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Adenium obesum, the desert rose

Adenium obesum, desert rose

Adenium is a plant used indoors for its appealing blooming and its surprising ornamental qualities.

Adenium key facts:

Name – Adenium obesum
Family – Apocynceae or dogbane
Type – succulent perennial, indoor plant

Height – 5 feet (1.5 meters)
Exposure – full sun or well-lit
Soil – rather rich and well drained

Foliage:  evergreen  –  Flowering: May to September

Caring for it requires careful watering and exposure to avoid disease.

Planting, repotting Adenium

Planting desert roseIndoors, this plant requires rather rich soil: best use a good soil mix.

If you plan to plant your desert rose outdoors, wait for spring and choose a sunny spot.

  • But take note that this plant is native to South Africa, and probably won’t adapt to any odd climate. Temperatures must never drop below 50°F (10°C).
  • However, it will feel right at home in a winter garden under a lean-in or an unheated greenhouse.

Pruning the desert rose

They don’t need any pruning.

Remove wilted flowers regularly.

Watering desert rose

Like all succulent plants, a desert rose only requires very little water, since it stocks it up.

  • In winter, it is even a good thing to let the soil dry up entirely.
  • Start watering again slowly in spring as soon as the leaves start unfurling.

Caring for desert rose

Well-cared for adenium in a hot climate, bloomingDesert roses only require very little care.

Indoors, in an apartment, choose a very sunny location, in direct sunlight for the most part of the day.

You can put it outdoors in summer, but take care not to transfer it immediately to a scorching location. This could dry the plant up and brutal changes can stress it considerably.

Common disease of Adenium, the desert rose

Adenium diseasesIf you discover cottony white clumps, there is no doubt about it: scale insects. This parasite appears when the air in the room is too dry and the temperature is high.

It may also happen that the desert rose starts rotting when the soil is too moist.

Only water when the soil is dry, and also check that your pot lets excess water drain out away from the roots. Soil must drain very well the pot should have holes at the bottom.

Beautiful Adenium varieties

Adenium varietiesAdenium obesum is certainly one of the most favored, thanks to its plump, luscious trunk and roots –nearly identical to Ficus ginseng, a famous house bonsai.

  • The Adenium arizona species has different-colored flowers on the same plant: red, pink and fuchsia mingle on the sparse branches.
  • The A. crispum species has thin lance-like leaves, with stunning striped flowers.
  • Adenium obesum ‘Arctic Snow’ has pure white flowers, and the ‘Amethyst’ is blood red.

Smart tip about the desert rose

This magnificent plant is also called baobab rose. It can bloom all year round when it gets older and is well cared for.

Images: 123RF: Elvira Ladocki, Stanislav Sablin; Pixabay: Jana & Alf Drollinger, Hartono Subagio, thevetia2
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