How to Care for Adenium Houseplants?

Adenium is a succulent with an unusual fleshy trunk. This plant has several branches on which beautiful, colorful and horn-shaped flowers grow. The color variety of these flowers is very high and in combination with the strange trunk of this plant, it creates a special beauty. This plant can be used as a beautiful houseplant to make your environment colorful. Continue reading this article in TooPlant in order to learn more about Adenium houseplants and the basic care of them.

Care for Adenium HouseplantsIntroduction of Adenium Houseplants

Name: Adenium

Family: Apocynaceae

Native: Africa and the Arabian Peninsula

Common name(s): Desert rose, Sabi star, Mock azalea, Impala lily

Scientific name: Adenium obesum

This beautiful plant has different species and all of them are native to East and North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. This multinational plant also has different names, all of which are beautiful. Desert rose, Sabi star, Mock azalea, and Impala lily are some of the names of this plant. Contrary to popular belief, this plant is not a real rose. Adenium is a deciduous succulent and has five different species to buy, but there are many species of this plant in nature that have not yet been identified.

Desert rose

The flowering period of this plant is long and if provide a pleasant environment for it in cold seasons, it will survive well. Depending on the environmental conditions and maintenance of the Adenium plant, the horn-shaped flowers of this plant grow in different sizes and colors, but often its flowers are about 5 cm and are white, pink and red.

One of the differences between real and desert roses is that desert roses tolerate drought because they can store water in their onion roots and fleshy stems.

In nature, this plant stores water through summer rains and consumes it in waterless winters. Adenium can be found in different sizes. This plant can grow up to two meters but can also live as a houseplant in pots.

Care for Adenium Houseplants

There are five different species of this plant, all of which like arid and semi-arid regions, but can also live well in tropical or subtropical regions. The interesting thing about this desert plant is that as long as it has enough light, heat and good soil, it does not matter in which area it lives. The beautiful flowers of this plant are attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies and bees and attracts them. After the introduction, we will address the method of caring for an Adenium houseplant:


As we said, you need a lot of light to maintain the Adenium plant and to be vibrant and flowering. If the plant receives only morning or afternoon light, it will continue to grow, but it may not flower, and if it does not receive enough light, it will grow weak. With enough light, the desert rose will have a rest period between flowering times. Flowering of this plant lasts from early spring to mid-summer and after about 6 to 8 weeks of rest, it blooms again in early autumn. During the winter, you should provide the plant with resting conditions, and it is better to move the plant to a warm, sunny place with indirect light.


Desert rose loves watering in spring and summer but does not like watering in autumn and winter. In fact, you should treat it like a tropical plant in spring and summer, and like a Cactus in autumn and winter!How to Care for Adenium Houseplants?

The roots of this plant should never be submerged in water. During the growing season, water when the plant soil is completely dry. Water slowly to slightly moisten the soil and be careful not to get the soil too wet.


In what follows, concerning the methods of caring for an Adenium houseplant, we will address how to fertilize this plant:

During the growing season (spring and summer), Adenium houseplant can be given water-soluble fertilizer or granular fertilizer. Desert rose wakes up in winter in spring. At this time, diluted fertilizer can be given to the plant once every two weeks, but in summer, fertilize once a month and stop fertilizing as soon as it gets cold and allow the plant to rest again.


Adenium belongs to the Apocynaceae family and, like all members of this family, has toxic sap that can cause itching or even poisoning if it comes in contact with the skin. It is better to keep Desert rose out of the reach of children and pets. If you want to prune this plant, be sure to use gloves and wash your hands after handling or changing the pot.


In the rest, the methods of caring for an Adenium houseplant, we must say that Desert rose is a plant that can grow too much, so it sometimes needs pruning to stay in acceptable size. It is better to prune during the growing season. If you keep your plant outdoors, it is better to prune at the end of the growing season and before the onset of cold weather and bring the plant indoors. This allows the plant to rest more productively and also makes it easier to keep the smaller plant indoors.

You can also prune dead or damaged branches before moving the plant out of the house at the end of the resting season. Separating the scattered branches is also a useful action and you can use these branches as cuttings to propagate the plant.


This plant can live in any pot and show its beauty, but professionals’ plant Adenium in earthenware pots so that the plant soil can dry easily. Another advantage of clay pots over plastic or metal pots is that they provide adequate airflow to the plant roots.

There are a few things to keep in mind when preparing a pot:

First of all, if the pot is strong, the roots of this plant are very aggressive and can break delicate and thin pots. Secondly, the pot must have water drain holes under it to drain excess water. Thirdly, if you use a tray under the pot, you should drain the water collected in it so as not to damage the roots of the plant.

