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PlantFiles: Desert Rose
Adenium obesum

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Family: Apocynaceae (a-pos-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Adenium (a-DEE-nee-um) (Info)
Species: obesum (oh-BEE-sum) (Info)

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

72 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Cactus and Succulents

Height:
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Spacing:
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Danger:
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Red

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Fall

Foliage:
Deciduous

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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Profile:

54 positives
10 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive abrahamx On Oct 7, 2013, abrahamx from Clinton Township, MI wrote:

I have a 20 month old A obesum that I am growing from seed from another plant. I am growing indoors under t5 grow lights with 18 hrs of light. The plant is doing great and is about 4 feet tall. In the recent weeks it is starting to bend from its own weight. Like its growing to fast for itself. I have it tied up but it is not very attractive with the top wilting over. I also have a shorter one with two main stems that are growing in a shallow "v" shape because the limbs are sagging. They are almost parellel to the soil. I tried topping the plants but they just branch and become heavier on the top. Should I reduce the light schedule? Any advice for me. I want a large specimen but think maybe I should bring it out of the light to let it go dormant? I am in MI and its early oct so winter is comming. Thanks for any help. adam@dcemail.com

Positive ADENIUM_OBESUM On Jun 14, 2013, ADENIUM_OBESUM from Kauno raj.
Lithuania wrote:

We are selling Adenium Obesums on eBay. Check it out:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/answerix/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from...

Also you can found us on Facebook:

"Adenium Obesum Bonsai"

Positive gbirdie On Sep 14, 2012, gbirdie from Jacksonville, FL wrote:

I have 2 of these. One has a rather broad, lighter green leaf and pink flower, plus large thorns. I've had this one 2 years but it only seems to bloom for about a month in the spring. The other I have had 1 yr and is a red and white with narrow, dark green leaf, no thorns, and blooms almost continually. Neither loose their leaves in the winter and they have been out in 40 degrees with no ill effects. Do different varieties have different bloom habits?

Positive thaidai On Aug 28, 2012, thaidai from Phutthamonthon
Thailand (Zone 10b) wrote:

I have 7 of these plants pinks, pink/white striped, pure white, reds and one mauve coloured. Here in Thailand they advise to prune severely at the end of the monsoon season. It seems to work well. The only time I have had problems is when a couple of plants became waterlogged 1year during the monsoon season and I didn't notice untill too late. However since i have been using a mixture of chopped coconut husks and clay about 3:1 as advised by a local specialist nursery they have been doing well. The only other problem is with a tree that has 2 coloured (grafted) flowers, the grafted one doesn't do as well as the base plant, but it could also be that my brother in law has been watering it too much.

Neutral lion8u2 On Jan 5, 2012, lion8u2 from Carrollton, TX wrote:

Hi,
I have had my DR for about a year and a half and have never had such trouble. I grow bonsai and have been told I have two green thumbs but this has really been a challenge. The first summer I had it, I was beautiful. Then I brought it inside for the winter. (I live in zone 7/8) It did lose its leaves and I was probably watering to frequently but it managed to survive and did ok last summer but not as well as the previous summer. It seemed to not appreciate any care including fertilization, so I just left it and it got its water when the sprinklers went off. It did flower and really started looking good about the time I had to bring it in for the winter. Once again when I brought it in, it lost its leaves but I have really been holding back the water. Maybe too much because the tips of the branches are starting to shrivel. My question is...should I cut back the portions that are shriveled or just leave them and increase water frequency? Or is the cause something totally different?

Neutral nanecita On Oct 20, 2011, nanecita from Hollywood, FL wrote:

I have a very old (20 years old) Dwarf Desert Rose also known as "Adenium Obesum - Hybrid" (won't grown over 6' tall). This plant has been great but now it started to rot, I believe it might be due to 5 days straight of excessive amount of rain. I removed some branches straight from the caudexes that were soft and mushy but I wonder if I can replant some healthy branches or even better save the tree...
Please help me with this.
Thanks !

Neutral zroiron On Sep 14, 2011, zroiron from Las Vegas, NV wrote:

We found a beautiful multi trunked DR at a local landscape and garden center. It was beautiful and full of flowers, but when we got it home, repotted it and placed it on our deck next to our pool, we noticed that the branches started sagging and drooping. It got so bad that we had to tie the branches up with ribbon to keep some semblance of what we had when we brought it home. All of the branches are really droopy and we have no idea what we did to cause this. It started dropping leaves as well, although over time, it started growing new leaves.
Has anyone had this or a similiar experience with a DR with long droopy branches?

Positive jackie_d1 On Jun 16, 2011, jackie_d1 from Riverton, UT wrote:

I just bought this plant and am looking at the best way to take care of it. I just moved to Kansas City and am new to the area so I'm not well-versed in the tricks of gardening around here. Is there a special pest control Kansas City gardeners need to worry about? Should I water it a certain amount? I'm from Utah so I'm used to having to water everything all the time. Anyway, any advice would be greatly appreciated. http://www.bluebeetlepest.com

Neutral myfoster On May 29, 2011, myfoster from Pagosa Springs, CO wrote:

I have a desert rose plant that I got about a year ago. It has never bloomed. My previous desert rose bloomed continually. Are there male and female plants? My plant is healthy and puts out leaves and grows well. Why won't it bloom? Hope someone can help me.

