How to take care of Desert Rose?
Everything You Need to Know!

Are you wondering how your Desert Rose needs to be treated? Read ahead to learn about the needs of this easy-to-grow succulent!

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Jimena Bolívar

April 19, 2021


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Introduction

The Desert Rose is a stunning succulent which is brilliant for any home’s décor. If you own it, you want to make sure it flourishes. Before you start taking care of this beautiful plant, I think you should learn about its needs. How else would you know how to treat your Desert Rose?

The Desert Rose requires full sunlight, sandy or gravelly soil which is watered only once every two o three weeks and temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C), while humidity should be about 40%. It can use semi-regular pruning and can be fertilized every month.

Desert Rose 101

The Desert Rose is a spectacular plant that produces vibrant pink and red flowers that are complete stunners. If you own this succulent, be prepared to provide it with loads of sunlight as this is key for its prosperity. The popular plant is also known by other names like Sabi star, impala lily, desert azalea and kuddu mock azalea.

A close up of desert rose

The plant has a thick stem laced with crooked branches and broad leaves. At the same time, the flowers resemble the shape of a trumpet and tend to be reddish pink. This carefree plant is exceptionally forgiving and low maintenance, making it great for beginners.

Here are some details about this evergreen succulent:

  • Scientific name: Adenium obesum
  • Family: Apocynaceae
  • Genus: Adenium
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Native to: Mauritania, Senegal, Sudan and African countries
  • Flowering: Produces red and pink flowers between April and July.
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 11 and USDA Zone 12

Caring for The Desert Rose

Desert Rose Care is a piece of cake as the plant is extremely resilient!

Here is a brief overview of the conditions needed by the plant to prosper:

  • Ideal soil: Requires sandy or gravelly soil, which may be dry.
  • Drainage Needs: The plant requires proper drainage as it doesn’t handle soggy soil well.
  • Water Requirements: The plant needs to be watered once every two to three weeks since it is used to arid or semi-arid climates!
  • Sunlight Requirements: Requires a full sun environment, so you must place it near a windowsill or an area exposed to a lot of sunlight
  • Temperature: 65-75°F (18-24°C)
  • Humidity: around 40%
  • Ideal pH: 6.0 to 7.0
  • Frost-Resistance: Low
  • Fertilizer: Should be fertilized once every month, only during the growing season.
  • Pruning: Can be pruned semi-regularly
  • Propagation: Can be propagated through both seeds and cuttings.
  • Repotting: Repot during growth season in springtime in a new pot every year or two until it reaches the - desired size.
  • Toxicity: It is highly toxic for pets and humans. Avoid the poisonous sap

If you don’t have a Desert Rose plant at your place, I think I know where you might want to get one. Check out this link which I trust!

Adenium Obesum One Year Plant

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1. What is the Ideal Soil for the Desert Rose Plant?

The Desert Rose Plant is not picky when it comes to soil conditions!

The ideal soil for the Desert Rose Plant will not be excessively moist. It may have materials like sand, perlite and potting substrate to ensure the succulent gets what it needs. If you want fat roots, involve sand and if you wish to slim roots use coco fibre.

As the name suggests, the desert rose plant originates from a desert or an arid area. It is used to living in soil that barely holds moisture and refuses to be soggy. Root rot is a big no when it comes to this plant as it can’t stand waterlogging at all. Ensure that the pH requirements of being between 6.0 and 7.0 are also met, and you’re good to go.

If you’re confused, I recommend you buy this soil mix for your Desert Rose:

Hoffman 10410 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix

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2. What are the Sunlight Requirements of the Desert Rose Plant?

The Desert Rose is the definition of a sun-loving plant!

The Adenium Obesum requires high levels of sunlight as it originates from desert settings. Place it in a spot where it gets abundant sun exposure. The plant tends to be exhibit signs of weakness in its stem if it isn’t getting enough sunlight.

The Desert Rose is a plant that blooms abundantly throughout the year, especially between Spring and Summer. Proper sunlight and a warm environment are crucial for keeping the succulent healthy. The plant can survive the winter; however, it may be semi-dormant until the growing season arrives again.

Warning

Don’t compromise on the sunlight requirements of the Desert Rose! It needs a steady supply of light to grow at its healthiest. Neglect in this regard will cause the plant to appear leggy.

To sum it all up, you need to provide the Desert Rose with bright direct light. It doesn’t do well when you limit its sun exposure and can even withstand winter in a semi-dormant state.

3. What is the Humidity Requirement of the Desert Rose Plant?

The Desert Rose originates from an arid landscape, so you don’t have to worry about humidity!

The Desert Rose is used to aridity and can exist at low levels of humidity. About 40% humidity is acceptable for the succulent and gives it an excellent chance to grow.

