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Desert Rose Flower: Everything you Need to Know

When I first heard the name “Desert Rose,” I imagined a Rose flower growing in a desert.

To my surprise, the Desert Rose was neither a Rose nor in any way connected to a Rose. It was given that name because it blooms beautifully and grows in arid climates.

Generally, Desert Roses have bell-shaped flowers with five lobes and stamens. They produce pink or red flowers during spring and summer, lasting about 7 to 10 days.

Desert Rose
The Desert Rose is a beautiful flower that grows in arid climates.

In Chinese, this plant is called ‘fuguihua (wealth plant)’ as they believe it brings wealth to the owner of this plant.

Continue reading the article to learn about its beautiful flowers, growth habits, and other associated things.

How Often does the Desert Rose Flower? 

Desert Rose is popular for its slow-growing nature and bonsai tree-like appearance.

Its beautiful flower and foliage have been boosting the household decorative aesthetic for a long time.

Desert Rose produces flowers during the spring and summer. Meanwhile, some varieties and cultivars of this plant bloom all year round.

Beginning with a few flowers in late winter, the Desert Rose’s flowering season continues through the summer and fall with new foliage.

Desert rose flower in bloom
Desert Rose flowers can bloom for a long time if they get proper conditions.

Normally, the Desert Rose can bloom for a few weeks. They show annual nature in colder regions and are perennials in frost-free areas.

Your plant must be at least seven to eight months old before blossoming.

The Desert Rose plant can outlive five of your generations, as it can live up to 500 years.

You can also grow and make Desert Roses bloom indoors, but that depends upon the reason you live.

Desert Rose Flower: Overview

Did you know there are over 12 varieties of the Adenium or Desert Rose?

Desert Rose native to Eastern Africa, blooms with trumpet-shaped flowers and swollen trunk like a Cactus.

Go through this table to learn more about the Desert Rose flower!

StructureBell-shaped, each flower having five spreading lobes and five protruding stamens
Size2 inches in width
ColorRed, pink, purple, or white
Flower TypeSucculent
Blooming SeasonSpring and summer
FragranceLightly fragrant
LifespanAbout seven days
ToxicityToxic to pets and humans

Desert Roses may take many years to mature and produce seed pods. It may take eight years to obtain viable seeds.

The Desert Rose flowers can change color depending on the lighting conditions.

The tiny seeds of the Desert Rose are so light that even a slight breeze can carry them away.

Like dandelions, they are attached to fluffy pappus that can easily float in the wind.

Desert Rose Flower Pollination

Natural pollination in the Desert Rose is next to impossible, as the pollinators rarely pollinate this plant.

Desert Rose cannot self-pollinate because the white gel cap below the pollen covers the Stigma, preventing its pollen from falling into it.

Also, you cannot rely on pollinators like bees to do their job. Therefore, now the reigns are in your hand, which means you can experiment and produce hybrids.

Gather all the required materials for pollination and get ready to successfully hand-pollinate your precious Desert Rose.

A person is hand pollinating the flower
Hand pollination is the manual transfer of pollen from the stamen to the pistil.

Steps to Hand-Pollinate Desert Rose

  • Choose a bright sunny day for pollination.
  • Fresh flowers have a better shot at pollination as the pollens are quick to mature.
  • Take a knife or use your hand to tear down the flower and reveal the white anther cone.
  • Remove the said cone to reveal the pollen and Stigma.
  • Take a small paintbrush or a toothpick and collect the pollen.

You may have to skip some flowers as not all the flowers contain pollens.

  • Drop the pollen at the top of the Stigma. Close the flower properly so that no external factors can get inside.
  • Place the plant in a dark and shady area and strengthen your waiting game.

After about five days, the flower will drop off, and you will witness a small pod in that space in about ten days.

Wait for about two months before harvesting the seeds. Before that happens, close the pods properly, or the seeds will fly away.

Here is a clear and easy-to-understand video on pollinating Adenium if you would like a look: 

How to Make a Desert Rose Plant Flower?

It is easy to care for a Desert Rose plant, although it does require some effort. Like other succulents, it requires enough sunlight and adequate watering.

The plant typically blooms during summer, erupting with vibrant pink, rose, or red flowers and bright green leaves.

The following care guidelines can help your Desert Rose blossom more quickly.

