6 Common Reasons for Desert Rose Leaves Turning Brown

Not only the flowers but also the leaves of the desert rose to enhance its beauty. But if that leaf suddenly starts turning brown, it is definitely not a happy sign. 

So you need to know the reason behind it to heal the plant leaves fast. Underwatering, Insufficient Sunlight, Lack of Nutrients, Low Temperature, Repotting Issues and Diseases are the most common reasons for desert rose (Adenium obesum) leaves turning brown.

But no worries. In this article, I will discuss effective ways to easily restore the health of your plants. So why the delay?  Let’s get started.

Quick Care Guide

desert rose watering

Under WateringWatering should be done twice a week.
Insufficient Sunlight6–8 hours of direct sunlight is recommended.
Lack of NutrientsNitrogen, phosphorus and iron-rich fertilizers are best.
Low Temperature60° to 75°F is the ideal temperature range.
Repotting IssueRepotting should be done according to the proper method.
DiseasesA good quality fungicide and antibacterial drugs are recommended.

6 Proven Ways to Cure Desert Rose Brown Leaves

Adeniums Brown Leaves

1. Under Watering

Underwatering is the most common reason for desert rose leaves turning brown. Most gardeners think that watering plants at any time is fine. That is the biggest misconception.  

If you do not water your desert rose plants in sufficient amounts and at the right time, your plants will suffer from dehydration.  

When your plant can’t get this water to the leaves to make the food it needs, the leaves will lose their function. As a result, in the absence of chloroplasts, the leaves will first turn pale and then dry and turn brown.

So what exactly are the symptoms of insufficient watering? The most common symptoms are floppy and dry brown leaves, with no blooming problem.

Fixing Method

Seasonal changes affect how much water desert roses need. In general, watering should be done twice a week. However, desert roses require water every two to three weeks in the winter. 

During dry seasons, you should start by checking the water level in your pot soil. In hot weather, I advise you to water the soil at least three to four inches deep. Do a moisture test before watering. 

In the winter, desert roses require very little water. However, you must be cautious about moisture and drainage systems before watering during the winter. The pot should have four to five tiny holes.

It can be good to make a plan before watering. If you have any trouble making sure watering is timely, you can use a self-watering machine. (our pick: Upgraded DIY Automatic Drip Irrigation Kit)

2. Insufficient Sunlight

If you set your desert rose in a shaded spot, it will happen frequently for the leaves to turn brown because too little sunlight causes this to happen to plants.

Your plant fades as a result of insufficient sunlight, and it gradually turns brown. Due to the absence of sunlight, your desert rose also becomes leggy.

Pay special attention to the leaves of your plant. Are there any brown patches or floppy leaf issues? Of course, the amount of sunlight is inadequate.

Fixing Method

A desert rose needs plenty of sunlight to grow healthily. Again, you must allow 6–8 hours every day of direct sunlight if you want to see your desert rose bloom.

Put your plant where it will receive the most benefit from the morning sun if it is indoors. A window or balcony with a north or east-facing potential. Your room may not have plenty of light, then. A short-term fix could be to use a system of artificial lightning.

If the plant is outdoors, you must pick a place where it will get full morning sun while being protected from the afternoon sun.

3. Lack of Nutrients

Lack of fertilizer can be dangerous for your desert rose plants. Due to insufficient nitrogen, phosphorus and iron, your plants leave become brown. 

Nitrogen helps in the formation of chloroplasts in plant leaves. If your plant’s leaves are deficient in chloroplasts, it will cause the leaves to turn brown. 

Chlorosis occurs in plant leaves due to a lack of sufficient iron. Again reduction of iron levels also disrupted the normal functioning of the plant. As a result, the leaves first turn yellow and then dry and turn brown.

Now the question is how do you know what nutrients are lacking? Take a good look at the tree. If the leaves first turn yellow then brown, growth slows down and flowers do not bloom properly then it is deficient in nitrogen.

Broken leaves, brown leaves, and pale flowers indicate phosphorus deficiency. Weak stems, yellow tips, and brown leaves indicate that your plant is iron deficient.

