Plants 101

How to Care for a Desert Rose

Learn how to create the best growing conditions for a Adenium obesum, also known as the Desert Rose.

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Desert Rose, also known as Adenium obesum, is a tropical succulent native to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. It is named after the beautiful flowers it produces, which resemble roses, and is a popular choice for indoor and outdoor gardening.

Types of Desert Rose

There are many different cultivars of Desert Rose, each with its own unique characteristics. Some popular varieties include the Black Desert Rose, Variegated Desert Rose and the miniature Desert Rose.


Desert Rose plants need bright, direct sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. It'll be ideal to place them directly in a South or West-facing window, or utilize a grow light if your space doesn't provide enough natural lighting. You can place your Desert Rose outdoors during the Spring and Summer months, but be sure to start by placing it in partial shade before introducing full sun. Outdoor sunlight is much stronger so the plant needs to be gradually acclimated to direct sun outside. If you're not sure if your space will provide enough light, consider measuring light to ensure your Desert Rose receives enough!


Desert Rose plants are drought-tolerant and prefer to dry out completely between waterings. You may see yourself watering the plant every 1-2 weeks depending on conditions in the home. Be careful not to overwater, as this can cause root rot.


Desert Rose plants are native to dry environments so normal room humidity will work and they will not require any extra humidity or misting.


Desert Rose plants prefer warm temperatures between 60-90°F. Protect them from cold drafts and temperatures below 50°F. This plant can be moved outdoors during the Spring and Summer months once day and nighttime temperatures are consistenly above 60°F.


Desert Rose plants prefer a sandy, well-draining potting mix like a cactus or succulent soil mix.

Common Problems

SYMPTOM: Mushy or black stems or base, wet potting mix:

CAUSE: Overwatered, root rot

SYMPTOM: Yellowing or dropping leaves

CAUSE: Overwatered, or entering winter dormancy

SYMPTOM: Wrinkling base, dry potting mix

CAUSE: Thirsty plant, underwatered


Desert Rose plants are toxic to pets and humans if ingested. Keep them out of reach of children and pets and wear gloves when handling the plant. It may also go dormant in the winter due to less available sunlight, and lose its foliage until spring arrives. If given proper care, new growth should emerge in the Spring and brightly colored blooms in the Summer.

Words By The Sill

Empowering all people to be plant people—a collection of articles from The Sill’s team of plant experts across a variety of plant care topics to inspire confidence in the next generation of plant parents. Welcome to Plant Parenthood™.

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