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House Plants/Saving my Desert Rose


I have a very large Desert Rose plant.  It is several years old and has bloomed continuously all these years.  I inadvertently sprayed weed killer at the base of the plant to kill the weeds growing around it.  I think I might have killed the plant.  It is looking very sick.  All the flowers are falling off and branches look like they are rotting as well.  Can I prune the plant  to try to save it or feed it.  It also has white spots on the branches what can I use to get rid of them

Mari Anne,

You should absolutely never spray weed killer on any houseplant. Unpot it and remove the top layer of soil to remove the weeds and replace it. At this point it is probably too late to save your desert rose. You can try to unpot it wash all the soil off, wash the plant thoroughly then repot it in new sandy cactus soil. I really think your best bet is to look for a new plant and in the future carefully pull weeds. Never spray weed killer on a houseplant.


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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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