To water or not to water? I have some adeniums over 15 years old. I always wondered why they did not grow into the huge desert roses grow in Thailand and India that are only a few years old. One of the biggest misconceptions if show much to water the desert rose adenium plants. First, Thailand is a tropical area not a desert. They get tons of rain and so do their adeniums – the common name desert rose. So why do people have problems and the mis-conception that desert roses need to be treated as cactus?
Yes, adeniums are succulents, but succulents are found in all climates from the tropical areas to the frozen north. They have adapted and survived. Case in point is that prickly pear cacti that thrive in the deserts and in Canada. Yes, the climate of where you are growing your adeniums is the key to how much water. If you grow then in a tropical environment or a greenhouse setup with a tropical climate then with the proper soil you can deeply water your desert rose’s everyday during the growing season! If you live in the north you may want to consider prolonging the growing season for you desert roses by providing supplemental light as the days get shorter for your adeniums if you have a green house.
Beyond watering adeniums during the hot season you need to make sure the plant experiences a dormancy cycle. I live in Florida so the dormancy may only be a month or two but it is critical fro you adeniums. Also, do fertilize and use time released on your desert roses. I haev used various cacti adenium fertilizers over the years and found 20-20-20 works, 10-20-20 and others well here during growing season of the desert rose. Yes, may people say to use 7-10-10 or even 5-10-10. You will need to experiment in your area when growing your adeniums desert rose plants. Presently, I’m using 14-14-14.