sun will probably make your blooms last longer. 

Indoors, these blooms took about a week to show slight darkening from the edges of the petal inwards.
This bloom cycle lasted about a month. After all three flowers opened, they were unchanged for about two weeks. The edges of the flower petals darkened a bit and in dim light, looked about dark purple. 

Then the flower just falls off!


  1. Read your entire collection of experience with adeniums and was thoroughly entertained. I'm hoping to take the plunge and try my hand at growing these funky wonders myself (and will have to guard against my very own catzilla). Congrats on the fabulous bloom!

    1. Hey Chris. Not to enable you or anything but go for it! My sister's adeniums are such prolific bloomers she completely ignores them for being such good tempered pedestrians. Since I have only had them for less than a year, I would consider this bloom as instant gratification, in plant terms anyway. I'd recommend getting a mature plant for inspiration and then growing them from seeds for kicks and giggles.

  2. San makakabili ng iba'ibang variety ng bangkok kalachuchi

    1. Oops. I just saw this. Did you ever find plants, Kookie?

  3. A note about unopened buds dropping off. /Usually/ this is due to a drop in humidity. If you brought your plant in from outside, the humidity indoors may have been lower, or simply much different. It causes a break in culture. Or if you get buds that form but refuse to open (not just a few days but never open) that is generally a sign of humidity being too low. For some of my plants 50% humidity is fine, and for others of the same kinds but different hybrids, that's too low and I need to raise it up to 60 or even 70%. So it varies.

    Love your blog!

    1. Thanks, Patty. I keep my office very humid in winter because it is what I am used to. It's what got me into plants in the first place---seemed rude to spend all that energy humidifying an entire room for just myself.

      I still have plants that turn miserable when humidity drops below 50%. For those, I made a terrarium.