So what is a Desert Rose?

Adenium Obesum – Desert Rose

is a species of flowering plant in the dogbane family, Apocynaceae, that is native to the Sahel regions, south of the Sahara, and tropical and subtropical eastern and southern Africa and Arabia. Common names include Sabi star, kudu, mock azalea, impala lily and desert rose. Can be used as bonsai tree with proper care.

Desert Rose is a plant that produces an abundance of trumpet-shaped flowers in different shades. It can be in pink, rose, red. black,  white and yellow. Flowers often grow up to 2-3 inches in diameter and can be single, double, or even triple. One of the outstanding features is the enlarged trunk and above ground roots. It can be grown outdoor in Zone 9 and 10. Here on the mountain, you will want to bring it in before temperatures go below 50 degrees. I have some  6 month old babies at the nursery in mixed colors right now and am growing more babies, these will have flowers in their second or third year. They can get quite large, 2′ x 2′ if kept in a large pot as they grow older. If kept in a small pot, it will remain small. Growing in the ground in the tropics it can become a small tree.


A tough flowering plant that doesn’t require much attention. One of those easy growing plant. Starts flowering in a couple of years. Place your Desert Rose Plant in a place where it can catch full sunlight. Water when the soil is already dry but reduce watering when winter season arrives, keep hydrated enough for it to live. Keep your plant in at least 50F at all times, it is ideal to plant your Desert Rose in a pot for you to be able to move it as an indoor plant in winter season.


Desert Rose Plants attracts several pests. These include mealybugs.

If you see these insects you can destroy and remove each of them by just simply touching them with a cotton swap dipped in rubbing alcohol. There are also insects that are not that visible but create a web like covering on leaves and buds. If you think that your Desert Plant is having a mild problem with these insects what you can do is use a strong jet of water to remove the pests, or a spray of neem oil will keep it healthy.

PRUNING – In order to maintain your Desert Rose, pruning will be needed. You can start by cutting off those cold-damaged portions of your plant in late winter or in spring time once you notice new growth has emerged. Pruning before expected flowering of the plant encourages an abundance of flower blossoms.

How to transplant your Desert Rose

Here is an excellent video on how to transplant and trim your desert rose.

5 thoughts on “So what is a Desert Rose?

  1. Sita Preder says:

    I just bought 2 from you and I am excited to see how they do and see what color flowers 🌺 they will have, wish it we lived somewhere it could become a small tree 🌳 love your blog lots of good information!

    • Oasis Gardeners says:

      What fun watching your desert roses grow and get their own personality, wonder if they are the same color flowers or two different colors. They usually bloom in their second or third year. Glad you’re enjoying the blog.

  2. Margie Ellsworth says:

    Please keep me in mind when you sell these desert roses, just love them. The information that you put out is so great because it is for our area, thank you

    • Oasis Gardeners says:

      Glad you’re enjoying the info on our wonderful mountain climate and growing conditions.
      I have baby desert rose plants now, message me and we can get together. They are so easy to grow.

  3. Oasis Gardeners says:

    Some new info on the care of Desert Rose plants. As its name implies, the desert rose plant is used to naturally dry, desert-like conditions. This holds true for its love of light and warmer temperatures, as well as its need for sandy or gravelly soil that is well-draining. The soil should boast a neutral to acidic pH, hovering right around 6.0 ideally.

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