How Do You Care for Desert Rose Plants?

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Caring for a desert rose plant requires full sun, enough water to keep the plant well hydrated and temperatures of at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The desert rose plant requires a slightly acidic soil formulated for succulents and moderate feeding.

The desert rose is a houseplant that does well in sunny windows. Watering is mainly required during the spring and summer months, with the amount of water required by the plant dramatically reduced during the winter months. Because of its succulent nature, the plant must never sit in water.

Because the plant is deciduous, it requires a good level of hydration to hold on to its leaves during the cold season. Cool but not cold indoor temperatures also help it retain its leaves. Owners should feed the plant liquid or time-released fertilizer, applied following the manufacturer's instructions.

Propagation of the desert rose is by seeds, with healthy plants producing pods. As soon as the pod ripens, it is time to plant the seed. Propagation by cuttings is also an option, but the resulting plants tend to lack the prized, bulbous stem of the best type of desert rose.

The desert rose isn't a rose at all, but belongs to the Apocynaceae genus. It's native to the Middle East, Africa and Madagascar. One caveat is that the sap is poisonous.