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Adenium obesum - The Desert Rose

Easily germinated from seeds, made into a bonsai, or hybridized to yield flowers of a plethora of colours - the Desert Rose can be the delight of the enthusiastic gardener. It has been addressed by a plethora of names, including Impala Lily and Mock Azalea. Even those with simple horticultural skills can manage the Adenium and make it bloom. Highly attractive with thick swollen branches and bright trumpet-like flowers that are naturally pink, the Desert Rose is rather popular as an ornamental among plant-lovers. 

Adenium obesum - Desert Rose

A native of the deserts of Africa and the Arab Peninsula, the Desert Rose has now become a global garden staple. It is an outdoor plant that needs full sun for its good health and bloom. Besides, it needs a well-drained, loose-textured potting mix that will not permit standing water. It is rather drought-resistant as well. On the whole, Desert Rose is quite resilient against pests and doesn’t often fall prey to aphids, bugs, and mites. Overwatering can allow fungal root rot to set in, though.

And a word of caution - the milky sap from the Desert Rose is poisonous and should not come in contact with children and pets. In fact, in its native range, the sap of Adenium has been used as a fish toxin as well as to make the game hunters’ arrow tips poisonous. Also, this is a slow-growing plant, growing no more than an inch a month.

Fun fact - a thick trunk indicates an adequately hydrated Adenium plant. Interestingly, Adenium is thought to bring riches to the person who owns it, for its Chinese name ‘fuguihua’ stands for wealth plant.


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