Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Madagascar Ocotillo, Madagascan Ocotillo, African Ocotillo
Alluaudia procera

Family: Didiereaceae
Genus: Alluaudia (al-loo-WAH-dee-uh) (Info)
Species: procera (PRO-ker-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Didierea procera

20 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Gold (Yellow-Orange)
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is fire-retardant
This plant is resistant to deer
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By Happenstance
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By palmbob
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By palmbob
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There are a total of 48 photos.
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5 positives
3 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive BayAreaTropics On May 13, 2014, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

I bought as small as you can buy them at a local Home store about 5 years ago. Only a few inches. At first they were kept potted..then in ground when I saw they could take the SF bay area rains and winters. Then moved again last year. After all that,no losses and the small group is growing,in leaf now in spring.
The more sun the better and may need staking up until they can hold themselves upright.
Great plants and very different for here.

Neutral bjayinPS On Mar 23, 2013, bjayinPS from Palm Springs, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I planted several of these striking specimens last year and they did well through the hot Palm Springs summer and temperate fall. As expected, they lost their leaves when cold weather hit in January, but they haven't yet leafed out. It is well into the 80's every day now (late March) and I would have thought they would have started by now. Does anyone have experience to share on this? Thank you.

Positive Phoolan On Jun 14, 2011, Phoolan from San Luis Obispo, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Two years ago when I bought my house in Port Isabel, TX (nearly the southmost point of Texas on the Gulf of Mexico) this 10 foot plant with many branches or "arms" was in an 18 inch pot on a sun blasted patio. Since then, it's gone through two hurricanes and two serious freezes of several nights duration. The last freeze took out about a quarter of my garden, including 30 foot trees. The Alluaudia procera looked like a skeleton--grey and dry--but leafed out in the spring, even adding a few more inches to it's height. Summer temps here are reliably in the 90's with ferocious humidity. Spring and Fall there's salty, often dusty winds. I water it about once a week in the summer, and know it's got a fire ant nest in the pot. I've never fertilized it, and would love to re-pot it, but am worried about messing up a good thing even if it's in an ugly pot. Plus it would probably be painful: thorns AND ants.

Neutral vatocoach On Jan 7, 2010, vatocoach from San Diego, CA wrote:

I will be transplanting this plant out of the ground. The plant is ten feet tall and I would like to know if anyone knows how deep the roots are at this size? I will be putting this in a pot as well.

Negative CactusJordi On Aug 27, 2008, CactusJordi from El Cajon, CA wrote:

In the January '07 freeze my plants were severely damaged at 24F.


Positive Cactusdude On Nov 29, 2007, Cactusdude from Miami, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

There seems to be some confusion as to what this plant is. Alluaudias are from Madagascar and do not grow wild in the U.S.A.
Ocotillos (Fouquieria splendens) are the southwestern natives with red flowers.
Two different families, convergent forms.

Neutral cacti_guy On Sep 6, 2006, cacti_guy from Frazeysburg, OH wrote:

I live in zone 6a/5b so this is a house plant. I bought it on a discount rack at a nursery sale with no info. I repotted the 3 plants in potting soil and water it every other week. From May '06 thru August '06 each of the 3 has grown from about 6" to 8" and 2 of them sprouted "branches" at the top and those branches have grown 4". I will consider a POSITIVE rating if my plant winters well. Also, if anyone can tell me how to "make" more branches and how to propogate this plant I would much appreciate it.

Positive Happenstance On Aug 22, 2003, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:

Protected in the greenhouse in Zone 9b over the winter. Commonly known as Madagascan Ocotillo

Positive palmbob On Aug 15, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a terrific plant for those in warmer, drier areas who want something 'different' looking- maybe even a bit weird. It has some tough, sharp spines, but because of its very upright habit, is rarely a problem walking around. The leaves are succulent and bud right off the trunk. As it ages, branches appear but also grow straight up. It can grow, in it's native habitat of Madagascar, over 50' tall. However I have never seen one even half that in the US. In my area, a 9a-9b, it tends to be deciduous over winter. However, it is not normally so.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Peoria, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Surprise, Arizona
Bostonia, California
Carlsbad, California
Clayton, California
Hayward, California
Mountain View Acres, California
Oak View, California
Reseda, California
Roseville, California
San Diego, California (3 reports)
Spring Valley, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Miami, Florida
Wailuku, Hawaii
Orange, Texas
Port Isabel, Texas

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