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How to Grow Adenium Obesum From Seeds

By Sarah Terry ; Updated September 21, 2017
Desert rose (Adenium obesum)
desert rose image by SSGuess from Fotolia.com

Adenium obesum, also known as the desert rose, is a multi-trunked shrub-like tree with a large, wide base. Native to the semi-arid regions of Southwest Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, the Adenium obesum blooms with trumpet-shaped, pink and white flowers and has long, glossy, green leaves. The desert rose enjoys drier, hotter conditions and can be grown outdoors only in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 through 11, where winter temperatures don’t drop below 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Growing Adenium obesum from seeds is simple, requiring no special pretreatment to get the seeds to germinate.

Fill a seed tray with a mixture of equal parts peat moss, coarse sand and organic compost or sterile potting soil. Make a 3- to 4-inch layer of the potting mixture in the seed tray.

Spread the Adenium obesum seeds on the potting mixture surface, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Barely cover the seeds with the potting mixture.

Water the Adenium obesum seeds to thoroughly moisten the potting mixture in the seed tray. Water the seeds once every week, only when the potting mixture is almost dry.

Maintain air temperatures around the Adenium obesum seeds of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Move the seed tray into full sunlight when the seeds germinate and begin to sprout.

Transplant the Adenium obesum seedlings when they have at least three sets of “true” leaves, which are the larger leaves that emerge after the smaller seedling leaves. You can usually transplant the seedlings about one month after planting the seeds.


Things You Will Need

  • Adenium obesum seeds
  • Seed tray
  • Peat moss
  • Coarse sand
  • Organic compost or sterile potting soil
  • Planter pots, 10-inch diameter


  • Transplant the Adenium obesum seedlings into individual 10-inch planter pots that have drainage holes in the bottom. Plant the seedlings into a potting mixture of two parts peat moss and one part coarse sand.


  • Be careful when you're pruning or handling broken Adenium obesum plants, because the sap is poisonous.

About the Author


Sarah Terry brings over 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.