Desert Rose — A Summer Flowering Plant That Thrives in High Heat
High heat plants are a plus when you find yourself in the middle of a summer heat wave. The Desert Rose, or adenium, is one of those plants that thrive under high heat. This amazing plant is grown for its showy flowers and for its bulbous trunk or caudex.
Adeniums are arid land plants native to sub-Saharan Africa and are grown as ornamentals that boast both unusual colors and unique forms to create spectacular floral displays. Since they tolerate dry conditions, they are well suited for the home environment being able to tolerate quite a bit of neglect. In the winter time when grown inside, keep temperatures high, preferably above 60˙F, although they can take it a bit cooler if grown very dry. But when you are growing them outdoors in the summer, the hotter, the better. Air temperatures above 70˙F ensure that your adenium will thrive.
Adeniums are either seed grown or grafted. The seed grown varieties take longer to get the attractive caudiciform trunk. We love the grafted varieties because the hybrid is grafted onto the already attractive caudex and soon you will have a complete specimen to make an outstanding display.
Soil moisture is an important consideration in adenium culture. Their common name, Desert Rose, speaks to their ability to thrive with less water. Adeniums can tolerate higher moisture levels without harming the plant, as long as the temperatures are warm. As a general rule, be sure to let the soil dry out in between waterings and then thoroughly saturate the potting mix. Do not over-water adeniums when they are in their inactive growth phase during the winter months. If the soil is kept too moist, root disease can become a problem. A good rule to remember when growing adeniums is that high temperatures and full sun require more water and in cooler temperatures, the plants need less water.
Adeniums are sensitive to too much fertilizer so we recommend every fourth feeding to leech the soil with clear water. Only during the active growing season should a balanced fertilizer with phosphorous (middle number) be slightly higher since it will help boost the bloom production.
We love the variety of Desert Roses available today with increased hybridizing. Some have single flowers and others are double but whichever you choose, the shape of a multi-petaled flower similar to a classic rose is sure to delight the gardener. Here are some of our favorite adeniums:
‘Red Picotee’ is seed grown variety. It has prolific red and white flowers that bloom during the long, warm days of summer so it adds a splash of color wherever it’s grown. Like all adeniums grow in a sunny, warm, dry spot which mimics its native habitat.
‘Double Black Asia’ has a couple strong features. First, the double blooms are outstanding with their vibrant red and dark maroon swirls of color on the petal edges. And, second, this is a grafted variety that is two years old and already has a well-formed caudex. Adeniums can be grown tight in a pot for years and the flower color may be slightly lighter with younger plants.
‘Yellow Fragrance’ has beautiful double yellow flowers with bright red striping throughout each petal. It’s the first lightly fragrant Desert Rose, making it very special indeed. Flowers have more pronounced pink highlights as they age.
Growers have been trying to hybridize plants with black flowers for years and ‘Black Window’ was a sensational success. Its double flowers are maroon-black in color and it has a prolific ability to bloom non-stop during the active growing season.
Thanks for visiting Logee’s and learning about our favorite high heat plants. Before you go, please be sure to explore our selection of fruiting, rare and tropical plants. And don’t forget to request your free Logee’s catalog, too! You can learn more below about the adeniums mentioned in this article:
- Desert Rose ‘Red Picotee’
- Desert Rose ‘Double Black Asia’
- Desert Rose ‘Yellow Fragrance’
- Desert Rose ‘Black Window’