Desert rose care and propagation guide that will help you grow beautiful flowers. The desert Roses are often planted in gardens because they thrive well with little water and also attract butterflies. The desert rose’s scientific name is Adenium obesum, which means “the fat one” in Latin. These plants have thick trunks and can grow to be as tall as 10 feet!
How To Care For Desert Rose?
The desert rose (Adenium obesum) is an evergreen succulent shrub that is native to Africa. Its leaves are bright green and as they mature, the edges of the leaves turn yellow and begin to curl up.
The flowers are a deep red color that can be seen from a long distance away. They grow in clusters at the tips of branches which makes them resemble roses or other types of flowers with many petals.
Desert Rose Meaning
The meaning of the desert rose is one that varies depending on who you ask! Some people believe it represents love while others say it symbolizes beauty or rebirth.
Some people believe the desert rose represents love because it is a delicate flower that can only bloom in harsh conditions.
Other possible meanings are beauty and rebirth as flowers have to be reborn after dying. The meaning of this flower also seems to differ depending on what color you associate with it!
Some people say yellow roses represent good luck, orange roses represent passion, red roses are for love and white roses stand for purity.
Desert Rose Yellow Leaves
Yellow leaves in Desert roses can be caused by underwatering. Although the plant can tolerate infrequent watering when the soil is too dry the leaves will start turning yellow.
The leaves can also turn yellow when the plant is under stress. These can be due to shock from repotting or movement.
Desert Rose yellow leaves dropping is also common. After the leaves have turned yellow, they will eventually fall off. Don’t panic, the plant will produce new leaves when provided with ideal conditions.
Desert Rose Soil
The ideal soil for Desert Roses is well-draining and sandy. The plants are used to growing in dry conditions in the natural habitat.
Use succulent and cactus soil mix. The soil should have a neutral to slightly acidic pH of around 6.
Desert Rose watering
Desert roses are beautiful and delicate flowers that are low maintenance. However, one of the requirements to keep them alive and well is watering them properly
Fill a watering can with water and pour the water into the top of your desert rose plant’s pot.
Allow the water to soak for five minutes before pouring out any excess from the bottom of the pot.
The soil should be moist but not wet or soggy. There shouldn’t be too much moisture on its roots or soil, which would cause mold and rot in time.
Pruning Desert Rose
Cutaway old, dead wood with loppers. Remove any crossing or rubbing branches that rub against each other and prevent blooming.
Use hand pruners for thinning out the thickest stems and removing smaller twigs.
Prune back long straight shoots if they are starting to lean in the wrong direction.
Prune back long straight shoots that are growing too tall, or spreading out to touch other plants.
Keep about six inches from ground level for new growth when pruning desert roses. Remove any suckers originating below a graft union of two stems together on one plant.
Propagating Desert Roses
Select healthy shoots that can be pruned back to a bud or leaf node. Cut just above the branch collar with clean, sharp pruning shears.
Apply rooting hormone to the cutting before rooting them and growing them into new plants.
Desert Roses can also be grafted. The healthy cuttings can be grafted onto older plants.
If you have a grafted plant and it sprouts below the graft, rub the sprouts off. This will encourage top growth to be the dominant side of the plant.
Repotting Desert Rose
Repotting Desert Roses is only necessary when they outgrow their current pot or container. Use succulent and cactus soil mix for best results. If you don’t have access to succulent and cactus soil mix, use normal soil and add equal parts of sand or perlite.
After repotting, water the plant and keep it in a place where it is receiving bright light.
Desert Rose Light and Temperature
Desert Roses need heat and sun, and anything less than that, and the plant doesn’t do as well. The plants have a period of dormancy in the wintertime when grown away from the tropics.
During this period, reduce watering frequency and don’t fertilize. In some cases when the temperatures drop the desert roses can end up dropping leaves.
They can be deciduous under winter stress. They come out in the springtime and flush into growth and flower during the summertime.
Keep the Desert Roses in an environment that is at least 65 up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. These plants love to be warm.
Desert Rose Caudex
Caudex on Desert Roses forms on seedlings and grafted plants. However, if you get a plant formed from cuttings it will not have a caudex.
The caudex is one of the attractive aspects of Desert Roses and some plant owners get concerned when their plants don’t have one.
Fertilizing Desert Roses
When growing Desert Roses, summertime comes along and they can be given fertilizer. They’re not heavy feeders, but they certainly can have applications of a balanced fertilizer.
Apply the fertilizer periodically through the summer. It’s advisable to do it maybe every couple of weeks or once a month. The feed will give them something to go on for the rest of the seasons.
Desert Rose Pests
Although it’s not common, Desert Roses do see insect problems on occasion. One of the pests that you might see is spider mite that can get onto the leaves.
Be on the lookout to spot the pests before they multiply out of control. The spider mite attack starts with a little pitting on the leaf.
When you notice them apply ice-cold water, take them over to the spritzer, and spray them off. I like using neem oil to control pests.
Desert Rose or Adeniums are quite easy to grow. It is not a fussy or high-maintenance plant. As long as you have the right conditions you will be rewarded with beautiful healthy plants and flowers.
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