Planting Adenium Seed


Adenium obesum, or desert rose as it is commonly known, is a sub-tropical perennial flowering succulent related to both the mandevilla and plumeria species. Like other succulent plants adenium requires bright direct sunlight and coarse, easy draining soil to prevent rot to the soft plant tissues. Adenium flowers appear in fall through to spring depending on the varietal grown. The seeds mature after bloom and germinate quickly in just 7 days time; when grown from seed adenium can mature to the point of flower production within 3 years time.

Step 1

Select a planting location in a full sun exposure for best flowering. Plant where drainage is good and on relative high ground compared to low ground where water might pool in the soil.

Step 2

Use cactus soil mix that contains coarse grit, sand, perlite and gravel along with the soil to fill pots or amend the garden ground soil.

Step 3

Push the seeds into the soil mix so that they come to rest approximately an inch down. Cover the seed with soil. Some varietals will prefer a deeper planting but consult the back of your seed packet for exact depth recommended for your adenium.

Step 4

Water the seeds well after planting and keep the soil lightly moist throughout the germination period until you see green shoots. Monitor soil moisture carefully, especially during the summer when daily watering may be required to maintain desired moisture levels.

Tips and Warnings

  • The sap held in the stem and foliage of the plant is highly toxic and can cause severe chemical burns and poisoning if ingested. Always wear gloves when working around the plant as a safety precaution.

Things You'll Need

  • Adenium seeds
  • Hand trowel
  • Nursery pots or trays
  • Commercial succulent mix potting soil
  • Water


  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Florida
Keywords: adenium obesum, desert rose, start plant propagate by seed

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.