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Desert Rose 'Adenium arabicum'

$1.32 USD

Welcome to the world of Adenium arabicum - a stunning, popular evergreen flowering succulent whose thick stem naturally forms into a bonsai tree.  It is commonly known as a desert rose, but it is not a real rose, but has beautiful flowers like a rose.

While there are several types of desert rose, the two most popular ones are Adenium arabicum and Adenium obesum.   Out of these two Arabicum is our favorite and is known for its thick swollen caudex and delicate pink or white flowers; while the obesum  version does not have a thick stem but several smaller stems and boasts larger blooms in a variety of colors ranging from deep reds to vibrant yellow, pink or even white.   

Native to the Arabian Peninsula, this desert rose can reach a height of 9 feet. The Adenium arabicum is the most commonly used desert rose plant for desert rose bonsai trees because it has a natural tendency to form a thick, swollen base known as a caudex. This caudex can be trained and shaped over time to create interesting and unique bonsai specimens. It is sometimes referred to as an elephant's foot plant because of this thicker, larger caudex that stores water.  

The leaves of this desert rose plant are wider and thicker than obesum, with fine silky hairs on the leaf surface that grow in clusters at the end of the stems, distinguishing it from the (desert rose).  This light green leaves color can turn reddish or purple in response to stress. 

The most striking feature of the desert rose adenium arabicum is its flowers. It produces clusters of large, showy flowers that are usually pale pink or white but can also be red, yellow, or striped. The flowers have five petals and a prominent central tube, and they bloom from late spring to the summer or early fall. 

The Adenium arabicum plant is deciduous, shedding its lower leaves and flowers after the growing season. But don't worry, this is preparation for winter, as the adenium arabicum plants enter a dormant stage. However, it is toxic if ingested, so it should be kept away from children and pets. 

Watering Needs 

The Adenium arabicum is adapted to survive in arid conditions. As such, it has a low water requirement, and overwatering can lead to root rot and other problems. In general, it is best to water the adenium desert rose thoroughly, but infrequently. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings and be sure to use a well-draining soil mix to prevent water from pooling around the roots. 

During the growing season, which typically lasts from spring to fall, the adenium arabicum may require more frequent watering. However, even during this time, it is important not to overwater the plant. In general, it is better to err on the side of underwatering than overwatering, as the desert rose is more likely to recover from drought than from waterlogged soil. 

Light Requirements

The Adenium arabicum is a sun-loving desert rose plant that requires bright, direct sunlight to thrive. In its native habitat, it grows in full sun, and it is adapted to withstand the intense heat and light of the desert. As such, it should be placed in a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. If grown indoors, it should be placed near a south-facing window or under artificial grow lights. 

While the Adenium arabicum can tolerate some shade, it will not bloom as well in low light conditions. If a new pot of this bonsai desert rose is not receiving enough light, it may become leggy and weak, and it may not produce flowers at all. If you notice that your adenium plant is not thriving, try moving it to a sunnier location or supplementing its light with grow lights. 

Optimal Soil & fertilizer Needs

This desert rose plant prefers a well-draining potting soil mix that is rich in organic matter. Planet Desert specializes in succulents and has that includes an organic substrate with mycorrhizae to help with the growth of a healthy root system to help your succulents thrive. Avoid using heavy clay-based soils because they can retain too much water and cause root rot. 

The Adenium arabicum is a slow-growing plant that does not require frequent fertilization. In general, it is best to fertilize it sparingly, using a balanced fertilizer that is formulated for succulent plants. A slow-release natural fertilizer or liquid fertilizer with an equal mix of NPK (5-10-5) can be applied once a year during the growing season. Be sure not to over-fertilize the plant, as this can lead to rotted or dead roots and other problems. 

Hardiness Zones & More

The desert rose plant is hardy in USDA zones 10-11. It prefers warm temperatures and cannot tolerate frost or freezing temperatures. Ideally, it should be kept indoors in temperatures between 60-85°F. It can tolerate higher temperatures, but care should be taken to protect it from direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day.

The Adenium arabicum is adapted to arid conditions and prefers low humidity. It can tolerate some humidity, but high humidity can lead to problems with fungal diseases and other issues. In general, the adenium plant prefers a relative humidity of 30-50%. If you live in a humid area, be sure to provide good air circulation around it to prevent moisture from building up on the leaves and stems. 

We think you will love this bonsai plant order your very own Adenium arabicum today and start enjoying its beauty in no time! 

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