Common name: Madagascar Palm, Prickly PalmFamily: ApocynaceaeOrigin: MadagascarHeight: 4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)Width: 36-48 in.
(90-120 cm)Light: full sun Water Requirements: lowBlooming Period: winterDescription: Pachypodium lamerei is a suculent genus of the large Apocynaceae family witch consists of over 175 genera. It has a prickly stem with long dark green leaves, between 15-20cm in length. Flowers have attractive assymetrical white petals; they flower on mature plants, that might be 10 years or more from seed. All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested. Cultivation : Pachypodium lamerei needs full sun to light shade with warm temperatures. We use a potting mix consisting of 2 parts sand to 1 part peat moss to 1 part loam with small gravel added for increased drainage. Water sparingly and do not fertilize. Do not water in the winter months when there is no foliage. Repot the plant every 3 years; this is quite tricky given all the spines. The best way is to wrap several layers of newspaper around the trunk where it is to be handled. They will grow well indoors on a sunny window sill, or outdoors during the warmer summer months with regular watering, or in a greenhouse where temperature and water can be controlled all year round. P. lamerii can grow up to a foot per year. Give them regular water in the warm summers, as long as it's growing in a free draining soil mix. Under watering during a warmer growing period can lead to leaf loss, this helps the plant conserve water that might otherwise be lost through stomata in the leaves. Reduce watering as the temperatures and light levels drop in autumn, but do not let the temperature fall too low - they cannot tolerate frost. The whole plant can rot if too wet during the colder winter months, but unfortunately too little water over winter can also cause the roots to dessicate and die. Leaves may yellow and fall off over the dry, colder winters - but this is natural as the plant slows it metabolism down, don't give it excessive water just to keep the leaves on the plant. Propagation: 1. Pachypodium lamerei are propagated by removal of small offshoots that grow at the base of the plant. Carefully break off the offshoots, they should be allowed to dry for 5 to 8 days before potting up. 2. Seeds germinate very erratically. Soak seeds in warm water for 24 hours before sowing in moist sand. Seed germinate anywhere from 21 day to 6 months at 72C. Info: - "Pachypodium" means "thick foot" in Greek, referring to the thickened stem.