What is my houseplant buddy’s name?
I live on the upper west side of NYC and have had this plant for 25 years, sometimes it thrives, other times not so well. It has become my buddy and it is suffering through my apartment’s renovation. I know nothing about what type of plant it is nor what is the best pot or soil type to place it in.
Your plant buddy is called a Desert Rose. A Desert Rose Plant is a type of Caudiciform or “fat plant” because of its thick bulbous base. Here are some care tips that might help you.
The fat bulbous trunk of a Desert Rose Plant stores water so be sure the soil totally dries out before watering this plant. If the soil of a Desert Rose Plant gets excessively dry, the plant becomes dormant until you give it some water and wake it up.
Fertilize a Desert Rose Plant with a plant food specifically recommended for flowering plants. The food for flowering plants should always be lower in nitrogen and higher in phosphorous (10/20/10). Feed a Desert Rose Plant monthly from late spring until the early fall. When feeding a Desert Rose Plant, always reduce the plant food to ½ the recommended strength.
A Desert Rose requires very warm temperatures. Keep the room above 60 degrees and avoid placing a Desert Rose near air conditioners or cold drafts.
This plant does well in basic household humidity.
Flowering occurs throughout the year but is more prolific in the spring and fall. Older plants that are well cared for produce the most blooms. The flowers come in red,white, pink, and rose.
The soil for a Desert Rose needs to be a loose fast draining mixture that won’t become soggy and heavy. Add hard sand to your usual potting soil or buy a mixture made specifically for cacti and succulent
from seeds is best, but rarely possible when a Desert Rose is an indoor plant. Stem cuttings can be used to propagate a Desert Rose plant but the new plants often lack the trunks with fat bases that make a Desert Rose Plant so interesting.
Poisonous Plant Info
A Desert Rose plant is a poisonous
houseplant with a #2 Toxicity level
I don’t know if your plant has ever bloomed, but here is a picture of a Desert Rose Plant with flowers.
You can read more about a Desert Rose Plant in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.