How to get a desert rose?

The desert rose is a tropical shrub

The desert rose is one of the succulents that blooms during the summer, and one of the few with such large flowers. Indeed, theirs can measure about five centimeters in diameter, and since they are brightly colored, they contrast very well with the leaves, which are green. These characteristics make it a very ornamental species and therefore it is difficult not to buy it. And is that, who doesn’t want to have one at home?

However, being from tropical Africa, one must be aware that its management is complicated. Besides, sometimes they are so much that it is not at all strange that we do not finish watering him as much as he needs, or that we do not pay him at a time when his growth is zero. Therefore, there comes a time when our plant gets sick, and that’s when we wonder how to get a desert rose


What happens to the desert rose?

The desert rose is a sensitive plant

Image – Wikimedia/David J. Stang

First of all, you must first find out what is wrong with your Adenium obesum, because the treatment you have to give him later will depend on what happens to him. Therefore, it is important that you know how to identify the symptoms it presents, for example:

  • The trunk is soft: It is normal for it to soften if it does not receive a single drop of water for weeks, but beware: if it softens quickly, the roots may drown. Check the soil humidity, because if it is very high, it has received more water than necessary. Also, if it’s in a pot that doesn’t have holes, no matter how controlled the irrigation, the roots struggle because the water can’t get out and stays stagnant.
  • Leaves turn yellow and fall: the yellowing of the leaves can be due to multiple causes, such as these:
    • Lack of water: when a desert rose dries out, it begins to lose its leaves, starting with the youngest ones.
    • Excess water: if, on the contrary, the soil remains damp for a long time, it will be the oldest leaves that will lose first.
    • Drafts: When a desert rose is grown indoors, drafts from air conditioning or heating will dry out the environment. As a result, the leaves fall off.
    • Natural aging: the leaves have a limited life expectancy. If your plant is healthy, with a hard trunk, you will see that it loses leaves which are replaced by others in a short time.
  • has parasites: the desert rose is a plant that resists pests well, but aphids are insects that can weaken it. These are very small, being half a centimeter long. The problem is that they feed on the sap of leaves and flowers, and also multiply rapidly, so you have to be vigilant.

How can it be recovered?

Desert rose may have aphids

Image – Wikimedia/Timothy A. Gonsalves

When the symptoms have been identified, it is time to think about treatment. But, as we have seen, the desert rose can get sick for different reasons, so let’s see what we should do in each case:

The trunk is soft

Our protagonist can have an increasingly soft trunk at very different times: when the earth remains dry for a long time, or when, on the contrary, it is wet.

In the first case, it is not something to be overly concerned about, since it is quite normal that, to avoid dying of thirst, the plant absorbs the water that it has in its trunk. In addition, when the climate is temperate and not tropical, it is important to water it as little as possible in winter, because during this season not only does it not grow, but the soil remains moist longer than in summer.

But in the second, the roots have particular difficulty, and it is at this time that the plant will have to be taken out of the pot or the garden, remove the earth as we can -without damaging the root system-. If we see a black root, we will cut it, but if not, we will plant it directly in a pot that has holes in its base with a substrate for succulents (on sale here). Likewise, we will have to treat it with a systemic fungicide like this and reduce the frequency of irrigation.

Leaves turn yellow and fall

If the plant begins to have yellow leaves, you have to see if it is thirsty, in which case you will notice that the soil is very dry; if you suffer from excess water in your roots; whether they fall because they are exposed to drafts, or whether they fall because their time has simply come.

The most serious problem the desert rose can have is that it has received a lot of water, either by rain or by irrigation, as it does not tolerate waterlogging. And in fact, his trunk rots easily when he is in this situation. To avoid it, we have to do what we discussed above.

But if you’re thirsty, all you have to do is water; and if we have it at home near the air conditioner, we just have to move it to another place to solve the problem.

has parasites

Aphids are very active insects in spring and summer. For it, I recommend inspecting the leaves and flowers of the desert rose at least two to three times a week.and if we see any, treat it with an anti-aphid insecticide like this, or with diatomaceous earth (on sale here), which is a natural insecticide of which we leave you a video:

I hope these tips are helpful and you can save your plant.

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