Adenium obesum, commonly called desert rose, is a thick-stemmed sparsely-leaved perennial succulent. In the wild, this plant will eventually rise to 6-9′ tall but will grow much smaller in containers. It forms a broad, swollen, often grotesque caudex (usually partially buried underground) from which rise twisted leafless gray-green to brown branches. Leathery, spirally-arranged, fleshy, ovate, gray-green leaves (to 4″ long) appear at the stem tips. Narrow, bell-shaped, salverform flowers (to 2″ across), each with five spreading lobes and five protruding stamens, are red, pink, or rose with white to pale yellow throats. In the wild, flowers bloom in summer with some irregular continued to bloom throughout the year. As houseplants, flowers typically bloom only in summer.
Planting & Caring –
Easily grown in containers and overwintered indoors. In containers, desert rose is best grown in a loose, sandy or gravelly, well-drained soil mix in full sun. Plants have excellent heat tolerance. Apply regular moisture during periods of growth, but allow soils to dry between waterings. Regular applications of fertilizer in spring will help promote flowering.