Adenium Species, Desert Rose

Adenium obesum

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


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



This plant is resistant to deer

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


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)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Bessemer, Alabama

Theodore, Alabama

Apache Junction, Arizona

Chandler, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona(2 reports)

Tucson, Arizona(3 reports)

Blytheville, Arkansas

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Marion, Arkansas

Brentwood, California

Carlsbad, California

Castro Valley, California

Fullerton, California

Garden Grove, California

Goleta, California

Hayward, California

Huntington Beach, California

Merced, California

Oakland, California

Point Reyes Station, California

Riverside, California

Santa Barbara, 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(2 reports)

Lakeland, Florida(2 reports)

Leesburg, Florida

Loxahatchee, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Melbourne, Florida(2 reports)

Melbourne Beach, Florida

Merritt Island, Florida

Miami, Florida(3 reports)

Naples, Florida(2 reports)

Navarre, Florida

North Port, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Orange City, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Oviedo, Florida

Palm Bay, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida(2 reports)

Punta Gorda, Florida

Rotonda West, Florida

Saint Augustine, Florida

Saint Cloud, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Sebring, Florida(2 reports)

Seminole, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Umatilla, Florida

Valrico, Florida

Venice, Florida(2 reports)

West Palm Beach, Florida(3 reports)

Zephyrhills, Florida

Albany, Georgia

Augusta, Georgia

Calhoun, 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

KINGSHILL, Mississippi

ST JOHN, Mississippi

Kansas City, Missouri

Columbus, Nebraska

Las Vegas, Nevada

La Luz, New Mexico

Chester, New York

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

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

Belton, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Brownsville, Tennessee

Munford, Tennessee

Alice, Texas

Austin, Texas(4 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)

San Benito, Texas

Sour Lake, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Tyler, Texas

Christiansted, Virgin Islands

Kingshill, Virgin Islands

St John, Virgin Islands

St Thomas, Virgin Islands

Yorktown, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 24, 2017, aegisprncs from Key West, FL (Zone 11) wrote:

I have had this plant in the same pot with great drainage for about 7 years. I water, maybe, once a week and have never changed the soil. Although my plant is quite large at this point, I am keeping it in this pot and training it to be a bonsai. When I want more plants, I simply break off or cut a branch, stick it in soil and water. About once a year it gets some type of bug that lays eggs and eats the leaves. I simply hand pick off the bugs and wash off the eggs and it's fine. In my experience if the infestation goes too far and all the leaves are gone, no matter. Just remove it the bugs and the leaves will return in time. This plant loves to bloom and takes little care in my zone!


On Feb 28, 2017, fixerupper from Pompano Beach, FL wrote:

This is a hard one to kill. I found one that has been sitting out back on my very shady porch for 6-10 years. There was very little soil left in the pot. It has always bloomed regularly, but has shown little growth. I decided to go ahead and plant it out front in full sun. Can't wait to see how it does in it's new home.


On Jul 28, 2015, Mark_B from Garden Grove, CA wrote:

In response to the questions about this plant, it's important that the planter that you are using should have a large drainage hole. If that's not possible, make a lot of drainage holes. I'm serious, because the soil must drain quickly, so that the soil does not stay wet for more than a day, or the roots will rot and you'll have a dead plant. Not enough drainage will cause salts and minerals to collect inside the pot, just like a salt lake, and soon, nothing can live in that pot. I'm using a 1.5 inch diamond hole drill bit for 6 inch pots and larger. The bigger the pot, the more drainage holes you will need. Secondly, use soil that is 60% to 65% pumice.


On Feb 24, 2015, BioT from Tucson, AZ wrote:

I'm looking for info about seed gathering/harvesting from a desert rose. I'm the 2nd owner of a fairly large, older (15+ yrs) plant that grows well and flowers almost all year if brought in during winter. This plant just produced its first seed ever! BUT-- the seed pod has been on the plant for nearly 2 months now and is still staying green even though it's been at full-size most of that time. How long should I expect before it fully ripens and releases the seeds?



On Jan 24, 2015, mattmolloy3 from Long Beach, NY wrote:

Hi all,

I am looking for a little advice. I had this plant shipped to me and it sat in between my door and the outside world for 6-8 hours before I got home on a very cold day. I have since planted it in well-drained soil (a mix I make myself) and watered it only when it has dried out completely. It is in a room that gets a Southern exposure and pretty good light.

The stems are mushy even though they look woody and all of the leaves have dropped. I am trying to figure out if it is dormant and will spring to life when I am able to get it into full sun or if there is something I should do for this plant. If anyone has any advice, please let me know.



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 ... read more


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

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

Also you can found us on Facebook:

"Adenium Obesum Bonsai"


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?


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.


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

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 bec... read more


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 !


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?


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.


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.


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....


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.


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


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... read more


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.


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 num... read more


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.


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.... read more


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.


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 ... read more


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 [email protected] Thanks


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 ad... read more


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 ... read more


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, ... read more


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.


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?


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 8b/9a....started them last week of april in late may they were 2 inches tall ...(grow very fast in hot weather)..i used miracle gro moisture control mix to start 7 cm terra cotta pots ...drains 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


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 d... read more


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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


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. :)


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!


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.


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 [email protected]


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.


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.


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.


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.....


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.


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.


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>)))


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... read more


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 p... read more


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!


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.


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 wasn't over watered,or ... read more


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... read more


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.


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! :-)


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.


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 ... read more


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 fo... read more


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 solub... read more


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.)


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!


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.


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.


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.