Positive tstefanick On Mar 26, 2011, tstefanick from Dewitt, MI wrote:

I got my Desert Rose last fall on the clearance shelf at Walmart. It already looked miserable (as do all the plants) but it intrigued me so I bought it. Within one week it had NO leaves so I came here to Dave's Garden to look for advice. I found a post that said not to sweat it if your plant lost all leaves in the fall or under stress. So, I put it at the back of the plant table and it is now getting leaves.
Thanks for your advice. Now for those gorgeous flowers....

Positive a_griebel On Jan 22, 2011, a_griebel from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

I purchased two of these plants a few weeks ago, so it is a little early to tell, but they do seem to handle the AZ desert sun just fine. I am leaving them outside in pots, but plan to take them inside only when there is a frost warning. One is in full afternoon sun with early morning and evening shade. The other is in all day filtered shade. Both have no signs of sun burn, although it is winter.

Neutral TerraMarisa On Sep 22, 2010, TerraMarisa from Chandler, AZ wrote:

9/22/10

Hi there, my name is Terra & Im hoping to get some help! I live in Chandler, AZ & I received a desert rose for my birthday, 8/30/10 & she had 3 flowers. The 3 flowers all fell within 3 days of getting her. No biggie yet. I didn't know anything about her, until now, so I kept her on my kitchen table, which gets low light. Within the next few weeks her leaves just started dropping. Perfect green leaves, no yellowing, just falling, now Im concerned. 90% are gone now, only the small leaves at the tips remain. We keep our house between 77-81 degrees during this time. Could she be going "dormant"? If so, I fear I caused this prematurely & wonder how long can they be dormant for as "fall" has just arrived & winter is right around the corner??? Should I put her outside & try to spark her back up you think?

Has anyone in AZ had these plants? I know they say full sun but in many cases, I have learned, that does not mean full Arizona sun, especially mid-summer. Does anyone keep theirs in full AZ sun or even outside for that matter in mid-summer? I will appreciate ANY response. I really don't want to lose her!
Thanks,
Terra

Positive stonesdoor On Sep 4, 2010, stonesdoor from Miami, FL wrote:

My desert rose was originally from a cutting but well established when purchased. It has quadrupled in size over the last 3 yrs I've had it, first in central FL and now in Miami. I potted and repotted it using regular potting soil. It has been brought inside during the cold weather, and has bloomed with just the few hours of sun coming in. I water once a week when it is indoors, but mother-in-law waters every other day when it is outside. I was afraid it wasn't getting enough sun this summer, as it hadn't bloomed since Spring and was losing leaves -- and I thought it was possibly getting overwatered (mentioned to m-i-l). Perhaps it is the shift in the sun, it has new blossoms and the leaves are looking good since mid-August. I will try to upload a picture.

Positive bbbubbles On Aug 26, 2010, bbbubbles from Fort Myers, FL wrote:

I recently bought a house about a year ago, and the previous owner had a rather large desert rose he left potted under the back pergola. It seemed quite neglected so I repotted about 5 months ago, after which it had beautiful growth. Recently I have been having problems with pests. A few days ago I braved pruning after doing a bit of research and have decided to pot in a more appopraite mix. Due to heavy SW FL rains in the summer (as this is an outdoor potted plant).

The plant from the root ball to the top is roughly my hight 5 foot 5...haha. It had been planted by the prior owner so that bulk of the caudex was below the surface and the stems appeared to come from the ground. In replanting the first time I was too scarred to lift it any higher out of the ground, due to numerous small and medium sized roots at this level.

In repotting this time I would like to use a shallow bowl shaped clay pot w/ 2/3 miracle gro catus and 1/3 perlite. And have more of the caudex showing. However, is showing these numerous roots dangerous to the plant (burning) or should and is their a way to prune these (Normally I dont see roots on the plant so high up besides the very large roots...likely because they were never stuck all the way in the ground). There are much larger roots at the buttom of the root ball, which in now way intend to touch.

Please give any advice you can. I truly love this plant and I am assuming it is older based on its large size. I can't tell how stressed out the thought of hurting it makes me. Yes, I am strange.

Thanks

Positive puremagick3 On Aug 20, 2010, puremagick3 from Brisbane
Australia wrote:

I have 2 of these Beautiful Plants, They grow brilliantly in Brisbane, Australia. They love the Sub Tropical Climate.

Positive tvksi On Jun 21, 2010, tvksi from Paris, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

On May 3,2009 I paypalled what I thought as an humongus amount for 2 allmost microscopic seed. I kid you not! they were so small that I dropped them both and prayed that the tiny particals I picked out of the pot I had prepard were seeds, not particals of soil ammendments.

I very carefully placed what I desperately thought were the seeds in a glass with a bit of water. I was visibly shaking as I felt like I was handling Gold flakes enstead of two tiney dried "maybe" seeds.

I put the glass where I'd know where to find it.
I hunted for several days and then I found a glass that I wonderd why it was sitting there with a bit of water in it.

When the light dawned, I was elated!!

Put each "seed" in each little pot. and waited. Think in about 10 days one of them sprouted. It grew to about 5 inches tall and a fair sized trunk. By Christmas, the leaves had fallen and I didn't know what to do as it just sat there .But a few weeks before 2010 summer soltus, it broke out with beautifull shinney leaves! Now I'm ready for some more of them!

Been reading info on Daves Garden and have learned a bit more so Thank all, and thanks Dave for the learning experience, and Master Gardener
admin@mgonline.com, the supplier


Positive piptwo On Jun 1, 2010, piptwo from Taos, NM wrote:

have 3 of these interesting plants, neglect them something fierce, and can't stop them from blooming several times a year. Direct Sun is the key. they're on a south facing sill year round with intense new mexico light, in a storage room not visited frequently, so not watered much... i step inside-- in bloom again, and they set seed! they're right next to the glass pane and we went to -11 F
several times this past winter. while they wouldn't freeze inside, i'm sure they were cold, but they don't care so long as they get full sun in the daytime.

