Ultimate Guide: How to Care for Adenium Plant?

Adenium Obesum, commonly known as Desert Rose plants are exceptionally beautiful, flexible, and easy to care for plants. If you are a succulent plant lover then you will find that Adenium considers being the most attractive flowering succulents plant in India. With the different kinds of flowers, these plants add a colorful look to your house as an indoor houseplants. Also, it adds glory to your garden as a beautiful outdoor garden plant.

As compared to other succulent plants, Adenium plants are tough plants. It doesn’t require much care but prefers a specific type of care. As compared to other flowering plants, Adenium is a 365 days flowering plant and hence requires a special type of care, among those hanging plants out of its pot, is a type.

This article is totally a complete guide for you to understand about different steps that are important in how to take care of the Adenium plant. But first, let’s understand Adenium plants.

What is Adenium Plant?

Adenium plants, also known as desert rose or mock azalea, are succulent plants that are native to Sub-Saharan Africa, where they are grown as exquisite having red, white, or pink flowers. The bushes of these plants have thick stems and heavy branches. The leafage of Adenium plants is normally oval-shaped having different sizes of up to 2 to 7 inches. The size of Adenium flowers can go up to 2 to 3 inches. The size of Adenium plants totally depends on the development of the plant and its location. Adenium plants are best when placed outdoors but if your plant is too young then you can keep it as an indoor houseplant.

After reading about this fabulous plant, now move ahead towards its caring.


How to Take Care of Adenium Plant?

No one can deny the fact that indoor houseplants are just the breath-taking and show stoppers of your house when compared to other artificially potted species. You can place these indoor houseplants anywhere in your house according to your interiors.

Adenium plants, in this series, also require a limited but specific type of care to maintain their colorful flowers for a long period. If given the right temperature, following with other ingredients in the proper amount then you will never go wrong in growing these succulent plants. The most interesting fact in growing this sun-loving plant is the amount of care required to grow this plant.

So now if you are quite convinced with us and want to grow this wonderful houseplant at home, then just learn how to take care of Adenium plant.  Here are some tips for your knowledge-


Tip 1: How to Water Adenium Plant?

If you want that your Desert Rose will thrive then you must know about the water requirements of Adenium plant. The amount of water or how often water your Adenium plant will decide whether your plant will flourish or will damage. The most common problem that is being faced by people with Adenium plant is overwatering.  As the name mentioned this is a desert plant and hence can live without water for many days. So having less water or no water cannot be a big issue. But a slight increase in the amount of watering results in many problems like its stems turning soft leaves becoming yellow, and also roots rot.

If you want to take proper care of your Adenium plant then water it only when the soil becomes dry. But make sure the delay in watering is not so long that the soil starts to develop cracks. If is it so, then give a nice watering to your desert rose. But try not to water them when the soil is watery. So always remember in accordance with Adenium plant –“Less water, less worry

How Often to Water Adenium Plant

Adenium plants can be watered generally several times a week or even daily (if it is in an extremely dry or hot region), during their growing season in summer or spring. But in winter, the amount of water totally depends on the moistness of the soil, and therefore time to water extends up to a month.

Tip 2: How Much Sunlight Do Adenium Plant Need

After understanding how often to water the Adenium plant, it’s time to know the light requirements of Adenium plants

Like any other succulent plants, Adenium is also a sun-loving succulent and grows better in bright direct sunlight. Adenium plants thrive best in direct sunlight for at least 6 hours per day. It grows best in desert-like settings because it will bloom only when placed in as much light as possible. Sunlight activates the flower production of Adenium. In the hottest and coldest months of the year, the Adenium plant takes a break that results in the two flowering seasons in a year. Without Sunlight the plant will become weak-stemmed and long-legged. 

So you don’t need to be afraid if your plant is getting too much exposure to sunlight because it will never get sunburned like other plants. If you are leaving in the Northern part and facing intense heat then in mid-noon you can place your Adenium in shade for some time. You need not be worry if your plant is not getting too much sunlight or if you are living in an area with no sunlight, you can simply keep your plant under artificial fluorescent light for about 12 hours a day to meet its daily light requirements.

Tip 3: Best Soil to Grow Adenium Plants

The thing that makes your desert rose happy is the use of perfect soil. If you want that your desert rose to flourish at its best then it’s your responsibility to give it a good potting mix with good drainage. For desert roses, succulent soil with crushed pumice or granite is best because it provides good space to drain plenty of water. In order to prevent your plant from root rot, just add layers of gravel above and below the potting mix. You can also make your own succulent soil at home or you can also use already prepared soil for your plant. Ingredients of best potting soil contain:

  1. River Sand- 40%
  2. Coco Peat- 20%
  3. Gravels- 20%
  4. Bone Meal- 5%
  5. Compost- 15%
  6. Antifungal Powder- Handful of Fungicide

 Tip 4: Temperature Tolerance for Adenium Plant

Generally, the Adenium plant is a sun lover plant and had flowers abundant outdoors. Adenium plants like most other succulents plants cannot survive in cold temperatures. Adenium requires a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Always keep your Adenium plant in warm temperatures because it will die quickly if placed at a place having a temperature less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit for a longer period. In colder months, if you are going to place your Adenium plants outdoors then we advised you to cover your plants. This will help your plant to beat the frost damage. Adenium plants never get affected by humidity because the plant is addicted to extremely hot and dry climates.

