The Q&A Archives: Desert Rose

Question: I received a Desert Rose as a gift. I understand its root ball is to stay half above the soil line and the plant is to be watered only twice a year. Can you supply more information on this plant?

Answer: Desert Rose is a common name for Adenium obesum. It's a shrubby plant that's usually grown in a container indoors. Twisted branches grow from a huge, fleshy, half-buried trunk or rootstock. The leaves are sparse and the plant can be leafless for prolonged periods of time. It produces clustered saucer-shaped pink blossoms, two inches, or more across. It requires heat, light, perfect drainage, ample summer water during growth and no water during dormancy. It's extremely showy when in bloom, but otherwise looks quite forlorn. Desert Rose is usually only grown by collectors or rare-plant enthusiasts.

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