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How to Pollinate Adenium

By Deborah Waltenburg ; Updated September 21, 2017
Collect pollen and transfer it between adenium blooms.

Adeniums, also called desert roses and sabi stars, are exotic-looking succulents that add character and beauty to containers and gardens throughout the world. Hailing from Asia and Africa, adeniums come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Exquisitely-colored blooms spring forth from gnarled, twisting, trunks that can be trained through container growth, or left to form their own design when planted in the ground. Adeniums, propagated by seed, cuttings or grafting, can reach heights of 15 feet or more and grow rapidly when given proper care and planting conditions. It's possible to pollinate them yourself.

Cut a three- to four-day-old flower completely in half to expose the reproductive chamber. Adenium flowers need several days after opening to allow the reproductive system, including pollen, to mature.

Collect pollen, using a moistened toothpick, from the inner cone-shaped chamber, located below the hairlike filaments.

Cut open the bloom to be pollinated, leaving it attached to the plant. Make a slit in the petal and fold it back gently to expose the reproductive chamber.

Slice the side of the cone-shaped anther off to reveal the pollen chamber and gain access to the gel cap and receptive surface below.

Insert the pollen-coated toothpick into the chamber, making sure that pollen comes in contact with the receptive surface at the bottom of the gel cap.

Unfold the petals and close the flower by rejoining the cut seam with a piece of adhesive tape.


Things You Will Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Long toothpick
  • Clear adhesive tape


  • Use a bright overhead light and magnifying glass, for visual assistance, when collecting pollen.
  • It can take up to 30 days or more for seeds to form after pollination. If the bloom falls off the plant, pollination has failed.
  • Seed pods can take six months or longer to mature.

About the Author


Based in Ohio, Deborah Waltenburg has been writing online since 2004, focusing on personal finance, personal and commercial insurance, travel and tourism, home improvement and gardening. Her work has appeared on numerous blogs, industry websites and media websites, including "USA Today."