Why Is My Desert Rose Not Blooming – How To Get Desert Roses To Bloom

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By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

Why is my desert rose not blooming? Convincing a desert rose to produce spectacular blooms can be tricky, but oftentimes getting desert roses to bloom is simply a matter of patience. Read on to learn more.

When Do Desert Roses Bloom?

Desert roses typically bloom for several weeks throughout spring and summer. With proper care, some new and improved cultivars may bloom year round. Again, be patient. Desert rose plants may not produce blooms for several months, but if the plant is healthy and growing conditions are right, it will eventually produce blooms.

Reasons for Desert Rose Plants Not Blooming

Below you will find some of the most common reasons for non-flowering and tips for getting desert roses to bloom.

Repotting

If you recently repotted your desert rose, it may go through a period of rebellion while it adjusts to its new environment. For a while, the plant will divert its energy into growing roots instead of producing blooms. As a general rule, desert rose plants need repotting about every two years, preferably in mid-spring. Move the plant to a container just one size larger. Use a potting mix that drains well and be sure the container has a drainage hole in the bottom. To give the plant time to adjust, withhold water for a week or two after repotting.

Water and drainage

Desert rose plants are drought tolerant and can live several weeks without irrigation. However, the plant needs a fair amount of water to produce blooms. Problems arise when the plant is allowed to stand in soggy soil or water. Not only will the plant stop blooming, but poorly drained soil can easily cause the plant to rot and die. Water the plant regularly during spring and summer, then cut back when the plant is dormant during fall and winter.

In the ground, desert rose prefers rich, slightly alkaline soil.

Sunlight

Desert rose requires plenty of sunlight, and lack of light may be the reason for desert rose plants not blooming. Place the plant where it receives at least five to six hours of sun per day – preferably even more.

Fertilizer

Desert rose doesn’t require a lot of fertilizer, but regular feeding ensures the plant receives the nutrients it needs to produce blooms. Feed an outdoor plant two or three times during spring and summer, using a balanced, water soluble fertilizer. Feed indoor Adeniums every week during spring and summer, using a water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength.

To encourage flowering, it may also help to use a phosphorus-rich fertilizer or bone meal.

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