Positive ccr55 On Feb 21, 2010, ccr55 from Park Ridge, IL wrote:

I live outside of Chicago near O'Hare and two days ago bought my first Desert Rose at Ikea. It was damp (not totally dry) in a 6" pot and has 3 budding blooms and one red flower already on it. I haven't noticed any bugs of any kind. It is root bound and would like to repot it and bought MiracleGrow Cactus mix in which I plan to mix some perlite and sand.
I love this plant and refer to it as my Harry Potter plant. I've never had one and hope it'll grow. It is in the kitchen not in a window but in a fairly lit area. Any advice re if I should repot now, vertilize now, spray with EcoOil, etc. would be appreciated. I want to start out right and then just let it do its' thing. Thank you for your advice.
I'm so thrilled with it, thinking about going back tomorrow and getting another with maybe white flowers.

Neutral starLMBTNC9565 On Jan 17, 2010, starLMBTNC9565 from Raleigh, NC wrote:

I have had my DR for 3yr or so. I was having so trouble with it trying to die on me at first. I then put it in a larger pot. It is now growing and is beautiful in the summer. I can't seem to get it to bloom. I also don't know if I have it planted in the right type of soil or if I am even watering it right. It gets 6-8 hours of sun from a sun lamp. If you have any advice email me at star.bynum@att.net Thanks

Positive HMonk On Dec 10, 2009, HMonk from La Luz, NM wrote:

I have had exceptional year-round success with the adenium so I thought I would pass along my technique.

I grow all succulents (actually, all my plants) in a mixture containing one part each of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite. This fast draining, fast drying mixture is especially suited to the adenium since the plant is very subject to root/trunk-rot. Because this mix contains little in the way of nutrients, I feed my plants every time I water them with 10-20-10 (Peter's, MiracleGro), one tablespoon per gallon of water. I also grow all of my plants in clay pots because they allow air absorption/water leaching and they also permit any excess fertilizer to leach as well (yeah, the pots get a little fuzzy looking but I brush off the fuzz every couple of months or so. For adeniua, I add approximately one-quarter cup, more or less, of small pebbles to one cup of my potting mix. I got this tip from folks who grow adenia in bonsai fashion (they rely on the pebbles for better anchorage since they use shallow, often rectangular pots, allowing the roots to grow off to the side). I use small, polished pebbles that are used in fish tanks (plain pebbles, not the colored ones). One other very beneficial tip from my bonsai friends: DO NOT embed the trunk in the potting soil. Re-pot your plant such that only the roots are in the soil with the trunk seemingly resting on top of the soil. This greatly minimizes the possibility of trunk rot, to which the adenia are prone.

Although I live in the SE NM high-desert, I grow all of my plants indoors year-round in order to control the environment and enable better pest control. In the summer, I set the adenia in a west-facing window, in the winter, south-facing.

In order to accommodate the massive trunk, I place adenia in 8-inch pots. However, I fill the pots one-half full with large stones (I have also placed an inverted small pot inside the large pot). You might get the same environment if you used an azalea pot. By so doing, I have a pot wide enough but not one filled with potting mix - allowing faster drying/draining of the mix.

When I water all of my plants, I completely encircle the pot, wetting the mixture evenly, and continue to do so until the excess water flows from the bottom. The adenium is the only exception to this rule. With the adenium, I lightly water all the way around the pot once and stop. It's hard to say but I would estimate that my adenia get 3/4-quarters of a cup of water; no more than a cup. I do not water again until the mixture has completely dried out as measured with a moisture meter. With all of my plants, I use a moisture meter, allowing most to completely dry out between waterings. This routine works well for all the succulents I have (hoya, crassula, and a variety of cacti) . It also works very well for plants that, supposedly, like to be in a moist mix (ficus, e.g.). My rationale is this, I have NEVER had a plant die because I underwatered it; overwatered - yes! Using the moisture meter also avoids such silly advice as "water once a week." Depending on the time of the year, growing season, light, humidity, clay v. glazed pot, and size of pot, plants dry out in an irregular fashion. I only water when they are dry.

My technique also eliminates arbitrarily imposed rest periods. Plants that demand rest (hoya, e.g.) will take in much less water over a long period of time; a moisture meter will let you know when to water. Others, like the adenia, simply keep on chugging along putting out leaves and blooming year-round.

Finally, all plants adapt and I find that if I am consistent, mine thrive using my method. In the case of the adenia, I no longer lose plants to rot - and that's a good thing.

I am uploading an image of one of my adenia taken 01/15/10. You can see ample blooms against the snow in the background.

Good luck.

Negative stardazy On Sep 23, 2009, stardazy from Bethany, OK wrote:

I have 2 DR plants. One is on my front porch, the other in a window at work. Neither one is flowering. The front porch desert rose faces south so it has gotten lots of sun. It has also gotten too much water. There are 2 bases in the pot. One has rotted (soft) but the other has lots of leaves, just doesn't bloom.

The other work plant faces west so it gets lots of afternoon and late evening sun. It seems to dry out fast, and gnats gather in the drip tray. This one also does not bloom.

I've read all the postings on this so I think I'm well informed. I'm wondering what I need to do to get my plants to bloom. It's almost time to bring the porch DR inside and I have nowhere to keep it where it would get sun. Do I need to get a lamp?

