Growing Pachypodium lamerei

When I first decided to plant this Pachypodium in the ground I wasn't at all sure it would live through the winter. I'd had it for a year already and was bringing it indoors on the coldest of nights during January and February. I really love it's unusual, tropical form; it looks positively Jurassic.

The Pachypodium has been happy outdoors here in our USDA 9b'ish zone. In the winter we do get a light frost every so often - seldom anything below freezing. When the nightly temperatures do flirt with a freeze many of the leaves turn yellow and fall to the ground. Once in  great while ( yrs / decades apart ) we get a hard frost and when that happens I'll most likely cover it with a temporary wooden structure and cloth.

September, 2018

Here we are almost one year later! There has not been phenomenal growth but the plant has definitely taken on a different form. Notice how the top looks elongated and the base looks fatter which fits it's name, which roughly translates as "thick base" (or foot)

August, 2019

Another garden benefit of the Pachypodium ( aka Madagascar Palm Tree ) is it's resistance to hail. Where Aloes, Kalanchoe,  and the softer Agaves are often pitted by even a short hail storm - the Pachypodium emerges unscathed. Because it's form is very different than that of Aloes and Agaves, Pachypodium makes a nice companion plant in the dry garden. As it continues to grow I'm hopeful this  Pachypodium Lamerei will become a focal point in the garden.

 Morning of February 1st, 2020
Winter time and the leaves of this Pachypodium lamerei have turned noticeably yellow with brown spots. Many of these leaves will fall off and be replaced during warmer weather.
Pachypodium lamerei after 2 years in ground
Early September, 2020

 The above shot was taken from a different angle then the previous pictures but you may still be able to notice that the plant seems to have grown taller and thinner. It's getting harder to distinguish the Pachypodium from it's neighbors as all the plants fill out and grow taller.


  1. Alas this is only a container plant for me, but I would love to be able to put it in the ground. Have you ever been to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix? Love their huge specimens...

    1. I have not been to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix - but I'd like to visit someday. For now I'm going to depend on my fellow garden bloggers to show me the sites! :)

  2. It looks happy. It's a good-looking plant albeit too spiky for my space, especially if it reaches 10 feet tall.

    1. I think if mine survives to reach 10ft I will complement it with a Brontosaurus statue I've had my eye on for a few years. Pachypodium remind me of plants that would have been around during the age of dinosaurs - maybe because they look similar to a Cycad.

  3. That's a lovely specimen. it looks good with the Aloes nearby.

    A neighbor has one she planted from a 2" pot several decades ago. It's very impressive now!

    1. Thanks! I'm hoping the next few years will show some decent growth which I'll be sure to document with more pics on this post.


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