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Adenium Obesum (Desert Rose)

Question:

I was reading about Heathers problem with her DesertRose. I have one also. I live in the upper Midwest. I took my plant outside after a very long winter. I forgot to bring it inside one night and the temp dropped to 38 degrees. I repotted it to an 11 inch pot with moisture control and miracle grow potting soil. The leaves turned yellow and brown. They all eventually fell off. My Question: is, do I now cut the stems down short or wait for the plant to recover? It’s about 18 inches tall. It is May now. I water usually every 2 weeks. Special plant to me as my uncle gave it to me before he passed. Thank you

Answer:

Your Adenium is a tropical species that should not be exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees. Any immediate loss of leaves is due to cold damage. There is no way to “fix” such cold damage. You can only prevent such damage in the future.

Repotting was not a good idea. It will not help with cold damage and it will lead to inadvertent overwatering and root rot, which is often fatal. “Moisture control” is not what is implied. It simply means that material is added to keep the soil moist even longer and that is NOT a good thing.

I recommend that you carefully undo the repotting by gently removing all of the soil you added and put the original rootball back into the original or the same sized pot. Then, move it to a sunny indoor windowsill or an outside shady location.  Water only when the top half of the soil feels dry. Be patient as it will take a long time for/your plant to recover from the trauma of the cold and the repotting.