How To Do Madagascar Palm Tree Care Indoors & Outdoors?

The Madagascar palms are best suited for sunlit and warm environments. They also prefer deep infrequent watering, well-drained soil, and occasional use of a balanced fertilizer.

Madagascar Palm Care

Also known as Pachypodium Lamerei, Madagascar Palms are slow-growing succulents native to Madagascar. These plants grow six to eight feet tall with bulbous and unique trunks and thin-long leaves.


The Madagascar palm care involves exposing the plant to bright and indirect light, well-draining soil, and letting the soil dry between two watering. They are low-maintenance and do not need frequent pruning or fertilization.


Madagascar palms can endure high temperatures but are sensitive to frost and cold. Hence, please keep them in a protected and warm environment during the colder months.


Overall, Madagascar palms are excellent houseplants for those who seek a unique and attractive addition to their collection that needs only minimal care.


Overview of How To Care For A Madagascar Palm

Scientific name Pachypodium lamerei
Family Apocynaceae
Hardiness zone 10 through 11
Soil type Well-draining, sandy soil
Watering frequency Allow soil to dry out between waterings
Sunlight Bright, indirect light
Fertilizer Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 2-3 months during the growing season.
Temperature & Humidity Tolerates high temperatures but sensitive to cold and frost; prefers low to moderate humidity levels
Pruning Pruning is not usually required but can be done in the active growing season to encourage branching and bushier growth.


Madagascar Palm Indoor Care

Madagascar Palm Indoor Care

Madagascar palms are popular houseplants because of their easy care requirements and unique appearance. Here are the things to keep in mind for caring for the Madagascar palm indoors:


A. Madagascar palm pot size


Madagascar palm or the Pachypodium Lamerei can grow a significant size over time. Thus, for good Madagascar palm care and growth, it needs a large pot as it grows.


As a general rule, pick a container at least 10-12 inches in diameter for Madagascar palm houseplant. twenty percent larger than the plant’s current pot size.


However, if the plant is already in a big container and seems to outgrow it, consider shifting it to an even larger container, something 16-20 inches in diameter.


Ensure that the pot has drainage holes. It can prevent the water from accumulating or causing root rot.

B. How much sun does a Madagascar palm needs decides the location of the plant

An essential step towards Madagascar palm tree care is planting it in a spot that receives full sun to part shade. So, you must grow the palm where it receives at least six hours of direct sun daily.


Those residing in the dry and hot climate should offer some protection against the harsh afternoon noon. It is quintessential to avoid leaf scorch.


When growing palm indoors, keep it near a bright window that receives direct sun for several hours around the day. West or south-facing windows are usually the best places for the plant to receive adequate sun.


However, if the light in your region is insufficient, consider supplementing it with artificial grow lights.


C. What kind of soil do Madagascar palms like?


Madagascar palms thrive in well-draining soil that is slightly acidic to neutral. The soil should have a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. A good potting mix is imperative for excellent Madagascar palm care.


Hence, opt for a potting mix that is porous, loose, and capable of retaining moisture while letting out excess water quickly. To create a suitable potting mixture for the Madagascar palm, mix equal parts of perlite, peat moss, and coarse grit or sand.


Alternatively, some botanists even suggest using a succulent or cactus potting mix designed to offer good drainage. Please avoid clay-like or heavy soil that retains too much moisture.


It can lead to root rot and other problems. Add organic matter like well-rotted manure or compost to the potting mix. It can help improve fertility and soil structure.


D. Madagascar palm fertilizer


Understanding the palm’s feeding needs is also quintessential for Madagascar palm care. They are not heavy feeders, and overfertilization can actually harm them. Hence, it is best to go easy with the fertilizer.


You can offer a balanced feed with an NPK of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 once a month during the growing season. It can help provide the plant with nutrients and stimulate healthy growth.


Alternatively, you can employ a slow-release plant feed that can feed the plants nutrients over an extended duration. Follow the label instructions while fertilizing to not over-apply as that may cause fertilizer burn or other problems.


Avoid fertilizing altogether or lower the application frequency in the winter months while the plant is not growing actively to just once every month.


Do not let the plant food get onto the plant’s stem or leaves, as that may cause damage.


E. Madagascar palm temperature tolerance

Madagascar palms are native to the arid and hot regions of Madagascar. Thus, mimic these environmental conditions for Madagascar palm tree care. They can tolerate high temperatures and endure temperatures up to 90°F (32°C) without difficulty.


However, prolonged exposure to this level may stress the plant and cause plant stress and other issues.


Generally, in terms of cold tolerance, Madagascar palm can survive brief periods of low temperature below 40°F sans any significant damage. But prolonged exposure to a temperature below 50°F (10°C) can damage the plant, resulting in leaf drop and other problems.


Shield the Madagascar palm from sudden temperature changes, as that can result in leaf stress and other issues.


So please do not place the plant near air conditioning vents or cold drafts, and ensure that you gradually acclimate it to any changes in humidity or temperature.


F. How often to water Madagascar palm?

Often to Water Madagascar Palm


Madagascar palms love dry and hot conditions. They can also tolerate drought better than overwatering. Hence, let the soil dry between two waterings to avoid root rot and overwatering.


Typically, water the palm thoroughly when the top inch of the soil feels dry upon touch. The watering frequency depends on humidity, temperature, and the pot’s size.


