Desert Rose

sunchick157May 19, 2013

I bought a desert rose several years ago and had it in a container near my salt pool. It grew like a bush and bloomed all the time without incident until I lost it in the severe cold weather. We moved to the other side of town and I liked it so much I bought two more and place them in containers as well in direct sun. They grow more upright and have a bulb like base instead, but they both bloomed beautifully the first year, one more than the other. I place them in my sunroom all winter and then put them ouside when the temps stabilized. The pink and white one has gotten all it's leaves back and is beginning to bud, even though that is the one that didn't bloom as much the first year. The other is red. It gets blooms and then they fall off. Every time the leaves come on they turn yellow and fall off. I read that it might be too wet (I water once a week), so the suggestion was (per internet) that I take it out of the container, rinse off the dirt and let it sit for a week and replant with good drainage, which I am in the midst of doing. I see that the bulb is almost two bulbs and it's length is about 14". Can I cut in the center of the almost 2 bulbs or will that kill the plant? Is that how big they normally get? My first one wasn't nearly that large and yet it branched out beautifully just like an azalea. This one is more tree like with a round bulb at the base. Not sure how these things are propagated. Hopefully, once I replant this desert rose the leaves will stay green & once again be beautiful. Any comments would be appreciated.

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zackey(GA 8b)

I wouldn't cut them. Just fertilize them and water if you think they need it. They store water, so they shouldn't need watering often.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 10:21PM
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zackey(GA 8b)

No. The bulby base needs to be above the soil line. They are all different. There used to be a man in Punta Gorda that had a nursery with only desert roses or plants in that family. He must have had hundreds of them. He would never sell me one of the unusual colored ones. He used to put netting over the seed pods so they wouldn't cross pollinate.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 10:39AM
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zackey(GA 8b)

You can propagate them from seeds. They have to be quite old to produce seeds. You could probably get seeds on ebay. I never tried cuttings. I had a nice big one when I lived in Vero Beach. Too cold for them up here. My little greenhouse if full.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 11:01AM
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zackey(GA 8b)


    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 12:39PM
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My Desert Rose is 25 years old. Is it common for them to stay alive that long? It does not like to be watered any more than once or twice a month. It punishes me with yellow leaves that drop off if I do so. It produced delicate fushcia pink blooms this year. It is one of the few plants that I move indoors if temps are predicted to be lower than 45 degrees but otherwise it sits on my patio which is on the south side of my house. On occasion I have had to prune cold-damaged parts but it sprouts right back. It hasn't been repotted in years and I'd like to do so but I fear I'd kill it so I've left it alone.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 2:19AM
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