How to Grow Adenium


The tropical succulent adenium is more commonly known as the Desert Rose. It is not a rose, however, but a member of the Apocynaceae family. The adenium has recently been gaining popularity as the plant has been hybridized in Taiwan and Thailand. Now with various colors and new research, the plant can be easily grown with just a little attention to water and feeding. Grown mostly in containers, this profusely flowering plant with its swollen trunk, is unique and can easily be grown as a medium-sized plant, bonsai or small tree.

Step 1

Cut a piece of screening to fit the bottom of the container so the soil is not washed out at watering. Fill the pot within 2 inches of the top with a tropical potting soil mixture. If you cannot find one, make your own with half coco peat, and half vermiculite and cow manure mixture. Add to that some ground Styrofoam, and ground peanut shells. This will make a very well draining soil for your plant.

Step 2

Push away some soil in the center of the pot and place the adenium at the same level as in the container you purchased it in. Water well to compress the soil around the roots and then add more soil where it may have settled.

Step 3

Place your container in full sun with a little afternoon shade for southern locations. The hot afternoon sun may burn some of the leaves. This plant is not frost-tolerant and must be brought indoors or placed in a heated greenhouse in the winter.

Step 4

Water to moisten the soil in the morning during the spring and summer. Water sparingly in the cooler weather of the fall and winter. Once a week to keep the soil from completely drying out should be sufficient.

Step 5

Feed once a week with a balanced fertilizer and add water soluble micronutrients. These plants are heavy feeders. Read the manufacturer's directions regard to use per size container.

Step 6

Prune the plant back to 2- to 3-inch stubs every two years in the early spring. It will give you fresh growth and many new flowers.

Step 7

Repot adeniums every two years. These plants like a lot of room for their roots. If not repotted, the plant will stop growing and won't flower well.

Things You'll Need

  • Adenium plant
  • Container with drain holes
  • Screening
  • Tropical potting soil
  • 20-20-20 fertilizer
  • Micronutrients
  • Pruning shears


  • Tropical Nursery
  • Adenium India
  • Agriculture Information
Keywords: planting Adeniums, growing a desert rose, caring for succulents

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.