Rosa del deserto (Italian)
Origin and Habitat
USDA Hardiness Zone
10a to 12: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
Height: 2-5 m / Spread: 1-2m
Needs to be repotted every 2 years, pots should have generous drainage holes. Vining branches die back in the winter and should be cut back to encourage new branching and to maintain an attractive shape and to ensure caudex habit. To be safe keep it over 50 °F (+10 °C). Can be grown outdoors in frost-free areas. Poisonous.
Expected germination rate
Easy to Medium
No need to water daily as it needs water only when soil becomes dry; so, watering every 2-3 weeks is enough especially in winters.
Soil type and pH
Well-drained soil with pumice or crushed granite or even layers of gravel.
Adenium obesum or desert rose is popular among succulent collectors especially because of its vibrant pink, red and coral blossoms. It’s an indoor succulent that’s considered as an ultimate show-stopper as compared to other stunning potted succulents. It’s a wonderful warm-weather addition, no matter where you place it in your house.
The minimal amount of care required by this sun-loving showy lady for proper growth is also another reason for its popularity. Its trumpet-shaped, colorful flowers stay fresh and beautiful for a long time without any special care. As long as you maintain the right temperature around this gorgeous plant, you can hardly go wrong growing it.
As this plant is a sun-lover, it’s an ideal plant to grow for those who live in an area that receives bright and sunny mornings and afternoons. However, keeping it in shade can weaken its stem and make it leggy.
The beautiful desert rose plant comes in a range of varieties and is native to Arabian Peninsula and northeaster Africa.
While A. obesum blooms well in hot weather, it also requires a break in the growing season. Thus, it has two different blooming seasons, one in early spring, when the flowers bloom steadily while getting adequate sunlight, and then in the early fall when temperatures drop down from 60-degrees F. During this time, you have to move the plant indoors for pruning. winter is its dormancy period and during this time it drops its flowers and leaves.
Although it’s called Desert Rose, A. obesum is not a rose. It’s a deciduous plant. You can get it in five different varieties. It has a huge gene pool with several variations and sub-species in the wild. As per scientists, the plant’s environment may give rise to these varieties.
As mentioned earlier, the desert rose comes in five varieties and all of them are Arabian natives and love semi-arid climates to grow. Although its origin is arid, A. obesum has a wonderful adaptivity to tropical settings. That means that this plant can grow perfectly and beautifully if it receives adequate amounts of warmth and draining soil.
This desert-dweller needs 70-degree F to 100-degree F temperature to grow well, and like most succulents it can’t survive in cold temperatures. If you live in an area which is not arid all through the year, you should move your desert rose inside when climate changes.
This plant needs a lot of nitrogen in their soil; hence it’s ideal to apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer straight to the soil before every blooming season.
NOTE: The desert rose is extremely toxic to cats, dogs, horses as well as humans, and hence you should strictly keep pets and kids away from this plant. It has enough toxins to kill an elephant; therefore the ASPCA recommends keeping this plant away from all animals as toxins can be ingested just by licking the plant. If ingestion occurs, you should immediately call 911.