How to Prune Adenium


Adenium is a succulent also known as desert rose, impala lily, Sabi star and mock azalea. According to the University of Wisconsin Department of Horticulture, adeniums are a small group of plants native to dry climates in sub-Saharan Africa and the very southern part of the Arabian Peninsula. While adenium rarely requires pruning, a good pinching or cutting back will give you more branches and increased blooms.

Step 1

Pinch your seedling adenium during periods of vigorous growth to get a well-branched plant, Tropical Nursery recommends. Trim back the seedling's branches to 1-inch stubs, just where the green starts above the base. Always wear gloves when pruning adenium.

Step 2

Use garden snips to prune long, leafless stems in the spring. This will promote new growth and boost flower production, Tropica Nursery says. It's also a good time to repot the plant with fresh soil.

Step 3

Cut off roots from overly large root systems at the junction with the adenium's trunk. If you're transplanting your adenium, this will help you ease the plant into its new pot, give you more room for fresh soil and also spur new growth.

Tips and Warnings

  • All adeniums have highly toxic sap, the University of Wisconsin warns. When pruning your plant, wear gloves, wash your hands immediately when finished and call your doctor if you get sap in your eyes.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden gloves
  • Snips, scissors or shears


  • University of Wisconsin Department of Horticulture: Desert Rose
  • Tropica Nursery: Adenium
Keywords: adenium, pruning adenium, pruning succulents

About this Author

Aileen Clarkson has been an award-winning editor and reporter for more than 20 years. Clarkson graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She has worked for several newspapers, including "The Washington Post" and "The Charlotte Observer."