How and when you water your Adeniums is the most critical factor affecting their overall health. Unfortunately watering is not something that can be done by rote or by schedule. Watering by schedule will nearly assure you of having weak Adeniums that will have a tough time in summer. I’ll explain why in another article soon.
It’s important that you monitor your Adeniums and water them only when they are nearly dry. What’s the best way to monitor them? What’s best is what’s easiest for you. You can plunge a toothpick or chopstick into the potting mix and check the moisture present by how much soil sticks to it when it’s withdrawn. Once you get to know your plants you’ll be able to get a good feel for the weight of wet vs. a dry pot by lifting it. There are dozens of such methods. The only method I don’t care for is the use of the $10 Home Depot moisture meters due to their inaccuracy. The key is to find what works for you and stick to it.
Water your Adeniums thoroughly when you water. That means apply water until you see it coming out through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. This will eliminate the risk of fertilizer soluble salts building up in the mix.
Do not let your potting mix get bone dry between waterings (The exception being plants that are being forced into total dormancy. That’s another subject that will be discussed later). If you let your mix get bone dry the tiny feeder roots can easily desicate to the point where they will no longer be able to uptake moisture. If they cannot uptake moisture the potting mix will become waterlogged after watering, the feeder roots will get soggy, and root rot is likely to occur.
If you find a plant that does not seem to have dried out after two or three days of summer weather it’s very likely that it is in trouble. This type of trouble will become very serious quickly if you don’t act.
Absolutely do not water it again. It’s doubtful that its roots are working. Move it to a shady spot that’s protected from drying winds. Put one side of the pot up on a stable block to let any excess water to drain out.
You need to keep this plant on the dry side to give the roots a chance to grow out again. Do not feed it yet. Adding fertilizer when you water will do more harm than good until you’re sure it’s functioning properly again. Don’t worry. Adeniums utilize their energy stores very efficiently and will have no problem if not fed for a couple months.
Discovering early that an Adenium is not drying out as it should is just one of the many benefits you’ll reap by carefully monitoring your plants.