How to Grow Adenia - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Succulents Category   /   2023

Adenia, also known as elephant's foot, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Passifloraceae. The genus comprises about 150 species, which are distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Madagascar, Arabia, and India. Adenias are climbers or lianas, with thick, fleshy stems and leaves. The flowers are large and showy, with five petals. The fruit is a fleshy berry, which is eaten by animals such as elephants, which disperse the seeds in their dung.

How to Grow Adenia - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Adenia plant? Sometimes, it is easy to care for adenia plants and other times there are certain nuances that one must be aware of in order to properly take care of them. For example, adenia plants need to be watered regularly, but not too much or else the leaves will start to droop. They also need to be fertilized every few weeks to ensure that they are getting the nutrients they need to grow. Furthermore, adenia plants need to be pruned every so often to encourage new growth.

Plant Size

How big can it be? known as elephant's foot, wineflower, or snake creeper, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Passifloraceae. They are woody vines, lianas, or shrubs growing to 3 m (9.8 ft) tall, often with thick, fleshy, and sometimes succulent stems. The leaves are variable in shape, but are generally large and lobed, with three to seven lobes. The flowers are borne in clusters of two to six, each flower 5–8 cm (2.0–3.1 in) diameter, with five petals and five sepals, and usually with a frill of threadlike nectar-bearing appendages in the center.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? Common ly known as Elephant's Foot, Bottle Tree, and Pudding Pipe, Adenia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Passifloraceae. The genus comprises about 170 species, all native to Africa, Madagascar, and the Arabian Peninsula. Adenia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Passifloraceae. The genus comprises about 170 species, all native to Africa, Madagascar, and the Arabian Peninsula. Adenia plants are commonly known as Elephant's Foot, Bottle Tree, and Pudding Pipe. Adenia plants are typically large shrubs or small trees with a woody stem and large, lobed leaves. The flowers are small and inconspicuous, but the fruit is large and fleshy, often brightly colored. Adenia plants are used in traditional medicine for a variety of purposes, including the treatment of malaria, diarrhea, and snakebite.

Adenia Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Succulent
Family Passifloraceae
Origin Africa, Madagascar, the south of the Arabian Peninsula, Southeast Asia. There are about 100 species.

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? Because they are such a hardy and versatile plant, they can live for a very long time. In fact, some species of adenia have been known to live for over 100 years!

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? Although it can withstand high summer temperatures, the optimum range is 75.2 to 78.8 degrees Fahrenheit. In winter, it needs a cooler temperature of 59 degrees Fahrenheit, but no lower than 44.6 degrees.


What about the humidity? The Adenia plant is a tropical to semi-tropical climber that does not require high humidity. It can tolerate some drought, but will not tolerate soggy soil. If you live in an area with high humidity, you can still grow this plant, but you will need to provide some extra air circulation to prevent powdery mildew from forming on the leaves.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? known that the plant requires bright or bright scattered light, it can be grown on the southern, western and south-western windows, but it is necessary that the caudex be in the shade. Special shading is required for green caudex in the spring, it should not get wet, as a result of sun burns in the form of brown spots.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Adenia? Eventually, you will have to replant your Adenia. To do this, you need to know about the plant's soil preferences. A loose permeable substrate is suitable with the addition of sand or perlite, preferably acid soil. You can use a mixture of equal parts of sod, leaf land, peat, coarse sand with the addition of charcoal.

Watering Time

How much I must water Adenia? The reason I’m writing is to ask about how much water an Adenia plant needs. I live in a hot climate and during summer, water is moderated as the top layer of the soil dries up. I’m not sure if I should reduce watering in winter or not. Also, with the onset of autumn, the leaves turn yellow and fall off. If the plant has thrown off the leaves, then is it not watered in winter? In this case, can the bare branches be trimmed?

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. When the plant is actively growing, it is necessary to feed it once every two to three weeks. For this, it is best to use a fertilizer with a high content of phosphorus and potassium. The best ratio is 5:10:10. In autumn and winter, the plant does not need to be fed.


How to reproduce Adenia? Unless you are growing them for the flowers, many adenia species are quite easy to grow from seed. They should be sowed in a substrate of peat, perlite and sand. Seeds should be pre-soaked for 12 hours. Sometimes fungicides are used to prevent the appearance of fungal infections. Germinate at a temperature of + 71,6-75,2 ° F, covering the dish with polyethylene. Germination lasts 2-3 weeks. Further, the seedlings are dived into separate pots. Adenia propagates vegetatively, by sprouting cuttings in a mixture of sphagnum and sand under polyethylene. Pre-cut the cuttings are treated with corn root, the cuttings are placed on a soft light. In plants obtained vegetatively, the caudex is not formed.

Caring The Adenia

How to care the plant? known as the Elephant's foot, Adenia is a flowering plant native to Africa. The most common species are glauca adenia, A. spinosa, A. digitata. They are all characterized by a thickening of the trunk, or caudex, which can be either underground or aboveground. Long shoots are cut, giving the plant a certain shape. Can be grown in a bonsai culture. Adenia plants are typically transplanted in spring in pots of a larger diameter as the roots fill the substrate. Young plants are transplanted every year, while adults are transplanted every 2-3 years. The caudex is gradually cleared from the soil and carefully raised during transplantation. These plants prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. They are drought tolerant but will produce more flowers if given regular water. Adenias are generally low-maintenance plants and are not susceptible to many pests or diseases.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Adenia plant? known that it is unpretentious and resistant to pests. The main thing is to carefully monitor the watering, because with too much moisture, the caudex of the plant can start to rot. This is especially true for watering in winter.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Adenia poisonous? The Adenia plant is a very toxic plant. When you are cutting and transplanting this plant, you need to wear gloves. This is because the plant can cause a lot of skin irritation.