Tip 5: Best Fertilizer for Adenium Plants

Like any other succulent plant, the Adenium plant also needs to be fertilised. This will add plenty of nutrients to the soil. In order to boost growth and flowering in Adenium phosphorous-rich fertilizer is best. Therefore in the growing season, Bone Meal fertilizer is best for the growth of Adenium plant because it is rich in phosphorous. In colder months, a liquid fertilizer (diluted by half) should be used directly on the plant before the blooming period once a month because at this time plant comes into a state of suspension.  The right time to fertilize Adenium plants is during their growing season, especially in spring and summer. 

Never apply fertilizers in excess amounts because it leads to the browning of leaf edges of the plant. Another issue faced due to the excess use of fertilizers is the building up of toxic elements in the soil which is not good for the health of the Adenium plant.

Tip 6: Regular Pruning is Necessary for Adenium Plant

Pruning is necessary for any plant for its effective growth. But always sterilize your tools by rubbing alcohol or a bleach solution before pruning in order to prevent your Adenium plant from any kind of harm. In pruning,

  1. Always remove cold-damaged growth so that new growth emerges. 
  2. Trim long, lean stems to balance the stem’s growth in a proper way.
  3. Always remove the branches of the plant that are clinging to or crossing other branches.
  4. At last, cut down just above a leaf node or from where one stem joins with another stem.

The best time to prune your Desert Rose is summertime because in India this is the time when Adenium grows very fast. Monsoon and winter seasons are not good for pruning because at this time the plant would not heal and hence ultimately suffer big time.

Tip 7: When does the Adenium plant bloom?

As mentioned earlier, Adenium or desert rose plant survives in hot weather but still it needs a break in the growing season. In this manner, Adenium has two different blooming seasons or periods. The first period starts in early spring when the flowers bloom effectively in the appropriate sunlight. The second phase starts with the early fall months, at this time the temperature falls from 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The second phase is the best time when you need to move your desert rose plant indoors for pruning.

Tip 8: Potting and Repotting Adenium Plant

Adenium plants should be repotted every 1-2 years or you can repot it after 2 years but not more than it. Repotting is done because the soil inside the pot loses its nutrition and becomes less fluffy; hence its drainage capacity also decreases. Always try to repot your Adenium Obesum plant before its growing season because then only it has plenty of time to adjust to its new home. While choosing a pot for repotting your plant make sure it will be 10% larger than the size of the plant or 10% larger than the size of the previous pot.

Benefits of Adenium Plants

Till now you might be getting familiar with and admiring the Adenium plant for its flowers, leaves, and stems. But apart from its beauty, there are many other benefits of Adenium plant that have to be in your knowledge. In this section, you are going to know various benefits of Adenium plant that you did not know and will definitely amaze you:

  1. Medicinal Value of Adenium plant: Each and every part of Adenium has its own medicinal value and is being used as traditional medicine in different countries. The leaves, stems, roots, and flowers of Adenium are used to cure Sexually transmitted diseases and treat nose infections. The skin of stems and roots of the plants are used to make lotions for skin diseases and for killing lice. The white latex produced by the plants is used to treat septic wounds, tooth decay and kill pesticides, and many more.
  2. Adenium Plant is Poisonous: The sap and the latex present in the stem of Adenium plant have toxins. If ingested by mistake and the toxin reaches the heart, it can cause heart failure and sometimes causes death in humans and animals. Therefore in African countries, the poison is being used for hunting activities.
  3. Adenium plant as Cleansing Ritual: Adenium plant, in Native American homes is being used in smudging rituals as a meditation element to signify mind clarity. The presence of Adenium plant during this ritual creates a calm effect, thus helping the meditator in relaxing by eliminating evil thoughts.
  4. Adenium plant has different varieties: Apart from Adenium Obesum; there are many other varieties of Desert Rose that we don’t know. These are-Adenium Socotranum, Adenium Somalense, Adenium Swazicum, and Adenium Oleifolium; which differ from each other in terms of flower colors, stem, width, leave sizes, and growth heights.
  5. Adenium plant has a long lifespan: Adenium plant has a long lifespan of about 500 years. It has noticeable features that enable it to live for so long through the decades. If you want to identify the age of the desert rose, then measure the diameter of the stem of the plant.
  6. Adenium plant has Global value: Adenium plant is very well renowned globally for many reasons. Adenium plant with its medicinal, aesthetic as well as toxic properties; is very popular among African countries. Also for decorative purposes, it is imported and exported in large quantities.

In Brief

Adenium plants are succulents that will generally survive in almost any condition as long as there is plenty of sunlight and well-draining soil. So if you also want this flowering plant in your garden this season then read this article thoroughly and follow all the steps mentioned on how to take care of your Adenium plant. Don’t forget to share your views!


Nikita is a Succulent lover. She really enjoys planting and nourishing them. She loves to share information about various Succulents on this blog to aware people more about these awesome plants.

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