Both plants are in the same pot I bought them in, which is a wide brimmed shallow pot. Should I repot with cactus soil and rocks?

I really want my plants to thrive so any help is appreciated.

Positive geniocoeden On Aug 3, 2009, geniocoeden from Yorktown, VA wrote:

I have had my DR since 1999. When I bought it from K-Mart, it was about 12 inches tall and I had no clue what to do with it... It was just going to be the center piece for my kitchen table. Well, without full sun, it sheds it leaves and I'm left with a bulb with a few sticks poking out of it. It took me five years of doing different things and trying different conditions before I got it figured out... My DR is now 5ft 7in tall and a super huge prolific bloomer. These were the keys to my success:

1) Needs FULL sun. That means ALL day.
2) When over-wintering, do not let the temperature fall below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
3) Do not water on over-wintering unless the stems become kind of gummy and even then, only water lightly.
4) Use a very sandy, well-draining soil.
5) In summer during the growing season, water generously. In Virginia, temps can reach 95+ Fahrenheit so watering every day or every other day is important. On cooler weeks, once every 2 or 3 days is fine.
6) Fertilizing is less important than with other plants. I use a teaspoon of Epsom Salts to the gallon once a week in Spring and Early Summer, but then not at all during bloom time and then once a month or every other week after the last bloom has dropped.
7) Bring indoors when temps start to reach into the low 60's Fahrenheit as the Fall/Winter approaches.
8) Leave near a sunny window in winter but avoid drafts... I wrap the pot with a sweater in the Winter and that seems to work well.

If you follow these guidelines, you will have success with your DR's growth and blooms. See the pics of mine :)

Positive froggie_adg On Jul 30, 2009, froggie_adg from New Bern, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have seven different varieties and 30 plants started from seed. Cuttings dont have the swollen caudex only seedlings. I also grow several varieties of plumeria along with my adenium. I found both low maintenence for me. When starting from seed, soak seeds for 3 hours before planting in pots. Use a seed starter soil and place seeds on surface just barely cover the ends of the seed ONLY. Place in plastic bag (mini hot house) in sunny window temp should stay around 70 and in 5 to 10 days you will see your seedlings. I use fish emulsion and an epsom salt mixture of 1tbsp per gallon of water. I keep a time release plant food on surface during growth months.

Positive mhardie52 On Mar 21, 2009, mhardie52 from Fort Worth, TX wrote:

I love my 2 plants. Both have bloomed in summer and this is my 3rd year to own them. Now the one which wintered over in my greenhouse suddenly has its leaves turning yellow from the bottom up. I can't see any bugs and I have watered it sparingly during the winter. The soil is dry up to 1 inch down. Today is the second day of spring. Could it think it is time to go dormant?

Positive desertluver99 On Feb 6, 2009, desertluver99 from Mobile, AL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Very easy from seed..(start them in late spring to early summer).i live on the gulf coast of alabama...zone 8b/9a....started them last week of april in greenhouse...by late may they were 2 inches tall ...(grow very fast in hot weather)..i used miracle gro moisture control mix to start them...in 7 cm terra cotta pots ...drains well..so water as soon as they dry out the first 4-5 months.....winter inside..near window...min temp at nite no lower than 40 degrees....water only when stems get soft ....these plants are pretty easy...just DONT OVERWATER THEM IN COOL WEATHER...LEAF DROP IN WINTER IS NORMAL

Positive kredfox On Oct 14, 2008, kredfox from Tampa Bay, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

In the Tampa Bay area the Desert Rose grows very well. So far I've never noticed it bothered by insects. It gets watered once weekly. It's so very hot here I've offered it a little extra water during summer months, but only a little in the morning hours. the Desert Rose can be quite expensive in the nurseries, but I've discovered it propagates easily through cuttings (no special care) and recently it produced large 4 inch + seed pods. Although we've grown it from cuttings before, now's our chance to try growing it from seed. I've seen it planted tightly as a border along a sidewalk along with other plants. That's my goal! It is very sensitive to cold. Almost lost it once during a rare freeze in southern Florida. It came back, but it needs to be taken inside or well protected below 45-50 degrees.

Positive shc On Jul 26, 2008, shc from Roi-et
Thailand wrote:

Every bungalow in our complex here has one of these outside in a pot. The swollen root covers most of the surface of the top of the pot, so the normally nightly downpours can't be overwatering it. I haven't seen any care from the management for them, and all are a healthy-looking 3-4 feet high and wide, mostly full of flowers now--end of July. We're in Roi-et, northeastern Thailand. The pods are strange-looking. They don't hang down. They grow out stiffly, horizontally, about 9-10 inches.

Positive DGentry On Jul 23, 2008, DGentry from Bessemer, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I found this plant at the local Wal-Mart. I was pleased the plant had the swelled base and had a very attractive balance to it's growth. Due to it's size I decided to make it Bonsai. So far, the plant has been in full to partial sun outdoors on the deck and is exhibiting new growth.
I cannot wait to see it's blooms. When this happens I will post another picture of the plant.
Is this somewhat like the nervous dad in the waiting room pacing the floor in anticipation of the new baby?
I don't think so, but it's still exciting.

Positive jackstatmiller On Jul 14, 2008, jackstatmiller from Frederick, MD wrote:

The desert rose gets bugs very easy! After the first day I got bugs, I dont know what kind though. I also went to Homedepot and got it on clearence for six dollars then I went to Lowes for a lamp and saw the same brand of the desert rose on sale for fourteen dollars!

