First off, "Madagascar palm" is a misnomer.
The genus Pachypodium is a member of the "periwinkle family", Apocynaceae
not the Arecaceae.
Do a Google search. There are enitre websites and groups devoted to nothing
I see what you mean. The two current Pachypodium websites listed in the
Cactus Mall are a bit of a disappointment. Both are out-of-date and
Use free-draining potting mix. I like 2 parts perlite to 1 part peat
in a clay pot. During the summer, place the plant outside in full sun.
In anything less than full sun, you will not get the most attractive
compact growth. Water and fertilize freely and do not allow the soil to
dry for any extended period. What you want is moist but not
In winter, keep the plant in the brightest light possible. Stop
fertilizing, and reduce watering significantly. You can allow the soil
to dry out completely before watering again. If you keep the plant
bone dry for long periods OR overwater in cool weather, you may lose
the roots. What you want is barely moist. The plant may lose many of
its leaves in autumn or hold them until the new growth begins again in
Spring. In Spring, when day/night temperatures are above 70F/50F, put
the plant back outside.
Revisiting my Madagascar palm-which I have been treating like a cactus
Noted some dark brown or black at ends oof a couple fons-also a frond
will turn yellow and fall off-not ver often-once every 2 weeks or so
The problem I have is that when I bought this plant it was in a closd
container-no drainage and tiny rocklike bits aaround the base--when I
inquired the person I bought it from sai to water once a month with one
cup of water and it's in the north window very little direct light
It's done very well-doubled size good dark green fronds--the problem is
should I transplant it-leave it alone-I was told there were "peanuts"
in the bottom of the pot to absorb the water-I read reently to water
more often so I increased to evey two weeks during the summer-but am
afraid of overwatering-my moisturemeter reads 3-5 dryto moist and says
to water at 3--not sure what to do --any ideas?? al
Am I assuming correctly this is a cactus and not a palm as many have
My misconceptions re: cactus are:
need little water (once a month)-bright light but not direct
I think what's confusing me most is that this Mad Palm came in a
drainless pot-I have another cactus-telescope I believe that is in a
conventional pot that drains-so I waer once a month until water comes
thru then let finish draining and place back under window --also should
I rely on thes moisture meter as to when to water-it seems to be
agreeing with the way I water all my other plants?? thanks
Pachypodium is a stem succulent genus in the "Periwinkle" family,
Apocynaceae from Madagascar, not a cactus or a palm.
You should water your plant thoroughly when you do and the pot must have
drainage holes in the bottom. The soil should be dry between waterings. A
moisture meter really isn't necessary.
The general cactus & succulent plant care provided here will work for your
Here are some Pachypodium websites for more info.
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