Adenium growing by seeds

I just received a questions about how long it takes for an adenium seed to germinate. The answer is simple if you have the right growing conditions. First, growing adenium plants by seeds is a low cost method of starting a desert rose plant collection. You can obtain adenium seeds for a few dollars  (packs of 10 of 20) of various flower types. However, you need to remember until the seed bloom you will not know if the plant flower is anything like the parent plant. Only a percentage of adenium seeds will grow into plants with the same flowers of its parents.

Now back to the question. If you have fresh adenium plant seeds and you are growing them in the right condition they will germinate in 5 to 7 days.  yes, I have see some germinate in three days and some 2 weeks.  But 95% will germinate in 5 to 7 days if the seeds are fresh. The majority of the ones that take 10 to 14 to germinate tend to be weaker plants and older seeds.  We have had great success growing adenium seeds under LED lights using tri-band and even some dual band lights. After the seedlings are over 3 months old the adenium plant seedlings are totally removed from the LED and grow under natural light.

We use standard 10×20 trays (the ones with holes/slots all around the sides) and keep the desert rose plants moist by misting them using spray bottles.  Yes, we dome the trays until the adenium seedlings are 1 month old.  If you have any questions concerning growing adenium plants and seeds please let me know. Have a great time growing and collecting adenium, desert rose plants.

44 thoughts on “Adenium growing by seeds

  1. I’ve never seen this iNdian fir before and now that I’ve noticed it it’s already 2.5feet high. It’s growing just next to the desert rose’s main trunk and I’m worried might be depriving the adenium of nutrients since the leaves are starting to be few and some are turning yellow. I don’t know where it came from a bird must have dropped a seed or something but yeah that’s it.

    Indian fir = polyalthia longifolia
    Desert rose = adenium obesum
    (thanks to botany class!)

    • Reply:

      The dropping of leaves may be due to dormancy of the adenium not the fir. However, anything grown in the same container will use some of the nutrients in the soil. Since the fir is large I would recommend removing it for two reasons: 1) Firs require more moisture in the soil and may be an indication of to much water 2) the optimal growing environments of firs and adenium are complete opposite.

  2. I have 2 huge seed pods from a great DR. I germinated them last year in a damp paper towel roll inside a plastic bag no problem. I was not successful though and I think it was mix and placement of seedlings. What would be the easiest method in getting these guys started. I live in Tampa, fl. Trays? What does “dome” refer to? LED lighting indoors and where can they be found? First timer needing advice. Love the site!

    • You need to germinate in soil not paper towels. I use standard tri or quad band LED growing lights you can find on ebay for $30 to $39. I have purchased the ones sold by a person on ebay who ships from Ft. Lauderdale and they work well. I uses 10 x 20 tray with holes (slots on the sides). Until they are 1 to 1.5 months old I place then under the dome (plastic cover) to keep them slightly moist. I mist the seeds once a day. The trays are outside during the summer under an overhang. Your in Tampa so your climate is just like mine.

  3. So far so good on my seedlings. They have sprouted well and are about 2-3 inches in length with 2-3 broad leaves on top. hey are getting close to hitting plastic cover. Do they need to be trimmed back to create thicker bulb? Right now they are in my garage and in a small greenhouse tray sold at lowes with no LED. Can I just move them outside in indirect light instead of LED?
    thanks again.

    • Your plant is still too young to crop. Do not crop until the plant is 6..7 inches high and the trunk of the adenium 3/4″ of an inch thick otherwise you will shock the adenium seedling to death. I would take the plastic off the seedlings to allow air circulation and to prevent root rot. If you are in a warm climate continue to water the adenium seedlings three…four times a week. Do not let the adeniums seedlings dry out for more than 1 day. I assume you have them in a community starter tray or pot. We do not transplant our seedlings from the community trays until they are at least 3 months old (caudex of approx 1/4″) to increase the survival rate of the adenium seedlings. Definitely give adenium desert rose seedlings more light now! I would recommend 70% sunlight or next too a window that gets direct sunlight at this time. Yes- take them out of the garage or if you do keep them in the garage give them 8 to 10 hours of light from LED or other type of grow lights. This is the growing season and you want them well on their way by the end of summer when they go dormant.

      • Thank you sooo much. I love these plants and this season I got 72 starters from 4 pods from 2 different plants. Outside they go! Your the best!

  4. I like to try to plant by seeds if any you gay able to supply any varities adenium seed.
    wishing kind hearted friend to give some for a try.
    thanks anyway.

    • Good day:
      Small quantities try Ebay for some adenium seeds to start you out. They costs only a few dollars. However, be warned, many of the adenium plant seeds sold on eBay are of poor quality and most will not produce the images as shown. We have tried 7 of the most popular supplies since last year and none of them are truthful about their seed quality. 5 of the 7 sent old seeds and had very poor germination and/or week plants. We are growing at any one time over 2,000 plants from seeds. We have yet to find a supplier from Ebay or Thailand that a persons can trust with any accuracy when it comes to adenium seeds. Basically, once you fined a adenium seed supplier who gives you seeds that germinate and grow well you then have to wait 1.5 to 2 years to see if the flowers are some-what true. Seeds from Hybrids adeniums are not true to their parent plant 40% t0 50% of the time. They are fun to grow by seed but unless you are doing large qty’s you are better off getting proven adenium plants (plants that have flowered).

