The desert rose isn't a rose, and isn't related to the rose family in any way. However, this oddly shaped succulent with a thick trunk and plump branches produces delicate blooms that can rival the beauty of the rose. Although the desert rose can be grown outdoors in warm climates, it does very well as a low-maintenance houseplant, and is sturdy enough to survive occasional neglect.
Plant desert rose in soil that drains freely, because like all succulents, desert rose is susceptible to root rot. A mixture of half cactus potting soil and half sand or perlite works very well.
Place desert rose in bright light, otherwise it will develop a leggy, unnatural shape, and will be more susceptible to disease. In addition, without several hours of light every day, desert rose won't produce blooms. The plant will enter dormancy during the winter months, and at that time indirect light will be adequate.
Water desert rose whenever the soil feels dry to the touch, and then water it deeply. Be sure the planting container has good drainage, and never allow the plant to sit in water. Cut back on watering during the winter months, when desert rose only needs to be watered occasionally. Once every week or two is enough.
Feed desert rose a good quality all-purpose houseplant fertilizer every other week. Use the fertilizer at half strength, according to the instructions on the label. Cut back fertilizing to once a month in autumn, and don't fertilize during the winter months.
Keep desert rose in warm temperatures, especially if you have an outdoor container. If the temperature falls below 40 degrees, bring the plant indoors.