Important note: Wider pots are better than long, narrow pots because the roots of the plant are spread in wide pots and will be a stronger support for the plant. Instead, the roots of the plant grow in long, narrow pots like carrots and cannot sustain the plant.

How to Repot Adenium Houseplants? (Essential tips for repotting Adenium)

Adenium grows slowly and will need to be replaced almost every three or four years. Note that if the plant pot is too large, its invasive roots will grow more, which will reduce the number of flowers in the plant. To do this, choose a pot that is three to five inches larger than the current roots of the plant. Remove the plant from the pot and clean the old soil well from it and replant it in fresh soil with excellent drainage in the new pot. Like other succulents, prepare Cactus soil for the Adenium so that it can drain well so that the roots of the plant do not rot.

How to Propagate Adenium?

Continuing the methods of caring for an Adenium houseplant, we will address how to propagate this plant:

Adenium can be propagated by cuttings or seeds.

Propagation by cuttings

If you propagate this plant by cuttings, you should not expect the formation of a fleshy and attractive structure of this plant on top of the soil. This fleshy structure, known as the “Caudex“, forms beneath the soil and may later emerge from the soil. But the advantage of propagation by cuttings is that several different cuttings can be grafted together to obtain different colors of flowers.

  1. Cut a 15 cm branch of the plant and wrap it in a newspaper or paper towel for 48 hours, place it in a warm, dry place to dry the cut part of the plant.
  2. After two days, place the cut cuttings in well-drained soil. You can use ready-made Cactus or succulent soils or make your own mixed soil that is an equal mixture of potting soil, Coco peat, peat moss and sand. It is better to put some pebbles in the bottom of the pot for better drainage.
  3. Dip the end of the cutting into the growth hormone and plant it in the soil. Moisten the soil with a spray and repeat this every few days to keep the soil moist.
  4. Do not forget that Adenium is from the desert, so it should not receive too much water. If you moisten the plant soil too much, you will wear the roots of the plant.
  5. Move the plant to a warm and sunny place. If the plant is indoors, rotate it every day or two to get all parts of the light, otherwise one side will be tilted towards the sun.
  6. After seeing the first signs of growth in the plant, you will be relieved that your action was useful and that you were able to give birth to a new plant.

Propagation by seeds

The advantage of propagating Adenium through seeds is that you are comfortable with the formation of the specific fleshy structure of this plant (Caudex) above the soil. This structure is one of the beauties of the plant that may not be overlooked. Propagation of this plant by seed may take years, so be patient. You can buy the seeds of this plant ready-made or get seeds from your current plant, provided that you have several plants next to each other that can pollinate.

How to Propagate Adenium?

1. Harvesting seeds

The seed pods of this plant are similar to beans, which grow in pairs. When the pods are ripe, they swell. At this time, you should enclose the pods with thread and net so that the plant seeds do not escape when the pod is opened. When the seed pods open and you open the net, remove the dandelion-shaped hairs from it so that eventually the new seeds of the plant remain.

2. Planting seeds

– To plant Desert rose seeds, you should start with soil, half of which is coco peat or peat moss and the other half sand or loam.

– Choose a small, shallow pot and place it in a well-lit but indirect place. The ambient temperature for this plant should be between 26 and 29 degrees Celsius.

– Spread the seeds evenly on the soil surface, cover it with a layer of sand and moisten the soil with a spray. Repeat this every few days until the seeds germinate.

– You should see the buds after three to seven days. Continue to moisten the soil until the seeds turn into seedlings so that they can be transferred to a new pot.

Caring for Adenium Houseplants: Common Pests and Diseases

The most common problem with Adenium is the yellowing of the leaves and their tubularity and root rot. The most important thing about this plant is not watering too much. The Desert rose can store water at the root of its obesity and no longer wants to receive too much water. This plant likes dehydration more than a lot of water. Proper drainage and low watering are the best conditions for this plant so that the roots of the plant do not rot.

Why Are Desert rose Leaves Turning Yellow?

Yellowing of the leaves is undoubtedly one of the most common problems in caring for Adenium houseplant. In our experience, overwatering is often the cause. But let’s look at other causes:

1. Overwatering

First of all, you need to look at the tip of the leaf. In this case, the yellowing starts from the tip of the leaf and moves inwards. In the first few days, you will notice that the leaves are getting darker, like a bruise. But after a few days, yellowing appears and the leaves gradually dry out. In this case, you can quickly save the Adenium from extinction by reducing the amount of watering. You may need to absorb excess moisture from the soil with a paper towel, ear cleaner, or even sand. If your Adenium is large in size, it is better to replace the soil. Be careful not to damage or disturb the plant.

What is the reason for this excessive watering? Many people (like us) are constantly watering their plants because they just enjoy doing it. Spraying water and other watering methods makes a person feel good and can even be addictive! So whenever you want to spray water for your satisfaction, pause a bit and check the soil first. If it was dry, then water the plant.

