About me

About me
🌿 I've been gardening ever since a child, when I spent time with my father in his vegetable garden. But my fascination with Echeverias started in the 1980's, when my father gave me a pot with five Echeverias, which turned out to be E. imbricata. At first I wasn't much interested in them and planted them in some obscure corner of the garden and completely forgot about them. How great was my surprise when, a couple of months later, I noticed that they had spread and made a beautiful display - I was hooked!
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Saturday, 10 May 2014

Pachypodium lamerei

Camera : Fuji FinePix 2800Zoom
Taken in my garden (Tarlton,Gauteng, South Africa)

Pachypodium lamerei has a tall, silvery-gray trunk covered with sharp 6.25 cm spines. Long, narrow leaves grow only at the top of the trunk, like a palm tree and is often marketed as the “Madagascar Palm”, despite it not being a palm at all. It is a stem succulent and comes from the island Madagascar.

It rarely branches, except here in Tarlton! With every consecutive frost it got a new branch in Spring. Sadly to say, after being in my garden for several years at a height of 3 meters, a particularly severe frost killed it a couple of winters ago. Plants grown outdoors will reach up to 6 metres. When grown indoors it will slowly reach 1.2-1.8 m tall.

Plants grown outdoors will develop large, white, fragrant flowers at the top of the plant. It rarely flowers indoors.

I don't usually replace plants that die or are not suitable for our area, but shortly after my Pachy died, I came upon one at a succulent show in 2008 and guess what? I couldn't resist buying it!

New Pachypodium in 2009 

It has now grown from a 6" baby into almost a meter tall. I've been bringing it into the house every winter, but after it's first transplant into a bigger pot, it has grown so big that it is a problem carrying it in. Will have to drag the old garden trolley out of the store room...

Pachypodium lamerei in 2010 

Pachypodium lamerei, having out-grown his pot and just before being transplanted late 2012

My Pachy after being transplanted in Oct 2013 

Pachypodium lamerei in March 2014 (see how the Echeverias have grown also!)

If you have a frost-free climate, these are one of the most stunning succulents to have in your garden and makes a beautiful feature plant.



  1. Hi there,
    I live in Reunion island (close to Mauritius) and I am considering buying a pachypodium lamerei and growing it outside in a pot. I can see that your specimen grew big quite quickly. What kind of soil did you put in your pot ? How often do you water it ?

    1. Hi Anonymous, I used ordinary potting soil for my Pachy and as the pot stood in the garden, it got quite a lot of water when it rained, but it MUST have good drainage. Being a succulent, they can go quite a long time without water. Watering well about once a week if it hasn't rained should suffice. Under no circumstances should it be watered a lot in winter in cold climates, but I presume you do not have a cold problem! Good luck if you get one, they are wonderful, hassle-free plants.


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