Generally, during the active growing season, between spring and summer, you can water the plant once a week or every two weeks, depending on the conditions.


Madagascar palm care demands watering once every two or three weeks in winter. While watering, ensure that you water deeply and slowly so that the water reaches the roots.


Do not water the stems or the leaves, as that may damage the palm. It is imperative to use well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating and causing root rot.


G. How to prune Madagascar palm?

Prune Madagascar Palm


Also known as Pachypodium Lamerei, Madagascar Palm does not need a lot of pruning as they have a naturally symmetrical and attractive shape.


But if the plant has outgrown the space or has become too thin and tall, you can prune it back to encourage branching and a compact growing habit.


You must prune the Madagascar palm in the active growing season – spring and summer when the plant is growing actively and can recover from pruning stress.


Please note pruning can be stressful for the plant. Hence, be patient and give your plant time to recover. Know that Madagascar palm does not require too much pruning at once as that may shock the plant and postpone recovery.


H. How & when to Repot Madagascar palm

Madagascar palms are slow-growing plants. They prefer somewhat root-bound growing conditions and do not enjoy frequent repotting. But if the plant has outgrown the current pot or the soil has become depleted, you must repot it.


Here are the steps for Madagascar palm plant care repotting techniques:


1. Select the right time: Repot the Madagascar palm during the active growing season when the plant is actively growing and can quickly endure the transplant shock.


2. Choose the right pot: Pick a container that is at least a size larger than the current one and has good drainage holes.


3. Prepare the new pot: Add a layer of well-draining potting mix at the new pot’s bottom. You can use perlite, potting soil, and sand in equal parts to make the potting mix.


4. Remove the plant from the old pot: Cautiously remove the plant from the old pot and loosen the roots using your fingers.


5. Repot it: Repot the plant in the new pot’s center and fill the gaps with fresh potting mix, gently pressing the soil around the roots.


6. Water the plant: Thoroughly water the plant and let the excess water drain away.


7. Monitor the plant: Once repotted, regularly examine the palm for stress signs and adjust the fertilizing and watering routine accordingly.


Related Care Guide: Majesty Palm | Cat Palm | Areca Palm | Parlor Palm | Ponytail Palm | Sago Palm | Date Palm


Madagascar Palm Outdoor Care


Although more popular indoors, you can also grow Madagascar Palms outdoors in well-draining soil with arid and warm climates. Here are some tips for caring for the Madagascar palms outdoors:


1. Watering: Consider watering the plant deeply and infrequently, ensuring you give ample time for the soil to dry out between two waterings. Do not overwater the palm, as it may lead to root rot.

2. Sunlight: Madagascar Palms thrive in full sun. However, they can tolerate some shade. So, place the plant in a spot that receives at least six hours of sun daily.

3. Soil: Madagascar palms demand well-draining soil with proper nutrients. When the soil lacks nutrients, consider making amends with perlite, sand, or other organic material. It can help improve drainage.

4. Fertilizer: Fertilize the plant once every two to three months in the growing season. You can use a balanced fertilizer. Do not over-fertilize, as it can damage the plant.

5. Winter care: Those in cooler regions should protect the plant from cold or frosty temperatures. Shield the Madagascar palm with a blanket or shift it indoors during winter.


The primary difference between Madagascar palm plant care outdoors and indoors is that the plant outside is more susceptible to diseases and pests like fungal infections, mealybugs, and spider mites.


So, inspect the plant regularly for any disease or infestation signs, and take prompt actions in modifying your palm care routine.


Madagascar Palm Problems

Madagascar Palm Problems

Madagascar palms are very easy to care for. However, they may experience some problems if you grow them in conditions that are not ideal or if you do not know the proper Madagascar palm care tips.


Here is a quick rundown of the problems that may affect your Madagascar palms:


1. Overwatering: Madagascar palms are susceptible to root rot when overwatered. Hence, you must let the soil dry between two waterings and not let the plant sit in standing water.


2. Underwatering: Even though Madagascar palms can endure drought, they still require routine watering to thrive. The plant may drop leaves or wilt if the soil is too dry.


3. Low humidity: Madagascar palms cherish high moisture. Dry indoor environments might make their leaves curl and turn their tips brown. Hence, you must frequently mist the plant or install a humidifier to amplify the humidity.


4. Pest infestations


Madagascar palms are susceptible to common houseplant pest attacks like mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects.


So, regularly examine the plant for infestation signs, such as webbing, sticky residue, or tiny insects on the stems and leaves.


Immediately treat the plant with a neem oil or insecticidal soap whenever you detect any infestation.


5. Fungal diseases: Madagascar palms may develop fungal diseases like black spots or powdery mildew if exposed to too much moisture or grown in humid conditions.


To avoid fungal infestations, do not water the leaves and improve circulation around the plant.


By learning how to take care of a Madagascar palm and paying attention to the growing conditions, you can avoid these problems and keep your Madagascar palm healthy and thriving.


Is It True That Madagascar Palms Are Toxic To Pets?

Yes, Madagascar palms are indeed harmful to pets like dogs and cats. You must keep the plants away from pets’ reach to avoid accidental ingestion.


The plant has a toxic chemical, ouabain, that may result in loss of appetite, vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, lethargy, and cardiac arrest in some pets.


Thus, if you suspect your pet has ingested a part of the Madagascar palm, you must contact your veterinarian immediately. They can help you manage your pet’s symptoms and bypass any complications.