How to Identify and Grow a Desert Rose Plant

Hi this plant was given to me by a neighbor that was moving but I don’t know what it is and it doesn’t seem to be doing very well, any help is appreciated, thanks. Renee N

Hi Renee,

Your plant is a type of Caudiciform (“fat plant”). There aren’t many leaves to help identify it, but my best guess is a Desert Rose. Here’s what a braided variety looks like.

Pink Desert Rose also called a "Fat Plant"

Braided Desert Rose Plant

Here are some care tips to help you grow your Desert Rose Plant

A Desert Rose Plant needs bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light..

The fat bulbous trunk stores water so allow the soil to dry out before watering. If the soil of gets excessively dry, the plant becomes dormant; but once you give it a little water it wakes up and starts growing again.

Fertilize a Desert Rose with a plant food specifically recommended for flowering plants. The plant food should be lower in nitrogen and higher in phosphorous (10/20/10). Feed this plant monthly from late spring until early fall, always dilute the plant food to one half the recommended strength.

A Desert Rose likes very warm temperatures. Keep the room above 60 degrees and avoid placing this plant near air conditioners or cold drafts.

You can read all my care tips for a Desert Rose plant in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.

https://www.houseplant411.com/houseplant/how-to-grow-desert-rose-plants