Madagascar Palm Care

A Beginner's Guide to Madagascar Palm Plant Care | All you Need to Grow

Family: Apocynaceae
Common Name: Madagascar Palm Tree
Botanical name: Pachypodium lamerei

This pachypodium is not a palm, it's a succulent, so its care could not be easier! This indoor plant loves as much bright indirect light you can supply so try placing it in a south or west-facing window. This houseplant enjoys dry soil, so be sure to only water it well after the soil is completely dry to the touch! Do not be alarmed if your Madagascar Palm loses its foliage during the winter as it commonly does. Keep the soil dry during this time and place it closer to a light source and soon it will produce new foliage!

Learn how to care for and grow your Madagascar Palm:

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Bring on the light because the more it gets the more it loves itself! When grown indoors, these tall and very thorny houseplants should be placed near a south or west-facing window to absorb as much light as possible! You will notice leaves dropping and sparse new growth if your Madagascar Palm is not getting the light it needs.


Let the soil slightly dry out between watering. When it is time to water, saturate the soil until the water drains through the grow pot. Drooping or curling leaves are an indication the plant is too dry and needs more water. In general, these plants prefer to be on the dry side so refrain from watering if the soil appears to be moist. If the plant is receiving lots of indirect light and the temperature is warm for long periods of time, the soil will dry out faster requiring more frequent watering! Younger plants whose roots are not fully developed will need more water, but be careful not to over-do it! Moist, not soggy!


Pachypodium lamerei love the heat but remember that indoor plants dry out faster when the temperature is high! An average household temperature (65-75 °F) will do the trick for these imposter palms. (remember, they are not really palms!)


Madagascar Palms are not as humidity sensitive as some other leafy house plants, but they will appreciate slightly higher humidity levels if you can supply it!


It’s a good rule of thumb to start fertilizing your houseplants when you see new growth forming and this usually happens in spring time. Continue to fertilize your Pachypodium throughout the summer and stop fertilizing when you notice no new growth! Use a diluted complete liquid fertilizer or seaweed or fish emulsion. When repotting, the soil can be amended with worm castings to provide additional nutrition.

Growth Rate

Madagascar Palm is a relatively slow growing plant indoors, generally growing 6-12” a year. If you have the right conditions, lots of light, then they could grow much taller and wider, exceeding over 6+ feet and beyond!

Pet Friend or Foe

These indoor plants are Toxic to pets! Foe

Pro Tips 

  1. Wear thick gloves when handling these houseplants as their spines are sharp and toxic.
  2. If your Madagascar palm is out-growing its space, then remove the top with a sterile cutting device and, boom, new growth will form from the cut!
  3. If your Palm starts to lean and reach towards the light source, then rotate your plants to maintain a straight trunk.

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