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Madagascar Palm (pachypodium lamerei)

morganx
15 years ago

I have a Madagascar Palm that's about three years old and thirteen inches tall. It currently has about thirty leaves and lives on my patio, where it gets a lot of sun from 3:00 until sunset. It doesn't seem particularly unhappy, but I don't feel like it's making very good progress towards growing into the 6' monolith I'd like it to be either.

Right now it lives in a 10" terra cotta pot in Miracle-Gro soil for potted plants, gets fed leftover orchid food (dilute 30-10-10) every few months, and is watered daily since it's very hot outside. What would you advise changing to make it grow faster, and in an ideal world, at what rate would it be growing?

Thanks.

Comments (134)

  • petethat
    10 years ago

    Noticed this morning signs of rot at the base of my cherised madagascar palm which is nearly 8 ft tall. It has just recently showed signs of branching out. Afraid it may be getting too much water in it's new location(recently moved homes). Can I cut the top portion above the signs of rot and propigate it from there? Similar to plumeria??? I do not want to lose this guy, it was given to me from someone very special. ANY help and advice is appreciated!

  • kekoamanualoha_hotmail_com
    10 years ago

    I have had my Madagascar Palm for about 8 years now and its around 6ft. It started steadily blooming on one branch about 3 years ago and this year it bloomed like crazy on all branches this year. So amazingly beautiful! About a month ago we noticed a cucumber like fruit on it which recently opened up and gave out over 100 little seeds. Not sure how to store these seeds or plant them. Any help would be appreciated.

    Here is a link that might be useful: {{gwi:589277}}

  • divadee_2010
    10 years ago

    I have had my Madagascar Palm for about 8 years now and its around 6ft. It started steadily blooming on one branch about 3 years ago and this year it bloomed like crazy on all branches this year. So amazingly beautiful! About a month ago we noticed a cucumber like fruit on it which recently opened up and gave out over 100 little seeds. Not sure how to store these seeds or plant them. Any help would be appreciated.

    {{gwi:589292}}

    {{gwi:589293}}

  • caudex1
    10 years ago

    They don't store well. If sown now you get close to 100% germination, the longer it's stored the lower the % gets.

  • quinnsellars_yahoo_com
    10 years ago

    i live in arizona(phoenix area) so i have a madagascar that i have had for about 2-3 months. it is outside but on the patio which averages about 10 degrees warmer than the outside. it is about 3 ft tall and was purchased in one of those garbage can looking tall black plastic pots. i could not physically transplant it into the ceramic pot that i got for it because of the size (it has three of the spiky stems). so i cut open half of the plastic container and repotted it still in the cut open plastic pot into the ceramic and filled the side gaps between the plastic and the ceramic with a regular potting soil. the past winter here had about 5 days of 30 degree weather at night. i covered it with the plant cover (doubling it) . one stem lost a few leaves but remains in tact. the other two lost all their leaves. tonight i noticed that one of the stems has soft black spots toward the bottom. the stem feels sturdy and i dug around toward the root base as best i could and don't smell anything foul. there is no way i can dig it out especially only one of the stems. i have only watered it once since i have had it. the soil feels like it did when i opened the bag but is not really moist. to protect it further i did mulch around the top with bark a couple of weeks ago when they predicted another cold night. so, after this novel: Can anyone give me some help? Thanks!

  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5
    10 years ago

    Quinn,

    It's best to post your question by itself, rather than tagging it to an old post, even though it's relevant to it - more people see it that way.

    Anyway, since you took the trouble, you need to rid yourself of that rot, posthaste, so it doesn't spread. Cut to completely healthy tissue, dust with sulfur powder or cinnamon, and keep it (the cut) dry. Water as you normally would, but I'd check that soil again - it needs to be porous.

    And join the Central Arizona Cactus and Succulent Society, or at least bring your plant there - there are some very good growers there who could give you on-the-spot guidance and counseling.

  • ayarkay_mac_com
    9 years ago

    We have a m. palm planted inside our Tucson house in a planter. It gets quite a bit of filtered sun, and we keep the house warm. It is in the plastic pot, buried in dry planting medium, is about 4-5 ft tall and has been in the house since last October .

