Desert Rose Plant Care

A Rose that can Withstand Harsh Conditions

Desert Rose-desert-rose-plant-care
Desert Rose

If you are looking for a plant that is easy to maintain yet produces beautiful flowers then the desert rose is the plant for you. Many years ago I had the wonderful task of maintaining a few of these plants for a  private home that sat on a beautiful golf course that had such a breathe taking view this home was stylish and very classy. I would spend days installing, cleaning, grooming, watering, and fertilizing the garden plants that graced this mansion.

One of the plants that the homeowners had as part of their interior plantscape was a few desert roses that we paid very little attention to. Believe me when I tell you that we gave more attention to the other plants why because the desert rose plant is a low maintenance plant which can save you time and money, just install them and they will go for themselves. With that said we will be looking at the care of the desert rose plant.

Things you must know about the desert rose plant

  • Plant Location
  • Soil Type
  • Water Requirements
  • Fertilizing Methods
  • Garden insect pest
  • Disease
  • Places to grow desert rose

Planting Location

As the name denotes the desert rose performs well in full bright sunlight when installing seek out an area that meets these conditions and your desert rose will be happy.

The soil type

Because these plants are desert plants they are low maintenance which means they can survive on very little water with that said the soil should have good drainage. Adding salt-free sand or a soil mix that promotes good drainage to your garden soil will work wonders.

How much water?

The water requirement for a desert rose is not much, the soil should be a little moist.

Fertilizing Methods

What I love about the desert rose is this drought-tolerant plant needs a small amount of fertilizer to thrive. A  liquid feed fertilizer of triple twenty once a month is good. Before using fertilizers read and follow the manufacturer’s label because the label is the law.

Garden insect pests

Though these plants are great to have desert rose do have its share of insect pests which include mealybugs,  aphids, scales, and spider mites. To control these garden insect pests the use of insecticidal soaps or homemade remedies may offer some help. When using chemicals apply when the weather is cool to avoid plant damage and read the manufacturer’s label and follow because the label is the law.

Diseases of the desert rose

Leaf Rot

Leaf rot occurs when water is constantly wetting the plant’s leaves because of the wrong watering methods or watering too late in the evening where dark sets in and the leaves do not have time to dry. When watering your desert rose water during the early morning hours so leaves can have time to dry also when watering try not to wet the leaves. Control measures include the removal of the infected leaves and properly discarding off them.

Root Rot

Root rot occurs because of overwatering. Remember desert rose survives on very little water, the soil should be more on the dry side or a little moist. If you have overwatered your desert rose remove the soil and replace it with fresh dry well drain soil. Wait about 5-7 days before applying water to your plant. Remember a little moisture is all they need to thrive.

Stem rot disease

A disease to keep an eye out for is stem rot. This disease is caused by a fungus, the part of the stem that is infected may be yellow or black and if this disease is allowed to continue decay will set in with the infected area being somewhat dry and wet. The infected part should be pruned back to sound or healthy wood.

The infected part should be disposed of and the pruner that performed the operation should be sterilized with a mixture of bleach and water. 2 tablespoons of bleach added to a cup of water. Soak a piece of clean rag in this solution and gently wipe the blades of the pruner so the disease won’t spread to other plants.

Here are a few areas where your desert rose will do well

Remember the areas chosen should get plenty of sunlight.

1. Desert rose can be installed alongside porches.

2. Will do well in patio areas.

3. Can be installed in your garden

4. Place in containers and moved to areas such as the entrance of doorways.

Container grown desert rose

1. When growing desert rose in containers ensure that the container is large enough for your plant to sit and grow comfortably.

2. The potting soil should be well-drained soil as stated above.

3. The container should have drain holes to allow excess water to drain.

4. Follow watering and fertilizing procedures as stated above.

5. Eliminate garden insect pests as stated above.

I have a desert rose in a container that is on my porch for a few years now and to be honest with you since I installed it, I rarely water it and it is doing great, whenever we get some rain because of how the pot is positioned that is how it gets its drink of water. Having these plants around the home is really a time saver.

The final word

The desert rose is worth the investment, this garden beauty can take a licking and keep on going strong. These beauties are sure to brighten up a garden with their beautiful flowers so consider adding these rose to your garden design to brighten up your spring garden. Trust me you will be glad that you did.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

5 thoughts on “Desert Rose Plant Care”

  1. Thanks for the info on the Desert Rose. It sounds like a very hardy plant. I was wondering if it will survive as well indoors, and where to locate it if it can be indoors? Also, you talked about the size of the pot, but could you be more specific?

    How big does the Desert Rose get? Do you have any suggestions of what to plant with it? Will other plants survive in the same pot?

    Your description of care was thorough and easy to read and understand. I appreciated the length of the article. Just long enough to get the information I needed.


    Have a great day!

    • Hello, Tom so happy to meet you and I am so happy that I could help. The desert rose is a pretty amazing plant. The desert rose if grown on the inside needs lots of sunlight, The size of the plant should fit comfortably inside the container if you have a 3-gallon desert rose then the container should be 5 gallon to accommodate the pot.

      The desert rose can grow to about two-five feet. Desert rose can grow with other plants as long as the plant is a drought tolerant plant. But for me, I love to grow the desert rose by itself as a stand-alone or specimen plant. I am so happy that I could help and if I can be of further assistance please drop me an email. All the best to you and have a good day.

  2. Putting into consideration that I come from very dry region  and. Rain is hard thing to come by  that makes me to be very attentive in what you have just told me. My wife was  complaining nothing seems to work with his choice of  flowers they all withers and dry up even before you can notice  their was flowers .Now I have good surprise for her with a bunch of those flowers I know she will love it.

    • Hello and so happy to hear from you. Desert rose are great because these plant can survive for a very long time on small amounts of water. Your wife will surely be surprised and be in for a treat with this plant. I will love to hear her response. All the best of success and have a good day.


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