Desert Rose

A Beginner's Guide to Desert Rose Plant Care | All you Need to Grow!

Family: Cactaceae
Common Name: Desert Rose
Botanical Name: Adenium obseum

Beauty knows no bounds, and the Desert Rose shows no mercy when displaying its allure! This indoor flowering plant loves bright light and warm temperatures. The intense red flowers are striking and you can encourage them to bloom by giving them over 8 hours of indirect light daily! Adenium obesum is a succulent plant that needs to be watered only when the soil has completely dried out, making it the perfect plant companion.The flowers of your Desert Rose plant tend to carry contrasting  markings on their petals, which makes them EXTRA beautiful!


Plenty of bright indirect sunlight is needed to support the Desert Rose. This indoor plant like lots of light, even during the winter months. Some varieties of plants in the cactus family can handle direct light, but be careful because direct sunlight can be damaging, especially for young plants or new growth. When in doubt, it’s always best to keep cactus houseplants in bright indirect light.


Due to the fact that Adenium obseum are drought tolerant houseplants, and the soil must be allowed to dry out between watering. Water as soon as the soil is completely dried out, while the plant actively grows during the spring and summer. Cacti can go for extended periods of time without water during winter, when the plant may be dormant. The overall conditions, like temperature and sunlight, will determine how often it requires water! If your cactus (or cactus-like plant) lives near a sunny window and the temperatures are consistently over 70°F, then you will find that it will require water more frequently than one living in a cooler and darker spot. Desert Rose plants are susceptible to root rot if they receive too much water, and the threshold for over-watering is relatively low. It is often better to under-water than over-water, so if the plant is not showing signs of dehydration and you’re unsure about when to water, there is no harm in waiting a few more days.


For your Adenium obseum , most bagged soil-less potting soil made for indoor plants will work fine but remember that you must let the soil dry out completely before watering it again. You can add specific Desert Rose potting soil mix to your potting soil to help the water drain if you feel the roots are staying wet for too long! A great time to do this is when you need to re-pot them into a larger pot.


Warm temperatures are definitely wanted for your Desert Rose Plant. Generally, anything above 50°F degrees is fine, but the plant will be happier if kept in an area of at least 65°F. Chilly drafts can be a problem, so keep your plant clear of exterior doors and drafty locations. 


Dry conditions are best for houseplants in the cactus family. Desert Rose plants are not very adaptable when it comes to humidity and prefer to be in areas without increased dampness in the air. Low or average humidity is ideal.
You can keep your plant moist by grouping plants, putting your plant on a tray filled with water and pebbles, misting, or using a room humidifier.
It it important that you prevent your Adenium obseum plant from being placed in bathrooms, kitchens, or areas prone to increased humidity.


Desert Rose plants are not heavy feeders but use a diluted liquid fertilizer monthly during the growing season to help the plant push out new growth. Stop fertilizing your Desert Rose houseplants during the winter when the plant is not actively growing.
It is recommended that you adjust the fertilizers strength is you see any extra foliage growth without a lot of flowers appearing. If this occurs, you can reduce the fertilizers concentration a bit.
If you want to use an organic fertilizer instead, a slow-release organic fertilizer or organic fertilizer that is especially created for flowering plants is best.
Be sure to always go by the directions on the fertilizer packaging, since every product is different than the other.

Growth Rate

Your Desert Rose plants growth rate depends on growing conditions, care, and the environment. They do tend to have a moderate growth rate though and have the capability to grow pretty quickly. The mature height of this type of plant is 1 to 3' (30 to 90 cm). However they can grow even taller – 6' or more in their original habitat or when they are planted in the correct climates.As pruning and shaping  will help your plants height, you can prune your plant by getting rid of elongated stems, old flowers, or any unnecessary growth to keep the wanted size and shape.

Pet Friend or Foe

Desert Rose plants are not considered to be pet-friendly. Foe!

Pro Tips

  1. Be sure to avoid your Desert Rose plant from being exposed to colder temperatures because they are tropical plants – making them sensitive it.
  2. Always wear gloves when touching your Desert Rose plant. Also do not allow contact with your eyes or other areas that are sensitive.
  3. Try to inspect the plant frequently for any infestation. If there is any, make sure you treat any pests by using the right insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.

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