Adenia Spinosa (The Spiny Greenstem)

Adenia Spinosa Image

This succulent is native to the Northern parts of South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. Adenia Spinosa is commonly found in scrubland plant communities that are often hot and dry. The term “spinosa” means “with spines” and refers to blunt spines on the branches of Adenia Spinosa, which also serve as tendrils.

Scientific Name:Adenia Spinosa.
Other Names:Spiny Greenstem.
Growth Season:Summer, spring.
Hardiness Zone:USDA Hardiness Zone 11.
Average Mature Height & Width:2.5 meters tall and 1.5 meters in diameter.
Dormancy:Winter season.
Toxicity:Avoid being in contact with the sap of Adenia Spinosa as it is poisonous. It is advisable to avoid leaving your kids and pets unattended with this type of succulent.
Adenia Spinosa Summary

Plant’s Physical Characteristics

Adenia Spinosa is known to be a thorny and climbing shrub. This succulent has a twisted frame of thin branches, which arise from an irregularly shaped, fleshy, and bulging stem. Its leaves are grey-green above, with noticeable veins, and are broadly egg-shaped. The leaf’s margins are smooth and lobed.

Adenia Spinosa produces creamy yellow flowers in late winter to midsummer. Flowers of different sexes can be found on separate plants. The flowers of this succulent typically last for a relatively short period, often a few days to a week or slightly longer.

Plant Physical of Adenia Spinosa Image

Adenia Spinosa also has ovoid capsule fruits, divided into three segments, and transition from green to yellow when ripe. It has a fibrous root system.

Adenia Spinosa often grows as a climbing or sprawling vine in its natural habitat, using its tendrils to latch onto nearby vegetation or structures for support.

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Images From The Community

Adenia Spinosa Care

Sunlight: Bright, indirect sunlight. However, it should be protected from direct, intense sunlight, which can scorch its leaves.

Temperature: It prefers temperatures between 70-85°F (21-29°C) during spring and summer and is protected from frost and extremely low temperatures.

Watering: Always allow the soil’s top inch (2.5 cm) to dry completely before watering. During the growing season, water more frequently (approximately once every 1-2 weeks). In contrast, reduce watering in the dormant season, providing water only sparingly to prevent the caudex from shriveling.

Soil: Well-draining succulent or cactus potting mix. You can enhance drainage by adding perlite or coarse sand to the mix.

Choose the Right Pot: Select a pot with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. The pot size should accommodate the plant’s caudex and allow for growth.

Plant Care of Adenia Spinosa Image

Prune: Prune and shape your Adenia Spinosa as desired, but be cautious of the sharp spines on the caudex. Wear gloves when handling the plant to protect your hands from these spines.

Fertilization: Feed your succulent during the growing season with a balanced, diluted liquid succulent fertilizer every 4-6 weeks. Reduce or stop fertilization during the dormant season.

DO YOU KNOW? Caring (propagating, pruning/trimming, beheading, watering, …) is a set of skills that is widely applicable to succulents. Read the in-depth guide here >>

Richard Miller – Succulent City

Adenia Spinosa Growth

This succulent can be propagated from both seeds and cuttings. Adenia Spinosa will produce a thick stem or caudex when propagated through seeds. When propagating through cuttings, wait a few days for your succulent to be calloused before replanting.

You may need to re-pot every 2 to 3 years or when the plant has already outgrown its current pot. When repotting, use fresh soil to avoid spreading diseases and infections. Ensure you carefully handle your plant when repotting or pruning since it is poisonous. You should wear gloves when touching your Spiny Greenstem.

Overall, Adenia Spinosa is resistant to pests. However, Watch for common succulent pests like mealybugs and aphids. Make sure to avoid overwatering to avoid any decay or infections. Be cautious when handling Adenia Spinosa’s spiny caudex to avoid injury.

Commonly asked questions about Adenia Spinosa

As a routine, I write this section to share with all Succulent City’s readers some common issues and how to deal with them. All the answers are both from my experience also from some that I find it can’t be better.

A thread from iam_rak1b: Help needed!! What’s wrong with my Adenia Spinosa? What should I do to make it leaf out?

Answer: I think your succulent is lacking sunlight. If I were you, you can try to place it near sunlight but not too intense to make your leaf out.

A thread from fluctuating_rating: Looking for advice: Adenia spinosa leaves isn’t coming out fully green. I’m happy that its caudex is fattening, but the leaves has never looked evergreen since acquisition last September 2021 (last pic).

Answer from pachypodiatrist: It seems like an iron deficiency. I have treated several of my plants (including various Adenia) and they very quickly gained color they didn’t have before. You don’t have to buy something specifically for plants – I just crushed up a dietary iron supplement in their water. It was very cheap and very effective.

Before you go …

For more plant posts about the Adenia genus. Click here:

Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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Posted in Succulents