Designer Adenium Stem Sculpture 2 - Twist Basket

In a previous article, I discussed in detail how to create a basic cage as a Designer Adenium Stem Sculpture. This time, we'll put a twist to that basic cage and make it a Twist Cage, pun intended.

Sometimes, this design is also called Twist Basket. It takes inspiration from the Twist Basket design in stair balusters as shown below-left:

Although the baluster on the left has 4 twisted strips, the adenium plant on the right has 6 twisted strips.

The concept is easy. Create a basic cage and then carefully twist the top half of the adenium stem so the cage twists along with it. The technique for successfully twisting the cage is the main topic for this article.

How to Create the Cage - Adenium Stem Sculpture


  • Adenium Plant (Desert Rose) - The plant should have a stem that is long and thick enough to allow you to create the basic cage. Allow the space for the cage to have at least 5 inches in length. The stem thickness should be at least 3/4 inch. The adenium plant above is around 18 inches high from its base.

  • Pruning Shears - For cutting the thin bamboo sticks to correct size.

  • Pen - Used for marking points and drawing lines on the adenium stem.

  • Half Razor Blade - The thin and sharp razor blade will be used for slicing vertical slits on the adenium stem. The half blade is preferable as it is easier to maneuver when cutting than a whole blade.

  • Bamboo Stick or Skewer - This will be cut later and will be used as spacers to keep the sliced stem strips apart. Thin bamboo skewers for barbecue are good.

  • Ruler - For measuring distance between top and bottom of cage as well as for drawing straight vertical lines for the cuts.

  1. With a pen, mark the bottom point of the cage. In this case, it's best to mark the bottom mark on the stem first so you can avoid marking the caudex of the adenium plant. Mark all around the circumference of the stem.

  2. With a ruler, measure around 5 inches up and then mark the top point of the cage with the pen. Mark all around the circumference of the stem.

  3. Draw a vertical line from the top point to the bottom point.

  4. With a half razor blade, trace the marked line with a shallow slit.

  5. With stronger pressure, dig the razor blade into the shallow slit so it cuts through the adenium stem. You may carefully rock the razor blade with a downward pressure to facilitate cutting. Ensure that the blade doesn't go beyond the bottom point.

  6. Insert a bamboo spacer to even facilitate the razor blade's cutting through the stem. To create bamboo spacers, cut the bamboo stick with a pair of pruning shears into 1 to 2-inch lengths.

  7. Reverse the razor blade so its sharp edge faces up. Cut by sliding the razor blade upward without going beyond the top point.

  8. With a pen, mark two points on the top mark. The two points are equidistant from the original top points of the vertical cuts as shown below. Do the same on the other side of the stem.

  9. Mark two points on the bottom mark. The two points are equidistant from the original bottom points of the vertical cuts as shown below. Do the same on the other side of the stem.

  10. As in the previous two vertical cuts, draw vertical lines for the paired top and bottom points. You now have four new vertical lines.

  11. Cut vertically along the lines that were drawn without going beyond the top and bottom points. Use bamboo sticks as spacers. The bamboo spacers will create room to facilitate cutting.

  12. Altogether, this will create a total of six adenium stem strips from the previous single stem as shown below.

The above is the basic cage. While the cuts are still fresh, the cage is ready to be twisted. See Part 2 for the continuation of this article for the twisting technique.

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