madagascar palm

Madagascar Palm Plant: How To Grow and Care

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The Madagascar Palm Tree is considered both a shrub and a succulent. Even though they look like a palm, they are not related to them! As its name suggests, this succulent is native to Madagascar, and they are reasonably easy to maintain as they don’t have any special requirements.

If you would like to know more about the Madagascar Palm tree or succulent, then this article is for you!

Basic Facts

white madagascar palm flower

Its scientific name is Pachypodium lamerei, and it is part of the Apocynaceae family. They have a very distinct silhouette, filled with spines throughout the trunk. They can grow up to 24 feet in height and up to 2 feet wide, but don’t worry, you can also grow them as a succulent plant! This is why people often call this plant a Madagascar cactus.

When the time comes, old Madagascar palm plants will bloom throughout the summer, and its flowers are white and very large.

If you are growing your Madagascar palm shrub indoors, you should place it near a window to get maximum light exposure. Be aware that they could become really tall (up to six feet), so make sure you leave enough space for them to develop correctly.

The Madagascar palm succulent will grow red, pink, cream, and yellow flowers, but you will only be able to see them during spring.

How To Care For Pachypodium Lamerei

If you are wondering how you need to care for the Madagascar Palm succulent, then the following are all the answers you need:

Water Needs

Madagascar Palm trees, shrubs, or succulents do not need constant water as they are very resistant to climate changes and difficult weather conditions. In fact, they love the heat! If you live in an area with intense winters, you won’t need to water your plant as often during those months; otherwise, the roots may rot.

Its soil must be dried out completely before you start watering again—so, make sure you have a well-drained soil that will allow water to continue its path without damaging your plant.

Repotting the Madagascar Cactus Plant

If you purchased this succulent from a nursery, it would be best to repot the plant from the plastic container to a clay container. This way, you will also be reducing the amount of plastic you use, and your plant will be able to grow in a more organic and sometimes even bigger space!

You should repot this plant every three years or so. Always use some thick gloves and newspapers to help you out; otherwise, its spikes could really hurt you!

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, make sure your plants are facing the South. This way, they will be exposed to the sun. On the contrary, if you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you should place the Madagascar Palm tree facing the North.

Propagating the Madagascar Palm Plant

If you are sowing seeds, then you need to do so in spring. Keep in mind that propagating your Madagascar Palm succulent may take longer than if you decide to use an offset from a parent plant. It could even take up to a year to see some growth.

However, if you decide to propagate through an offset, you only need to pick the strongest one from a parent plant and let it dry completely. Wait a couple of days for this to occur; then immediately put the succulent in a pot or container. 

Madagascar Palm Tree Diseases

Madagascar Palm tree diseases are not that common, but fungal infections could appear if the water is not being drained thoroughly and efficiently. If the plant’s leaves are discolored or have white fungal patches, you need to remove the damaged parts.

Don’t worry, though, they will grow again, and they will probably become healthier—just be aware of how much water you are giving them.  

In addition, some spider mites could come after your plants. You could quickly and organically get rid of them by using your favorite Neem oil. 

Frequently Asked Questions

cacti greenhouse

Here are some of the most asked questions regarding the Madagascar Palm succulent or tree:

Why do Madagascar Palm leaves drop in winter?

Although you may be scared whenever you see your succulent leaves dropping, it is a perfectly reasonable thing to do in winter. In fact, they may lose all their plants as well as soon as they enter the dormancy period. However, all its leaves will grow as soon as winter starts fading away.

Do I need to fertilize the Madagascar Palm tree?

Yes, you do. Ideally, you would only need to do so once spring and summer are just around the corner, and the last frost has passed by. If you fertilize them, you will be making sure they thrive. Thus, they won’t suffer as much during winter. You could use an organic cactus or succulent fertilizer.

What can I do with the Madagascar Palm tree?

Apart from being an ornamental plant (which looks beautiful in any home!), you could also plant them outdoors, and they will provide shade throughout the hottest months. 


If you have decided to plant a Madagascar palm tree, now is your time to do so!

They are easy to maintain, but they will also provide your garden or indoor area with lots of beautiful colors.

Lastly, Madagascar Palm trees or succulents can look amazingly well if you combine them with other types of succulents so that you can have your favorites in your house while creating a lovely garden or indoor area. 

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