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Caring Adenium Obesum Bonsai or Known More as Desert Rose

Caring Adenium Obesum Bonsai or Known More as Desert Rose

Growing and caring bonsai has become the most people favorites hobby since it can boost the happy mood. There are many plants can be growth as bonsai, one of the most favorite among bonsai lover are Japanese maple and Adenium obesum or desert rose.

Growing bonsai indeed needs more care than other plants and different plants also require different care.

Adenium obesum or commonly known as the desert rose is considered as one of the favorite plants to grow as bonsai. Desert rose is a kind of succulent bush which is commonly found in Arabia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam and Africa.

adeniumobesumordesertroseHowever, it also can easily be found in other countries as well.

The Adenium obesum is a kind of succulent tree which can grow 8 m in the wild.

It has fleshy leaves and the flowers are very impressive in white, pink, and some red in open trumpet shaped.

Caring Adenium obesum bonsai needs special attention as the other type of bonsai.

Since it is originated from places with full sun coverage and hot temperature; then if you are living in four season country, it can be quite hard to grow the plants.

However, giving Adenium obesum bonsai special care will help the plants to last for years.

Read: What you have to know when growing and caring Japanese Maple Bonsai tree

Adenium Obesum Bonsai Care

There are several points to remember when growing and caring Adenium obesum bonsai to make it last for years and grow healthily. You can grow Adenium obesum bonsai from seeds or buy the already grown plant.


1. Placement

For Adenium obesum bonsai, placement gives lots of role for its growth. For tropical countries which receive a huge amount of sunlight every year, Adenium obesum bonsai’s placements should never be a problem as long as it receives a good amount of sunlight.

adeniumobesumflowersWhen you grow the Adenium obesum bonsai in four season country you should pay more attention to its placement.

During spring, summer and autumn, Adenium obesum bonsai should be placed outside such as balcony, terrace, patio or garden will do well for it.

The most important point is it receive a good amount of sunlight.

During winter, you should bring the Adenium obesum bonsai inside but still facing the source of the natural sunlight.

Placing it by the window which is facing south, west or east will be great. Moreover, a few hours or more of sunlight each day will be great for it growth. Usually during winter, Adenium obesum bonsai will defoliate it leaves except the tropical country.

2. Watering

Adenium obesum bonsai is not the type of plant which requires a huge amount of water. It does need water but not in a huge amount. If the plant does not receive enough amount of water; flowering cannot happen. This plant is a drought tolerant type and it stores the water supply in the swollen base in the root.

Avoid watering it right in the base part since it is easy to rot. When the swollen base and the root are rot; it is hard for it to recover. Adenium obesum bonsai can be watered every 7 to 10 days; you can increase the intensity when it is flowering and decrease the intensity during winter.

3. Soil

Adenium obesum bonsai requires well-drained soil which can quickly drained after watering such as coarse river sand. You can also add some farm compost with the ratio 1:1 or you can make your own composition but remember not to make it too wet or dry.

adenium bonsai

4. Repotting

This plant is considered as a slow growing plant; therefore it does not really need to periodically repotting. You just need to repot after the root fill the pot to provide Adenium obesum bonsai with fresh soil. When you repot this plant, you have to do it in the middle of summer when the temperature is quite hot.

Adenium obesum bonsai tends to drop it leaves as a sign of dormancy during winter. It also will drop the leaves when lack of sunlight, low temperature, and dry soil.

adenium obesum bonsai pink flower

However, in some conditions when it stress or frighten; it will also drop the leaves. When this happen to your bonsai, you should pay extra attention to it. Almost all the part of Adenium obesum bonsai contains toxic; therefore you should keep it away from children and pets.


adeniumobesumflower adeniumobesumbonsaiflower adenium obesum bonsai red flower adenium obesum bonsai white flower


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2 thoughts on “Caring Adenium Obesum Bonsai or Known More as Desert Rose

  1. Debrah / says :

    Thank you for the great instructions. Is that first picture one that you grew? What ratio of fertilizer would you use? What NPK ratio? The one I was using is 10-52-10. But I have only seen it flower once in the 15 years that I have owned it! Maybe I have not been watering it enough, like you said 7-10 days. I have re-potted it recently with a mixture of sand and soil. Last summer I put it outside and the leaves actually burned from the heat or sun, I thought that was weird since it is a desert plant. I live in Utah where it is dry and gets up to 98 degrees Fahrenheit in Summer. 🙂 Any help you can offer would be much appreciated!

    • Stacia / says :

      Thanks Debrah, although Adenium is a desert plant, but if you want the plants to flourish, it is not advisable to continue being outdoors during the summer because the temperature in Utah reached 98 F. Besides, due to the hot weather, yellowing of the leaves also can be caused by nutritional deficiencies. You are also advised to do regular watering, do not wait for the soil to dry completely.

      For general growth in small plants, I was using NPK 15-15-15 or 15-5-5, while for flowering plant use NPK 8-24-24.

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