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Adenium Obesum Flowers and Seed Pod

On a recent visit to the Garfield Park Conservatory I came across this potted Adenium obesum which made me realize just how much I've neglected my own Desert Roses this year. I have yet to officially try to bring them out of dormancy, even though they are leafing out on their own.

Adenium obesum, Desert Rose

Notice how the branches on this Desert Rose have been trimmed and the branches that cross or grow towards the inside of the plant's crown have been removed. I really like this effect and will trim mine because it looks realistic.

Adenium Obesum, Desert Rose FlowersA closer view of the flowers on the Adenium obesum. The flowers are beautiful and illustrate why this succulent plant is called a Desert Rose. Even when not in bloom, I think this is one of my favorite plants and the caudex provides enough interest for the indoor gardener. See how the plant buds on new growth? Make sure not to trim the tips when it starts to grow or leaf out in the Spring.

Adenium Obesum, Desert Rose flower seed podHere a closer look at a seed pod on another Adenium obesum in the collection of the conservatory. The seeds have been dispersed but if you're lucky enough to get seed pods to produce there are a couple of methods for saving the seeds from Adenium that you can employ. Cover the seed pod with either a paper bag or with a fabric like muslin or an old pair of pantyhose.

Previous Posts on Adenium Obesum:
Adenium Obesum Care
Adenium Obesum Seedlings
Adenium Obesum Propagation by Cuttings
Pink Adenium Obeseum Flower


  1. Very interesting, Mr. MBT -- I've had Desert Roses for years and never had a seed pod. I wonder why? Now that you've piqued my curiosity I'll have to go figure that one out. Mine is in full bloom, but my photo didn't make the cut for the GBBD post today! I'll try again tomorrow.

  2. I will have to have one of these now...they are so beautiful!

  3. This is so strange. Just this morning when I was watering my plants, I told my neighbour about my Desert Rose that has not produced any seed pod yet and now, I see one here ha ha ;-)

  4. Wow a plant I've never had - I am going to keep my eye open for a Desert Rose. Beautiful blooms!

  5. You have some of the coolest plants MBT! I've never seen a desert rose before. They're really pretty. I don't remember seeing them at the conservatory . . . guess that means I'll have to go back! ;)

    I'll probably have Sting's "Desert Rose" in my head all day now - (might be a nice change from "Pretty Woman!")

  6. Is it wrong to like the seed pod even more than the flowers?! :)

  7. The Desert Rose is a very pretty plant, I have one and still waiting for it to bloom.


    1. Anonymous1:35 PM

      FULL sun and lots of water...Outside is best in the summer...I'm in Georgia and it eats up the sun..and blooms like crazy.....Hope it helps...a "little cactus liquid fertilizer" is great for it to....

  8. Mr. Brown Thumb Hello you! Thank you for visiting my blog! I'm glad I got that song stuck in your head! ( tehe ) What a wonderful post and such beautiful captures of the gorgeous Desert Rose! Thank you so much for sharing and have a fantastic, relaxing evening! xo~

  9. I don't know this plant...but it's quite lovely and the way it grows is fascinating~~gail

  10. Love your desert rose! I just got a cutting from an 'evergreen frangipani,' which is supposedly somewhat like a desert rose but it keeps it's leaves longer and has white blossoms. I think the desert roses are so pretty when they bloom!

  11. Very pretty.

    This makes me wish I knew how to garden.

  12. @Diana,

    Now you got me wondering too. You should have plenty of pollinators in your area. I mean if the A. obesums in the GPC can be pollinated under glass why not yours. Hmmm.


    I got all three of mine at Wal-Mart/Home Depot a couple of years back. Online they are sooo expensive. I only paid three bucks for mine.


    LOL, it seems garden bloggers get the same plants on their minds at the same time.


    Good luck, see comment above to Julie about where I scored mine.

    @Garden Girl,

    Yeah, I had planned to go back to get a better pic but forgot all about it. LOL @ "Pretty Woman." I had it in my head for days.


    In this case, yes, it is. :0)

    @Outside in,

    Let me know when you post pics of yours.

    Hi, don't mention it. Was my pleasure to visit your blog.

    Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.


    The Frangipani is similar in that they are both coveted by indoor growers who like showey flowers. I've never had a Frangipani and wonder how they would do in one of my windows.

    You don't need to know how to garden, just try a few plants in a window and it will come to you. Like story ideas when you're holding pen & paper.

  13. the flowers are beautiful!

    <3 Lindsay

  14. Great to see the pics. I grow my own Adeniums from seed - & successfully too. In winter I have to take great care as temperature plummets close to or blow 0 degrees C. I hope to post some pics of my plants.

  15. Hi Raju,

    Let me know when you post your pic. Can't get enough of this plant myself.

  16. Wow, what a fine specimen. I am a cook more than a gardener so my own Desert rose looks sad in comparison. It flowers nicely but I have never paid attention to trimming so it doesn't branch out very nicely. Also I have never seen it produce seed pods. This plant is almost impossible to kill - unless of course you overwater it - hmm and even then I've had my plant recover after being left out doors during the rainy season here in the tropics.

  17. Hi Wizzy,

    I should post pics of another one in the same garden. It has to be at least six feet tall. One of my own is currently blooming and I'll post pics later.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  18. I would like to share photos of my desert rose. Where can I send them?