    The problem is that it has lots of new growth and looks great then turns black and falls off. We've been told to water it more, water it less, remove it from the pot because it's not draining, add epsom salts. Anybody know what to do???

    Thanks.

  • reftech
    9 years ago

    I need help my pachy took a tumble and the trunk got hit halfway up and now feels soft and is weeping sap.The plant was very healthy and was enjoying the heat of summer and has plenty of leaves on the crown.Is it to late to save the plant?What is the best thing i can do for it to save it?Any advise would be appreciated.

  • Les3012
    9 years ago

    I have 2 pachy's. that I have had for about 1-1/2 years. They are growning well and have been in full sun. I live in Phoenix and this summer it was especially hot (112 degrees +). The plants seem to have suffered a bit where the leaves seem to be sunburned. I moved them from the direct sun to a more shady, bright light area and they are recovering. Everything I have read indicates they require full sun - at least 8 hrs a day. Once they recover should I put them back in the direct sun or leave them where they are?

  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5
    9 years ago

    Les,

    Leave them where they are, for the most part - they like full sun but not full Phoenix sun. They're tropical plants, not desert plants, for the most part.

  • gaugie
    9 years ago

    I live in lake havasu AZ, currently have one that lives in the shade under patio in my front yard. Recently purchase two more beautiful pots and wanted to know how much sun can it take? Our summers go up to 118, even higher to 125.

    The plant we have is doing well, not growing much and has never flowered.
    It does have three offshoots.

    I do not know how to post pictures. hellp

  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5
    9 years ago

    That's too hot - you'll have to give them some shade, more-than-usual waterings and lots of root room.

    Here are some guidelines for posting pics.

    http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/sansevieria/msg0920072415930.html?4

    Here is a link that might be useful: Posting pics

  • gaugie
    9 years ago

    {{gwi:589294}}

    This was tranplanted from Ca. I put pot in sun, quickly started turning brown,
    Planted in shade 3 years ago and doing very well. It is very hot here in Lake Havasu City AZ.

  • gaugie
    9 years ago

    {{gwi:589295}}

    Purchase two of these from Lowes for 66.00 Each. Alas, they are poisonous according to internet search and gave them to my sister. They look great in her front atrium.

  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5
    9 years ago

    gaugie,

    Yes, like their cousins the Oleander, the Plumeria and Adenium, they're poisonous, but so are many things, so that's no reason to not grow them, especially a handsome bunch as that (I don't know whether I'd split them up or not - there's something to be said for having a grove of Pachys, but they'd no doubt grow better separated a little bit).

    'they are poisonous according to internet search and gave them to my sister' - Wednesday morning yucks, thanks.

  • gaugie
    9 years ago

    They look beautiful at my sister in law's. At her front door in the shade.

    on one side, we planted four as in the pot. On the other side, two separately and outside, just a bit, where there is little sun two planted together in a V.

    My doggies are 3 lb and 6lbs, so I can enjoy them at her house.

  • stanofh 10a Hayward,Ca S.F. bay area
    9 years ago

    It sounds like desert people are wondering why their Pachys are burning or not growing in the heat,when they thought it was what they need....and it also seems that those problems are happening to potted plants. They can handle any desert heat when established and growing in ground,but 118f sun beating down on a potted rootball..will hurt! Keep in mind that some shade is needed in hot summer areas. For the rest of us in cooler climes,the more heat reflected in summer the better. And black pots help.

  • noki
    9 years ago

    I was inspired to get a Madagascar Palm this spring by this thread. Set it out in full sun and got full rain in Ohio zone 5b, and the plant seemed to do very well.

    Now it is getting cold, what should I expect in winter? Are nights 45-50 degrees F okay, while still having sunny warm days? When I bring it inside for good I assume it should barely be watered... or should it be watered more? Will the leaves all fall off during winter inside?

