Grow and Care Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose)

The gorgeous houseplant Adenium arabicum, also known as the desert rose, and the elephant’s foot plant, is suitable for growing inside. Stunning succulents, with their unique woody branches and beautifully colored blooms in colors of red, pink, and coral, are prime examples of ornamental plants that excel at attracting attention.

Grow and Care Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose)

Deciduous succulent shrubs that thrive in full sun can be found in their natural habitats in Madagascar, Africa, and the Middle East. They require only a small quantity of water to flourish in extremely dry, desert-like climates. These houseplants are often utilized in the art of bonsai due to their glossy leaves, gorgeous tubular flowers, and short, stocky stature.

Adenium arabicum is an excellent plant for beginner gardeners since it thrives in indoor and outdoor pots. There is a wide variation of the desert rose plant accessible, and it goes by many different names in different parts of the world. The small bottle tree, the impala lily, Sabi star, and the imitation azalea are just a few of their common names.

Adenium arabicum is a beautiful succulent that resembles a miniature baobab tree because of its bloated trunk and skinny limbs. In Arabic, adenium is where the term originates from, hence the name. The height of up to 5 meters (about 16.4 feet) has been speculated. Glossy dark green to bluish green covers the upper surfaces of the leaves, while a dull green covers the undersides. At the very ends of the branches, the leaves form a rosette. In comparison to the foliage of the Adenium obesum plant, their potential dimensions of up to 18 cm in length and 8 cm in breadth make them rather large. There is a wide color palette of pinks and reds to choose from among the flowers that bloom from spring through fall.

Grow and Care Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose)

Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) takes only minimal attention. However, it must be handled with care at all times. Desert roses require consistent exposure to sunlight and watering. Desert rose does best in warmer temperatures but may be grown well inside, even in cooler environments.

The plant is in full bloom during the summer when its leaves are green and have red and pink flowers, but it is dormant during the winter.


The Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) thrives in dry, arid climates like those found in deserts. It thrives in warmer climates, with plenty of light and granular or perlite-amended sandy or gravelly soil. Having well-drained soil is also necessary. Soil pH should be neutral to the slightly acidic range, preferably around 6.0. Placing it with gravel may prevent the soil from deteriorating and the plant’s roots from rotting.


Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) will thrive with plenty of bright light. The Adenium arabicum will not thrive unless you provide it with the exact quantity of light it requires. If you offer your adenium plant lots of light, it will grow and bloom more brilliantly. If you must keep your adenium inside, give it the spot with the most light. At no time is this more crucial than throughout the plant’s growth. To maintain its current level of growth and development, the plant requires the same amount of care and feeding as previously.

A full day’s worth of light is highly preferred. If the plant does not get enough light, it will wither and grow spindly. The Adenium arabicum’s blossoming can be delayed as well.

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Care Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose)


The Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) needs consistent, in-depth watering. Being a succulent, the plant’s body is differentiated by its capacity to retain water. This stores water for the plant, allowing it to thrive even when conditions elsewhere are dry.

If you overwater your adenium, it might get root rot. Because of the plant’s tolerance to drought, watering it only twice weekly throughout the dry seasons is required. Be sure the soil is dry before you begin watering the garden again. Watering should be limited to once a month in the colder months at most. Considering the importance of this once the leaves have fallen, it is worth repeating.

Ensure that the soil in the pot is well moistened by filling the container to the top with water. However, you should always check to see if the excess water drains out of the pot. Larger adenium plants need more regular watering than their smaller cousins.


The percentage of water moisture in the air is called humidity. In general, succulents do not enjoy conditions with excessive humidity. Keep in mind that they have a large quantity of moisture stored in the caudex and roots of their plant. They would not profit from receiving any more moisture. The succulent adenium arabicum grows best in conditions with a relative humidity of about 30 percent. Keep it well away from any humidifiers you have! In addition, you should never wet them like your other houseplants. In that case, there is a risk of rot developing on your adenium.

You may maintain a low humidity level for your Adenium arabicum by exhibiting it in a spot that does not receive a lot of moisture. It is best to keep the pot out of the kitchen and away from restrooms.

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Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) is native to dry, warm climates, so keep that in mind. You can’t rely on them to survive in subfreezing weather. This plant cannot survive in temperatures under 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). Maintaining an Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) temperature continuously above the critical threshold is safe. Therefore, bring your adenium indoors when the plant drops. Place the space with plenty of natural light or add artificial lighting to keep the temperature warm.