  • For ideal growth, the soil should be neutral to acidic with a pH of around 6.0
  • Before watering, allow the soil to dry out completely. The soil should be moist but not saturated.
  • Put the plant where it will get at least five to six hours of sunlight daily.
  • The ideal range to maintain is 60 to 90°F; if the temperature is below 50°F, it will die.
  • Desert Roses require about 40% relative humidity to thrive properly.
  • Provide your Desert Roses with liquid fertilizer rich in phosphorus once a month to produce more flowers.
  • Inspect the plant for pests and illnesses regularly, as it might prevent it from flowering.
  • Repot your Desert Rose once every two years during mid-spring for optimum growth. However, recently repotted plants may not produce blooms. 

Desert Rose may not bloom if it gets improper watering, low sunlight and improper fertilization.

Desert Rose Flower Meaning & Symbolism 

Desert Rose, also known as Adenium, comes from the Latin translation of the Arabic word oddaejn of Aden.

In Chinese, the Desert Rose is called fuguihua, where fu means to reach, gui means majestic, and hua means flower. So, it roughly translates to a flower of wealth.

Desert Rose in a Pot
Desert Rose carries great meaning and symbolism in various parts of the world.

This flower is considered a symbol of good luck in India.

According to Thai legend, if you plant these flowers on Wednesday, you can benefit from this plant’s energy.

We must have heard about Feng Shui. It considers this flower suitable for every home.

Also, due to its ability to sustain even the harshest of conditions, it is the symbol of hope and persistence.

The book ‘The Complete Language of Flowers‘ considers Desert Rose to symbolize death, fiction, illusion and delusion.

Additionally, the thick stem symbolizes fertility, abundance, success, and good fortune.

Let us look at what each color of the Desert Rose signifies.

Red Desert RoseGoodluck, Wealth, Fortune
Pink Desert RoseRejuvenation, Peace, Happiness
Black Desert RoseNo particular meaning as this hybrid is new
White Desert RosePurity, Spirit world, Buddhism, Death

A variety of Desert Rose in Socotra, Adenium socotranum (Aden Rose of Socotra), has grown to a height of 4.6 meters with a trunk 2.4 meters wide.

When it comes to the uses of these plants, we cannot verify their medical benefits. But they are great as ornamental plants.

Common Problems of Desert Rose Flowers

During my tenure with the Desert Rose plant, I encountered problems with their flowers that I had to solve at any cost.

Let us look at your problems and instant solutions to them.

1. Desert Rose Flower Buds Falling Off 

It is unpleasant to witness the beautiful flowers on your plant dropping off.

Flower buds falling off the Desert Rose plant can have many reasons, like pest infestation, acid rain, and lack of nutrients.

Pests like mealybugs and yellow flies can attack your plants and make the buds fall off them.

Additionally, if the rainfall on your plant is contaminated with pollutants and acid, the flowers might prematurely fall off.

The lack of potassium in the soil may cause the plant to die quickly.

To avoid any buds falling off, make sure you regularly check the plant for pests, keep them away from rain and feed them with potassium rich-fertilizer.

2. Desert Rose Flower Buds Turning Brown

Desert Rose flower buds may turn brown due to overwatering. Sometimes after watering, we let the water stay on the plant for too long.

This invites different fungi to the plant, which eventually turns the plant brown.

Desert Rose Turning Brown
Desert Rose flowers are in the process of turning brown due to different anomalies.

So, dry the excess water off the leaves after the watering session.

3. Desert Rose Flowers Not Opening

After going through all the hard work and making the flower appear, it is devastating to see the Desert Rose flower not opening.

The flower not opening up may be due to insufficient sunlight. Keep the plant in a location where it gets full, bright sun for at least six hours daily.

What to do with Desert Rose Flowers?

After successfully growing the Desert Rose flowers, you can sit satisfied… or not… would you maybe want to cut it?

Some people do that so the plant can focus its energy more on growth, not the flower.

Desert rose beautiful flower
You can let the flower stay on the plant and complete its natural cycle.

So, if you want the same, cut the flowers off. Pruning the Desert Rose will have the following benefits.

  • Pruning the Desert Rose will let the plant disseminate the energy for the plant’s growth, which will give the plant a bushy, fuller look.
  • Cutting the stems and flowers of the Desert Rose may also produce more blooms later on.
  • Deadheading the plant will encourage stronger stems in the next growth.
  • If you prune the dead and spent blooms, the plant will have a better appearance.
  • Sometimes trimming the flowers will balance out the plant.

Final Thoughts

The best thing about Desert Rose is its beautiful foliage and flowers. If you are thinking of getting one for your indoors, you can go for it.

Trust me; it is easy to take care of. Good luck!

Read on to learn more about the flowers of Begonia, Cilantro, Daffodil, and Red Sunflowers.

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