2. Underwatering

If the yellowing starts from the center of the leaves and is progressing towards the tip, the problem is probably underwatering or insufficient light. To identify the root cause, you must first examine the soil. If the soil is dry and the Adenium has a wilted appearance with dull leaves, the plant is thirsty.

If the yellowing starts from the center of the leaves and is progressing towards the tip, the problem is probably underwatering or insufficient light. To identify the root cause, you must first examine the soil. If the soil is dry and the Desert rose has a wilted appearance with dull leaves, the plant is thirsty.

Sometimes, to force the Adenium to enter dormancy, some people suddenly stop watering completely and leave it at home. This lack of light in winter will cause the yellow leaves to fall off. Saving a thirsty Adenium is much easier than rescuing a drowned Adenium. Just water the plant well and then move it to a brighter place. Do this slowly over time so that it is not immediately exposed to strong light. He will finally recover.

3. Natural yellowing

If the yellowed leaves fall off easily when you touch them, this is normal yellowing. The leaves are in the natural cycle of their life; They turn yellow after flowering and everything is under control. Do not worry. Another way to ensure this type of shedding is to touch the Caudex (palm trunk). If the body (Caudex) was rigid, then everything is fine. The trunk should not be soft and withered.

Some people who take care of Adenium houseplants say that this natural yellowing often occurs during the rainy season; Even for plants for which all conditions were ideal. In fact, rain can change this cycle. Some Desert roses form red halos on their leaves before this process begins. The yellowing process starts from the lower leaves and gradually reaches the leaves of the upper branches. If you see such a pattern in the fall of your Adenium leaves, you should not worry. This is normal and trust it.

4. Root rot

If you hit the yellow leaves several times but they did not fall easily, you should check the root. The root may be fungal or overly complex.

Did you find fluffy white patches on the roots? This is one of the first signs of root or trunk rot (Caudex). To save it, remove the plant completely from the soil. Cut the soft, sticky and damaged parts of the root with scissors or a sharp knife. Then dry it in the sun. Let rest for 14-7 days. After this time, plant the Adenium in fresh soil to repair itself.

5. Pests and fungi

If the Adenium is infested with pests and fungi, tiny spots will form on or under the leaves. Compared to natural yellowing, the yellow color of pests is lighter. If the natural yellow leaves fall with a gentle blow, the sick yellow leaves are not. Even if you hit them directly several times, they will still stay attached to your stem.

Another way to diagnose this problem is to pay attention to the trunk (Caudex). In this case, the trunk usually shrinks slightly and becomes smaller; So that when you touch it, you feel that it is no longer hard and completely softened. You need to thoroughly inspect all parts of the plant to identify any pests. Then, depending on the type of pest, take action to destroy it.

Why Are Adenium leaves Curling?

Often, this twist is natural and is considered part of a plant growth change; In fact, it does not harm its overall health. If only one or two leaves of the plant are tubular and the rest are in their normal shape, do not worry at all and do not get involved in this issue. But if you feel that the number has increased from normal or you have seen other minor changes in the plant, the problem of essential elements may be. Twisting occurs as a result of a lack of potassium or nitrogen. Potassium is a nutrient for stem and root growth. Nitrogen is also good for flowers, leaves and twigs.

To solve this problem, use fertilizers containing potassium and nitrogen. After a while you will see bigger and more beautiful new leaves grow. A clever way to increase these elements is to plant beans in Desert rose soil. Bean seeds increase the amount of bacteria in the soil; Bacteria that form tubers on the roots. These glands absorb air and transport the nitrogen in it to the soil. In this way, in a completely natural way, they constantly nourish the soil and strengthen the plant.

Care for Adenium HouseplantsWhy does Desert rose Root Rot?

In the reminder, concerning the tips of caring for an Adenium houseplant, it is better to know that if you water the plant too much and consequently the roots too much, the internal components of the root ball will disintegrate and make it completely loose. To find the rotten part of the root, you need to look at the leaves. If the leaves are completely yellow and do not fall off when knocked, rot is most likely a problem. Then follow the path of the yellow leaves and examine the stem to the point closest to the soil surface. Do you see any signs of decay, softening, discoloration, etc.?

Use your hands to check the root system. Touch all points and apply slight pressure. If only a small part of it is rotten, easily remove it. Then pour some garden lime powder or cinnamon on the cut to heal. If you notice black spots on the surface of the root or the rot has spread to different areas, you should take more serious action.

Remove the plant from the soil and remove all rotten parts. Then hang it upside down in a shady place. Pour some lime powder on the cut points to heal. After the wounds have healed, replant the Adenium in fresh soil. If you do not want to use lime powder, ground cinnamon is a good alternative. You can also try these ways to get rid of rotten parts of the root:

– Wash and remove caries using a high-pressure hose.

