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Desert Rose Flower [Meaning + Blooming Tips]

Usually, Desert Rose Flowers are rosy-pink, but their other varieties bloom in different colors. Still, they all have a familiar rosy aroma, grow in arid regions, and require lots of water.

Generally, Desert Roses have bell-shaped flowers with fairly arched and wavy petals, unfurling in spring and summer. They usually blossom reddish-pink flowers 7-8 months after germination, which stay on the plant for 7-10 days. 

Desert Rose Flowers signify durability, but sometimes they may refrain from flowering. So, learn the ways to keep the plant everblooming.

How Often Does Desert Rose Flower? 

Desert Rose, or Adenium species, is famous for its slow-growing nature, succulent stems (caudex), branches, and bonsai-like appearance.

The plant grows ably throughout spring and summer while enjoying a successful flowering spell for several weeks.

However, several varieties bloom year-round, with their flowers staying for 7-10 days, after which they wither and fall from the plant.
Image represents blooming Desert Rose
Desert Rose enjoys a blooming spell in spring and summer, but other varieties bloom even in winter.

They show annual nature in colder regions and are perennials in frost-free areas. Also, your plant must be at least 7-8 months old.

Further, Desert Roses can live for 500 years, outliving many generations.

But to bloom them right in front of your eyes, offer the plant at least 6 hours of direct sunlight and fertilizer monthly in spring and summer.

Desert Roses take a break during the hottest and rainiest months, bloom from early spring to mid-summer, stops for 6-8 weeks and again flowers in early fall.

Desert Rose Flower Overview

Do you know there are only 6 species of Adenium, and all of them are native to torrid regions of Africa?

To lodge in dry habitats, the plant grows fleshy stems that can store water, getting around a meter wide.

Go through this table to learn more about Desert Rose Flower!

StructureInflorescence: Thyrsoid

Shape: 5-Petaled with Tubular Bases

Color: Pinkish-Red, Pink, White or Purple

Fragrance: Fresh Cut Roses

Size: 5-8 centimeters
FamilyApocynaceae (Dogbane Family)
Growing SeasonsSpring and Summer
Blooming SeasonSummer (or twice yearly in Early Spring and Early Fall)
Flower Lifespan7-10 days
ToxicityToxic to Humans and Pets

Though Desert Rose may bloom within a year, it may take a couple of years to bear viable seeds.

Desert Roses may mature within 4 years to produce their first seed pods.

However, the seeds may not be feasible for germination. So, to collect viable seeds from the plant, you may have to wait 8 years!

Furthermore, the tiny Desert Rose seeds have bushy or hairy pappus, making them light and helping them glide in the air.

Desert Rose Flower Pollination

Desert Rose Flowers are botanically ‘perfect,’ meaning they contain both the male and female parts.

Although they have bisexual flowers, self-pollination by insects (bees) is rare.

The plant takes help from raindrops to pollinate, but the rainy season may pass without a single drop of moisture in such a dry climate.

Therefore, now the reigns are in your hand, which means you can experiment and produce hybrids.

However, not all the flowers may have pollen, and you may have to skip some flowers.

Image represents the process of pollinating Desert Rose Flower
Hand pollination is the manual transfer of pollen from the male to the female part of Desert Rose Flowers.

Steps to Hand-Pollinate Desert Rose

  • Choose a fresh flower that is open for 1-4 days. The earlier, the better.
  • Pluck the petals to expose the anther and stigma.
  • Tiny white pollens are present in the sacs, below which lies the stigma (gel cap) covering the receptive surface. 
  • Use a wet toothpick or thin-bristled paintbrush and collect the pollen at the tip.
  • Gently spread the pollens over the receptive surface. Use a good amount to ensure successful pollination.
  • Seal the flower with a plastic bag to secure it from rain, snow, or insects.
  • Place the plant in a dark, shady area and wait for 4-5 days till the flower falls.
  • You will see a small nub in the place of the flower within 7-10 days.
  • After 2 months, you can see the fruit, which appears as a hairy pod or follicle with mature seeds.
  • If the pods crack open, tie them with rubber bands until they mature.