  • rachel6767
    9 years ago

    i have several madagascar palms that are over 10 years old and about 6 feet tall. Recently the new growth on one of them has begun to come out wavy and compact. All three growing tips of that plant are having the same ailment. the other two plants aren't showing any signs of it, or any signs of distress. Does anyone know what could be causing this, or what i should do to fix it? thanks
    -Rachel

  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5
    9 years ago

    Hi Rachel,

    Can you post some pictures to show us what you're talking about?

    Use the HTML code (the 'a href.....' line of code at Photobucket or the like) and put it in your message here.

    You could have a variety of Pachypodium lamerei which has wavy leaves (I think there's a variety with the ssp. name 'ramosa' but I could be mistaken).

  • rachel6767
    9 years ago

    I've uploaded several pictures of the curious growth on my pachypodium to photobucket at the attached link (http://s1143.photobucket.com/albums/n632/Rachel6767/). 3 of the pictures are of the diseased plant growth and one is of healthy growth on a different plant. The plant in question had normal leaf growth up until recently so i don't think that the plant is of a wavy leafed variety (unless that phenotype shows up later in the plant's life?)
    I appreciate the help,
    Rachel

    Here is a link that might be useful: pachypodium pictures

  • pennyhal
    9 years ago

    Hi Rachel,to post a photo on this Board from PhotoBucket, copy/paste the html code in this message box. When you click on "preview message" your photos will show up. That way people won't have to keep going back and forth between screens to see the plants.

    {{gwi:589296}}

    {{gwi:589296}}

    {{gwi:589298}}

    {{gwi:589299}}

  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5
    9 years ago

    Rachel,

    I think the leaves on yours are deformed due to insect attack or the result of spraying something like alcohol on the bugs and allowing the plant to remain in the sun while it's wet from the treatment. It looks like they'll grow out of it, partially at least, but I don't think it would hurt the plant for you to deleaf the plant, if you didn't like the deformed leaves remaining there. Just don't water heavily until new leaves are coming. Depending on where you grow this, your plant may start coming back in the winter (P. l. can be a vigorously-growing-tropical-yet-succulent plant).

  • rachel6767
    9 years ago

    That sounds like a plausible cause, thanks for the advice! I'll keep a close eye on them and let you know of any progress.
    -Rachel

  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5
    9 years ago

    Those trunks look awfully skinny for the height they are, Rachel - are they in full sun most of the year?

    And you're welcome - there are at least two forms of P. l., but neither one of them have the crinkled leaves.

  • rachel6767
    9 years ago

    i live in Southern Utah where there is lots of sun, and they are usually outside on the porch. We bring them inside during the winter since it often freezes at night, so they don't get a lot of light during those months.

  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5
    9 years ago

    But they keep their leaves in the winter (which you're right to bring them in from, of course....although a frozen growing tip will almost always result in branching)? That would explain the extraordinary lankiness - I would have thought they lose their leaves, which shows me what I know about growing Pachypodium inside.

  • birdsnblooms
    9 years ago

    Up above, when this post was started, it was said Pachypodiums should/can be grown like tropicals...

    WHAT?

    Over the years, my Pachy's, including lameri, are cared for as succulents.

    Some lose leaves, others don't.

    Does growing as tropicals mean, more water in winter? Fertilizer? Warm temps? 70F and higher?? Thanks, Toni

  • GrizThomson
    9 years ago

    Hello, I have two beautiful Madagascar Palms, one split after winter damage and created two additional branches, the other has never created additional branches. Is there anyway to force it to create additional branches? or propogate baby plants from the parent plant?

  • malusm
    9 years ago

    I have a question. I live in TX and I own a Madagascar plant that was given to me by my brother. My plant is about 6 or seven years old and it is about 5 ft tall. I have it in a pot that is about 10" by 10" deep. In the last three years the leaves have been looking semi-healthy that means that they have a beautiful shiny healthy green color; however, they tend to get a tiny drop of a black, oily, sticky sap that blocks the growth of the leaf. Usually appears on the tip of the leaf, but I have also seen it right in the middle of the the leaf. I try to wipe that off with a damp cloth but nothing seems to work. Since I know nothing about this plants, I thought it was because it was receiving too much sun so I moved it to an area where it receives less hours of sun and obviously it did not work. I am reading on this blog that was wrong about that too. can anybody tell me why this is happening and how can I prevent it from happening again this year? Is it time for me to re-pot it?? I have to mention that last year it started to grow babies from one side :-). I have been using a 2-7-7 cactus liquid fertilizer and it seems to work just fine, but is there anything better I should be using?? Help!!!!

  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5
    9 years ago

    A picture would help us diagnose your problem, but generally a plant such as that one would find it beneficial to get a repotting into a porous mix. Doing so soon would also benefit it from being in fresh, nutritious soil as the growing season starts again for us (yours may already be showing growth). You may also be overfertilizing it, too - these plants don't want much added nutrition. Has it not yet flowered for you?

  • debbie-1
    9 years ago

    We have had Igor, (our madagascar palm) for 20 years. He is about 10 feet tall, all 1 truck. Six years ago we put in a sky light for him because he was so tall. He has been twisting around to avoid getting into the skylight...but he is entering it. We would like to know if a madagascar can be cut in two, and both ends replanted. He seems very happy and healthy. Please advise, as we have grown accustom to his face never want to lose him! Thank you!:)

  • cwcervantes
    8 years ago

    Hi everyone. I'm having some problems with my pachypodiums. I've got a geayi, lamerei, and a cactipes. All of them get black spots on the leaves, which then turn into dry brown patches and then the leaves yellow, wither and fall off. my plants no longer have a good tuft of leaves. the growing tips have only three or four leaves each. any ideas what the problem could be?

  • CamcoLover
    8 years ago

    Hello everyone, I am new to the forum and wanted to share a picture of my well over 9' Madagascar Palm that has yet to flower and is about 12 years old now.

  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5
    8 years ago

    cw,

    It all goes back to the soil / heat / light triangle - you have a problem with one of them I'd guess.

    CL,

    Well, that Pachy certainly has yardage, and I don't mean to rain on your parade, but it's rather greatly etiolated. It shouldn't be that tall and that thin.

  • jtull01
    8 years ago

    Hi folks, I too have a Pachypodium that caught a quick frost bite last summer. I immediately brought it indoors but, it lost all but one leaf, which is in bad shape. The trunk is solid and appears undamaged. How can I get it to sprout new leaves and start growing again?
    Thanks for any advice.
    I live near Chicago, IL.

  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5
    8 years ago

    It's sleeping now - just wait for spring and it will start leafing out. If you peruse the previous comments you'll see most of the time, even in ideal temps, this plant goes dormant.

  • MingusDew
    7 years ago

    Hey guys,
    Great pictures and resources here thank you all for posting. I got my Madagascar Palm via way of my step mother and father who have had this guy for, well i am not sure how old it is exactly, but estimates are around 40+ years old. It has been in extremely limiting rectangular pot shared with another succulent type. I decided to re-pot it FINALLY! I think it will be very happy it is about 3 1/2 - 4 feet currently. As a side note this near the time of my step mother's passing I witnessed pink flowering which was followed by branching afterwords, currently 3 branches. It is an honor to have kept this one in the family!

  • sully2244
    7 years ago

    Our Madagascar Palm is about 20 yrs old. It is happy. Each yr, it spends May through Sept on the patio and the rest of the year it is in our south facing windows. The question is: is there a way of cutting it so that it regenerates? It has one large trunk and a second smaller one which is about 3 ft tall. Can I cut off and root the smaller trunk and can I cut the larger one in half and both root the top section where the leaves are and get the lower, rooted part to send out new growth? How long would I have to wait till I see new growth? It could be a while since the second trunk started as a nub on the side of the main trunk and it was about 8 yrs before it really grew

  • hijole
    7 years ago

    Thought Id add one more pic of this nice looking plant.
    Have a nice weekend in your garden.

    Greg

  • Pat Cheshire
    5 years ago

    I live in the Texas Hill Country and have a madagascar palm I purchased about four years ago. It is planted in a 12" ceramic pot that is about 16" tall. The palm itself has grown to just under two feet. It gets below freezing here in the winter, so I move it into the house near huge windows for light. Even so, the palm loses all of its leaves during the winter. In the spring I move it back out onto the patio where it gets sun all day. This year it has not sprouted new leaves which worries me. In the pot around the base of the plant I planted some hens and chicken succulents. They are doing fine but I wonder if perhaps they are robbing nutrients from the palm. Is this OK or should I dig them out? Watering is a constant worry to me. I am afraid of overwatering, so perhaps I am not watering enough. Do I need to fertilize?
    When and how much?

    I am very fond of this plant and hope to have it for many years to come, but am concerned about the fact that it is not getting any leaves. The trunk is nice and hard, so I don't think it has root rot.

    I would appreciate any suggestions you may have.

    Thanks

    Pat in Comfort


  • leisurely
    5 years ago

    Camcolover,

    Your plant is not blooming because it is not getting sufficient light to bloom. I live in Central Florida and my plant, that is about the same age as yours, has been blooming for at least six years; however, my plant is only about seven feet tall but has a trunk that is fourteen inches in diameter. It currently has about seven branches at the top with buds showing on six of them. The flowers are pure white, scented and closely resemble Plumeria. The flower spike continues to elongate so you get blooms for a couple of months. I have always grown it outside and when we have a freeze warning I wrap it real well with old comforters that are polyester filled. We had 25° one night and it only received some minor tip damage. Coming from Madagascar, I thought it was quite cold sensitive but it is not.



    T

  • leisurely
    5 years ago

    This is Pachypodium rosulatum that is a dwarf compared to lamerei

  • Brett Voss
    5 years ago

    Hello I wanted to know what kind plant food or fertilizer plant food for Pachypodium lamerei I have 3 of those one more than 6 feet tall other two 5 feet tall and want to get healthy still look healthy like to add maybe might look better let me know thanks and will show you picture when I get this comment about what kind plant food best for this plant thanks , Brett

  • leisurely
    5 years ago

    I use a timed release fertilizer called Osmokote and apply it as soon as new growth commences in the spring. It lasts about three months. I repeat the application again in early summer.

  • Denney Moman
    5 years ago

    Hi. My mum has a pachy and yesterday my kids ripped the two heads off the plant. Will this kill it? Also if i plant the heads will they grow? My mum is going to kill me!!

  • greenclaws UK, Zone 8a
    5 years ago

    Denny......This takes the prize for the revival of one of the oldest threads, it's over 10 yrs old!.....often, it's far better to start a new thread, you stand a better chance of getting more interest and ask a specific question within the title such as ......'can I reroot the top of a pachy? Especially so when there are so many posts as here, just a thought :) how did they manage to do that, they are very prickly things!

    Gill UK

  • leisurely
    5 years ago

    Assuming that the broken pieces are about three or four inches with enough sustenance to hold them for a while they should root. Allow the ends to dry for about a week which will allow them to callous and prevent them from rotting. A rooting hormone which is a powder applied to the cut will enhance rooting but is not an absolute necessity. It should be available at a local garden shop. Stick the ends it a dry potting mix and wait. Do not water. An occasional misting might be of benefit if they are indoors.

    Since it is that time of the year for the plant to begin dormancy, it may not root until spring. So you must be patient.

    Good luck.


  • Naeem Ahmadi
    4 years ago

    Hi,i have a madagascar palm for 2 years.

    it was just fine until last 3 months its new leaves turn brown and fall immediatly after showing themselves.its stem is healthy looking and the old leaves are fine too.the problem is for newborn leaves only.please help me whats the problem.its indoors in a pot.

  • Coleen Young
    4 years ago

    I have 2 pachy's they are doing very well. I live in north TX and it gets cold. I an in the process of moving to my new home. ThThey love the apartment balcony and are very beautiful about 4ft but never bloomed. What is the best way to move them, and will the move from am open balcony to a covered patio cause any issues. Can anyone show pics of how to repot?

    Thank you

    Coleeny