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Adenium obesum
Desert Rose or Impala Lily

Desert RoseDesert Rose Repotting


This Desert Rose has been in the same pot for at least 15 years and was recently hit with massive amounts of scale after we placed it outdoors for the summer. The scale was so bad that we knocked all of the leaves off.

It looked in such bad shape that we decided that we might as well replant it at the same time to see if it would come back from two traumatic events at the same time.

Our experience with Desert Rose is that it is a very sturdy plant and this one has come back from many bouts of insects and leaf loss.

Desert Rose SuppliesExisting Pot

The existing pot was about eight inches deep and eight inches across and so we found a pot that was about nine inches across and ten inches deep.

We mixed up some soil (from the garden actually) and mixed it with some sand (from another part of the yard) because the Adenium likes well drained soil.

crocking at bottom of pot


For the same reason we placed a lot of crocking on the bottom of the pot. Our garden books say that this plant does not like to get its feet wet and is extremely susceptible to rotting roots.




tightly wound root system



Tight Roots

Using a knife we cut around the inside edge of the pot to detach the roots from the clay pot. Then we removed the plant by tapping it gently and easing it out.

You can see that there was very little soil in the pot - no soil certainly means good drainage, but we wondered how it was able to survive at all!

loosening with knife

completed repotting


After we loosened the tightly knit roots a little, we merely placed it in the new pot above the crocking and gently filled in with soil (making sure it had some beneath it as well as on the sides.

We will let you know how it survives.