Bold and Beautiful Balcony Beauties

“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”

Hans Christian Anderson

I had been noticing the plant for a couple of days that lay abandoned in the common passage area outside my flat. The soil in the flowering pot was hard and dry, devoid of any signs of moisture content. I wondered if it was left behind by the tenant of my neighbouring flat, who had vacated a few days ago. The plant had a strange appearance. There were hardly any leaves, perhaps just 4 or 5. It had a thick stem of about 30 cm. arising from a bulbous and twisted base. I had no clue what plant this was but it’s unusual look attracted me.

This was before the pandemic, more than 2 years back. I got it inside my home, replanted it in a different pot and found a place for it in my balcony. Soon enough the very few leaves of the plant withered away and the stems wore a bare look. I wondered if the plant was about to die. A few days passed and it remained the same, even though I watered it regularly. The thick stem and its bulbous base seemed alive, but I was certain that its days were numbered. I let it be without bothering to give any special care.

More flowers than leaves!

A few weeks passed and one day the leaves reappeared, just three or four. Needless to say, I was very happy. A few months down the line, the plant threw up a huge surprise for me. I noticed tiny buds appearing and there were several of them. Extremely excited and intrigued beyond words, I spent the next few days in patient eagerness. I had no idea this was a flowering plant! I have always had only green plants and succulents in my balcony, which was quite by choice. I always maintained that flowering plants need more maintenance and they look good only when the flowers bloom. Ornamental greens on the other hand are evergreen. An opinion that was about to change.

The first thing I did every morning was observing the buds as they grew and changed every single day. One morning radiant bright pink flowers bloomed in my small plant. And there wasn’t just one, but multiple. Luscious and ravishingly attractive. My elation knew no bounds. Each flower lasted several days, before withering away. The blooming continued profusely for few weeks adding colour to my balcony and joy to my heart. I learnt this was Desert Rose or Adenium obesum.

Right now, my Desert Rose plant has bloomed once again. The resplendent, pink, trumpet-shaped flowers are adding exuberance and profound joy to the monotone called life!

The bud flowers!
Random Tit-Bits About Desert Rose or Adenium obesum
  • It’s not a Rose and has no similarity to the Rose Plant in any way.
  • It is an evergreen xerophytic succulent shrub, native to Africa, the Middle East, and Madagascar.
  • It’s a good candidate for bonsai plants, given the thick succulent trunk, thin and delicate leaves.
  • It typically blooms for several weeks throughout spring and summer.
  • Its flowers may be red, pink, or white. Pink being the most common.
  • Its sap is toxic and if ingested can be lethal but has medicinal properties too.
  • It is a sun-lover and thrives in bright sunshine.
  • The pink flowers symbolize rejuvenation and is associated with peace, happiness, and prosperity.

Author: neelstoria

Traveling, Gardening, Trekking, Hiking, Storytelling, Writing, Nature, Outdoors, Yoga, DIY

18 thoughts on “Bold and Beautiful Balcony Beauties”

    1. I completely agree with that, rather it’s a scientifically proven concept. Back in Shillong, I recall our garden plants flourishing with my father tending to the garden and when my father would be away it felt like they would be all morose. We would always say they understand that he loved and cared for them the most.

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  1. We discovered quite by accident that our desert rose, similar but a darker red, thrived when it was severely cut back after blooming. It had become long and spindly and I decided to cut it back before throwing it out. The new growth was much thicker with many more shiny green leaves.

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    1. That’s quite a bit of learning then, a very resilient plant it is. Mine shouldn’t grow very big as it’s in a small pot. However if the roots expand, I will have to transfer it. Will keep your experience in mind.

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  2. That’s lovely! What a great surprise and also what a great metaphor for all the people, projects, and things we might want to give up on: Change the environment a bit and double down on the care and beauty will come.

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    1. I’m not half as good as my dad. I am the lazy kind who wants a lovely garden but doesn’t want to put in the hard work. 😦
      Enjoying the pink beauties as long as they last, which is a good couple of weeks.
      Thank you for reading, Narendra.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My experience with Adenium obesum was quite the opposite. When I purchased it in 2019, it had many healthy-looking leaves. But some time during the early years of the pandemic, the plant looked rather in a sad state. Then I remembered that this species originates in the hot, sun-drenched part of the world. So I moved it to a place where it would receive more direct sun. Finally, late last year it bloomed for the first time and I was beyond ecstatic.

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    1. So it was the sunlight that it was missing. Happy to know that it’s blooming. The best part is that the flowers last really long compared to most others. They bloom in a cluster and remain that way for several weeks and then go quiet for a few months. I believe the flowers are associated with good luck in your part of the world. Something that makes me quite happy, so what if it’s just superstition. 😀

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      1. In a few weeks’ time my desert rose should start receiving more and more amount of sunlight as the sun is ‘moving’ north toward the equator at this time of the year — perfect condition for it to bloom I hope.

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  4. Very nice quote and a miracle story. I think your deep hope must have revived the plant and rewarded you with beautiful flowers !

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  5. Incidentally, it’s the desert rose plant in my balcony that has been the most elusive. Your post gave me hope. I recently re-potted it, so lets see how that goes.

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