Ailing Desert Rose

hephaestoskinJuly 26, 2013

Hi, this is my first time posting to these forums.

I bought a Desert Rose from Home Depot a few days ago. I know that is not ideal, but I couldn't find one anywhere else near me. It was pot-bound so I replanted it into Espoma brand organic cacti and succulent soil and gave it a light watering of filtered, de-chloronated water with a touch of Miracle Grow for cacti and succulents (in case it needed a bit of food faster than organic could provide). There is a nice and substantial gravel drainage layer at the bottom and screening over the drainage hole. The root mass was barely touched so I didn't shock the plant while flowering. I have it by a very sunny window and no A/C on so the temp never falls below 70F and humidity is low.

However, the leaves continue to drop (as they were in the store) and I'm not sure what to do. Should I remove the flowers to reduce plant stress? I have no idea how to recognize issues by the leaves in this species and I REALLY like this plant.

Thanks for any advice you can give!

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello, unpot and remove that gravel layer - it does not promote drainage; in fact, it does exactly the opposite when the finer particulate above the gravel lodges between those larger particles.

Secondly, the pot looks quite large for a plant of this size.

Thirdly, it's going to need outdoor light for best results.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 11:15AM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

First, welcome to this forum. Next, there is an Adenium forum where you may also find some great information:

I agree with Josh on all counts. Keep in mind, this plant is a "tropical succulent". It wants it hot, lots of sun and more water. Comes the late summer/early fall, you want to back off significantly on the water but still warm and sun. Late fall and through the winter for us northerners is the time Adenium has its biggest problems because we don't "neglect" them enough. We tend to continue the heavy hand of watering and they rot! They may drop all the leaves during this time.

I would not be in a hurry to feed this plant since you just re-potted. I use Miracle Grow Orchid mix for mine because it has some bark and add about 25% perlite.

I would venture to say the leaf dropping may have nothing to do with your care, since you say they were dropping in the store, also. Transplanting can cause some of this.

Don't place it directly in the sun. Ease it out there over several days or the leave may burn.

This is my plant that I've had for several years. The next crop of flowers are just starting. Earlier this year I re-potted it simply by elevating it in the same pot and replacing mix in the bottom and sides and I chopped it back some to get it to branch... should have whacked it more than I did. Hopefully my insect friends will help out and pollinate the flowers so I'll have fresh seed for some new plants!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 12:54PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I should have welcomed you, as well ;-)

Great plant!


    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:31PM
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