It’s a good practice always to check if the climate is suited for a species before buying a member of that species. The USDA hardiness zone in which the Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) thrives is 10a-11b.


Fertilizing an Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) is most effective in the spring and summer when it is in its active season and most receptive to nutrients because it is actively growing and blooming. Use a solution of water and diluted liquid fertilizer once a month. Using a balanced fertilizer that contains phosphorus is beneficial to flower growth. Plants are particularly vulnerable to excess salts in fertilizer. Thus, it is crucial that you use a balanced fertilizer.

The leaf edges will be brown if the fertilizer is not administered properly. Regular fertilizer use might potentially lead to a hazardous soil environment. Consequently, you should frequently flush the soil with good water & make sure that any excess water flows out of the pot. In addition, fertilizer should be withheld from the plant throughout the fall and winter, when it is dormant.

Potting and Repotting

When the plant is actively developing, it is best to do repotting of an Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose). The beginning of spring is when you should do it. At this time, the roots will develop more quickly. Consequently, the plant will have no trouble adapting to its new container.

The plant known as the elephant’s foot plant grows very slowly. Therefore, it is not necessary to repot the plant every year. They don’t mind being confined to a tiny bit of space at all. Once the plant’s roots start to protrude from the bottom of the container, it is time to move it to a larger pot. You can use any pot you choose, but it should be strong enough to support the developing adenium.


In most cases, the Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) does not require any pruning; however, this does change depending on whether or not you want to regulate the growth and form of the plant. Only prune the plant just before the summer begins, so the new growth has enough time to fill in the plant in preparation for the growing season.

Shape and Growth

An Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) can be kept at either a small or large size. Outside, it may reach a height of 2–5 meters and a width of 1–2 meters if given a chance to mature. This is the best choice if you want a flowering tree in your front yard. Since Arabicum is so slow-growing, you don’t need to worry about finding a bigger home for it any time soon.

If you’d like, you may bonsai the adenium to keep it at a more manageable size. In this manner, your adenium will thrive as an indoor plant. A bonsai plant will be far less difficult to manage and move about. Those who are limited by space would appreciate this.


How to Achieve Flowering with an Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose)

The pink flowers of this Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) are tubular and thrive in desert climates. After the flowers have blossomed completely, they will stay for another couple of days so that everyone may marvel at their splendor. After that, Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) will continue to bloom yearly. Flowers may appear on a plant before its leaves have fully developed. Do not be surprised to see arabicum plants with a cluster of pink adenium flowers at the top but just two leaves in total. This happens all the time, and it’s very natural.

When spring and summer roll around, that’s when you’ll see Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) in full flowering. A plant’s flowering can be stimulated by supplying it with phosphorus-rich fertilizer and exposing it to bright light. If you take care of these two factors, you may expect many flowers in the next days and weeks.

How to Achieve Flowering with an Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose)?

After being planted, the desert rose will not bloom for around seven to eight months, depending on the conditions of the culture. To increase the likelihood of your plant producing flowers, you should ensure that it is exposed to sunlight for at least 6 hours each day and, throughout the spring and summer, fertilizes at least once a month. It’s possible that your plant is focusing its energy on growing new roots instead of producing blossoms because it was just repotted. Allow it some time to become used to its new growth conditions.

Propagating an Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose)

It is possible to grow fresh desert roses from either branch cuttings or seeds. A plant’s bulbous trunk is easily recognizable, yet a cutting from a different part of the branch could not result in a tree with the same characteristics as the parent. Follow these directions to propagate a new plant from a piece of stem.

  • Make sure you have the following supplies on hand: gardening gloves, pruners that have been sanitized, rooting hormone, a clean container, and potting mix that drains well.
    Put on some gardening gloves so that you don’t risk getting the poisonous sap of this plant on your skin. Use your pruning shears to cut between five and six inches off the end of a branch.
    Give the cutting a day or two to dry out completely before using it.
  • After trimming the end, it should be wet and dipped in the rooting hormone.
  • The chopped-off end should be replanted into a growth medium with good drainages, such as potting soil mixed with perlite or sand.
  • Daily water for the cutting is required, although care must be taken to prevent standing water in the soil. It should take between 2 and 6 weeks for the cutting to establish root.
  • After about 6 weeks, you should be able to see new growth, and if you give the stem a light pull, it should feel as though it is firmly anchored in place.

Propagating an Adenium Arabicum from Seed

Spring is the time of year ideal for planting the seeds of a desert rose. Either use a potting mix with perlite and good drainage or a mix of sand and soil. After rehydrating the seeds by soaking them for several hours or up to a day in advance, you should space them out on the growth medium so that there is one seed per two inches. Spread a very thin coating of the soil mix over the top.

