How to Care for Adeniums


The Desert Rose or adenium species is a succulent with a base like a palm tree and a textured trunk, producing flat, thick leaves and beautiful trumpet-shaped blooms. With proper care and attention to environmental concerns, the adenium will be a dry garden show stopper or a beloved indoor plant.

Step 1

Choose an appropriate container or garden location for this succulent. As it requires high temperatures and little water to thrive, only plant outdoors in areas where temperatures remain above 40 degrees F year round. Pots should have proper drainage holes. The caudex, or enlarged root base, of the adenium will grow steadily as will its roots. Choose a shallow pot with a bowl-like base for best results. Plan to repot every year or two in pace with growth.

Step 2

The plant may be potted in commercial soil, but it should be amended with one third up to one half gravel or coarse sand to aid in drainage.

Step 3

Provide steady, bright sun light during growth cycle. If the potted Desert Rose is brought indoors during the cold weather season, indirect light will encourage a welcomed state of dormancy.

Step 4

Water when the soil is completely dry, unless outdoor temperatures reach 80 degrees F or higher when daily watering may be necessary. If the Desert Rose is not flowering, has yellow leaves or looks stressed, more water may be needed. Drench the soil and allow excess water to drain away, then discard the tray water to prevent rot. During the winter or dormant season, decrease watering to monthly or sparingly as needed.

Step 5

Fertilize using a diluted 20-20-20 blend or slow release mix, applied regularly during the growth season. Suspend fertilization during dormant months to encourage energy storage for bloom production in the following season.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Potting soil
  • Gravel or coarse sand
  • Trowel
  • 20-20-20 fertilizer or slow release fertilizer


  • University of Florida Okeechobee County Extension Service, A Rose for the Ages
  • University of Wisconsin, Desert Rose: The Hot New Houseplant
  • An Adenium Website, Dr. Mark Dimmitt and Andre Williams: The Adenium Pages
Keywords: care of adeniums, adenium care tips, how to grow adenium

About this Author

Desirae Roy began writing in 2009. After earning certification as an interpreter for the deaf, Roy earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Eastern Washington University. Part of her general studies included a botany course leading to a passion for the natural world.