Adenium obesum subsp. socotranum (Vierh.) Lavranos
Aden Rose of Socotra, Socotran Desert Rose
This subspecies is endemic to the island of Socotra in Yemen.
Adenium obesum subsp. socotranum, also known as Adenium socotranum, is by far the largest member of the genus, reaching a height of 15 feet (4.6 m) with a cylindrical to bottle-shaped, simple or branched trunk up to 8 feet (2.4 m) in diameter at the base. It resembles a miniature baobab. The leaves rarely appear before mid-summer. They are dark green with a lighter midrib and veins, up to 4.8 inches (12 cm) long, and arranged in dense terminal rosettes. The stems grow for only a few weeks.
Flowers are light pink to nearly red, up to 5 inches (13 cm) in diameter, and appear for a few weeks in spring while the plant is leafless.
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. However, 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, ensure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the plant from the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, removing any rotted or dead roots. Treat any cuts with a fungicide and antibacterial solution. Next, place the plant in its new pot and backfill it 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).
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