House Plants/Desert Rose


Hi, I purchased a desert rose plant from Home Depot and placed it onto my window sill above our sink. I have recently done some research on how to care for this plant, and read that it is very poisonous. Some of the leaves have fallen off into the sink, sometimes landing in a few of my dirty dishes... and my question is, could the leaves pose a risk of toxicity after they have fallen off and died? If not, is the sap removed from the sink by simply washing it?


If someone or an animal eats the leaves that fall off it could make them sick. Laying in the sink after having fallen off will not leave sap in the sink. Simply pick them out and throw them away. I have had desert rose plants for years and have found no sick or dead animals near them when they were outside for the summer. The leaves are not that sappy.

Some hints I can give you is they love to be outdoors in full sun in the summer and they do not sunburn. Also if it is a large plant during the winter it should only be given 1/4 cup of water a month during December-March. If you water to much it weakens the plant and it is more susceptible to mealy bugs which love desert rose plants. They need to go semi dormant during the winter by being kept nearly dry.  They also like being kept fairly rootbound. They can be lifted out of the soil once a year and reset at a higher level exposing more of the bulbous root. Fertilize it regularly with a fertilizer for blooming plants following the directions on the package. If you have more questions feel free to write again. Good luck.


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Darlene K. Kittle


I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.


I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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