  5. This valuable blog post, “Adenium growing by
    seeds | Adenium Desert Rose Cacti Blog” illustrates the fact that you really fully understand precisely
    what your writing about! I actually completely am in agreement.

    Many thanks -Thurman

  6. Hello, thank you for the wonderful advice. I use your adenium soil mix recipe for adult adeniums, but I wonder what to use for planting seeds. Would straight coir work for starting seeds? And, at what age do you transplant into the adult soil mix? One more question, you state you dome the trays until one month old, is that domed with no air holes, or are there air holes or gaps for air flow?

    Thank you so much for your help.

    • Hi heather:

      We use a propagation mix that is coir based. When you are growing adenium plants from seeds the water requirement is different than when growing mature desert rose plants. You must keep the seeds moist and then the sprout moist just about all the time for the first month. Moist is the key word. Not soggy. We use 10 x 20 propagation trays with holes for all our seed growing. We spray the adenium seeds twice a day with not chlorinated water and we use LED lights during the winter and 70% shade during the summer for seed growing.

  7. I planted my seeds June 16 2013 my plants are about 1 1/2 inch i want to know if by june 2014 they will bloom i’m desperate to see them with flowers.

    Answer: Adeniums grow by seed will take approximately 3 years to bloom. They will not bloom next year. – sorry


  8. Hello,
    i have recently buy some seeds from ebay and i have planted my seeds in a 4-5 inch cocopeat mixture at 1 inch depth.but before planting i put these seeds in warm water for 4 hrs.please suggest me is this procedure OK or suggest some other method.

    • When we plant adenium seeds we do not soak them in water. You need to keep the seeds/seedling moist for the first two months o they get enough water already. The problem with buying seeds is knowing if they are fresh or not. Also, the majority of the seeds do not produce adenium desert rose flowers like the parents no matter what the seller says on eBay or other sites. Currently, we buy seeds from 4 sources (we have tried over 20 different sources including ones on Ebay). Many places we purchased seeds in the past were very poor in quality (low germination rate) and others claim to be a special flower type and they always were normal adeniums. Even the ones we buy now are only 30% to 50% accurate (look similar to their parents). This is the reason we obtain grafted pants from Thailand instead that are 70% to 80% accurate (looks like their image).

  9. My adenium is not germinating.I have planted the seed 20 days ago in a small cup,then I putted it on a heating device(25C) and under a grow light.Please help

    • 20 days is way too long. You may have a bad batch of seeds. Also, did you keep the soil consistently moist? Good adenium seeds germinate in 5..7 days. The seeds must stay moist all the time. Also, the LED’s are they full spectrum, triple wave, quad wave? We use quad wave LED’s for adenium seed germination. Since we are in South Florida we do not use heat pads.

  10. I noticed a thank you for the potting soil mix for your dr Can you share the mix you use I am an avid grower of everything tuberoses plumerias lots of desert roses and my one desert rose has bloomed was planted as a seed from neighbors pod and it bloomed already.Im just really broke since hubby dieed and have to buy certain soils for everthing I do use the coir but my other seeds are still small I had them in my lunia over the winter with the lights and put them outside in april some are getting big but most are still only 4 inches tall any suggestions would be appreciated thank you Kathi from Edgewater fl

    • Adenium seeds are a tricky thing when you purchase them on the open market. we purchase thousands of seeds and depending upon the vendor some are great, some are good and other are just trash. 8 weeks ago we planted 2,000 seeds from three vendors. One vendors seeds germinated about 87%, a second vendors about 70% and the last vendor about 50%. Needless to say I’m not going to use two of the three vendors in the future due to poor adenium plant seed germination. I have another source who is sending me 1,000 seeds and in the past his was the best. we always wont at lease two sources fro adenium seeds. Now once the adenium seed sprout you will get a mix of great growing seeds and then some under performers. The best performing ones we plant are from the vendor who had the best germination rate. The other ones are growing slower and not as thick. All of ours are now under full sunlight but with a clear covering to protect them from direct rain fall.

  11. Hi I’m just going to start on growing adeuims from seed I live in the tropics in Australia do you recommend a place I can buy the seeds from that I would be able to trust they are fresh seeds thankyou deb

    • I buy form Thailand and other sources. The problems with adenium seeds is that most sellers are not truthful about how fresh the seeds are so buy more than you need and expect only about 80% germination adn very few looking like the parent flower.

  12. Hi, I recently brought some desert rose seeds online, about half popped up then died. I had them outside in the sun. Maybe the sun was too hot? I’m in Perth Australia.

    • Planting adenium desert rose seeds problem: Old seeds, not enough moisture or other issue. heat may be a issue if not enough water. Adenium seeds need to be keep moist and the plant very moiset once they start sprouting.

