Adenia aculeata: A Care Guide

Adenia is a genus of flowering plants in the Passifloraceae family.

It comprises 181 species.

Adenia aculeata is a climbing plant that can measure between 5 to 20 m long with a trunk of 12 cm. 

The stem is quite thorny.

The trunk of this plant is semi-woody that measures up to 30 cm in diameter, which has the capacity to store water inside.

The spines of adenia aculeata can be between 4 to 20 mm long, they’re brown, and more or less widened at the base.

The flowers are small, unisexual, yellowish-green, or cream in color.

When the flowers are male, the raceme has between 2 to 40 flowers on a pedicel about 10 cm long. 

And when they are female, the cluster has 1 to 5 flowers.

The leaves are not present most of the year. 

They have about 3 to 7 lobes, 5 nerves from the base that are 1 to 7 cm long and 1 to 7.5 cm wide.

The fruit of this plant is 10 to 15 mm long and 8 to 13 mm thick. 

It is smooth, greenish-yellow in color, and with darker stripes. 

Each fruit gives between 10 to 15 seeds, which measure between 3.5 to 4 mm in diameter.

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Adenia aculeata Care

Follow these steps, and you won’t have any issue with the care of your succulent plant.

Illumination

Adenia aculeata can grow quite well in full sun or partial shade. 

Something curious about this plant is that the caudex likes to be in the shade, while the leaves like to be in the sun.

One recommendation is to protect your plant during the sunniest summer hours to prevent the leaves from burning.

Substratum

A very porous substrate is needed; you can add a universal substrate: pumice, vulcanite, and perlite to improve drainage.

If you don’t want to get too complicated with the substrate, you can buy a substrate for cacti and succulents, as they do very well.

Propagation

The best way to propagate your adenia aculeata is through seeds, since propagation by cuttings is possible, but usually, the plant does not produce a caudex.

If you want the plant to produce seeds, the best way to propagate them is from cuttings since they bloom more freely. 

But if you want the plant as decoration, it is best to grow them from seeds, since they develop a caudex.

Watering

This plant should be watered with some regularity in summer, while in winter, it is best to keep the soil dry as much as possible to prevent the plant from rotting easily.

 Also, this beautiful plant does not like to be watered a lot when it has no leaves.

Pests or diseases

The main problem with adenias is root rot when overwatered.

During spring and summer, keep taking care of your plant to prevent it from getting sick from some very common pests at this time of year.

Fertilization

You can fertilize your plant during the active growing season, that is, during spring and summer.

You only have to apply a specific fertilizer for cacti and succulents once every 2 to 3 weeks.

During the fall and winter, suspend fertilization; at this time, the plant does not need to be fertilized.

What you can do is add some fungicide during the winter (it can even be homemade) to prevent the appearance of fungi.

Temperature

These plants appreciate warm, sunny climates. 

They tolerate high temperatures quite well. 

The ideal temperature for this plant is approximately 70ºF (21ºC).

If you have your plant in a pot, it is best that you keep your Adenia aculeata inside your home during the autumn and winter months, all with the purpose of protecting it from extreme cold.

If the temperature where you live is not lower than 60ºF (15ºC), you can have it outside, while if the temperature is below 44ºF (6ºC), it is best to have it inside.

Transplant

If you have your plant in a pot, it is best to transplant it every two or three years. 

If you notice that the roots are coming out of the drainage hole, it is time to transplant.

Make sure that the new pot has a drainage hole; you can also take the opportunity to add some slow-release fertilizer to strengthen your plant.

Pruning

You don’t have to prune adenia aculeata as regularly. 

You just have to remove those leaves that are already wilted, to give the plant a more beautiful appearance and maintain its health.

Toxicity

This plant’s sap is poisonous, so you should handle the plant with caution, especially when pruning or transplanting your adenia aculeata. 

You should also be careful with thorns, as they can be dangerous.