How To Propagate Desert Rose? – Best Tips from

How To Propagate Desert Rose?

The Adenium ( Adenium ) is a genus of shrubby or woody succulent plants of the family ( Apocynaceae ) originating from tropical regions of Africa, where it is found from Senegal to Sudan and Kenya, and the Arabian Peninsula. In many languages, the word “adenium” means “desert rose”.

While it is mainly grown for its flowers, which are large and showy, this plant has become a popular houseplant in recent years largely because of its attractive foliage. The leaves can be as long as 30 centimeters (12 in), with a variety of colors including green, red, purple, white, and variegated. Some have spotted leaves. The flowers are large and showy, varying from white to crimson red depending on the species.

The name of the genus ( Adenium ) was derived from the Greek word ( aden), meaning “gland“. It refers to the numerous glands on the flowers.

The most common types

There are still argue how many types of adenium exist, and the spread in numbers is from 7 to 50. Below are descriptions of the most famous varieties.

Obesum or obese: Obesum is a variety of flowering plants that is the most common, not only in nature but also among gardeners and lovers of indoor plants.  This variety of plants is characterized by their large leaves, which can reach a size of 1-3 meters. Grown outdoors or inside, this plant is quite vulnerable to pests and diseases, so it should be regularly watered and fertilized. Interestingly, it is a decorative plant that grows well in the room.

Somali – The Somali Desert rose has a very distinct form – it resembles a cone, which can grow up to 5 meters tall. For this reason, the plant does not need to produce lateral stems for up to two years. The old shoots are usually removed because they no longer serve any purpose and they also reduce sunlight penetration into the center of the plant.

Adenium Arabic: description

Arabic – Arabian Desert Rose is a flower that originates from the Arabian Peninsula. It is a single species in the genus  Adenium. The plant has thick, rounded stems, grown from seeds that germinate well with bottom heat. The leaves are glossy, green, and oval-shaped. They have medium flowers, flower growers recommend growing this species from seed.

Sokotranski -Sokotranski Desert rose is a desert plant that grows in dry, sandy areas. It is not often specially grown because of the short period of intensive growth and flowering, but it can adapt to the soil and environment it is planted in.

Its flowers are very different from other species of the same family, which have five petals, but these have only three – similar to an Asian pear.

Oleifolium – Oleifolium desert rose is a perennial plant that is native to Africa. It grows in the dry areas of Africa, in the savannas, and on grassy hillsides. The stem is woody and stout, with a diameter of about an inch or more. The trunk, which may grow several feet tall, is covered with thick bark.

This variety is represented by small squat plants. It differs from others in that it grows very slowly. The leaves, collected in a bunch at the top, are narrow and long. Caudex seems to spread on the ground. The plant is valuable for its juice, preparations are made from it, which are an antidote for scorpion and snake bites.

Boehmianum – The Boehmianum desert rose has one of the largest leaves in the family of roses. It is a shrub with a caudex of 55-60 mm in diameter. They can be used to make arrows that are poisoned by the juice of this desert rose. In addition, it is the most poisonous desert rose. Substances contained in its juice are capable of causing death. 

Swazikum – The desert rose, Swazikum, is a low shrub that grows to be about 45–50 centimeters tall. The plant grows well as a border in gardens with field herbs, as well as being very popular among gardeners for its unpretentiousness and compactness. The growing season for this plant in the natural environment is short. Many evergreens and long flowering hybrids have been bred from this variety.

Multiflorum-To begins with, the multiflorum is one of the rarest roses for its shape and form. The structure of this rose is unique as it does not have a thickening at the base of the trunk as it reaches for the flowers. A characteristic that makes it a very hardy rose. The multiflorum is also among the most abundantly flowering desert roses. Throughout its height, it has roughly the same thickness and there is no thickening at the roots. During the year, its flowering period lasts on average three months, beginning to bloom four years after planting. In winter, it prefers dry and cool air.

Growing Method

Experts indicate the following methods of reproduction:

  1. Seeds.
  2. cuttings.
  3. Aerial roots.

Stem Cuttings

Stem cuttings are a low-cost and simple way to grow more of your favorite succulents. Source your cuttings from large plants with well-defined leaves. The cutting should be about a half-inch thick, 4 to 6 inches long for leaf propagation, and 1/8 to ¼ inch in diameter. Prepare various pots with dampened soil, then prepare your working area.

