"Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. " ~Lindley Karstens

Friday, May 7, 2010

Desert Rose -- Adenium Obesum

Desert Rose (Adenium Obesum)
I bought this desert rose in August last year, not long after we moved to the current house.  It kept blooming for months until the winter time. 

Here is how it looked like back in August last year.
August 2009
Some people grow the desert rose as house plant, but mine is in a full sun area outdoor.  It is said that it likes to be a little root bound, so I kept mine in its original 10 inch pot.  It seems quite happy in it even it has grown quite a bit now.  I then put the container in another decorative urn to hide the ugly plastic pot.

Here is how it looks like now.  I has grown about twice bigger since last August.  When it grows taller, the lower part of the leaves fall off.  The flowers then show in cluster at the new growth of the leaves, at the tips of the branches.
May 2010
The desert rose is an evergreen succulent native to the tropical regions of Africa and Arabia. It likes the hot humid weather of South Florida. 

I water it every other day in the summer, but maybe only once a week in the winter.  It should be brought indoor if the temperature drops to below 40.  This past winter, I brought it indoor only for those nights that close to the freeze point.  For other cold nights, I just kept it on the covered patio, close to the house wall.  It did just fine, and even started flowering as early as in February.

Now the weather has reached the optimum condition that this plant loves.  The recent heat and humidity has brought prolific blooming time of this plant!  Everyday I check it, it seems opening more flowers and have more buds on the way.

This is an easy plant to grow in Florida in my opinion. Except the water, I also put some slow released fertilizer in the container, that is about it. It seems have no pest problem so far. The only thing needs to be careful is not to over water it since it could cause root rot. I once tried to root a cutting. The cutting was able to grow one set of leaves, but it eventually died due to the root rot maybe because I watered a little bit too much than it needs, especially when the root system is not fulled developed.

I love the different shade of the pink on its flower petals, dark pink on the edge, and pastel pink in the inner side, and a touch of yellow in the center.  Sometimes it reminds of Chinese water color painting. 

Do you also grow desert rose in your garden?


  1. Very pretty Ami. I've always thought these were lovely plants but don't remember ever growing one. The flowers are so striking. Enjoy.


  2. The blooms do look like watercolor. Very pretty!

  3. Your Desert Rose is looking good.I agree they like it here in South Florida when the heat is hottest. Mine stays in the full sun all day but I only give it minimum water maybe once a week if it hasn't rained. You could probably cut back the water you give yours and be fine. I think they like desert conditions best.

  4. Beautiful photographs, Ami! Those are lovely flowers. I think you've just given me an idea for my front porch.

  5. Very pretty photos of a very pretty plant. It does seem quite happy there in South Florida. I really like the urn you have it in too.

  6. FlowerLady: Glad you love this plant. This plant is often unnoticed until it blooms :)

    Amy: Thanks! The Chinese water color painting often shows the color in different shade, that is why I relate this flower pedal to the water color painting.

    Sanddune: Glad to know that I can cut back the water a little bit. Even it is called desert rose, its natural habitat is rainforest, that is why I thought it needs a little more water.

  7. FloridaGirl: One of my neighbours have two desert rose in front of his door, one on each side in a nice container. Very decorative and pretty, especially with long lasting flowers most of the year.

    NanaK: Thanks for noticing the urn :) That is my most expensive container. I bought it when we just moved, and soon I realized with the amount of the containers I need, I will be broke if keep buying this kind of container. I am now on mission to find pretty and yet economic containers :)

  8. Hi Ami,

    Oh, we can grow this too outdoors. I so love the gorgeous blooms.

  9. We have Desert Rose too, but it's smaller than yours and it's light pink. We have too much rain and not so hot lately, so I didn't see the blooms for a while.

  10. Noelle: Arizona should be perfect for the desert rose, just like the name suggested :)

    Muggle: Yes, this flower has different color, I even have seen one with white color. I think when the weather warms up more, your desert rose will bloom for you soon.

  11. Hi Ami, yes I have a desert rose, which I keep on the front patio, and also only water once a week or so. I got a few little babies from another gardener, He said that one day it threw out a pod with thousands of seeds.

  12. Your desert rose looks very pretty, Ami. My neighbor just gave me some cuttings of this plant, so I'm anxious to see how it does. Thanks for the info.

  13. AfricanAussie: I also heard about the sead pod of the desert rose. I don't know how long it will take mine to produce the seed pod. It will be so cool if I mine produces one :)

    Susan: Are your cuttings already rooted? Mine did not success, probably I gave a little bit too much water even it needs to keep moist for it developing the roots. Good luck with yours!


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