How to Treat Desert Rose Plants After They Were Frozen

Desert rose (Adenium obesum) is a spectacular shrub that will provide an abundance of showy blooms in colors ranging from pale pink or white to deep scarlet or purple, some with a pleasant aroma. A warm weather shrub, desert rose doesn't thrive in temperatures below 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In cooler climates, desert rose is grown in containers so the shrub can be wintered indoors. If your desert rose has been nipped by frost, saving the plant is highly possible. However, you may not be able to save a badly frozen desert rose.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears

  • Shovel

  • Unglazed ceramic planting container with drainage hole

  • Regular liquid fertilizer or time-release fertilizer

Step 1

Scrape your fingernail across several stems of your desert rose. If you see green tissue under the outer bark, your desert rose is still alive.

Step 2

Cut your desert rose back with a pair of pruning shears. Cut the plant back to the point where you found live growth, removing all dead growth. Don't prune away any living stems.

Step 3

Dig your desert rose and move the plant to a warmer location. Place the desert rose where the plant will be in well-drained soil and full sunlight. Alternatively, move your frost-damaged desert rose into a container and bring the plant indoors during cold weather. Use an unglazed ceramic container that will keep the roots somewhat dry between waterings.

Step 4

Feed your desert rose using a regular liquid fertilizer every two weeks, as getting your plant on a feeding schedule will help restore your desert rose to health. Alternatively, apply a time-release fertilizer. Apply either fertilizer according to the specifications on the fertilizer container.

References & Resources