Positive Tetrazygia On Jul 10, 2008, Tetrazygia from Miami, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I have a few of these, and they do really well outdoors here in South Florida with the short, dry winters and long, rainy summers. I keep mine in glazed ceramic pots, in a medium that's about 1/4 rich soil, 1/4 perlite, and 1/2 limestone rocks since they are prone to rot if the substrate retains water. At Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden they keep several in the ground, in raised beds that are filled with rocks, and along a drier hill in the garden.

They can also grow indoors or in shady spots, but really appreciate full sun and will grow quickly in it. I've never seen full sun burn the leaves on these, but I imagine that would happen to plants that aren't used to it.

Positive sailspin On Jan 31, 2008, sailspin from Melbourne, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Hi just a note I bought several plants in 6" containers several years ago that had been hit by frost at Lowes so yes got for .50 each a few died but 6 grew and I kept two put in 5 gallon pots next to pool and do nothing. water once in awhile both are 3' and and always just full of flowers, Don't love them they will do fine like orchids good luck.

Positive aussie_girl On Jan 13, 2008, aussie_girl from townsville
Australia wrote:

im from north queensland in australia, and the desert rose grows absolutely wonderful here. it flowered about 4 months ago then 4 big seed pods came out. one has split open but im still waiting on the others. if anyone can help me with how to plant the seeds it would b a huge help. this is the first plant i have ever had in my life so im yet to develop my green thumb so to speak. lol

Positive Ayda On Oct 20, 2007, Ayda from Belton, SC wrote:

I bought one of these about 6 months ago on clearance at Lowes. At the time, the plant had no leaves at all, but I could clearly see it was still alive. It wasn't being cared for properly in the Lowe's plant department, and it was the only one they seemed to have, so I bought it, placed it in some sun and watered it. It's been thriving very well so far, still haven't seen any blooms, however the plant/succulent is just beautiful even without blooms. It's got very shiny leaves, and the way it seems to have grown is just amazing, the way the roots wrap around the stem. I really enjoy this plant and recommend anyone get one so long as you care for it correctly. :)

Positive CHudnall On Oct 4, 2007, CHudnall from Sebring, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is a beautiful plant that can be grown either in containers or in the ground. We have ours in containers.

We were told when we received them that if we keep turning (once a week) the container a 1/4-inch, that the bulb (caudex) will start to spiral. We turn ours about once a month and it is doing great.

Watering has already been covered by most others, so I'll just add this note....

Oleander caterpillars LOVE this plant! Two weeks ago, one of ours was a healthy vibrant blooming plant. The oleander caterpillars have it completely defoliated. We are told that it will come back though, just looks ugly right now.

We found this quite amusing in that there is an Oleander bush about 20 feet away that they didn't touch!

Positive seraphine On Aug 17, 2007, seraphine from Fredericksburg, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

One of my favorite plant. I used to grow many of them when I was in Indonesia, about 20 of them, different varieties and flower colors and size. One of the easiest plant to take care of (in Indonesia). Need lots of sunlight, love the heat, let the soil dry between each watering, might need to be watered more on very hot days. I have several after I moved to the U.S 2 month ago, still worried about winter time because I live in zone 7b. Hopefully they will survive.

Positive alypl On Jul 30, 2007, alypl from Luquillo, PR wrote:

They support gardeners like me.

This is my first time cultivating by seeds. I saw the seeds ten days ago, and I have not seen any germination. I just saw them, I did not soak them in water, but I do not see any development.

I have a beautiful one that was given to me, and bought one at the Flowers Festival in Aibonito, PR.

I need further assistance with the seedlings. You may contact me at alypl@yahoo.com

Positive ladysniper On Jul 2, 2007, ladysniper from Hudson, FL wrote:

Beautiful hardy plant that seems to bloom non-stop. Almost lost it in an unexpected freeze last year and thought it was dead but it came back from the root and is more beautiful than ever this year! I bought this plant at Walmart (believe it or not) but can't locate another one anywhere yet.

Positive terra1 On Apr 4, 2007, terra1 from Richmond, TX wrote:

Wasn't impressed when my husband brought home this ugly duckling, but the unique shape has really grown on me. Bloomed twice for me last summer. Unfortunately, I left it out during one of our hardest freezes this winter. All of the branches were killed. I immediately cut the soft parts off. The stump, or caudex, was still firm. I nearly threw it away last week, after about 6 weeks of staring at the bare, ugly stump, but I noticed it is coming out again! You may find that your frost-nipped plants are not really dead, but only dormant.

Positive JDadow1 On Jan 28, 2007, JDadow1 from Portage, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is my third year growing my Adenium. I'm excited to report that this past fall in about october I noticed a seed pod forming. It is now almost February and the seed pod is over a foot long and still showing no signs of ripening. I did a lot of digging and read that the flowers are pollinated at night by moths, and that the pods usually hold 50 to 60 seeds. Also, that most commercial bought plants are sterile. Obviously not the case with mine. I'm excited to see what happens when the seed pods break open. I'm not sure if it is because of our dark winters in Michigan that is making the gestation so long for the seeds or if this is normal. Hopefully they will ripen soon so I can have seedlings by spring.

Positive oderasmo On Nov 19, 2006, oderasmo from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

I bought a samll desert rose (6" tall) in KMart, Davie, FL as a tourist visiting the area somtime back 15+ years ago. I took it back home to New Jersey and kep telling my husband we needed to move to FL for the sake of the plant. I have been in FL for 6 yrs and the plant has grown so much. I found something a bit diff lst week, I seed pod! I have never seen one on any desert rose I've seen before, it is a strange pod, sticking out like to giant bug. What do I now? how do I propagate them? why does mine have them and the others never get them, I've asked even at garden cneters and they have never seen the pod before.....

Positive ceejaytown On Aug 29, 2006, ceejaytown from The Woodlands, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I grow this in a pot, which is taken inside during the winter - desert rose is not winter hardy in zone 9. The pot also serves to give the excellent drainage required. I place it in full sun, on a raised rock, where it does not get water from the automatic irrigation system. Native to Africa, Desert rose is a succulent related to plumeria, with thick fleshy branches, and a large, fat base. Although it can survive with neglect, regular fertilization will make it much happier.

Positive renatelynne On Jul 25, 2006, renatelynne from Boerne new zone 30, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

loves texas heat as long as it gets enough water. I have it in a self watering planter that I fill up about once every couple of weeks. Flowers are beautiful. Wish they lasted longer.

Positive senlarrs On Jul 24, 2006, senlarrs from Harrisburg, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

The picture that I added to the database was my first adenium. This plant has been grown and flowered inside a western window. I have since added three more to my collection. Hope they will do the same. 8>)))

Positive patter257 On Jul 23, 2006, patter257 from Olathe, KS wrote:

Delightful plant! Easy to grow. Place outside in mild shade to sunny spot during summer, then inside for dormancy in winter. Enjoy loads of bloom in summer, will bloom, but not as heavily indoors. Constantly fertilize with weak solution. During dormancy, WATER SPARINGLY (you gotta love it--easy for those who don't have a lot of time!) Still trying to perfect the overall culture of this plant, but with as little knowledge as I have had have enjoyed much success with it.
Have been purchasing from local nursery and Lowe's/Home Depot, but am beginning to tap internet sources. Currently have about 5 unidentified varieties: solid scarlet with white throat, broad scarlet edge with white star throat, thin scarlett edge which fades/white star throat, lovely heavy blooming pink (all of these have broad leaves), and a scarlet/white with narrow leaves. Also, started some from a seed pod very successfully. EASY to do this as well, and the seedlings are fascinating; none have bloomed so far.
IMHO, this plant is an undiscovered treasure!

Positive Rehlo On Apr 12, 2006, Rehlo from Burnsville, MN wrote:

I have four of these beauties. One with red flowers, one bicolor, one yet unknown and one with variegated leaves that also has not yet bloomed. Being from Minnesota, they are grown under plant lights from approximately October to May and are moved outside for the rest of the year. Because of the constant light, they don't lose their leaves and I water when they look dry. The two bloomers are covered with flowers (I start using orchid fertilizer when they are moved outside) and I expect the others to give me a show this year. A few days ago I received 25 mixed Adenium seeds from an ebay auction. After only three days, 13 of them are up already! Wow! I just scattered them on the top of porous succulent soil (I have hundreds of succulents and use 1/2 perlite, some small rock and Miracle Gro potting soil as a mix) let the whole (bonsai) pot sit in water for a couple of hours and set this under the lights. I cant wait to see what I get from this mix! Happy Growing!

Positive Pashta On Jan 15, 2006, Pashta from Moncks Corner, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

I saw this plant looking half dead at a Lowes in NC, and brought it home with me, as I am a huge sucker for foundering plants. Little did I know that it is just in a dormant state. From all I have read this should be a really enjoyable plant. I had it on a small sunporch, and have since moved it inside, because two of the branches are drooping! I figure its either because of the cold, or maybe I have over watered it. Im hoping a grow light in an inside room, and left to dry out a bit, will do the trick. I love succulents, so Im excited about this plant. I dont care if it is picky, it stands to be a wonderful houseplant, and I cannot wait for its first bloom!

Neutral cactus_lover On Nov 5, 2005, cactus_lover from FSD
Pakistan (Zone 10b) wrote:

Shrub to 2 m high with thick caudex and many short branches;leaves at ends of the branches.

Neutral BayAreaTropics On Oct 28, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

A terrible house plant. It's a constant battle to keep mites,mealys off the leaves. It should be treated like a plumeria or pachypodium-grow outdoors for the summer and let go dry and dormant with leaf drop for the winter. They are one those common inexpensive plants, (when small) that ironically become very expensive when large.Such is the difficulty of growing one for the long term....
EDIT 2009: I have learned more since last wrote.They are tricky indoors,but it seems hybrids are more manageable,faster growing too. Nothing has changed on the price of large plants indicating their status as desirable. I don't think I could afford one I bought two years ago due to growth!
EDIT 2012..It died. Over winter,indoors..just collapsed. I don't know why..it wasn't over watered,or kept in the dark. I give!

Positive Liila On Jul 6, 2005, Liila from Lantana, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I have one of the common bright pink and white ones and just decided this evening that I have to have more (many more!) of these beautiful, hardy, vigorous plants! I bought a baby in a 6" pot cheap cheap at Lowe's (a rescue) early this spring and it's all ready 18" around the base of the caudex and 2 1/2' tall.

It's had one or two blooms at a time since bringing it home, but since repotting from clay into 14" plastic (because it was screaming that it was thirsty all the time) and watering more frequently, it's loaded down with buds and blooms and I'm just transfixed by it's beauty!

I'm pretty new to caudex plants (I also have a Buddha Belly or jatropha podagrica) and was a bit hesitant since they seemed to me to be temperamental, but I'm now a true believer. I have it in full sun all day long on the back patio, and it just seems to love it there. The caudex seems to push itself up and out of the soil as it wants to and so it seems to be growing up as well as down into the soil...I've trimmed the roots as they become exposed, but am now contemplating allowing them to grow and gnarl as they want...I've seen some beautiful photo's here at Dave's that seem to be grown that way.

