Cutting the desert rose: why, when and how?

Cutting the desert rose: why, when and how?

When is the timing perfect for a cut back?

Ideally, the desert rose should be cut after wintering and shortly before the new shoot. This is the case between February and March. At this time the plant is not yet in full sap and can be pruned best. Alternatively, you can cut the desert rose after the first bloom. This time usually comes around July.

also read

  • Desert rose: wintering properly is not difficult!
  • Desert rose: after winter is the time to repot!
  • A milky sap that makes the desert rose poisonous ...

Precise procedure for cutting - notes

The desert rose can easily be shortened with a sharp tool. The shoots can be cut back in half. It is important that you start with the cutting tool about 3 to 5 mm above an outward-facing bud.

In general, the desert rose is extremely compatible with pruning. She even copes with a strong pruning. It also drives out of old wood. Nevertheless: Due to the slow growth, it is better to only prune this plant a little.

Wear gloves for protection

Be sure to wear good gloves when cutting! This is recommended due to the toxic latex that is in the plant. Otherwise the milk juice can cause skin irritation.

Cut - rarely required

Basically, it will be necessary in the rarest of cases to cut the desert rose. It usually grows extremely slowly. You should therefore look forward to a strong increase. Only if the plant is out of shape or has grown too big will a cut be required.

Cut the desert rose for cuttings

It is also useful to use scissors to obtain cuttings in the course of propagation:

  • Use head cuttings
  • cut in early spring
  • Length: 10 cm
  • with at least 2 pairs of leaves
  • Let dry for 1 to 2 days
  • then put in potting soil
  • keep slightly moist
  • keep warm (e.g. over the heater)


If you have recently repotted your desert rose, there should be at least 4 weeks between repotting and pruning.