Make sure the plants are kept in a warm place and give them plenty of water. Only water the soil once it reaches the point when it is beginning to dry out. You may also water the soil by misting it or by watering the pot from below, but make sure the soil does not become overly saturated with water. Once the seeds have sprouted, typically within a week to ten days, relocate the pot to a sunny location.



Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) sap can irritate the skin and the eyes. When working with your adenium, you should always use extreme caution. Put on some gloves and your glasses. If you get sap on your skin, you should wash it off. Secure it for children. Naturally, inquisitive children could try to consume your adenium. You and your children should not mistake underestimating the toxicity of adenium arabicum. Prioritize protection!


The sap of an Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) is poisonous to humans and awful for pets. Pets should not consume this plant. Adenium consumption results in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, depression, irregular heartbeat, and death. If you see any of these signs, it is important to take the pet to the vet as soon as possible. Take immediate action; there is no need to wait. If you take the pet to the vet as soon as you notice any symptoms, they will be able to receive treatment faster. Remove your adenium from the vicinity of your pets.

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Propagating an Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) Big Growth size

Common Problems


The Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) is particularly vulnerable to infestation by spider mites. Because the plant can only survive in dry conditions, this is the optimal environment for spider mites to flourish. The plant could be vulnerable to infestations of mealybugs from nearby plants because of its proximity.

Regularly check for pests on your Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose). This is especially important when you bring them inside for the winter after they have been kept outside in a warm, dry area.

The disease that Affects Leaves

The Adenium Arabicum (Desert Rose) is quite amenable to treating its leaves if they develop rot. The only thing that needs to be done is to remove the infected leaves and then relocate the plant to a dry location so that it can dry out. Either be careful not to get the plant’s leaves wet when you water it or make sure to water it first thing in the morning so that the leaves may get plenty of time to dry off.

It is best to wait till morning to water the plant. On the other hand, this may not be a concern in the desert or the tropics since the temperatures at night are warm enough for the leaves to dry up.

Leaves that are turning yellow or have already fallen off

The leaves turning yellow or falling off suddenly are two frequent indications that the root is rotting. Root rot is an infection that’s caused by a fungus. There is still a chance that the plant can be saved if the problem is discovered early enough. Before doing so, you will need to remove the root from its container and any broken leaves or stems.

If you find any roots that have been charred or mushy, you should remove the injured roots using a sharp knife. In between each cut, you should clean and sanitize the knife. Apply a fungicide by the application directions listed on the product’s packaging. The surviving roots should be replanted in potting soil that has enough drainage.

Spotting on Leaves

Marks that look like blisters are left on the top leaf surfaces by powdery mildew. It is possible for it to cause the plant’s growth to become deformed, as well as the appearance of white powdery material on the foliage, stems, and buds. This has a greater propensity to spread more frequently during nights that are chilly and moist and warm days.

Powdery mildew does not like water. After spraying the plant’s leaves with water, apply a fungicide based on the product’s packaging recommendations. When the stems and branches begin to grow nearby, prune them. Powdery mildew may be cut down significantly by leaving a sufficient distance between plants.

Root Rot

Stem root rot, a common disease that affects plants of the Adenium arabicum, is brought on by a fungus. The rot may be dry or wet, but it usually appears in shades of yellow, black, or dark brown. An Adenium arabicum plant’s top leaves turning dark and falling off signify that the plant is beginning to rot. Simply cut the decaying piece of the stem if you locate it. When trimming the plant, ensure to cut enough of the damaged tissue to be still able to view the good tissue.

Additionally, the Adenium arabicum plant can occasionally resist rot by establishing a cuticular zone; however, this occurrence can only occur when the plant is in a desert environment instead of in a moist climate, a tropical climate, or a cooler temperature.

Is it possible to grow Adenium arabicum indoors?

Yes. The Adenium arabicum is an excellent choice for use as a bonsai plant. With its size decreased to this extent, this plant should have no issue fitting into the available inside areas.

What big may Adenium Arabicum reach?

When fully grown, the height of these succulents may reach around 6 feet (or 2 meters), and their width may reach approximately 2 feet (or 60 cm). Your plant’s overall health, as well as its size, may be maintained by performing regular pruning.

Does Adenium bloom all year?

It should be no surprise that adeniums in this region lose their blossoms during the monsoon and attain their greatest efflorescence from January to May due to the state’s climatic conditions.

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