The desert rose, also commonly called adenium or winter rose , is a succulent plant with beautiful flowers and a very characteristic stem. Thanks to these peculiarities, it is a very popular ornamental plant, but its cultivation can be difficult in some areas due to its climate requirements and low humidity.
If you want to learn what the care of the desert rose is , keep reading this article.
Desert rose: characteristics
The Adenium obesum , which is the scientific name of the rose of the desert, has the following characteristics:
- It is a perennial shrub of the Apocynaceae family. It can reach heights of up to 3 meters , although it is usually around 1 meter or less, especially in gardens and pots.
- One of the most distinctive features of this plant is its peculiar stem, which grows fatter as the plant grows, owing to this characteristic its scientific name. As a succulent plant , the plant stores its water deposits in its thick stem, rather than in the leaves as others do.
- Adenium produces striking tubular flowers with five petals , usually of a very intense and beautiful pink color, although they can also be red or white.
- It is a very common plant in decoration, as well as the desert rose bonsai due to its peculiar shape.
- It is important to bear in mind that its sap is toxic, so we must be careful to put it within the reach of children or pets, who could become intoxicated if they bite or ingest it by mistake.
Desert rose: basic care
Adenium, like many succulents, has quite strict requirements regarding the climate and humidity to which it is exposed, so it is convenient to pay special attention to these points. If you want your plant to stay as fit as possible, follow these guidelines on desert rose care :
- Climate and temperature: it needs high temperatures and it can withstand heat very well. It does not support low temperatures, especially if they drop below 10 ºC.
- Location and light: due to the temperatures it needs, it must be placed in the sun so that it has a lot of light at a good temperature.
- Watering: once every 10 or 15 days in the warm months and once a month during the somewhat cold months if it is outdoors.
- Substrate: it must have a fairly porous substrate to promote drainage and avoid flooding. Make sure the soil drains well or the pot has holes in it.
- Compost: use only succulent compost and apply a little in the summer months.
Next, we will expand the information on the care of adenium or desert rose.
Climate of the desert rose
This plant has its origin in very hot and dry areas of Africa and Arabia, so, only with this, we can already get a fairly clear idea of what its needs are in terms of temperature and environment. The desert rose is very resistant to heat , but it does not tolerate temperatures below 10 ºC.
Taking this into account, it is very likely that you will need to plant your adenium in a pot, in order to protect it indoors in the cold months, or you will have to transplant it if the temperatures in your area drop below 10 ºC in the cold months.
Location for adenium
As we have indicated before, nothing better than to look at the conditions of the original environment of a plant to know what its needs are. Therefore, the desert rose, true to its name, must be located in full sun , even in summer and in hot areas.
This plant requires a great deal of lighting to thrive and, although it can be grown indoors, it will need a location with as much direct light as possible, both in the cold and warm months.
Watering the desert rose
Like many succulent plants, adenium is especially sensitive to excess moisture , which is the most dangerous factor. Always water without wetting the plant or its flowers, especially when the sun hits them, and do not do so until the substrate is almost completely dry . To get the water right, keep in mind that, normally, it will be enough with one watering every 10 or 15 days in the warm months, and once a month in the cold ones.
Soil and substrate
The most important thing with the soil or substrate of this plant is that it provides as effective a drainage as possible. For this, it is best to mix peat with river sand or other porous materials that contribute to this effect, such as coconut fiber . It doesn’t have to be very nutrient-rich soil, but if the drainage isn’t enough, the desert rose will suffer. If you plant your desert rose in a pot, make sure it has drainage holes .
Fertilizer for the desert rose
In the warmer months, the plant will appreciate an extra supply of nutrients in its substrate to develop well and flower. To do this, always use specific fertilizer for succulent or succulent plants, and apply it following the specific instructions on the container, no more than two or three times in summer. If you abuse the compost, the plant can suffer excess of some nutrients that lead to a disease.
Pruning the desert rose
You can prune the adenium to give it the shape that you like the most, as those who apply the bonsai technique do . However, it is good to fertilize properly before each pruning so that the plant is strong, and it is essential to make the cuts so that water does not accumulate in them. Applying cinnamon powder to the cuts will help them close earlier and without fungal infections.
Care must be taken when using pruning as a flowering stimulant, as it should not be used unless it is very necessary, since this type of pruning in particular is very aggressive for the plant.