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Adenium - The Desert Rose

Adeniums are one of the easiest to grow and most rewarding of the fat plants (caudiciforms).  Their adaptability to a broad range of conditions makes them forgiving of less than ideal care.  

This attribute enables just about anyone to grow and bloom them despite individual climatic conditions.

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Adenium desert rose is commonly known by its deep red flowers and a swollen succulent stem. It is frequently referred to as adenium obesum, the plant which growth mainly depends on pruning and variety.

The attractive flowers of adeniums and their interesting stems make them desirable for the garden.


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These are not difficult plants to grow well, provided they get enough sunlight and warmth. Like all succulents, they cannot tolerate sitting in water, and if you err, do it on the side of too little water. 

Growing Conditions:

  • Light: Full sun. Perfect for a sunny window.
  • Water: Water during the summer and spring. Reduce water in the winter, but keep hydrated enough to retain its leaves.
  • Temperature: Keep at least 50º at all times; if you keep temperatures of 60º or higher during the winter, the plant may retain its leaves.
  • Soil: A well-drained succulent mix, with an ideal pH around 6.0 (slightly acidic).
  • Fertilizer: Fertilize during spring and summer with controlled-release fertilizer or liquid fertilizer according to label directions.

Growing Tips to Keep to

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  • Sunlight. These plants require much sunlight for proper development. If they are growing in cloudy locations, they become spindly and develop less vibrant blooms. Some species can withstand 30-50% shade and the sun can burn their foliage.
  • Location. Choose the location with the temperature not more than 95 degrees F. In areas with high humidity these plants grow better, regardless of whether they are outdoors or indoors.
  • Growing in the ground. When adenium is about to be planted into the ground, choose a raised bed with sloping sides. Make sure the area is well-drained.
  • Growing in containers. How to grow the plant in containers? Choose only terracotta or clay containers; add stones to the pot’s bottom to ensure comparatively better drainage.
  • Dormancy. These plants require special care, especially after entering dormant periods. I always move containers to dry and frost-free locations and water the plants once per month. When the spring comes, I increase the amount of water, because the plant starts entering another cycle.


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