Desert Rose

Desert Rose

Adenium obesum

  • Common name: Desert Rose, Impala lily, mock azalea, kudu, sabi star
  • Scientific name: Adenium obesum
  • Family name: Apocynaceae
  • Origin: Africa
  • Height: 3-9 ft
  • Width: 3-5 ft
  • Growth: Slow
  • Zone: 10b-12
  • Light needs: Full sun
  • Salt tolerance: Moderate
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Prefers dry, well-drained, peat or bark-based soil if grown in a container; sandy soil is best when grown outdoors. Soil should be acidic to neutral (pH 6.0-7.0)
  • Moisture: Should be watered regularly, but soil should not be allowed to become waterlogged.
  • Drought tolerance: High
  • Pests/Diseases: Mealybugs, mites, and aphids
  • Growing conditions: Should be grown in a somewhat dry area with well-drained soil. Best grown in a full-sun area – Desert Rose will not flower if its not in a bright area. Are chill tolerant, but not freeze tolerant – if temperatures drop below 32°F, move it indoors, or do not water it again until temperatures rise.
  • Characteristics: Succulent shrub with a smooth, thick trunk and gray-green stems. Leaves are ovate, rounded, leathery, and arranged in a whorled pattern. Leaves are 3-6 inches long and 1-3 inches wide. Flowers are bell-shaped with 5 petals and are white and bright pink or red. Seeds grow in oblong pods and are brown.
  • Propagation: By cuttings or by seeds
  • Facts: The sap and most parts of the plant are poisonous and should not be consumed. The sap is used as an arrow poison for hunting in many parts of Africa. Desert Rose is also used in bonsai. Root lifting is used by many gardeners to give the plant a sculpted look.
  • Designer considerations: Works well for xeriscaping due to its high drought tolerance; also great as a specimen planting or for a bonsai garden.



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