Brown spots on adenium plants and desert rose growing

Q: I have a desert rose plant that has done very well until the heavy rains this summer. I have it planted in a 20 gallon bucket. The leaves are turning yellow and falling off. The leaves also get brown spots on them. I re-potted the plant about 2 weeks ago changed  out the soil to a well draining mix. I had been told that it is possibly getting to much water so I have controlled when it gets watered. This is affecting new growth as well as old. It won’t be long before all the leaves drop. PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN…

A: The plants are starting to go into their dormant phase in South Florida. You will loose leaves and they will grow back.  Did you use super thrive when you re-potted the adenium plant to give it a growth boost? 20 gallon pot (if a true bucket I hope you made drain holes in it) seems very large unless the plant has a very large caudex (10″ or large across).

The spots are normal for our area due to high humidity and tons of rain. Our plant racks start at 45″ above the ground to help prevent brown spots (less moisture from the ground). However, due to our very heavy rains this year over 80+ inches you will get some brown spotting. Now that we are so called dry season; I would remove all the adenium plants leaves that have spots on them now. Then over the next couple months the leaves will grow back and them start flowering in Jan/Feb/march time frame. Our office is in Doral but the adenium nursery is in Homestead. We lease a portion of a wholesale palm nursery land to grow the desert rose plants so we are not allow to do retail sales from the nursery. When we grow larger we will open a retail location.Do not worry about loosing all your leaves they will grow back if you properly care for he adenium plant.


10 thoughts on “Brown spots on adenium plants and desert rose growing

  1. I have two desert rose plants I bought from a small nursery in south miami. I repotted them and they did amazing, first spotted, then much leaf growth and now, October into nov they flowered, however then they got lots of yellow leaves and spots. I removed them as you said, what I wonder is now should I keep them inside due to cold snap? Also how wet or dry should soil be? They are in our sun room, should they be in full sun? Thanks so much for your help. Cary brief.

    • We have a mild cool down in October and now another one. The adeniums plants are going semi dormant which will cause leaf loss and sometimes all the leaves. It does not get cold enough to move then indoors in south Florida. It would need to be below 40 degrees for a few days before you need to bring them inside (remember it takes a bit to cool down the soil/ground which radiates heat). You may want to consider getting some Dyan-Grow grow and apply to the plant once a month through February.

  2. I have 2 very mature plants. One is a desert rose about 5 ft high which has leaves turning a golden brown. I have never seen this happen before in the 15-20 I have had this plant. Is it fungus or a diet deficiency?
    The other is similar to a desert rose in that the leaves are similarly shaped but grows differently and has small thorns on the branches. I don’t know what it is. It too is failing. No new growth and leaves in distress.

    Do you have an email address I could send you pictures. I don’t want to lose these too special plants.

  3. June 1st in San Diego, CA. I have 2 Desert Rose that started to leaf out and develop buds. Then leaves started turning brown and buds are falling off. Any ideas ??

  4. I live in the caribbean, mostly sunshine but we get our share of rain sometimes. Some of my desert roses leaves have brown spots then they turn yellow and drop off. The flower buds also turn brown and drop off but if it does produce a flower it is small and looks half dead. Can u help me please.

    • You are in a tropical environment. The brown spots are due to moisture in the air which collect on the leaves and cause brown spots (during summer months). We have the same problem and we use proper fertilizer with micro-nutrients to prevent bud drop off and a fungicide (copper based) for the spots.

  5. hi, I want to know where is your Doral office located? and I bought a small desert rose at home depot, 1 flower that was closed is now open 🙂 but thereres another flower that turned brown? I have the flower in my Son’s bedroom next to the window. and also I would like to know how many times I have to out water???
    thank u

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