How to Propagate the Desert Rose Plant

The desert rose grows as a shrub and belongs to the periwinkle family. It retains water and it can survive in drought conditions. The plant grows well in USDA zones 10 and 11. Growing the desert rose from seeds produces offspring that are not quite exact to the parents. The desert rose can also be sucessfully propagated from cuttings.

Create a mixture of three parts perlite with one part peat moss. Fill a small clay pot with this mixture, and place the clay pot into a shallow container of water to moisten the medium. Remove the pot from the water once it feels moist, and allow it to drain.

Cut off a 5-inch cutting from a mature desert rose with a sharp knife. Remove the bottom leaves and buds, but keep the top leaves intact.

Dip the bottom inch of the cut-off stem into a powdered rooting hormone. Plant the cutting 1 inch deep into the potting medium.

Water the cutting to keep the medium moist. Mist the desert rose with water in a spray bottle to keep it moist. Place the cutting in a warm and bright location away from direct sunlight. Maintain a temperature between 21.1 and 29.4 degrees Celsius.

Spray the cutting with the water twice a day. Water the cutting to keep the surface of the medium moist, but do not overwater the cutting.

Plant the desert rose in a larger clay pot approximately 4 to 6 inches wide once it roots. Use a commercial potting mixture, and water it to keep the soil moist. Sit the desert rose in a warm location away from direct sunlight.

Place the desert rose plant seeds in a bowl. Cover the seeds with warm water, and allow them to soak for 4 hours.

Fill seed starting trays with a mixture of one part compost with one part perlite.

Place the seeds over the soil surface. Cover them with ¼-inch of this soil mixture.

Place the seed starting tray in a clear plastic bag. Set it in a sunny window or on a heating pad to maintain a temperature between 26.7 and 29.4 degrees Celsius.

Water the soil from below daily and above every three days to keep it moist. Once the seeds sprout, remove the plastic bag. Water the desert rose seedlings only when the soil dries out completely. Transplant them into individual large clay pots and place them in a sunny location.

Things You'll Need

  • Perlite
  • Compost
  • Peat moss
  • Clay pots
  • Shallow container
  • Sharp knife
  • Powdered rooting hormone
  • Spray bottle
  • Commercial potting mixture
  • Desert rose plant seeds
  • Bowl
  • Seed starting trays
  • Clear plastic bag
  • Heating pad
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About the Author

Angela LaFollette holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising with a minor in political science from Marshall University. LaFollette found her passion for writing during an internship as a reporter for "The West Virginia Standard" in 2007. She has more than six years of writing experience and specializes in topics in garden and pets.