Seeds may take much longer than expected to germinate into mature plants. To get started you will need:

  1. You can take a cut from the branch’s end. Cuttings at least 6 inches in length will increase your chances of rooting.
  2. Cuts should not show signs of infection, or appear tired from poor growing conditions.
  3. To allow the wounds dry, place the cuttings in a dry area. The corn prevents the cuttings from becoming infected with the disease.
  4. To stimulate root growth, dip the bottom of the cut in root hormone.
  5. Make sure to prepare your potting soil before you place it in a container that has enough drainage holes to let out excess moisture.
  6. You can improve drainage by adding perlite or sand. Place cuttings upright.
  7. To ensure that cuttings are in a happy flowering environment, keep the medium moist.
  8. The container should be placed in an area that receives at least 6-8 hours of light per day.

Reproduction by Seeds

You can also take seeds from the mother plants. Avoid pods that look like beans. They are more likely to grow in pairs, and then become plump as they mature.

When the seeds germinate, they form a convex thick caudex that protrudes from the ground. It can take several years for the caudex to form.

To avoid any null results, look for certified seeds at specialized nurseries.

Spring is the best season to start desert roses seeds.

Prepare the medium for sowing the seeds by using 50% coconut fiber, peat moss or peat mortar, and 50% sand. You can complete the whole exercise using shallow seed trays.

A heating pad can be added to your garden to accelerate germination if you have the funds. The average seedling will require a steady temperature of 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spread the seeds in a tray, then cover with a thin layer, preferably of sand, of potting soil.

Next, spray the growth medium gently with a spray gun. Continue this process until seeds germinate.

 Reproduction by Aerial Roots

You will need to peel off the bark of the adenium branch into a ring that is 7-13mm in width and let it dry for 15-20 min.

Like money tie, wrap a branch around a rectangular piece of polyethylene with a 15 cm side.

Place the moss on the cut and moisten it with water.

Now, the skirt of polyethylene must be tied above the cut.

You can moisten the moss using a syringe once per week without having to remove the polyethylene

You should inspect the cut at least once every seven days to ensure that the plant does not rot.

It is important to remove any tissue damaged immediately if you find decay.

If a new layer of bark forms on the cut, the procedure can be repeated in order to grow aerial roots.

 When 4-6 roots have appeared, it is recommended to cut off the upper part.  

After that, the sections can be treated with charcoal. The new sprout is then allowed to dry.

Place the plant in a new container.

Desert Rose Care

Adenium is loved not only for its unusual appearance and beautiful flowers but also for its unpretentiousness because it does not require frequent watering, special soil, or special pots. In fact, an adenium can even thrive in a simple container of water. The plant’s leaves are large and thick, and the trunk is wide at the base. This feature enables it to survive in areas that have little water, although it is still essential to provide water for the plant to remain healthy.


  • This plant needs soil that is loose, light, and breathable.
  • This description is best if the soil contains a mix of river sand, peat, and perlite.
  • Charcoal can be added to the mixture for our cold winters.
  • However, it should not exceed 7% of the total mass with antifungal medicines.
  • You can purchase specialized mixtures for cacti.


The best way to water your Adenium is to soak the soil using a watering can with a fine rose nozzle. This allows the water to penetrate more easily but prevents the plant from getting too wet, which could cause root rot.

The frequency of watering will depend on parameters such as the age of the plant, the time of year, and the temperature and humidity in the room.

In the first years of the life of adenium, the formation of a caudex occurs and the plant should be irrigated more often.

During this period, it is recommended that you water your plant at least once every 2 days. Especially when the air temperature in the room is about +30 degrees.

Watering adenium

When the plant sheds its leaves and begins to rest, it needs watering approximately every 9 days.

You can test the soil’s moisture content with a 10-14 cm wooden stick. This can be kept in the pot. You will need to take the stick out and check for damp spots along its length. Once the stick is dry, water should be applied.

To prevent root rot, it is essential that the flower container has drainage.


These indicators should be used to determine the conditions under which the desert rose can thrive and delight the eyes with its bright colors.

  • The temperature range for growth and flowering is between 42 and 42 degrees Celsius.
  • The rest period is between 13-15 degrees above and below zero.
  • Rotting of roots can occur when the temperature drops below +10 degrees.


 The propagation of a plant from one part to another is called transplantation. This method is used in order to improve the quality of the plant and perfect its growth.

Common reasons to have a transplant

  • This plant is very large if the trunk takes up more than three-quarters of the pot.
  • It has been more than 2 years since the last transplant.
  • There is suspicion that the roots may have rotted.
Adenium transplant

One of the most important prerequisites for transplanting is proper care of a plant before relocating it.

