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My Poor Desert Rose

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by Nako on May 06, 2004 07:41 AM
Hi!
I got a desert rose a while ago, and i donno why, but it isn't doing too well >.< One by one, the leaves are turning yellow, and falling off. Can someone help me get my desert rose feeling better? I water it a little bit once every week, keep it under a desk lamp most of the day, and give it two hours of sunlight a day. The room is *thinks* not too humid, but comfortable for people.
Pleeeeeeeeease help me with this one >.< Its my favorite, cuz its so ugly lookin.

~Phoebe

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by Will Creed on May 07, 2004 03:34 AM
Hi Phoebe,

Desert Rose (Adenium obesum) is a succulent member of the oleander family. (Note: Oleander family member plants are poisonous to pets and children.) In fact, many desert roses are actually grafted onto an oleander before they are sold.

The grafted version will grow faster and produce more flowers. The non-grafted form has a bulbous, water-storing stem at the base (called a caudex). The grafted desert rose has a long, thin stem with a grafting lump higher up on the stem.

Desert rose must be in direct sun all year round if you want it to flower. That pretty much limits it to an unobstructed south-facing window. A feak light just won't cut it.

In winter, desert rose has a dormant period during which it should be allowed to dry completely and kept in cool temps (55 to 60 degrees). It will shed most of its leaves during dormancy so donít be alarmed. In the spring, resume normal watering and fertilize sparingly. Flowers usually appear in April and again in September. In late fall, as the light decreases, leaves will start to drop. That is a signal that it is going into its dormant period.

Grafted desert roses can withstand warmer temps in winter and should be fertilized a bit more frequently.

As you can see, this is a "special needs" plant and hard to manage successfully unless you can satisfy its light and temperature requirements.
by Nako on May 09, 2004 05:32 AM
Thank you Will ^.^ I've got the light requirements, but the weather in NH here is sort of changing from freezing in the morning, but clear, to 90 degree weather at night, but cloudy >.o I keep it in my room at a constant 74 degrees in its own little corner of the room next to a window (sealed so wind can't get through it). My desert rose is the one with the big bottom.
What i've been doing lately is just trying to keep UV light (black light) on it. It seems to like that a lot. The leaves stopped dying after i did that ^.^ but i had to move it from the dorms reciently, soooooooooo ya, the leaf fell off again >.< I'll have to get a black light back on it, and set it in another window or something.

Thank you for your help! I really appreciate it *hugz*

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by Will Creed on May 10, 2004 01:51 AM
I think that the improvement in the plant after you put the black light above it is coincidental. Plants don't really use the UV portion of the light spectrum. If it is in a sunny window, then no artificial light is needed.
by Nako on May 10, 2004 04:01 AM
So perhaps moving it is what caused the leaves to turn yellow?

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