– Soak rotten roots in lime solution to kill harmful bacteria.

– Remove the rotten parts with a spoon.

How to Save Soft Caudex on Desert Rose Plants?

The softness of the Adenium Caudex is due to shock due to displacement, wilting, dehydration, or fungal problems.

To save Desert rose, you must temporarily cut off all energy consumers from the plant. With this definition, you should cut all the leaves, flowers and small branches. Then, trim the soft, black parts of the root with scissors. Remove the plant from the soil and let it rest in the same position for 7-21 days. Do not forget that you should not water the plant during this time.

After the rest period, plant the Adenium in fresh, cool soil. At this stage, add a little water to it. The recovery process can take more than 3 months; In fact, the length of time depends on the strength of your plant. Adenium will become stronger and return to normal life.

How to Save Soft Caudex on Desert Rose Plants?

Why Is My Adenium Not Blooming?  (How to Get Desert Roses to Bloom?)

In what follows, concerning the methods of caring for an Adenium houseplant, we will address why is your Adenium not blooming?

1. Insufficient amount of light: Without enough sunlight, it will be very difficult for Adenium to convert energy and produce flowers. Even if they produce flowers in such conditions, they will not have the necessary radiance and beauty. The branches may bloom at different times and may not all produce flowers at once. Desert rose should receive 6-8 hours of sunlight daily.Why Is My Adenium Not Blooming?

2. Lots of nutrients: It is better to explain this section with some examples. In fact, it is as if consumers are producing more than ever before when environmental resources are scarce. We can see this example in other species as well, such as fungi.

As resources dwindle, the production of fungi increases greatly. Or chickens or other birds will not lay eggs any time soon if they have extra fat in their body. The same goes for worms; In worm breeding, breeders abstain from feeding them for about a week to speed up their reproduction. Therefore, sometimes too much of the necessary elements in the soil prevents the plant from growing properly.

Your Adenium may still be at its peak of fresh bud and leaf production. Check for heavy shoots and number of buds. It will not flower as long as the plant is still growing and producing young shoots. It means that it is not time to score flowers yet. In such cases, the Desert rose may produce flowers but at the same time, it is still expanding its branches. This is due to the accumulation of nitrogen in the soil. Too much nitrogen prevents the absorption of potassium and phosphorus; The elements that produce exactly the flowers and seeds. To solve the problem, you can wait until the soil elements are reduced. In general, watering and the passage of time reduce their amount. A better way is to prune a number of branches and stems to stop their growth.

3. Existence of harmful substances: Strong chemical boosters may, contrary to our expectations, undermine the overall health of the plant. And that means a weak root system. In such cases, the Adenium will not bloom. To solve this problem, you need to remove the Desert rose from the soil and plant it this time in new, clean soil. Some people use sand as a detoxifier by mixing it with soil and leaving the plant in the same soil as before. In any case, you should resume fertilizing this time with an optimal process and a smaller amount.

4. Insects and fungi: These vermin suck all the nutrients out of the plant. They are also involved in yellowing and browning the leaves. If the necessary materials are removed from the plant, it will no longer be able to grow.

Use the following solution to eliminate them:

  • 3 parts boiling water
  • 2 parts of water that has reached ambient temperature
  • 3 ml of dishwashing liquid Optional: Mint oil, neem oil, garden oils

This compound keeps pests away from the plant as much as possible and protects the plant. Dishwashing liquid and oils destroy the protective cuticles in the skin of insects and disrupt their reproductive system. For best results, spray the solution on the plant in the afternoon. But to fight the fungus, you have to cut the branches. In this way, the fungus will no longer be able to enter the mycelium deep into the plant and multiply there.

Adenium Pests

 Some of the pests that may attack this plant include aphids, spider mites and mealybugs. If you notice the presence of these insects on your plant, you can use semi-synthetic oil to kill them. Coconut wormwood is another insect that attacks desert roses. To get rid of these insects, you must remove them from the plant with gloves and treat it with Bacillus thuringiensis. These worms can destroy the leaves of the plant quickly, but do not worry, as soon as you remove these invaders from the plant, it can regain its health.

Infographic of Care for Adenium Houseplants

In this article, we tried to explain to you in an infographic the essential tips in the care of Adenium houseplants, so that you can briefly and usefully learn the methods of caring for this plant.

Infographic of Care for Adenium Houseplants


In this article, we tried to provide you with the necessary information about the methods of caring for an Adenium houseplant. However, if you have any questions regarding this indoor plant or you need to get advice from our houseplant experts, please share your questions with us through the comments section below.

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