Tips On Desert Rose Watering

Desert Roses are succulent plants, deciduous shrubs, and small trees growing 4′ and 6′ feet tall.

Botanically known as Adenium, it belongs to the genera Apocynaceae. It’s native to Africa, the Middle East, and Madagascar.

Adenium desert rose in flower with water on blooms and leavesPin
Adenium plant in bloom with water on flowers and leaves | luknaja-DepositPhotos

Adenium obesum is a popular ornamental plant in tropical and warmer climates (USDA zones 10 to 11).

Adenium plants have a wide base or swollen stem and rich trumpet-shaped flowers in a variety of colors, making them widely loved container plants and outdoor plants in the tropics. The bulbous base of the Adenium makes them attractive as bonsai plants.

The desert rose also has a reputation for being tough to maintain. These slow-growing plants are easy to maintain with proper adenium water requirements, lighting, and temperatures.



Desert Rose Care: Adenium Watering

Improper watering is a significant problem to growing adenium. It can lead to a soft trunk or squishy stem, a sign of desert rose root rot.

This plant thrives during the rainy periods with good drainage. But need watering during their dormant drier periods.

To maintain its blooming beauty, the potting soil needs to have adequate moisture. This includes during the inactive drier fall and winter periods.

When To Water a Desert Rose Plant?

Desert rose plants do not need a lot of water to thrive in their growing environment.

But how to tell if desert rose needs water?

Knowing when to water a desert rose (Adenium obesum) is crucial for its health and proper growth.

Here are some ways to tell if a desert rose needs water:

  • Check the soil moisture: Insert your finger about an inch into the soil near the base of the plant. If the soil feels dry at that depth, it’s an indication that the desert rose needs watering[1].
  • Monitor the leaves: If the leaves of a desert rose appear wrinkled, start to droop, or desert rose leaves turning yellow, it may be a sign of water stress.

These are indications that the plant requires watering.

Does Soil Influence How Often To Water Desert Rose?

Soil does influence watering. The desert rose plant requires a naturally dry and desert-like gritty soil to thrive.

The plant needs warm temperatures, and a well-drained soil mix needs to drain well.

These types of soil ease the watering process because they reduce the need to focus on draining.

Read our article on: Soil For Desert Rose

Does Location or Lighting Influence When to Water?

This plant thrives best in a full sun environment. The light exposure obesum plants get can influence how well water drains from the soil.

When picking a growing location, it’s best to choose an area with lots of bright light throughout the day.

Select a location in your garden not sheltered by taller plants.

Partial shade can offer protection from the high-noon sun. The blazing heat can scorch the plant’s leaves, especially at its tender stage.

Frequency and Water Quantity

As its name implies, the desert rose is a desert-like plant that doesn’t need extra water. It has varying water needs through different seasons.

How often to water desert rose in summer?

During the late spring and summer months, its growing season, it’s best to keep the soil moist. A periodic check on plants before watering will give you an idea of when to water or not.

The plants need to dry out before watering again.

When potting a desert rose, it needs to be in a pot (like Terracotta or clay) that allows for draining. A container without adequate drainage holes shows up as root rot fast.

During the fall and winter months, when the plant becomes dormant, the watering frequency is reduced.

Desert roses will survive during fall and winter with once-a-month watering.

These drought-tolerant plants store water during the rainy season in their thick, bulbous roots and fat base trunk.

A perfect indicator of an adequate moisture level is the trunk of the plant. A swollen, thick trunk, in proportion to your plant’s size, signifies a well-hydrated plant.

Recommended Reading

How To Water Desert Rose

The plant has no need for a large-scale irrigation process.

Water From Below with a Watering Can

During the growing season, check the soil every few days. When the plant is completely dry, place the pot in a plastic saucer and water slowly from below and carefully.

There’s no need for standing water. Once the soil absorbs all the water and appears moist, it’s enough to last for a couple of days.

In times of extreme drought, water plants are planted in the landscape. Do this with a slow drip for several hours during the cooler part of the day.

What Happens if Desert Rose is Under-Watered?

As drought-tolerant plants, under-watering may not take its toll on the plants until after a long time, especially if it’s in the dormant period.

You spot a moisture problem from the plants’ trunk or leaf loss. If it’s thinner when compared to the expected proportion, then it’s an indicator.

Water immediately.

What Happens if Desert Rose is Overwatered?

Overwatering is the biggest issue for desert roses. A desert rose that’s overwatered will exhibit damaged roots quicker than similar plants.

When you begin to notice, immediately stop using too much water. Then, put the plant in place with more direct sunlight to use up the water stored inside.

It is also possible that the plant might need to be put into a new pot.

Prepare the things that you will need. Garden gloves, sterilized pruners, rooting hormone, a clean pot, and a well-draining potting mix.

When repotting, remove the old soil from the roots. The process is pruning rotted roots, then cutting the end of the roots, and dipping in the rooting hormone.

Consider moving to a container that is just one size larger than the current one.

Related: Portularcaria Afra care and watering desert rose are very similar.

Does Desert Rose Plant Have Special Water “Type” Needs?

Desert rose plants rarely have special water needs. Almost any regular type can be used to water desert roses.

Additionally, you can feed your plant liquid fertilizer once a month during its active growing time and back off during its dormancy.

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