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?

Like other succulents, it requires enough sunlight and a steady watering schedule, with additional requirements.

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

  • Place the plant in bright indirect sunlight for 6-8 hours or near a south-facing window.
  • Water the plant 2-3 times weekly in spring and during summer heat waves.
  • Set the temperature to around 60-75°F and humidity levels between 40% and 50%.
  • Offer highly porous soil with a pH hovering around 6-7.
  • Feed the plant monthly with a diluted balanced liquid fertilizer in spring and summer, but refrain in fall and winter.
  • Prune the plant in late winter or early spring to remove the spent leaves.
  • Use neem oil sprays to deter pests (aphids, scales, spider mites, and mealybugs) and diseases (root or stem rots and leaf spots). 

Desert Rose Flower Meaning & Symbolism 

Desert Rose, also known as Adenium, comes from the Latin translation of the Arabic word ‘oddaejn,’ meaning ‘of Aden,’ the original place where the plant was found first.

In China, the Desert Rose is called ‘fuguihua,’ where ‘fu’ means to reach, ‘gui’ means exquisite, and ‘hua’ means flower. So, it roughly translates to a ‘flower of wealth.’
Image represents a potted Desert Rose plant
The swollen stems of the Desert Rose symbolize fertility and abundance.

Moreover, 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.

Also, this flower is suitable for every home as it grants positive feng shui beliefs.

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

The thick stem symbolizes fertility, abundance, success, and good fortune.

The book, ‘The Complete Language of Flowers,’ symbolizes Desert Rose as death, fiction, illusion, and delusion.

Since the flowers are available in many colors, each shade has a separate meaning, as mentioned in the table below.

Flower ColorMeanings
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

Common Problems of Desert Rose Flowers

Desert Rose can face many curbs while flowering if you under or overdo their cultural requirements.

1. Desert Rose Flower Buds Falling Off 

Reasons: Pest (yellow flies and mealybugs), acid rain, extreme foliar fertilizer application, and lack of nutrients (potassium).


  • Use isopropyl alcohol to dab the pests.
  • Avoid nitrogen-based fertilizers during flowering seasons.
  • Spray fresh tap water to wash off the raindrops from the buds and leaves.
  • Ramp up potassium-rich fertilizer during summer. 

2. Desert Rose Flower Buds Turning Brown

Reasons: Poor watering schedule and pests. 


  • Avoid wetting the flower buds while watering or wipe them off post-watering.
  • Use strong water splashes to toss the bugs from the leaf undersurface and around the petioles or flower stalks.
Image represents the flower buds of Desert Rose
Due to low light, the flower buds of Desert Rose may not open up and prematurely drop off from the plant.

3. Desert Rose Flowers Not Opening

Reasons: Underwatering and inadequate lighting.


  • Keep a strict watering schedule with moist soil.
  • Place the plant about 6-12 inches away from grow lights for 12-14 hours daily if there is no adequate sunlight.

What to do with Desert Rose Flowers?

Some people cut the Desert Rose Flowers to focus their energy on growth.

Also, you need to remove the blooms that fail to pollinate and fruit with diseased leaves and old branches.

Moreover, you can deadhead the blooms throughout the season for more prolific blooming.

Image represents a Desert Rose Flower
If the blooms of Desert Rose are left to stay on the plant, they can pollinate and enter the fruiting phase to bear seed pods.

Moreover, the best time to trim Desert Roses is in late winter or early spring when the plant is actively growing.

  • Pick the brown and crisp blooms from the plant manually.
  • Remove the injured or diseased leaves or aged branches by cutting them about 2-4 inches above their growth point on the caudex or main stem.
  • Gash the passive buds using sterilized razors.
  • Discard the dry or non-viable fruits, and groom the plant by pinching the yellow or brown leaves.

From Editorial Team

A timely watering schedule is crucial for succulents like Desert Roses as they are susceptible to root rots, which hinder their flowering.

So, the bottom-watering approach, well-draining soil, and spacious legroom are key takeaways to ensure seasonal, vibrant blossoms. 

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