Grafting Adenium obesum, also known as Desert Rose, can be a rewarding way to combine different varieties or improve the overall characteristics of the plant. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to graft Adenium obesum at home:

Materials Needed:

  1. Adenium obesum rootstock (the base plant you’ll be grafting onto)
  2. Adenium obesum scion (the plant or branch you want to graft onto the rootstock)
  3. Sharp, sterile knife or razor blade
  4. Grafting tape or rubber bands
  5. Optional: Rooting hormone

Procedure:

1. Choose Rootstock and Scion:

  • Select a healthy Adenium obesum plant as the rootstock. This will be the base onto which you graft the scion. Choose a scion that is a desirable variety or has specific characteristics you want.

2. Prepare Rootstock:

  • Ensure the rootstock is healthy and disease-free. It’s often best to use a plant with a straight and thick stem for better stability.

3. Choose Grafting Method:

  • There are several grafting methods, but for Adenium obesum, the most common method is the “cleft graft.” Make a vertical split at the top of the rootstock.

4. Make a Vertical Split (Cleft Graft):

  • Use a sharp, sterile knife to make a vertical split or cleft about 1-2 inches deep at the top of the rootstock. The split should be wide enough to accommodate the scion.

5. Prepare the Scion:

  • Trim the scion to form a wedge shape that matches the split in the rootstock. Make sure the scion has at least one bud or growing point.

6. Insert the Scion:

  • Gently insert the wedge-shaped scion into the cleft of the rootstock, ensuring a snug fit. The cambium layers of the rootstock and scion should align as much as possible for successful grafting.

7. Secure with Grafting Tape or Rubber Bands:

  • Use grafting tape or rubber bands to tightly secure the scion in place. This helps maintain contact between the cut surfaces and promotes healing.

8. Optional: Apply Rooting Hormone (Optional):

  • Applying rooting hormone to the cut surfaces can enhance the chances of successful grafting. Dust the cut surfaces with rooting hormone before inserting the scion.

9. Protect the Grafted Area:

  • Protect the grafted area from direct sunlight and excessive moisture. You can cover the graft with a plastic bag or create a mini greenhouse effect using a clear plastic container.

10. Healing Period:

  • Allow the graft to heal for several weeks. During this time, the scion should start growing, and the graft union should become well-established.

11. Remove Tapes or Bands:

  • After the graft has successfully taken, carefully remove the grafting tape or rubber bands.

12. Care for the Grafted Plant:

  • Treat the grafted Adenium obesum as you would a regular plant. Provide proper sunlight, water, and nutrients. Monitor for any signs of stress or disease.

Grafting Adenium obesum requires some skill and patience, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a few attempts to achieve success. Grafting is often done during the growing season when plants are actively growing and more likely to heal quickly.