Adenium obesum - Desert Rose

whimsicalkateAugust 29, 2010

Now that I know you are all so wonderfully friendly...I think this is the right place to ask questions about Desert Rose?

I was given a desert rose as a gift last fall. It lived inside, in the sun, and broke my heart when it lost all it's leaves. Of course it bounced back beautifully in the spring and has produced the most glorious blooms.

But I am so confused...

As with any new plant, I read as much as I can find, so that I know how to treat it. But with desert rose, the information is profoundly conflicting.

Some say to treat it as a succulent...little water and little fertilizer. Others say to treat it like a tropical...heavy on the water and fertilizer. Which is right?

I have tried both, and the plant just seems to keep on keeping on, without much reaction to a change in care?

I really would like it to grow old with me, so I would greatly appreciate any words of wisdom.

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arctictropical(Z4)

I'm not the expert on Desert Rose, although I have about 10 plants, and have grown some from seed. My advice would be to treat them just like their cousins, plumeria. Let them dry out! After all, they are native to the deserts and dry savannas of Africa, and store moisture in their swollen trunks. I overwatered my first one, and almost killed it. I am faithful to use a moisture meter for soils, and wait until the soil is almost dry before attempting to water them. Mine are doing great with this method of watering, and they all do a nice job of blooming.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 7:22PM
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tropicalzone7(7b)

My desert rose usually dries out a little before watering, but there are times where I just soak it every day and dont let it dry out (I do that especially when its really hot out). Im not sure if they prefer to stay dry or moist, but they dont seem to mind either one! But a little extra water on really hot days would probably make them happier than staying dry.
Good luck!
-Alex

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 7:39PM
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karyn1(7a)

I have a couple dozen DR's, some from seed, others grafted and some purchased as mature plants. When the seedlings are very small I treat them more as tropicals and keep them well watered. After a couple months I allow the soil to dry between waterings. I keep them quite root bound and when I do transplant I raise them up about an inch to expose more of the enlarging caudex. Most of mine go dormant over the winter. I cut way back on watering, just enough to keep the roots from drying out, maybe once every 6-8 weeks but I keep them warmer then my dormant plumerias.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 8:57AM
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ltran54(9)

I am no expert by any means, but I do have about 20 pots of DR and many babies ones for my experiment.
During summer I water them often, sometime everyday, sometime every other days. I agree with Karynl, only worry during winter and water between 6-8 weeks just enough for the roots not to dry out.
search under (desert rose year after year) you will see one of my plant from 2004-2010

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 4:15PM
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