  19. Woodpilot,

    Since you have a Blogger account why not create a blog where you can post the pictures of your plant? Alternately, you can upload them to flickr or some other hosting service and share the link in the comments.

  20. ibought a dersert rose 3 year ago in shelby gardens in sarasota fla.thissummer in my back yard in my plant had over 50 flowers. now in my house for the winter. all day southern in nov. it has made10 seedpods some with2 sectoins some 13 innches long. by the way i live in chicago.

  21. Hi Jeff,

    Sounds like you have an awesome plant there. Good luck with your seeds.

  22. Linda9:31 AM

    I have a seed pod on my desert rose. I've had it for about 4 yrs. My seed pd is green now and I going to try to retrieve the seeds. This so cool because I've done gardening in Maine and this new to me but I'm in Florida now and am trying to learn.

  23. @Linda,

    Congrats on your bloom!

  24. Dear Mr. Brown,

    Will seeds still germinate if it is already 3 weeks old after the pods are removed from the plant? The seeds were is already brownish and I am worried if it is too late for germinating. Thanks.

  25. Espoh,

    I think you still have plenty of time. The seed is still pretty fresh.

  26. espoh8:51 AM

    Dear Mr. Brown,

    Thank you for your response. It has been 7 days since I planted the seeds. I am glad that most of the seeds have germinated. They are about 1-2 inches tall already. I have planted them on plater trays. I like to ask when would be the right time to transplant into in a pot? Thanks.

  27. Espoh,

    You can transplant them when they get to be too big of the pot. Also, if you start noticing that they are drying out fast, it may be a good time to pot them into a larger pot by themselves.

    Good luck with your adeniums.

  28. Anonymous11:02 AM

    Dear Mr Brown
    I found my Desert Rose at Home depot in the discount bin. It has been happily living at the office where it gets totally neglected. i brought it home thinking I needed to cut it back as the stems are getting leggy- but it seems to be a feature of the plant. SHould I do this or not? Also- My house is pretty cool (Maine) in winter so maybe better to take back to office? What if I don't let it go dormant- will it hurt or fail to bloom.
    (I don't have a blog)
    Sherri from central Maine

  29. Hi Sherri,

    The leggy stems are normal, they're where the plants get most of their height from. It really is up to you. I have a picture of a "leggy" one I've been meaning to post. I think it is mostly a matter of anesthetics really. If do not like your Adenium's long stems, give it a trim. But it will look leggy once again unless you can provide it with so much light that the plant grows compact.

    As for the dormancy of the plant, that really is kind of a case by case basis. Plants that are accustomed to go dormant, like Adeniums, grow better when you give them the conditions they've evolved under. I've grown mine without a dormant period, and with a dormant period. The plants allowed to rest during the winter grow better.

    Hope this helps.

  30. After reading your posts about desert rose, I really want to grow my own. Do you know what variety this plant is? I really love the colors.

  31. quynh, Not sure as to the name of this one, this pink color is one of the more common ones you'll encounter. There are a number of hybrids too.

  32. Anonymous11:51 AM

    I have 5 desert rose plants, they produce a lot of buds but most of them don't bloom. They just turned brown, dried up and fell off. Could you tell me what cause this? The caudexes are firm and the leaves are green and healthy. I water them once a week.

  33. Anonymous2:41 AM

    I also have same problem, I have many flower buds but they don't bloom, became brown and die off... What happen? Please advise! Thanks

  34. Anonymous2:24 AM

    I live in Australia, and have only just purchased my first desert rose. I did live in Dubai for quite a few years and they were rampant. They need very similar conditions to frangipani, which grows like a weed here in Sydney. So I'm expecting the same for my desert rose.
    You can propagate them both in exactly the same way, by cutting off a short healthy branch and sticking it in the ground (hence the rampantness).


  35. I live in Malaysia and the hot weather here is great for the dessert rose. Why do we have to soak the seeds in warm water before planting them? Please explain.I have 3 types of dessert rose; a pink one, a dark red one and a white with curly petals. All three have produced seed pods and I am trying to plant some to give away for christmas presents this year. Thank you

  36. Hi, I live in Malaysia and the hot weather here is a great for the dessert rose. I have three dessert rose; one is a pink one, a dark red one and a white one with curly petals. All three have produced seed pods before.I just want to know, why do we have to soak the seeds in warm water before planting then in the soil? Am planning to plant these seeds(from the pods which opened about a week ago)to get some new plants to give as christmas presents this year.
    Thank you

  37. Anonymous3:51 PM

    Hi, I'm Paul and I live in Boston. I have six adeniums that will be coming in for the Winter. Three of my plants have seed pods. A few questions:

    1. Do I pick the pods green or wait for them to dry;

    2. Do I germinate the seeds (wet towel and plastic bag) or just plant them.

    1. Wait for the pods to dry on the plant and for them to start to split open. If you think you may miss the seed pods splitting open, cover the seed pods with a nylon hose or similar fabric to trap the seeds so they don't float off or fall to the ground.

      As for germination, that's really up to you. Although, I would probably just plant them instead of trying to get them to germinate using the plastic baggie trick.

  38. Anonymous4:09 PM

    Hi. Planted some seeds 6months ago. How do I get them to get thicker on the stem? Can anyone help me with advice concerning the first stages of growing them?



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