Adenia kirkii: Grow and Care

Adenia kirkii is a climbing plant that forms a tangle of twisted stems, up to 3 m long, spreading in all directions up to 30 cm wide.

The leaves are 3 to 14 cm long and 2.5 to 13 cm wide. 

The leaves of the young plants are sometimes variegated. 

The branches are slender, flexible up to 3 m long.

A long and slender flower stipe characterizes this plant. The underground caudex is almost globose up to 30 cm in diameter.

The flowers are pale yellow, opening on tendrils in spring and summer.

The inflorescences are thin and are 1 to 6 cm long. When the flowers are male they can have up to 15 flowers and 1 to 4 flowers in the females. 

The tendrils are sterile and are up to 12 cm long.

Male flowers are slender funnel-shaped 25 to 40 mm long. The petals are lanceolate 5 to 6.5 mm long.

The female flowers are also slender, funnel-shaped and 16 to 30 mm long. 

The petals are lanceolate and about 2.5 to 4.5 mm long,

Each inflorescence has a fruit (sometimes 2), they are egg-shaped, about 2 to 3.5 cm in diameter, and the skin is leathery. 

Each fruit has 40 seeds for each capsule of about 5 to 5.5 mm long.

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Adenia kirkii Care

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

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 kirkii 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.

Illumination

Adenia kirkii 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.

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.

Propagation

The best way to propagate your Adenia kirkii 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.

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 kirkii 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 kirkii. 

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