Origins and Climate
These plants are native to southern Africa and Madagascar. For the most part they come from summer rainfall areas, and they thrive with summer rainfall. They tend to do much better in Florida than California due to the seasonal rainfall pattern, but can be adapted to any mild climate, given the right location and good care. + Show More
There are about 20 species of Pachypodium. The two most common Pachypodiums in cultivation (P. lamerei and geayi) account for at least 95% of the plants in gardens. They are very similar looking trees with white flowers and not easy to distinguish until they are mature. They make excellent container plants for years and are the easiest to keep going long term. Other trees found less often in cultivation include P. lealii, P. rutenbergianum, and P. sofiense. + Show More
All Pachypodiums require strong light and thrive in full sun when mature. They tolerate some drought, and are specialists in this aspect in nature, but do much better in cultivation when provided regular water during their active growth season, especially in containers. + Show More
Pachypodiums are generally grown from seed, and the more common plants (P. lamerei and geayi) are fast and easy to grow this way. They are often self-fertile, so a plant flowering in isolation may produce a seed pod, which breaks open when ripe to release flat seeds with dandelion-like parachutes. After flowering, a stem often branches, and these branches can later be cut and used to start new plants, with varying success.
Provide young seedlings some protection, strong light, excellent drainage, and regular water during the first year or more of growth. Do not allow the soil to go completely dry or stay dry during this sensitive early period.