Desert rose Plant

The mock azalia (Adenium obesum) may be a slow-growing plant (gaining but 12 inches per year) that boasts a thick, succulent stem and deep pink flowers. It belongs to the genera Apocynaceae, which is native to Africa, the center East, and Madagascar. The impala lily is that the only Adenium found in wide cultivation, although it’s been hybridized extensively to get different flower colors (like orange and striped).

In many tropical and warmer climates (USDA zones 11 and 12), it’s a beloved ornamental outdoor plant, while in other parts of the country it adds color to the indoors. It’s best planted within the spring and is deciduous in cooler winters, but are often kept in leaf if it receives warm enough temperatures and a touch of water. Overall, this varietal is fairly easy to worry for and pays off success with its blooming beauty.

Botanical nameAdenium obesum
Common nameDesert rose, Sabi star, mock azalea, impala lily
Plant typeSucculent
Mature size3–9 ft. tall, 3–5 ft. wide
Sun ExposureFull sun
Soil typeSandy, well-drained
Soil pHNeutral to acidic 
Bloom timeSummer
Flower colorPink, red
Hardiness zones11, 12 (USDA)
Native areaAfrica
ToxicityToxic to animals and humans
desert rose closeup

Desert Rose Care

Tending to an impala lily plant is straightforward, but it does take some finesse. almost like many plants within the succulent family, there are two main elements when it involves successfully growing an impala lily plant: many sunlight and regular watering. The plant also prefers consistently warm temperatures, which is why, in many parts of us (except for USDA zones 11 and 12), it’s an inside plant. The plant typically blooms during the summer months, erupting with vibrant pink and red flowers and bright green leaves, before losing both and going dormant for the winter. While it’s beautiful, it does accompany a touch of caution—the sap of the impala lily plant is extremely toxic, and care should be taken to stay it out of reach of youngsters and pets alike.

desert rose plant


The impala lily plant thrives best during a full sun environment, so choose a spot in your home to deal with the plant that gets ample light throughout the day, sort of a bright windowsill or sunroom. If you reside in a neighborhood where the impala lily plant is often grown successfully outdoors, select a spot in your garden that’s not shaded by taller plants but maybe offers a touch of protection from high-noon sun, as which will scorch the plant’s leaves.


As its name implies, the impala lily plant is employed to naturally dry, desert-like conditions. this is true for its love of sunshine and warmer temperatures, also as its need for sandy or gravelly soil that’s well-draining. The soil should boast a neutral to acidic pH, hovering right around 6.0 ideally.


The impala lily plant has varying needs when it involves water, counting on the time of year and temperature. During its season (late spring and summer), the soil of the impala lily should be kept moist but never saturated. Check on the soil periodically, allowing it to dry out completely before administering another watering. Additionally, lookout to plant your impala lily during a vessel that boasts ample drainage holes, because it is often vulnerable to rot if it becomes too moist (a clay or terracotta pot also can help with excess moisture).

Come the autumn and winter months (when the plant typically goes dormant within the wild), you’ll reduce moisture drastically, watering only minimally once a month approximately . If you’re curious on whether your plant is getting enough water during its season you’ll look to its trunk for the solution . A swollen, thick trunk (in proportion to the dimensions of your plant) may be a great indication that your plant is well-hydrated.

Temperature and Humidity

Your plant should be kept in warm temperatures in the least times—it will die quickly if exposed to prolonged temperatures of under 50 degrees Fahrenheit and thrives best at temperatures between 65 and 90 degrees. If you’ve planted your impala lily outdoors, know that it’s unlikely it’ll survive any frosts that the autumn or winter months may bring. Humidity isn’t important to the impala lily, as it’s wont to the dry, hot climate a desert provides.


For another dose of nutrients (and an opportunity at more flowers once bloomed), you’ll feed your impala lily with liquid fertilizer (diluted by half) once a month during its active growth period. don’t fertilize the plant during its dormant period.

Is the impala lily Plant Toxic?

If you reside inhome with pets or young children, an impala lily plant might not be the pick for you. The varietal is understood to be very dangerous, thanks to its milky sap that possesses lethal toxins (in fact, they were once utilized in poison arrows for hunting in Africa). All parts of the plant are considered toxic, including the stem, trunk, roots, leaves, and flowers, and animals can become instantly sickened just by licking the plant. If a pet or animal comes in touch with the sap of the impala lily, contact your vet or emergency animal poison control immediately. Humans should lookout to wear gloves when working with the plant, wash hands with soapy water upon contact with the sap, and get in touch with poison control should any symptoms persist.

Symptoms of Poisoning

Symptoms of poisoning typically show between 12 and 36 hours after exposure and may include indigestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, mouth or throat sores, weakness, abdominal cramps, dilated pupils, seizures, low blood heat, and tremors.

Propagating an impala lily

The impala lily is often propagated from branch cuttings, but the plants often fail to develop the characteristic (and highly desired) bulbous stem. so as to show the stem, you’ll want to start out the plant off during a tall, thin container before transplanting it into a shorted container which will allow a touch of the basis to point out.

Repotting an impala lily

Repot the impala lily as required, preferably during the nice and cozy season. When repotting any quite succulent, you ought to first confirm the soil is totally dry before gently remove the plant from the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, ensuring to get rid of any rotted or dead roots within the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide and antibacterial solution. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot. Leave the plant dry for every week approximately, then begin to water lightly to scale back the danger of plant disease.

Desert rose growing in Yemen

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