Positive BuriedTreasures On Sep 1, 2004, BuriedTreasures from Valrico, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Regarding seed propogated Adeniums, these are the ones that DO produce the caudex (base, foot). Ones that are done from cuttings will not.

This is the main reason new varieties are grafted. With seed sown ones, the flower color can be hit or miss. With the grafts, you get the nice caudex produced by the host seedling, and a flower color that is true to the donating parent plant.

Positive Earnhardtangel On Jul 27, 2004, Earnhardtangel from Marion, AR wrote:

I've never seen anything like this plant before. I absolutly love it. It's kind of odd to me. But, it's an excellent plant. It's growing right now in my house. It's still just a baby. I live in Arkansas. It's doing just fine. I definatly recommend this plant! :-)

Positive KDePetrillo On Jul 12, 2004, KDePetrillo from North Scituate, RI (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have about 10 Adenium obesum and am VERY fond of them. You really have to watch the watering on these or you'll cause rot (I know from experience!). Two suggestions on these: it the plants are seed propagated, they supposedly will not produce the caudex that give the plant so much character. Secondly, I've heard that if you leave the caudex exposed, it will stop grow (the caudex, not the plant). The caudex should be covered until it's reached a good, plump size and gradually exposed each year.

Positive Jamespayne On Jul 11, 2004, Jamespayne from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have had two Adenium obesum for a year now. I live in FL in zone 9b, and the Summer sun really dries them up in a hurry when they are in full sun. Last Summer we had a lot of rain and I almost lost one to root rot, but thankfully to the knowledge of The Plants Database, I realized it had gotten too much water from the rain, and I quickly placed both inside in a sun-room. They wintered very well and I did not water them except for one cup of water a month. This Summer they are doing very well and I am keeping them out of the rain and in full sun. This is tricky, because if you leave home and it is suppose to rain, you have to remember to take the plant to a cover where the rain will not over-water it! How they take the heat with little water is beyond my imagination. One of my most unusual plants that I own. Jamespayne

Positive Pameladragon On Apr 24, 2004, Pameladragon from Appomattox, VA wrote:

These really are beautiful plants and I just got a new one at Lowes in Lynchburg, Virginia!

I would like to add that cool but above freezing temps will kill them. We were doing a lot of remodeling this past year and many of my orchids and my Adenium were in a bathroom for several months of the winter. Alas it did dip down to 45-50 in there a few nights and I lost the Adenium and really stressed some of the phals (lost a few too).

So, don't leave it out too late in the fall if you live below Zone 10. I nursed my dead one along for months because I thought it had just gone dormant! When the "foot" starts to rot, you know it is dead.

For scale and mealy bugs, I use light-weight horticultural oils like EcoOil or Sun Oil. They are fantastic for scale on citrus and very gentle. Large plants need to be dragged outside for spraying as the stuff can be messy but as soon as they stop dripping you can bring them back.

Spraying with the diluted oil is much faster than q-tips and alcohol. This oil is now so popular that it is sold in lots of feed stores and garden supply stores. I used to have to order it from Gardens Alive at great expense.

Positive CropDoc On Feb 24, 2004, CropDoc from Columbus, NE wrote:

I used to be a propagator for one of the largest mail order companies in the U.S. and have grown literally several thousands of species of ornamentals covering the entire range of plants one would would likely see. This is my absolute favorite plant, I just love it. I had one that got about 3 foot tall, multibranched, i'll try to post a photo. It was spectacular in bloom, the flowers almost completely obscured the rest of the plant. I had it from 6 inch pot size until it fit into a 36 inch pot when I lost it (I was overwintering it in a fertilizer plant and it got a whiff of Command herbicide and did not recover).
Here are my growing observations and experiences.
1. It did well in a mix of sand and peat lite mix, 2:1.
2. It seemed to respond to a half rate of soluble fertilizer in the water about two times a year when it was growing.
3. 50 degree or less temperatures would darn near kill it. Before I discovered that, I left it out in the fall. Long before it would freeze, the leaves would drop off and several inches of the branches would die back.
4. I abused it real bad as far as watering and care. I put it through cycles of growing for 3 months or so, then shutting off the water, the leaves would fall off, then followed a couple month dormancy, followed by watering plus the highest temperatures and brightest light that I could get. It would put a new flush of leaves, then a set of blossoms followed by a few seed pods. When the seed pods split, it was time to shut off the water and go through the cycle again.
5. It gets mealy bugs terrible and also mites occasionally.
6. I tried different insecticides for the mealy bugs and darn near killed the plant a couple of times. I will not spray insecticides on this plant today. If there are problems I hand clean all the leaves with a cotton swab and alcohol. I just got a new plant six weeks ago. It was dormant, I watered it in a 80 degree window, the leaves popped out, so did mealy bugs. Once a week I have gone over the plant and the big time infestation is now gone completely as near as I can see.
In my experience this the single most enjoyable, beautiful, yet carefree plant that I have ever grown. There should be one in every house.
Drawbacks: Poisonous sap, can get pretty large in time, it has to cycle through no leaves, has small list of management issues as outlined above.
Plusses: Unequaled floral display,lovely deep green shiny foliage, tough, takes abuse, visually interesting elephant foot and branch structure even when foliage is gone, you will have the only one on the block.

Positive MissPrimrose On Oct 5, 2003, MissPrimrose from Lowell, MA wrote:

If you have scale problems with these plants, remove all the leaves (they do grow back after a few months, better than ever!) and leave outside all summer.

