A search found that there is a lot of snippets of information about growing Desert Roses, but nothing complete. Here goes to put it all together for you.
The Desert Rose is a native of East Africa and is a member of the Apocynacae family. Even though it is native to Africa it grows well in tropical an d sub tropical areas without too much special care, although if you have frosts you will need to bring the plant indoors over winter.
Leaves are fleshy and succulent and the flowers are 5 to 7cm trumpet shaped and will flower from late winter to early summer.
Plant your desert rose in a 50/50 mix of sharp sand and cactus potting soil, they love to have free draining soil as to prevent root rot. Mix in some slow release fertiliser to stimulate growth, in the first three years a soluble fertiliser can be added to increase the growth rate of the plants, after three years the soluble food does not have a huge effect.
Water your plant regularly as it is not a cactus, the best way to tell if it needs water is to check the top of the soil, if it’s dry you need to water.
Desert Rose needs plenty of light, full sun is great to ensure that you get the best blooms. Keep your plant above 12 degrees celsius.
WARNING: The flowers and sap of this plant are poisonous! Do not ingest anything from this plant, wash your hands thoroughly after handling the plant.
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