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Desert Rose Plant – Plants such as the desert rose (Adenium obesum) grow at a snail’s pace, with just approximately 12 inches of growth each year. It is often used as a bonsai plant due to its strong succulent stem, thin and delicate leaves, and rich, deep pink trumpeting blossoms, all of which make it an excellent choice. Its natural habitats include Africa, the Middle East, and Madagascar.
It is the only Adenium that has been widely hybridized to produce a variety of bloom hues, and it is the desert rose. This plant is frequently used as a decorative outdoor plant in many tropical and warm areas (USDA zones 11 and 12), and it is cultivated as an interior plant in colder climes. When planting in the spring, be sure to avoid frost and cold weather, since it will die if left exposed. The sap of the desert rose plant, which is a member of the dogbane family, is harmful to both humans and animals.
Different Cultivars of Desert Roses
Adenium is a genus that contains several species. On the other hand, Adenium obesum is the most common and easiest to get. Other subspecies include the following:
In its native South Africa and Botswana, Adenium obesum subsp. oleifolium grows to 16 inches tall with a huge tuberous stem, thin olive green blade-like leaves, salmon, pink, or light pink with red tubular blooms, and a large tuberous stem with a red tubular blossom.
Adenium obesum subsp. socotranum (Adenium obesum): This species, which is native to Socotra, an Indian Ocean island between Somalia and Yemen, is the biggest of its kind, growing up to 15 feet tall with a trunk that is eight feet in circumference. Pink blooms with a diameter of up to five inches develop in the spring when the plant is leafless, and they last for many weeks.
This Eastern African plant is distinguished by its thin, blade-like leaves and twisting branches.It reaches maturity at 16 feet tall, with a bloated and frequently twisted trunk, and it has a rounded crown. Flowers in the form of trumpets are available in pink, white, or scarlet red.
Adenium obesum subsp. swazicum, often known as “Summer Impala Lily,” is a species of Adenium native to southern Africa. This is a small plant that seldom grows taller than two feet and is indigenous to Swaziland and South Africa. The showy blossoms range in color from pink to a deep reddish-pink.
Desert Rose Plant Precautions
Maintaining a desert rose plant is straightforward, although it does require some deftness. It requires the same care as other succulent plants, including proper water management and enough sunshine.
Also preferred are continuously warm conditions, which is why it is cultivated as an indoor plant in many regions of the United States, particularly in the southern states (except for USDA zones 11 and 12).
Floral displays include beautiful pink, rose, or crimson flowers, as well as bright green foliage. The plant blooms most often throughout the summer months. During the winter season, it enters into dormancy, which causes it to lose its blossoms and leaves.
A full-sun climate is ideal for the desert rose plant, so find a location in your house where the plant will get enough light throughout the day, such as a southern-facing sunny windowsill or sunroom. Select a location in your garden that is not shaded by taller plants but provides some shelter from the hot midday sun, which may burn the leaves of the desert rose plant if you live in an area where it can be grown successfully outdoors.
It is named for the fact that it is adapted to naturally dry, desert-like circumstances, which means sandy or gravelly cactus soil that drains well is ideal for the desert rose plant. The pH of the soil should range from neutral to acidic, with an optimal value resting around 6.0.
The water needs of the desert rose plant vary based on the time of year and the temperature of the environment. During the growth season (late spring and summer), keep the soil wet but never completely saturated with moisture. On a regular basis, check on the soil and wait until it is absolutely dry before watering it.
Additionally, be sure to place your desert rose in a pot with plenty of drainage holes. It is possible for the desert rose to decay if the soil gets too damp for it (a clay or terra cotta pot can also help with wicking away excess moisture).
During the autumn and winter months (when the plant generally stays dormant in the wild), substantially limit the amount of moisture applied to the plant, with just a few drops of water applied once or twice a month. If you’re wondering whether or not your plant is getting enough water throughout its growth season, you may check the trunk of the plant to find out. Your plant’s swelling, thick trunk (when compared to the size of the plant) is a fantastic indicator that it is well-hydrated, so keep an eye out for it.
Temperature and Humidity Level
Keep your plant warm at all times; if it is exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time, it will die quickly.Temperatures between 65 and 90 degrees are the most favorable for it. In the event that you’ve planted your desert rose into the ground, it will most likely not survive an extended period of winter. The desert rose does not care about humidity since it is used to living in a dry, hot environment.
For an extra boost of nutrition (and maybe more blossoms), you can feed your desert rose with liquid fertilizer (diluted by half) once a month during its active growth season for an additional dosage of nutrients. During the plant’s dormant stage, avoid fertilizing it with nutrients.
Before you begin pruning, sanitize your pruning tools with rubbing alcohol or a bleach solution, then re-sterilize your instruments as you go from one plant to the next. As soon as new growth appears, remove the old, cold-damaged growth. Trim long, lanky stems to keep the development of the stems balanced and symmetrical. Branch out from under other branches that rub or cross them, cutting right above a leaf node or where the stem connects to another stem.
Planting and Caring for a Desert Rose
Desert roses may be propagated by branch cuttings or seeds, depending on the variety. You should be aware that if you reproduce from a branch cutting rather than from seed, your next plant may not have the typical bulbous trunk that would occur if you propagated from seed. Here’s how to grow a plant from a stem cutting:
- Before you begin, make sure you have the following supplies on hand: garden gloves, sterilized pruners, rooting hormone, a clean container, and a well-drained potting mixture.
- Garden gloves should be used since the sap from this plant is poisonous. Cutting from the tip of a branch with your pruning snips should result in a 5-to 6-inch cut.
- Allow the cutting to dry for a day or two before using it.
- Wet the cut end and dip it in rooting hormone to start the process.
- Plant the cut end into a well-draining growth medium, such as perlite or sand mixed with potting soil, to ensure a successful transplant.
- Water the cutting on a regular basis, but make certain that the water drains away from the soil. The cutting should begin to take root in two to six weeks at the most.
- Six weeks after starting the procedure, you should observe fresh growth, or if you gently pull at the stem, it should feel firmly anchored in place.