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desert rose

Q: I have noticed the leaves of my desert rose turning yellow and dropping off. What is causing this problem?

Q: I have a question about my Desert Rose plant. I live 2 miles south of Callahan and my home faces the west. My plant sits on my front porch and gets full afternoon sun. It is in a well drained pot and I water it regularly every other day. In the past 3 days I have noticed the leaves turning yellow and dropping off. What is causing this problem? I appreciate your help.

A: Regarding your Desert Rose (Adenium obesum) plant.  It is good that you placed it in well-drained soil, but I suspect you are watering it too much.  This plant is classified as a succulent and requires very little water.  It hardiness zone is 10-11 and it should be grown only in South Florida.  However, some people have great luck growing it as a house plant similar to the situation you have described.  The only problem this plant has is over watering, over fertilizing or low light.  It sounds as if you are doing everything correctly except for over watering.  I would suggest you cut back to once every week or two.  In fact, I water my succulents once a month or so and they do extremely well.  Try reducing the amount of water you give this plant and see if it doesn’t recover.