Positive htop On Sep 4, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

A succulent member of the Oleander family, Adenium obesum originates in East Africa. It prospers there in locations where it rains frequently in the summer, but is very dry in winter.

Planted in containers (clay pots are recommended), "Desert Rose" requires a soil mix of sand or brick chips mixed into regular soil, or a cactus mix. Permit the soil to dry completely between waterings. Water infrequently during winter.

The best time for propagation either by seed or cuttings is in the spring. Seeds germinate easily in a mixture of sand/soil. If propagating by cuttings, cut end shoots and let dry for a day or two, but be careful of the toxic sap. Stick shoots into a pot of moist soil and keep the soil moist.

Positive BrownishThumb On Aug 12, 2003, BrownishThumb from Altoona, PA wrote:

In our experience this plant has been resilient! We bought two plants on clearance last summer which had maybe five leaves each. After battling white flies in house over winter (zone 6) and scale this summer on our porch, they have grown about five inches each and have close to twenty leaves! Not bad for a cool, damp summer! (temps below 90F all summer)

We are expecting a period of dormancy again but hoping one day to coax it to bloom.

SURPRISE! it bloomed in August!

Neutral Toxicodendron On Jul 15, 2003, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have a plant that is pretty tall, but only has a single stem with 9 leaves at the tip (in a pot, I am in zone 6). I don't know if I should pinch it back to make it branch or if it will it branch later, when it gets bigger/older.

Positive lynxx On May 26, 2003, lynxx wrote:

Remember not to water this plant if it is dormant, else it will rot!! Dormancy is signaled by the loss of leaves/flowers.

Positive albleroy On Feb 12, 2003, albleroy from Wavre/ greenhous +/- 2500 species, IA wrote:

This is one of the interesting succulents that does not ask a lot of work.

Can be cultivated as a bonsai plant - really a splendid thing. (I have no pictures of this but in my collection I have one 25cm high in a bonsai pot and a large stone next to the plant, is really good-looking.)

Positive gardengrow On Jan 18, 2003, gardengrow wrote:

A most amazing specimen, one of my favorites!!! One item of note, although it can be propagated by cuttings, only seedlings will develop the coveted bulbous base. Best wishes!

Neutral lupinelover On Jan 16, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

I received seed from a local grower whose plant set seed, supposedly self-sterile. I will give more info about starting from seed stage as they develop.

Positive mudpuppie On Oct 19, 2002, mudpuppie from Charleston, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

In Zone 8, this plant has to come indoors when the weather gets cold, so it is restricted to containers here. I read a recommendation to use cactus potting soil and water lightly. The plant does well for me in a sunny window year round, but I know of other growers who let their plants summer outside.

Positive 711DALE On Oct 18, 2002, 711DALE wrote:

Another one of my favorite plants. Mine blooms almost constantly - 9b/10a area - it likes the heat and is happy in sandy soil.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Grenoble,
Bessemer, Alabama
Theodore, Alabama
Apache Junction, Arizona
Chandler, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)
Tucson, Arizona
Blytheville, Arkansas
Fort Smith, Arkansas
Marion, Arkansas
Carlsbad, California
Castro Valley, California
Fullerton, California
Goleta, California
Hayward, California
Huntington Beach, California
Merced, California
Point Reyes Station, California
Riverside, California
Simi Valley, California
Tulare, California
Bartow, Florida (2 reports)
Big Pine Key, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida (2 reports)
Clearwater, Florida (2 reports)
Deland, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida (4 reports)
Fort Mc Coy, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida (3 reports)
Hollywood, Florida (3 reports)
Hudson, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Key West, Florida
Lakeland, Florida (2 reports)
Loxahatchee, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Melbourne Beach, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida
Miami, Florida (3 reports)
Navarre, Florida
North Port, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Oviedo, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Punta Gorda, Florida
Rotonda West, Florida
Saint Augustine, Florida
Saint Cloud, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Sebring, Florida (2 reports)
Seminole, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Umatilla, Florida
Valrico, Florida
Venice, Florida (2 reports)
West Palm Beach, Florida (2 reports)
Zephyrhills, Florida
Albany, Georgia
Cordele, Georgia
Naperville, Illinois
Scottsburg, Indiana
Derby, Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas
Olathe, Kansas
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Kenner, Louisiana
Cumberland, Maryland
Frederick, Maryland
Silver Spring, Maryland
Lowell, Massachusetts
Novi, Michigan
Portage, Michigan
Sterling Heights, Michigan
Burnsville, Minnesota
St John, Mississippi
Kansas City, Missouri
Columbus, Nebraska
Las Vegas, Nevada
La Luz, New Mexico
Brevard, North Carolina
Denver, North Carolina
New Bern, North Carolina
Rowland, North Carolina
Cleveland, Ohio
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Luquillo, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Belton, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Brownsville, Tennessee
Munford, Tennessee
Alice, Texas
Austin, Texas (3 reports)
Boerne, Texas
Brookshire, Texas
Brownsville, Texas (2 reports)
Corpus Christi, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Deer Park, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)
Garland, Texas
Georgetown, Texas
Hawkins, Texas
Hondo, Texas
Houston, Texas (3 reports)
Huntsville, Texas
Kerrville, Texas
La Porte, Texas
La Vernia, Texas
Murchison, Texas
Plano, Texas
Portland, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Rockport, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Sour Lake, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Tyler, Texas
Christiansted, Virgin Islands
St Thomas, Virgin Islands
Yorktown, Virginia



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