Easy Grafting Technique for Adenium (Desert Rose) - Part 2

(This is the continuation of Part 1)

This article discusses an easy technique for grafting the Adenium obesum or the Desert Rose plant using simple materials and tools. The Adenium obesum is one of many plants that is easy to graft. The fact that there are many hybrids and varieties of the Desert Rose plant makes grafting this plant extremely interesting and rewarding.

In Part 1 of this article, I discussed the simple materials and tools to be used to graft an Adenium scion to the Adenium stock. It also discussed the steps in identifying and cutting the the Adenium scion and stock. This part will continue the rest of the steps for for easy flat-cut grafting.

Later in the article is a discussion on how to differentiate a successful Adenium graft from a failed graft and why grafting can become a rewarding hobby.

Step by Step Guide for a Simple Flat Graft Technique

  1. Here's the newly cut Adenium scion that is around 1 1/2" inch long.

    Take note of the polarity of the scion (which one is the top and which is the bottom). Mark one end of the Adenium scion so the orientation will be correct when positioned over the Adenium stock branch. This particular scion has two nodes. One of the node is hidden from view in the photo.

  2. Seat the scion on the top of the Adenium stock branch. The two cuts need to flatly touch each other with no big gaps. If there are any gaps, cut away bumps and ridges to make both cuts (of scion and stock) flat. Consider also the angle of how the scion rests on the stock. If the scion rests flatly without tipping, then there is a better chance of it not being dislodged by accident.

  3. Place a clear strip over the top cut of the scion and pull both ends of the strip downwards past the grafting point. To avoid contamination, the clear strip should be reasonably clean since it touches the top wound of the Adenium scion.

  4. Pull both ends of the strip tightly downwards. While hold the strip with one hand, start tying the flaps of the clear strip with straw or tying material around the Adenium stock branch.

    What this does is to firmly secure the Adenium scion to the Adenium stock branch.

  5. Cover the entire graft (whole scion up to the grafting point) with a clear bag. This will protect the scion as well as maintain humidity while the graft heals. Tie the clear bag with a rubber band, tape or twist tie.

  6. Shown below is the completed graft. Put the newly grafted Adenium plant in the shade for about a week.

    After two to three weeks, the graft wound will heal. The clear bag and the clear strip can then be removed.

How to Identify a Successful and a Failed Graft

You will know a successful graft if the graft stays and the wound heals. Here's a photo showing the grafting point of a flat cut graft that healed successfully.

Eventually, a new set of leaf buds will tell you that the grafted scion is healthy and will survive. Shown below is a scion with two nodes. The top wound has healed and the two nodes have sprouted new leaves.

A failed graft will reveal signs of rot. The top part of the scion becomes yellow and eventually becomes soft and mushy. This indicates that scion failed to receive water and nutrients from the stock plant and will not survive.

Grafting as a Gardening Hobby

After learning this simple technique for grafting Adenium obesum, grafting has become an interesting hobby to explore further in gardening. Multiple-grafts with different scions flowering in one stock for instance is one exciting opportunity in Adenium grafting.


A more economical method to propagate adenium varieties by grafting may be found here. The One Node Technique method of flat grafting is simpler and, in my opinion, more efficient.

Go ahead, post your comment below!

Unknown said...

Very good guide. Tks. To cover the top cut, can one use clear tape instead of stripe?

Blackdove said...

If it is adhesive tape like Scotch tape, then the wound might react to the moist sticky adhesive of the tape. If so, I'm guessing it may not heal properly.

Blackdove said...

If it is clear grafting tape which is similar to cling wrap, then there's no problem.

Blackdove said...

Another thing, ordinary adhesive tapes like Scotch tape do not stretch like thin plastic strips or grafting tape.

Anonymous said...

I had tried grafting my adenium several times with flat and V graft but failed all. The scion became soft and rotten. Can anyone tell me why pls. Thanks.

Blackdove said...

Do wipe the scion and stock cuts with tissues or clean piece of cloth so the white sap isn't oozing out. If it's your first attempt to graft, I suggest to get scion from the hardier adenium varieties - maybe start with the single-petaled hybrids first before the double or triple-petaled ones. This way, you could build up on success.

lourds said...

I made three attempts using the V grafting technique but all failed. I did the grafting on an Adenium plant growm from seed that was about a 19 inches high. I used a scion about 2 inches in height and i sealed the top end with cinnamon powder. After a week the scion became yellow and soft. I will try the flat cut method next.

Anonymous said...

What is that cottony thing on the cut scion?...how do you prevent it from forming?

Blackdove said...

It is a natural part of of the scion's skin. Maybe it's common to maturing plants in tropical countries. It's not something that can be prevented.

Graftinglegend said...

Before u start make sure your adenium soil or medium is dry already. Inside the soil still moist will cause too much moisture for the graft. Scion will rot.
Cut and use only mature part of the scion. Graft it into only mature part of the root stock. Better use a NEW cheap shaving blade becos they are thin and easily do a flat cut (knife are thick and contaminated). Make sure the 2 surface is well contact. After cover it with plastic, place under shade have some normal light condition, do not directly under sun because humidity will cause too moist inside the bag and it will rot very soon. Just PLEASE don’t worry about watering because adenium don’t need much watering even 2 weeks it’s not worry. At least for this healing period. so do not water the plant meanwhile for 15 days. Ofcos don’t put under rain. At the same time u draft , it is better to prune all other scion. No leaves left.

Blackdove said...

Thanks for suggestions, Graftinglegend.