The process of transplantation requires special attention and care, because at that time all the processes in the root system are underdeveloped. Therefore, during this period, it is very important to provide maximum protection to the plant from pathogens and other harmful factors.

-The material does not affect the growth process, you can choose ceramic or plastic. But what will be the appearance of the bush will depend on its shape. If planted in a squat and wide pot, then the crown will be sprawling and the trunk will grow powerful.

-There must be drainage. The size of the pot should be selected on the basis that its diameter corresponds to the sum of two trunk diameters.

The main problems in growing

Why does adenium not bloom for a long time?

Provide good light and regular watering, besides, he needs to rest during the winter.

Attention! Adenium obese is one of the most poisonous indoor plants. Aborigines impregnate arrowheads with it. Therefore, it is excluded for cultivation where there are small children and pets.

Why Can Leaves Turn Yellow?

The desert rose is an extremely hardy plant, and one of the few plants that can withstand the harsh weather conditions in arid lands.

It can survive cold temperatures, long droughts, high levels of sunlight, and clay soil. The one thing that it cannot withstand though is water stress.

If it goes without water for too long, then the leaves will begin to turn yellow.

However, if it is given enough water then it will be able to survive the winter and it will start to grow again once spring arrives.

The Trunk of Adenium Has Become Soft, What Is the Reason?

The reason can be both excessive watering and lack of moisture. In this case, it is better to urgently replace the soil in which adenium grows, and be sure to correct the irrigation regime.

A few tips on how to form a beautiful caudex shape. The plant begins to branch at a young age, but more often after flowering. Before the start of intensive growth, you can pinch the branches, but if you overdo it, you get a broom, which is considered bad for the appearance of the bush.

Following the recommendation and properly caring for the desert rose, you can get a wonderful home decoration, pleasing to the eye with bright colors.

How Can I Make Desert Rose Grow Faster?

Making a desert rose grow faster is not easy, but it is possible. Follow these tips to get your flowers blooming within a few months.

Sunlight:  Your desert rose needs a lot of sunlight. Place the plant in direct sunlight from morning until afternoon, with temperatures between 70°F to 100°F. Make sure that it receives as much sunlight as possible, but avoid any exposure to harsh midday rays which can burn the leaves and damage the flower buds.

When the weather changes and temperatures fall to 55°F or below, it will go into a dormant phase.

Water:  Your desert rose is succulent, so water it like one. Water your desert rose deeply once or twice a week to keep it healthy and strong. Make sure that you don’t over-water the plant since succulents do not do well when they are soaking wet for long periods of time. The soil should be completely dry in between watering so that there isn’t any standing water left on the roots and stems after watering.

Fertilizer:  Fertilize your desert rose three times during the first growing season, starting with two weeks after planting, then again after two months, and then again at the beginning of summer before it blooms. Use a balanced fertilizer that has an NPK ratio of 10-10-10 or 12-12-12.

Is Pruning Necessary for Desert Rose?

Pruning is a crucial part of keeping your desert rose thriving. Without pruning, the plant will become leggy and produce long, unattractive stems.

Pruning will also help keep the plant’s growth under control so that it doesn’t become too large for its container.

The best time to prune your desert rose is right after you’ve brought it in for the winter.

Before bringing the plant in for the winter, cut away any dead or damaged leaves and stems. Water and feed it regularly to keep it alive over the cold months.

By springtime, the plant should be ready to be outside again. At this point, prune away any new growth that has sprung up during the winter months to redirect energy into older parts of the plant.

Prune back low-growing branches that are getting shaded by new growth as well, since these branches aren’t likely to produce blooms anyway.

If you want to repot your desert rose at this point, do so while pruning—simultaneously potting and trimming keeps work down to a one-time frame and saves time later on in spring when you have more to do than usual.

Final Thoughts

With so many propagation methods, it is possible to propagate desert roses. Aerial roots actually take some time to develop into plantlets that can be disentangled and replanted.

Propagating seeds is really as easy as sowing the seed and waiting for it to germinate.

However, you have to clean the seeds first so they will not have any bacteria which will destroy the seeds.

Cuttings are also easy. With all these methods of propagating desert roses, you can grow your own plants or give these propagated plants as gifts to your loved ones or friends.

Anwar Hossain

My name is Anwar Hossain. I am a cactus lover, researcher, and cactus blogger.

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