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House Plants/Need identification


I have a plant, bulbous base like ponytail palm, which I also have, no problem, but I can't identify this one.  It's given me a few surprises.

I've had this guy for a couple of years, maybe 3, and he's doubled his height.  He has one bare stem from the bulb, rings where he's obviously lost leaves, and branches that also branch.  He loses leaves individually, keeping a cluster at the ends of the branches.  The leaves are rounded and elongated, quite large, maybe an inch across by two or three inches long.  I live in zone 7, keep him indoors in winter, south window outdoors in summer with full sun about 6 hours daily.  And he seems to love it.  About a month ago, I noticed that he was putting out bloom buds on branch ends, never had before.  His blooms are bright red, almost look like morning glories, two to four buds in a cluster, and the blooms last a surprisingly long time.  Now that he's quit blooming, he's putting out long spikes just below where his blooms were.  They look like fleshy leaves that have a seam, but haven't opened yet.  Are they new branches?  Who is this guy, and how big can I expect him to get?  He was about 8" tall when I got him, and is approaching 2' now.  Do I need to put him in a larger pot, even though he's quite happy, not really top-heavy yet, and hasn't outgrown his 10" pot?


A picture would help but after reading your your twice I suspect that your plant may be a desert rose,  (Adenium obesum) .

Here are pictures:

This site has great care tips:

Let me know if that is your plant and if you have more questions. If it is a desert rose he probably does not need repotted but you might want to move him to a heavy ceramic pot so he does not ge top heavy. The bigger the pot you put him in the larger he will get. If he was planted in the ground in a tropical location he could get 20 feet tall. He can be pruned when he is not blooming to keep him in shape but it will take awhile for him to recuperate. 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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