A desert rose plant is one of the prettiest flower plants you’ll ever see. Reason? Well, the bright flowers are reason enough I think! Plus, it’s fairly easy to take care of a this plant.
Did You Know?
Despite its name, the desert rose is not related to the rose family in any way. In fact, it is a part of the dogbane family, which consists of many toxic species of plants.
The adenium obesum, more commonly known as a desert rose, is a vibrant, beautiful perennial succulent plant that bears bright red or pink flowers in summer, and is ideal for growing in areas prone to higher temperatures. If well taken care of, this plant can grow up to six feet tall, and can take up to eight to ten feet of space on the ground. It has a thick, succulent stem, and long, evergreen leaves which add to the aesthetics.
The great part about the desert rose is that it can be grown both indoors and outdoors, has a long life, and flowers twice a year. This plant is a favorite among gardening enthusiasts, and as a result, several types of hybrids have been introduced, and now it also bears flowers in many other colors apart from the red and the pink ones.
✿Tips To Take Care Of A Desert Rose Plant✿
Ideally, this plant should be grown in full sunlight, so a sunny window or a sunny corner in the garden would be a good place for it. You have to make sure that your plant receives direct sunlight for a minimum of five hours every day. In fact, more sunlight will only help it grow better. Alternatively, you can also grow it indoors using grow lights. In case of colder regions, it makes more sense to use grow lights instead of exposing it to the harsh weather outside.
As it is a succulent plant, it needs to be watered about three-four times a week, and not more than that. However, whenever you do water it, please make sure to water it thoroughly. Check for the dryness of the soil by inserting a finger inside. If the soil is moist or wet, put the watering plans on hold for a bit. The problem with a desert rose is that too much water will cause root rot, and will end up hampering its growth and flowering. It can stand heavy rainfalls, but cannot survive in standing water. In winter and in the rainy seasons, it would be wise to water it only when necessary, once or twice a week.
It grows very well in soil with a pH of about 6, though it can survive in mildly alkaline, or mildly acidic soils, too. However, be sure that the soil is fast-draining, and contains some coarse, sandy soil too. You can ask local nurseries for the perfect soil to grow this plant in your area.
If you’re planning to grow it indoors, you can decide upon using a variety of pots and containers for your plant. Make sure the pot you choose has a drain hole, ’cause you definitely don’t want the pot to hold water than what is absolutely necessary. Also, when choosing a container, make sure it leaves a minimum of 2-3 inches of space around the roots. You can opt for bonsai pots as they are shallow, and provide a lot of space for growth in width. Remember, whichever pot you decide on, it must have drain holes and some extra space around the roots.
Some experts feel that if it is planted in good soil, and if it receives the required amounts of water and light, it doesn’t really need any additional fertilizing. However, if you want, you can opt for some fertilizer to be fed to your plant once in a while. The right amount and the right kind of fertilizer can help it grow into a fine, large specimen. You can get a balanced liquid fertilizer, or a controlled release fertilizer. In spring and summer, you can fertilize your plant every two weeks or so. Make sure you read the instructions carefully before fertilizing, as all products are different and need to be used differently.
Many gardening enthusiasts believe that pruning is essential for the healthy growth of a plant. This is true, as long as it is done the right way. Make sure to use sharp blades, and more importantly, clean scissors. You don’t want any diseases from other plants spreading to your garden. Don’t throw away any cuttings you make, you can use them for planting more desert rose plants in your garden or house. Additionally, don’t cut the plant from below the graft, as it will completely hamper the growth of the flowers. When pruning, please leave a space of about two inches on the branches for the plant to grow new flowers.
In case your plant is indoors, make sure you rotate the pot every couple of days to ensure that it doesn’t lean towards the nearest window. This will make sure that the stem grows strong and straight instead of crooked.
This plant can survive well in the winter provided it gets enough light, the right amount of water, and some fertilizer once in a while. If possible, keep the plant in a temperature of around 60°F for it to retain its leaves.
In the rainy season, make sure your plant is not in standing water, as it will definitely cause root rot. If possible, try to keep it indoors in the wet season to avoid such problems. Even if that’s not possible, do make sure that the plant grows in fast-draining soil, and if it is a potted plant, the pot has drain holes.
✿Common Problems Faced By the Desert Rose Plant✿
Though it is very easy to take care of, this plant does have its share of problems, which typically occur because of a little carelessness on our part. Worry not, it is fairly simple to solve these problems.
If your plant stays continually wet or even damp, it is prone to leaf rot. In case this happens, remove the rotten leaves from the plant and move it to a drier area where the rest of the leaves can dry faster. To avoid leaf rot, try to water the plant without wetting the leaves. If you use a sprinkler, then water the plant early in the morning so that the leaves get the best of the sunlight to dry out properly.
Stem rotting occurs because of a type of fungus. You can tell if your plant has stem rot if parts of the stem turn dark yellow, brown, or black, or if the leaves turn dark and begin to fall off. If this is not taken care of in time, the stem rot will effectively ruin the plant. Cut the rotten parts of the stem immediately.
The young sappling tends to attract pests which may hamper its growth. Keep a lookout for worms and caterpillars, as well as other pests.
The desert rose is a beautiful, aesthetic plant which is very easy to take care of. Just avoid over-watering, use the right kind of soil, provide it with the right temperature and light, and it is all set to dazzle you and everyone else!
Keep the desert rose away from children and pets. The sap from this plant is extremely poisonous, and gloves are strongly recommended while handling. In case of ingestion, get medical help immediately.