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House Plants/Adenium Obesum


Mr. Creed, I was reading about Heathers problem with her plant. I have one also. I live in the upper Midwest. I took my plant outside after a very long winter. I forgot to bring it inside one night and the temp dropped to 38 degrees. I repotted it to an 11 inch pot with moisture control and miracle grow potting soil. The leaves turned yellow and brown. They all eventually fell off. My question is, do I now cut the stems down short or wait for the plant to recover? It's about 18 inches tall. It is May now.I water usually every 2 weeks. Special plant to me as my uncle gave it to me before he passed. Thank you

Hi Elizabeth,

Your Adenium is a tropical species that should not be exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees. Any immediate loss of leaves is due to cold damage. There is no way to "fix" such cold damge. You can only prevent such damage in the future.

Repotting was not a good idea. It will not help with cold damage and it will lead to inadvertent overwatering and root rot, which is often fatal. "Moisture control" is not what is implied. It simply means that materal is added to keep the soil moist even longer and that is NOT a good thing.

I recommend that you carefully undo the repotting by gently removing all of the soil you added and put the original rootball back into the original or the same sized pot. Then, move it to a sunny indoor windowsill or an outside shady location.  Water only when the top half of the soil feels dry. Be patient as it will take a long time for/your plant to recover from the trauma of the cold and the repotting.

I have written a detailed article on repotting that I will email to you (or anyone else) if you email a request to me at

If you found this information helpful, please post a rating and nomination for me.

Will Creed, Indoor Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC  

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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