- If the scion stem's wound at the other end has discolored, cut off a thin sliver and discard. The scion cut should remain white or as fresh as possible.
- The scion node or eye is where the new bud will sprout. The scion node or eye appears to be a "V" or a "U". To keep the polarity correct, remember that the rounded or pointed side should be oriented towards the bottom.
- Get the pre-cut grafting tape that measures 3/4" x 3". The tying material can be another piece of grafting tape that is 2" long. Then stretch this piece to about 4".
These two (grafting tape and tying material) should have been prepared beforehand to minimize the delay that the scion or stock wounds are exposed.
- Seat the properly oriented scion in the center of the stock as shown below. Avoid touching the newly cut wounds of the scion or stock to prevent contamination or disease. Hold the scion by its side.
- Place the middle of grafting tape over the top of the scion. Lightly pull on both ends of the grafting tape downward. Pull with just enough force so there is less chance of the scion being moved or dislodged.
- While still holding both ends of the grafting tape down, hold the tying material with your fingers.
Start tying with the other hand so the tape is tightly held in place by the tying material.
- Wrap the tying material two or three times around the grafting tape and stock. Then tie with a simple overhand knot twice. Be sure there is no slack around the knot that may loosen the tying material's grip on the grafting tape.
- Shown here is the newly-completed adenium flat graft.
- Attach the prepared label to the adenium. If a label is not available at this time, you may simply write on the caudex of the stock with a pen marker. Some gardeners prepare the actual label only when the graft is successful.
In about two to three weeks, the cut wounds would heal and the bud will start to form. The grafting tape may then be removed.
Adenium Flat Graft Healing - Tips and Warnings
- Put the newly-completed flat graft in partial shade for the next two weeks.
- Place the newly-grafted plant where it is largely undisturbed. There should be no strong winds and no rain. Keep it away from pets. Full and undisturbed contact between the scion and stock is important.
- If the soil dries, water only the soil. Spray on the soil, if possible. Avoid touching the scion part.
- Discoloration of the scion (turning black) may be a sign of rot. If the scion becomes soft and mushy to the touch, then it has rotted and should be discarded.
- After two weeks, there should be an indication of healing. The wounds would start to dry and may appear light brown in color. You may then remove the grafting tape. Leave the plant in partial shade for one more week and then in full sun.
- The graft is a success when the eye shows a bump or a little bulge. That means the bud is about to form.
- Shown below is the successful adenium flat graft after three weeks. You will see a new leaf bud starting to form.
Other than the Adenium Triple Santa (shown in the background of the photo below) that I've grafted this way, I've also successfully grafted another favorite of mine, the "Adenium Barbie Girl".
Unlike the Adenium Triple Santa, the Adenium Barbie Girl typically blooms in clusters as shown below. The flowers are a bit smaller than the Adenium Triple Santa.
Three Secrets to Successful Adenium (Desert Rose) Grafting
Assuming you have healthy scion and stock plants, I believe the three secrets to successful flat grafting of Adenium varieties are as follows:
- Keeping the cutting tools clean.
- Ensuring maximum surface area contact between scion and stock.
- Allowing the graft to heal undisturbed.