  13. My mix is about half perlite half potting mix. I hand sprayed once daily when the mix looked dry. I’m keen to get this right

    • Seedlings or mature plants. Not sure what advice to give until I haev more details. Check the potting soil to make sure the amount of moss is below 10%. Put rocks on top of the soil to keep the perlite from floating to the top over time. Make sure the soil used fro adeniums and other succulents does not get a crust on top (slow water drainage).

  14. My desert roses produced alot of seeds. I watched them like a hawk so that I didn’t lose them to the wind! A couple of days ago I shoved a handful into a pot and was shocked to find most every one has popped up and are growing! Most of what I have read says to wait a month before transplanting. But I’m confused on what colors they may end up being. Is it true to the parent plant, or could they possibly be different colors? Don’t know if it’s important but I live in Cape Canaveral, Florida USA. Thanks for any help/advice.

    • If the parent plant is a standard adenium they will be 100% standard adenium If the plant is grafted then you may get a few plants not standard. We wait 2 months before we transplant and we are in a fast growing area similar to yours but a bit faster (se Florida). Keep the plans moist – they are seedlings not mature plans so they need moist soil all the tome

  15. I have fallen in love with Adenium plants. I live in the Tampa area. I have had one plant for a couple of years. It has done well.
    I have ordered several batches of seeds over the past few months. Half the batches have done well, and the other two never germinated. The vendor is replacing one batch. If I don’t see results with this batch, they will be returned as well. They are in 2 inch pots on my patio.
    How long does it take the seedlings to grow? Should they be fertilized, and how often? About how large should they be at about 3 months old?

    • There are many people selling seeds that are bad and not what they say they are in flower type 90% of the time. Its takes 5..7 days for good seed to germinate. It takes 3 months before you transplant to individual pots. It takes for most plants 1.5 yrs to flower and many times 2 yrs or more to flower depending upon your growing environment and care. We start fertilizing with Dyna-Gro Grow after 2 months.

  16. ackkk!!!
    I just went out to check my Adenium seedlings. Some one or something has cut the tops off 6 of my oldest seedlings, about 2 months old.
    Still no germination from the newest seeds.
    Can two month old plants with 6-8 leaves (about 2 inches tall) be set in the sun? They are now in the shade, get an hour or so of direct sun.
    Thanks for any help you can offer.

  17. Update: my original 2 seedlings growth still seems to be stalled. All of the newer seeds I planted are double the size of the first 2 seedlings. They are both still green, but have not grown. In addition to my question above, I just noticed an interesting oddity. It appears that one of my newer seedlings has a twin. Is this possible? There are definitely 2 seedlings growing from the same pod. One is slightly smaller than the other.

  18. Update: I have 2 seedlings that just stopped growing. They came from my desert rose that self-polinated and produced a seed pod. They are both about an inch tall with just a hint of leaf formation at the top. Should I assume that they will no longer grow? Or is there something I can do to get them growing again?

    My original 2 seedlings growth still seems to be stalled. I planted additional seeds (ones that I purchased) after these started growing and the new seedlings are already much taller than the original two. All of the newer seeds I planted are double the size of the first 2 seedlings. They are both still green, but have not grown. In addition to my question above, I just noticed an interesting oddity. It appears that one of my newer seedlings has a twin. Is this possible? There are definitely 2 seedlings growing from the same pod. One is slightly smaller than the other.

  19. I have a single desert rose plant that has 2 different colored flowers , pink & red. Is this common? I haven’t seen any photos of plants with 2 different flowers so I’m curious. Thanks

    • You have a grafted adenium plant. The flowers above the graft will be different than the flowers from below the base. Most collectors trim off the branches below the graft to force most of the growth to occur on the grafted portion of the desert rose plant.

  20. Please help. I recently purchased some Adenium seeds and thought I did all I was supposed to but only 4 out of 15 germinated. I have just ordered more seeds plus a Yates Mini Greenhouse. This I hope will keep the water supplied constant and more importantly a more even temperature. We have had a particularly weird spring with temps up to 29 and then down to 12 degrees Celsius. Spring seems to have now settled to an average of 20 degrees. My main question is can I position the mini greenhouse outside in or away from direct sunlight or should it be indoors until the leaves are established. I am using a perlite and potting min combination with good drainage. Thank you in anticipation. I am like a pregnant father checking the seedling every few hours and hopefully the new lot will grow and not rot or just not grow,

  21. Hi,

    I am putting cling wrap over the soil to germinate the seeds, but i am not sure if it will get too hot for them, the wrap is about 3cm away from the soil and i am germinating inside the house. It is currently 32 degrees celsius outside around 90 farenheit and I am worried it might get too hot for the seeds, should i take the plastic wrap off when it gets that hot outside or will the seeds be fine?.
    The seeds are not in direct sunlight, my soil mixture is cactus & succulent soil with added coarse sand to it to improve aeration. I sprinkled some coir under and over the seeds to cover and keep them moist during germination.

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