Fixing Method

NPK (10-10-10 or 5-10-10), and Phosphorus-Iron rich fertilizer is best for desert rose. You can also use Bayer Advanced rose and flower care as a supplement.

How much fertilizer to apply will depend on the quality of the fertilizer and the soil. Usually, 2-3 pounds of nitrogen is needed for desert rose per square feet. 

But before applying fertilizer, you need to do some work.  First, check if the soil pH is between 6-6.5. You can easily check this with a pH meter (our pick SONKIR Soil pH Meter, MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester). Always apply fertilizer according to the instructions on the label of the fertilizer bottle. 

In the growing season, you have to fertilize every 4-5 weeks. If your plant is small, use only water-soluble fertilizers. Fertilizer is not required after flowering.

4. Low Temperature

It is normal for your desert rose leaves to turn brown if it is exposed to very low temperatures. Too cold temperatures can also cause your plant to die. 

Also, when you keep your plant around a low-temperature zone your plants fail to produce enough nutrients for themselves. 

As a result, along with the normal growth of the plant, the leaves will turn brown. Low temperatures also affect the blooming of your desert rose. 

Fixing Method

60° to 75°F is the ideal temperature range for desert roses. If you want to see your plants healthy and flowers on it, you must keep your room temperature above 65 °F.

If you reside in a region with low temperatures, you can use a temperature controller to maintain the ideal temperature.

Keep your plant away from an environment with a lot of dampness. Don’t Keep Your plants in air-conditioned spaces.

5. Repotting Issue

The leaves of your desert rose plant may turn brown if you recently transplanted it from one pot to another without doing it by maintaining a proper method. 

When plants are moved from one habitat to another, most of the time it is seen that due to a lack of a suitable environment, their roots fail to collect enough nutrients from the soil.

As a result, the plant gets dehydrated very quickly and various problems arise. If the leaves start to dry and turn brown immediately after repotting, it is due to repotting.

Fixing Method

Every two years in the middle of spring, you have to repot your desert rose plants. Since the plants will be fresh again in the summer and monsoon if done in the middle of spring.

In most cases, repotting is necessary because of plant development. Therefore, when choosing a pot for repotting, you must be careful. Always pick a pot that is bigger than the one you just used.

The pot has to be thoroughly cleaned. It should have four to five tiny holes cut inside of it to facilitate proper water drainage. For the first few days after repotting, water often.

6. Diseases

Root rot is the most common fungal disease that causes desert roses to turn brown. The disease is associated with overwatering.  

When you overwater a plant and the base of your plant is underwater most of the time, it encourages fungal attack. And the roots of your plant begin to rot immediately after the attack.  

As a result, it fails to absorb essential nutrients from the soil and leaves turn brown and die.

The bacterial attack also causes brown spots on desert rose leaves.  

The easiest way to identify bacteria is by observation. If the brown spots appear small at first, gradually enlarge and pierce the leaves, it is definitely a bacterial attack.

Fixing Method

The first way to get rid of root problems is not to overwater the plant. If your soil is already waterlogged, it needs to be removed quickly.  

The pot your plant will be in should have four to five small holes for drainage. A good quality fungicide spray gives good results.

You can also make an effective fungicide at home. You only need soap and some water. Add a small part of the soap into the water. And spray it every morning and evening for two weeks.

To get rid of the bacteria you can use some antibacterial drugs with the advice of a herbalist.  But the easiest way is to repot the tree. As a result, the plant fully recovers in the new soil.  You should also keep healthy plants away from other infected plants.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What does an overwatered desert rose to look like?

Ans: Overwatered desert rose plants are easily recognizable. Your plant will look overwet. The leaves of the plant will curl, and turn brown. Roots will cause root problems. And the branches of the tree will dry up and the tree will die.

How often do desert roses bloom?

Ans: Late spring and early summer are typically the blooming seasons for desert roses. Some types can bloom all year long but call for special maintenance. For six to seven days, a flower blooms.

Final Word

Desert rose leaf browning disease is common but can also lead to plant death if not cared for properly. So whenever you notice such problems in your plants, you need to take immediate action. 

I hope the guidelines I described will work for your plants.

Happy gardening.

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of plantandpest.com, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *