Madagascar Palm Plant: Top 15 Surprising Benefits of Growing and Using

4 Min Read

The Madagascar palm is one of the succulent species of the Apocynaceae family. Madagascar palm is a popular name for this type of giant shrub or small tree depending on size.

It grows with thick, spiny stems and thin leaves that are centrally located at the top. Has small white flowers with a hint of yellow on the throat.

This tropical plant, which is native to southern Madagascar, is hardy only in USDA zones 9 through 11. Often grown indoors in most climates.

Madagascar Palm Plant

The Madagascar palm plant, which is a succulent, has an odd arrangement of tropical leaves that give it the appearance of a member of the cactus family, making it a real conversation starter.

The Madagascar palm, which has leaves that curl at the top, can grow up to 24 feet tall when grown outdoors. It is distinguished by its spear-like dark green leaves and has a stout, gray stem that probably includes thorns.

Each spring and early summer, the plant blooms with small, 4-inch buds that produce flowers that are often white but can also be yellow, pink, or red.

Madagascar Palm Plant Overview

  • Botanical Name: Pachypodium lamerei
  • Common Name: Madagascar Palm, Madagascar Cactus Palm Tree, Pachypodium Species, Club Foot
  • Family: Apocynaceae
  • Plant Type: Deciduous succulent
  • Mature Size: 12-24 Ft.
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Soil Type: Cactus compost, well-drained chalk, loam, or sand
  • Soil pH: Alkaline
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Flower Color: White, Yellow, Red, or Pink
  • Hardiness Zones: 9-11 (USDA)
  • Native Area: Southern Madagascar

Madagascar Palm Plant Species

There are a total of 25 such species, 20 of which are native to Madagascar, where the unique topography and microclimate have given rise to highly specialized species.

Pachypodium: Pachycole trunks in open and dry rocky environments are morphologically elongated trunks that store water to survive seasonal drought or root desiccation. A group of recognizable poisonous and stem-succulent plants are endemic to South Africa.

P. namaquanum: The succulent plant endemic to South Africa, it is also known as haffman or elephant trunk. It is a 4-meter-tall, succulent plant with a single stem. Sharp spines are abundantly coated on the furrowed trunk, which is thick at the base and tapered at the top.

P. Mikea: The small elegant palm-like succulent tree, the trunk of which is large columnar straight and pale in color. Its crown has few branches. At the top of each spiny shoot, a simple, slender, palm-like rosette of glossy leaves forms. There are white flowers.

How To Grow Madagascar Palm Plant

Madagascar palms have the potential to grow enormous and require a lot of soil in order to retain water. Therefore, use clay jars rather of plastic ones. The plant is securely contained in the clay jar and is kept from dropping to the ground.

The prepared seedling should next be placed according to its correct technique. After planting, it has to be watered promptly. It’s crucial to maintain the location where the plant may receive lots of sunshine.

Sunlight keeps plants healthy and as similar to their native habitat’s climate as possible, even when they don’t always engage in regular photosynthesis. Cut back as the plant grows, often in the spring, to hasten rooted.


The Madagascar palms should be pruned as needed, even if they are not needed often. Trim this tree to maintain order and get rid of any unhealthy or damaged foliage. This plant needs to be pruned to remove any overgrown or oversized shoots.

The best time to prune a Madagascar palm is in the late winter to early spring. Trimming will do the least amount of harm to the plant during this time of year. Madagascar palm can be cut rather easily.

You will need a specific set of pruning shears to trim these trees. After cutting, avoid watering the plant immediately as this can cause fungal infection in the plant wound.


The Madagascar palms may be propagated from seeds or offsets. Both can be obtained from the plant or purchased. It is challenging to grow Madagascar palms from seeds.

Seeds are difficult to germinate. Seeds for Madagascar palm plants should be soaked in warm water for a day before planting. Keep them at room temperature and plant them in damp sand.

Break off a bit of the new shoot above the base for quicker results. Give the sprouts a week to dry. Then plant in a soil mixture that drains properly.

Madagascar Palm Plant Care

Madagascar palms do not require much maintenance. You should be aware of its requirements for light, water, soil, temperature and fertilizer. The Madagascar palm needs an area 36 to 48 inches wide. Place it in the ground or in a container, on the patio or indoors.

Grow this plant indoors year-round in mild winter climates. Grow plants outdoors in containers throughout the summer when the weather is warm. Root rot can be prevented by choosing containers with proper drainage openings.

Soil And Fertilizer

Continue to fertilize the Madagascar palm throughout the summer. Stop when there is no new growth. Use a seaweed or fish mixture or a diluted complete liquid fertilizer. Worm castings can be used to add more nutrients to the soil when repotting.

Madagascar palms grow well in containers with normal cactus potting mix and drainage holes, as do many succulents and cactus-type plants. Excellent drainage is provided by this compound, which helps prevent root rot.

Also Read: Everything You Need To Know Before Growing Chinese Privet Plant

Light And Water

The Madagascar palm thrives best in more light. This tall spiny houseplant should be near a south or west facing window to absorb maximum light when grown indoors. If the Madagascar palm is not getting enough light you will notice leaf loss and little new growth.

Between watering’s, allow the soil to gently dry out. When it’s time to water, thoroughly wet the soil until the grow pot is dry. The plant needs extra water since its leaves are drooping or curling. Avoid watering this plant if the soil is wet because it often loves to be on the dry side.

Temperature and Humidity

The Madagascar palm enjoys heat, however keep in mind that indoor plants dry out rapidly in hot weather. The ideal temperature for these hypodermic palms is between 65 and 75 °F inside.

Madagascar palms will benefit from slightly more humidity if you can provide it even though they are less sensitive to humidity than some other leafy houseplants.

Pests and Diseases

Overwatering’s effect on the roots of Madagascar palms is their largest health danger. People frequently overwater cactus and succulents. It can develop quickly enough by itself. Breakage is one risk associated with excessive irrigation.

The plant’s long, wiry trunk may be abruptly split in two and lifted up. This occurs when plants are housed in environments that are too hot or too dark. A plant that has been split in two cannot be resurrected. Whiteflies and spider mites might be an issue. On the underside of the leaves, these pests may be present.

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