Category Archives: adenium

The Beautiful Desert Rose- How to Grow and Flower Adeniums

By Laurelynn Martin and Byron Martin


Desert Rose ‘Red’ (Adenium obesum)


Adeniums are well-loved for their gorgeous flowers and their bulbous, caudiciform trunks. They are highly sought after plants and can remain a manageable size for years making them valuable container plants.

Adeniums are arid land plants native to sub-Saharan Africa and although there are several species, Adenium obesum is the one that’s frequently grown as an ornamental. The common name is Desert Rose and when plants are in bloom, they create a spectacular floral display.

Ornamental Beauty
When grown from seed, the plant forms a caudex, or swollen base or trunk, and this adds to its ornamental beauty. In recent years, much hybridization has been done creating a diverse range of flower colors and interesting floral forms. In order to propagate these hybrids, the mother plant is grafted onto a seedling, thus giving the plant a full, attractive caudex as well as a wide array of flowers in various colors, sizes and shapes.

Because they can tolerate dry conditions, adeniums are well suited for the home environment being able to tolerate quite a bit of neglect. Keep temperatures high, preferably above 60˙F, although they can take it a bit cooler if grown very dry. Really the hotter, the better, so a 70˙F or higher air temperature is best.

In their native habitat, adeniums grow in full sun so they need good light to thrive. Direct sunlight is preferable, especially when they are in their active growth phase during the summer months.

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Logee’s – What’s in a Name?

Logee’s was founded in 1892 as mainly a cut flower business. In the 1930’s, Byron’s mother, Joy Logee Martin, published a catalogue and specialized in begonias, gesneriads, geraniums, and passion flowers.

Passion Flower 'Incense'

One of our fragrant Passion Flowers!

Pelargonium 'Gardener's Joy'

A geranium with a swirl of color.

At this stage, we were known as Logee’s Greenhouses. This name served its purpose but as our business expanded across the country into mail-order, people who didn’t know us thought we sold greenhouses.

Over time, Logee’s focused on tropical plants with a certain criteria. First, the plant had to  perform well in a pot, which was somewhat self serving since we are northern growers and we couldn’t grow plants outside year-round. Logee’s also wanted anyone, in any living space to have access to plants.

Second, beautiful flowers was a must.

Orchid Cactus

Epiphylum 'Vista Sun'- Orchid Cactus that bursts with color!

Third, fragrant flowers became desirable.  This was enough to call for a name change.  In 2004, we became Logee’s – Growers since 1892 with a bi-line of Tropical Container Plants for Home and Garden. Our first book, Logee’s Spectacular Container Plants reflected our name and gave beginning gardeners the secrets to growing our tropical beauties.

Known as the Desert Rose

The Desert Rose, Adenium 'Little Genius' is an easy to grow tropical.

For the next seven years, we remained consistent with a small tweaking and became, Logee’s Tropical Plants with a bi-line of Tropical Container Plants for Home and Garden. We wrote another book about Growing Tropical Fruit in Containers called “Growing Tasty Tropicals in any home, anywhere.” This book is chock full of information about how to grow fruiting varieties in pots, such as dwarf bananas, kumquats, lemons, limes, coffee, chocolate, etc.

How to Grow Tropical Fruit in a pot

Growing Tasty Tropicals highlights growing tropical fruit in containers.

However, the demand for our plants was increasing beyond the scope of purely tropical plants. The past several issues of catalogues we even had a category for Hardy Garden Plants. We can’t compete with the big growers nor want to but we could stay true to our criterion, which is growing plants that do well in pots and if they aren’t in pots, like our hardy garden plants line, then the plant had a new criterion to meet.

A Logee plant now has to be unusual, rare or have a really great story and serve our gardening customers.

So as of, Our Fall Issue 2011, we have another tweaking and name change. We are now officially “Logee’s- Plants for Home and Garden, Specializing in Rare and Unusual Plants.”  And on the front  cover we are highlighting an intoxicating fragrant White Champaca (Michelia alba). Our new name  is a mouthful, but the overall gist is that we’ve been growing plants since 1892 and we are pretty darn good at it.

We also don’t want to limit ourselves to just tropicals but definitely want to offer the unique, rare and unusual. We hope you like the new name change and will continue to enjoy the wonderful world of plants. Here is a sampling of what is in bloom today in the greenhouses.

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Filed under adenium, Alocasia Zebrina, angel wing begonia, Begonia 'My Special Angel', colocasia thai giant, dwarf banana, Ficus 'chicago hardy', Growing Tasty Tropical Plants, Hardy Kiwi, Musa basjoo, Papaya, passion flower, Pelargoniums, Purple Horn of Plenty, Uncategorized

May Blooms at Logee’s

The month of May is always a great time of year for flowers. Starting with May Day and Mother’s Day and getting into the height of graduations and weddings, flowers add that extra touch of pleasure and romance. At Logee’s, our flowers are in full bloom. Here are a few flowers in their glory. Take a look!

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Filed under Acalypha hispida, adenium, medinilla, Pelargoniums, streptocarpus, Uncategorized

>Logee’s Tropical Plants Prepares for Martha Stewart Show


Last week, we were invited to NYC as guests on the Martha Stewart Show. (see logee blog- How to Grow Tabletop Citrus Jan 13, 2010). We love sharing our tropical plants with Martha and her audience. The week before the show, we choose the plants. We work with the producers and send them pictures, growing information and highlights of each plant. Getting ready for the show is a company wide task and our growers were all hands on deck the day before.

Rick Logee, our greenhouse manager, Laurie Robillard and Napa Howe, greenhouse growers are pictured polishing leaves, repotting specimens and grooming the plants. We rank what plants would be the best but mostly Mother Nature chooses what plants ultimately go on the show. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which plants will be in bloom or fruit in 4-5 days.The morning we left for NYC was filled with activity. I picked up the white rental van (non-commercial) so we could drive on the Merritt Parkway, while Byron gathered eighteen different mother plants into one warm spot.

We had to have a warm vehicle waiting to minimize exposure to the elements while loading our weather sensitive plants in our Northeast Connecticut freezing climate.

Three and half-hours later at 4:00 we arrived at the NYC Studios. We unloaded our plants and broke them into two groups- the segment for citrus (see blog Jan. 13) and the segment for Flowering Winter/Unusual Plants. The Winter/Unusual Plants that ultimately went on the show were Coffee (Coffea a

rabica)- the coffee of commerce; Bougainvillea ‘Vera Purple’- a colorful, everbloomer ; ‘Desert Rose’ and ‘Uranus’ (Adenium obesum) two unique plants in flower with an unusual caudex form; “Golden Brush” (Burbedgia scheizochelia) – a ginger with brilliant orange flowers; and ‘Yerbe Mate’ (Ilex paraguariensis)- the foliage that’s famous for Mate’ tea.

We had to be at the studio by 8 am the next morning for the 10:00 am live show. During those two hours Byron rehearsed with Barbara, one of the producers. Martha and Byron have great charisma together and were like old friends catching up on the horticultural scene. We left the Sunquat for Martha since she didn’t have one in her collection. After the show, I dropped Byron at Laguardia airport. He was on his way to a tropical plants show in Florida and I drove back to Connecticut with a warm van filled with tropical plants and flowers.


Filed under adenium, bougainvillea, coffee, ginger, growing citrus, Martha Stewart Show, winter flowering plants, yerbe mate