Adenium obesum (Forssk.) Roem. & Schult.
Desert Rose, Mock Azalea, Impala Lily
Adenium coetaneum, Adenium honghel, Nerium obesum, Adenium arabicum, Adenium arboreum, Adenium micranthum, Adenium socotranum, Adenium somalense, Adenium speciosum, Adenium tricholepis, Cameraria obesa
Adenium obesum is an evergreen or drought-deciduous succulent shrub or small tree that grows up to 10 feet (3 m) tall. The stem base becomes 3.3 feet (1 m) or more in diameter with age and sometimes spreads over rocks. Leaves are spirally arranged, clustered toward the shoots' tips. They are leathery in texture, up to 6 inches (15 cm) long, and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide. Flowers are tubular with five petals, red and pink, often with a whitish blush outward of the throat, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, and up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter. The long, finger-like double fruits are grey to pale grey-brown and sometimes fringed with pink.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
These are not difficult plants to grow well, provided they get enough sunlight and warmth. Like all succulents, they cannot tolerate sitting in water, and if you err, do it on the side of too little water. Use a specialized soil mix designed for cacti and succulents.
Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot a Desert Rose, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the plant from the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide and antibacterial solution. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for a Desert Rose (Adenium obesum).
Subspecies, Varieties, and Forms
- Adenium obesum subsp. boehmianum
- Adenium obesum subsp. oleifolium
- Adenium obesum subsp. socotranum
- Adenium obesum subsp. somalense
- Adenium obesum subsp. swazicum
- Adenium somalense var. crispum
- Adenium arabicum
- Back to genus Adenium
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