A desert rose from far

Pro-Tip

Don’t worry about the humidity when you have the Desert Rose Plant. It can thrive in low or average humidity. Be carefree as the plant is not demanding at all when it comes to humidity.

4. How Should I Water the Desert Rose Plant?

Refrain from frequent watering for the Desert Rose plant!

The Desert Rose Plant should be watered once every two to three weeks. It belongs to an arid climate and can thrive without needing daily watering. Don’t let the soil get soggy or water-logged by maintaining proper drainage.

Warning

Daily watering is a disservice to the Desert Rose Plant! It is used to dry conditions and does not like too much hydration!

5. How to Fertilize the Desert Rose Plant?

The desert rose isn’t a succulent that requires a lot of fertilizer, so relax!

At most, the Desert Rose plant should be fertilized every two to three weeks in Spring and Summer. Please choose a suitable water-soluble fertilizer and feed the plant when you water it. You may also consider fertilizer with phosphorus to boost blooms!

If you’re overwhelmed and have no idea what to do, don’t worry. I have a solid recommendation for you, so buy this fertilizer which I love using:

Schultz Cactus Plus 2-7-7 liquid Plant Food

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6. How to Prune the Desert Rose Plant?

Limit pruning to late winter or early Spring for the Desert Rose Plant!

When you prune the Desert Rose plant, it is essential to sterilize the cutting blade. Only make cuts at a 45-degree angle. Remove the problematic areas such as lanky shoots and cut them to an appropriate length. Don’t hesitate to prune any branches.

Warning

When you approach the task of pruning, be careful. The plant has poisonous sap that could irritate your skin. Ensure that no one ingests a part of the plant by mistake!

In general, approach the task of pruning in the last months of winter or the early months of Spring. These periods coincide with the growing season of the Desert Rose.

Pro-Tip

Never hesitate when it comes to pruning, as the process stimulates growth and ensures fuller blooming!

7. How to Repot the Desert Rose Plant?

Repotting the desert rose is a simple task you can do in springtime!

To repot the desert rose plant, you have to prepare a bigger pot for the succulent. Use an appropriate potting soil mixed with sand. Ensure that the plant is dry when you try to free it from the old pot and transfer it to the new pot. Attempt this in the spring season alone.

A desert rose in a vase

Warning

When you’re repotting the Desert Rose, don’t expose the caudex unless the plant is at least three years old. The caudex is the thick bulbous part of the stem near the ground level. If you expose it to the sunlight before it turns three years old, you risk it getting sunburnt!

Repotting the Desert Rose Plant is not difficult! You must limit this task to the growing season between Spring and Summer as this will allow the succulent to adjust to the new pot.

Things You Should Know About Desert Rose

If you’re raising a Desert Rose at your home, there are a few things you must know.

1. How to Propagate the Desert Rose Plant?

Propagating the Desert Rose Plant won’t be too difficult if you approach the task the right way!

Take a cutting from the branch and allow it to dry over a day, then place it in a rooting hormone. Once you do this, proceed to place the cutting within a well-drained pot with proper soil conditions! Continue to water the cutting daily until it grows out.

Other ways to propagate the desert rose include using the seeds, but the best method was the one that involves cuttings.

You can learn more about propagating succulents in this brilliant post here:

Want to Expand Your Plant Family? Three Easy Ways to Propagate Succulents!

Purchasing succulents is relatively inexpensive but why spend money on expanding your succulent collection when you already have everything you need?

2. How Toxic is the Desert Rose Plant?

If toxicity is a concern, it is wise to beware of the Desert Rose Plant!

The Desert Rose is toxic to pets and humans alike. It has a poisonous sap that can cause irritation and prove dangerous if ingested. Protect yourself and your pets from unnecessary interaction with the plant.

A desert rose in a vase

Warning

If you have any pets around the home, keep the desert rose plant out of its reach. The plant is toxic and must be kept away.

You don’t have to get rid of the gorgeous Desert Rose plant, but you must keep it in a suitable location. The more careful you are, the better it is for you, your pets and your family.

Conclusion

Caring for the desert rose plant involves providing it with a full sun environment, ideal soil conditions, watering every fortnight and temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C). The plant can thrive in low humidity conditions. Don’t hesitate from semi-regular pruning and fertilization every month.

If you’re new to all of this and wish to learn more, I think you should know more about succulents. I recommend this comprehensive guide that will tell you how to grow succulents.

How to Grow Succulents? An Extensive Guide with All the Helpful Tips!

Succulents are easy-going, beautiful plants that can survive almost anything. Let's learn more about growing succulents in this post

Jimena Bolívar Picture

By Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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