The desert roses are beautiful plants that enchant people interested in gardening in different parts of the world. Being a plant that has a unique appearance and is rarely found in nature, it awakens the attention of those who know it. In this article, you will know the essential steps how to care for desert rose :
Originally from Africa, this plant looks like a miniature tree, with apparent roots, as if it were a real leafy tree. Its flowers have a rosy hue that may or may not be accompanied by white. In some cases, the flowers come out predominantly white with a pink border.
This is a plant that gives flowers throughout the year, but it is in the spring that they are more lush and perfumed, being the perfect species to decorate your garden at any time of year.
Its roots are apparent, being more external than internal and departing from a central "trunk" called a bulb. The bulb is responsible for storing water in this plant, which makes it able to withstand a long time of drought.
How to Care for the Desert Rose: 9 Essential Tips to Follow
1. Preparation of the vessel
Like succulents, desert roses like water but not soggy soil, so it is important that they are kept in a pot with high drainage power. Cover the bottom of the pot with stones and plastic fabric or TNT so that the roots do not come out through the holes.
The ideal substrate is one that mixes earth prepared with coarse sand and earthworm humus. The ratio should be 2/3 of sand to 1/3 of prepared earth. This is because this plant is accustomed to the semi-arid climate and high temperatures.
Desert roses are plants that need a lot of direct sunlight to fully develop. You can even keep it in a half shade situation, but it may not give such a luxuriant flowering. Prepare to offer at least 6 hours of sun a day to your plant or it may be underdeveloped and get crooked to one side only while looking for more light.
This plant does not like cold, therefore avoid leaving it in very humid environments or have air conditioning if it is indoors. For the desert rose, the more sun and heat, the better. At low temperatures it becomes dormant, with slow metabolism and if it has already bloomed, the flowers fall and the leaves turn yellow.
Pruning is very important for your plant to flower more easily and also to shape it. You can use resources that bonsai growers use, such as wrapping the branches with wire and anchoring them with string, to give the desired shape to the plant.
Because this plant needs a vessel with high drainage, over time certain nutrients end up being lost. This is why you need to provide fertilization and ensure that it develops well and provides more flowers throughout the year. Fertilizers should not be applied directly to the roots or when the substrate is completely dry, as it can burn the roots and cause the leaves to fall. One tip is to use the Forth Cactos to have good results with your desert rose.
The desert roses need water, you see. You just can not overdo it so you do not rot your roots and kill the plant. One of the ways to know if the plant needs water is to squeeze the bulb lightly, if it is wilted means the plant is dehydrated. Another way to know if the plant should be watered is to check if the soil is moist. Only soak the plant if the soil is very dry.
7. Saving a plant that has rotted
If you neglected the watering and your plant has rotted, be calm, there may still be salvation. Remove the plant from the ground, wipe all the roots and with a spoon eliminate all the rotting parts. Hang the plant in a shady spot until all the cuts heal. This will take 5 to 6 days. Then replant the bulb in a vessel with a new substrate and leave it for another 3 to 4 days in the shade. Gradually, put your plant in the sun and monitor its development. Do not worry if the leaves fall during this process, it is normal.
8. Adapting to a new environment
As soon as you buy the desert rose, a nursery or a market, it is normal for the leaves to turn yellow and the flowers to fall. This is because the plant has changed environment dramatically, but do not worry. It is not necessary to change pot or receive fertilizer during this adaptation period, wait until the plant shows growth.
9. Handling precautions
Despite being an exotic and beautiful plant, the desert rose is extremely toxic. For centuries its sap has been used as poison in spears and arrows by natives of the African continent. They boil the plant for 12 hours until all the extract is removed and the viscosity resulting from this process is a highly concentrated poison.
All care is short, so always wear gloves when handling your plant, especially when pruning and know that the poison of this plant can lead children or animals to death. If you have pets that are usually curious with plants, it is not advisable to have a desert rose at home.
A curiosity about this plant is that in its natural environment, that is, when in free growth in the soil and suitable climate, it can reach up to 4 meters in height and 1 and a half meters in diameter. In addition, this plant can reach high prices in the market. A species with improved modeling can cost R $ 1000.00 and the number of collectors and associations only increases.
The desert rose is a different plant than anything you have ever seen. If you feel safe to acquire one and begin caring for yours, start cultivating right now! She will give you beautiful flowers at the time of flowering and will yield comments from anyone who visits your home and meet this exotic species.