Why Does a Desert Rose Plant Lose Leaves?

Hi, I have a Desert Rose plant and every time a leaf grows the tip turns brown, the leaf dies and falls off. I’ve read they like it hot and this past summer it stayed outside in direct morning sun and got watered every couple of days. I hope you can help. Thanks, Glenda

Hi Glenda,

Leaves fall off a Desert Rose plant when it is over -watered. The fat bulbous trunk of a Desert Rose plant stores water, so allow the soil to dry out before watering. If the soil becomes excessively dry, the plant goes dormant, once you give it a little water it quickly wakes up and starts growing again. A Desert Rose plant usually needs water about once week or even less. You must check the soil at least 1/2 way down before watering. If the soil is damp, do not water.

This braided trunk and small pink flowers on Desert Rose Plant
Desert Rose Plant
by Anna Mirizio

You can read all my care tips on how to grow a Desert Rose plant in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.


These plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants.