Adenium obesum, or Karoo
Rose, is a succulent
member of the oleander family (Apocynaceae) from Africa and the Arabian peninsula.
It is a stem succulent with beautiful, mostly pink and white
flowers. The individual plants vary in color, but most have a white
center with pink edges and lines in the throat. Recent breeding by
Dr. Mark Dimmitt, of Tucson, Arizona has produced some spectacular hybrid
adeniums with colors different than the species.
However, for the beginner as well as the collector, the flower color of
the species, A. obesum, is just as beautiful as the hybrids.
Care Instructions for
When you receive your Adenium, it should be potted
up into cactus mix immediately and watered in. We suggest a top
dressing of a small gravel to help keep even moisture levels in the soil
and to prevent soil erosion when watering. Adeniums love hot, humid
weather and will grow and flower tremendously when the temperatures are
over 90°. Here in the arid southwest, we can water practically
every day, as long as the plants get excellent light. In most other
places of the country, two to three times a week watering should work
well, although they will survive, but not grow, on much less. For plants in 10 inch pots or larger, they can be put right out into
full sun, but smaller ones should have light shade. Filtered
light and good air movement all day long is ideal for plants of all
sizes. Fertilizing should only be done early and midway
during this growing season, with half strength regular house plant
food. Only fertilize a healthy, actively growing plant. Poor
growth is almost always a sign of poor growing conditions.
Clay, plastic or stoneware pots can be used, but there must be a drainage
hole. A well drained cactus soil should be used. This can
easily be obtained at your local nursery or Home Depot or K-Mart.
Adeniums are stem succulents, so the thickened stem is usually a very
beautiful aspect of the plant. When potting up, I usually remove an
inch or two of soil, to expose more of the interesting, thickened stem
All Adeniums need protection from
cold. When the night temperatures start to dip into the 40's, it is
time to bring them indoors, or under a porch roof in warmer areas.
At this time, watering should be cut back to about once every 4-6 weeks on
6-10" potted plants and no water at all on anything larger. On
smaller than 6" pots, once every two to three weeks should
suffice. At this time, most Adeniums will lose their leaves until
warming temperatures in spring. When new leaves appear, ease into a
full watering schedule for summer.
With this method, there is virtually no place where Adeniums can not be