If you are particularly fond of bonsai, then the desert Rose is the perfect plant to begin your journey into the Japanese art. Native to Africa, the Middle East and Madagascar, the desert Rose is a succulent with a beautiful, thick caudex and if that wasn’t enough, it blooms into beautiful trumpet shaped flowers. The flowers are found in beautiful hues of coral, white and yellow.
They are easy to grow and can add amazing colour to any space! These are very hardy plants and considering they’re native to the dry deserts, these are drought tolerant and can go without watering for weeks. The plant loves warm climates and can be grown as an indoor desk plant.
Common names: Desert Rose, Impala Lily, Mock azalea, Dwarf Bottle tree.
Scientific name: Adenium obesum
Size: Upto 5 ft tall
Toxicity: Highly toxic to animals and humans
Once a fortnight. During the growing season, watering should be increased to about once a week. The soil should be allowed to dry completely before watering, to encourage bloom. Never let the soil be soggy. The plant is dormant during fall and winter, hence the watering should further be reduced to about once a month.
Bright direct sunlight. Adeniums love light! Place the plant near a window where the sun shines for at least 3 hours. You might need to shift your plant accordingly. You may grow your plant as an outdoor balcony plant too. If you have placed the plant indoors, let it have a day out in full sun every once in a while.
Sandy soil. A gravel filled well drained soil with added sand is ideal. Good aeration is a must.
Average room humidity. Humidity is a factor to be considered the least when it comes to the Desert rose; the drier, the better; but this hardy succulent has proved that it can grow equally well in slightly tropical regions too.
During spring and dummer, add in a slow releasing fertilizer or liquid based garden fertilizer once a couple of months. No feeding required during winters.
The plant can be propagated by cuttings, but a thick,swollen caudex is difficult to achieve. Once the roots have started growing, it’ll take a long time before thick roots develop and can be exposed to give a stylized bonsai look. This plant is great to experiment with grafting.Take at least 6 inches long cuttings and let them dry for about 48 hours . Later, plant in gravelly soil and water thoroughly. Keep in indirect light. Make sure you make slant cuts. Seeds extracted from pods can also be germinated in sandy soil, these usually grow to give a bonsai-like thick caudex.