Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Madagascar Palm
Pachypodium geayi

Family: Apocynaceae (a-pos-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pachypodium (pak-uh-PO-dee-um) (Info)
Species: geayi (GAY-ee) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

8 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 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
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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By Happenstance
Thumbnail #1 of Pachypodium geayi by Happenstance

By palmbob
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By palmbob
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By palmbob
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By giancarlo
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By knotimpaired
Thumbnail #7 of Pachypodium geayi by knotimpaired

There are a total of 42 photos.
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6 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral SuburbanNinja80 On Apr 23, 2011, SuburbanNinja80 from Plainfield, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

its cool But at the time I didn't know how tall it could get also. I didn't know the Plant was poison type. But over all its a cool Cattie

Positive grow_n_brew On Oct 30, 2009, grow_n_brew from Saint Louis, MO wrote:

I bought this plant about 16 or 17 years ago when it was maybe 4" to 6" tall. It is now over 8' tall. It winters from Oct-April inside and loses over half of the leaves. This happens even with a grow light. Great growth in the summer, the hotter more humid the better. It's in its 4th or 5th pot now. It has never bloomed nor branched. Very easy to care for otherwise. Q: Can anyone tell me how to get it to bloom or branch? I can't get it into my house this year and will have to winter it somewhere else. Q: Could I trim or cut it? I will see if I can upload a photo. Once I get the pic online, Q: please let me know if its a Geayi or Lamerii. they look very similar from the photos I have seen.

Positive palmbob On Nov 4, 2006, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is one of the two most commonly sold and grown Pachypodiums in California (but not the most common- that is P lamerii). It is often confused with that more common plant, but distinguished by having thinner leaves accented with a prominent midrib of a different color than the rest of the leaf. The leaves, compared to most other Pachypodiums, are less green, though if watered well and happy, the leaves are green.. just a duller and darker shade of green. Plants that are stressed a bit by intense heat, cold or lack of water tend to have darker leaves, still, almost purply in color. THe body of this plant is too similar for me to tell it apart from the more commonly grown and sold Pachypodium lamerii, and it is very spiny and dangerous to hold/plant. In my experience, at least here in southern CAlifornia, this is the slower growing plant (barely) if conditions are ideal, and given plenty of water in the warmer months. This plant is from the more dry areas of Madagascar, and is perhaps more prone to rot than P lamerii (the 'other' Madagascar 'Palm'), though I have not noticed that. P lamerii is from a much wetter climate in Madagascar, and truly loves to be watered a lot in the summers, make it grow faster and faster. This is a great accent plant, and though it is listed here as growing 12-15 feet tall, that is in many years. Most plants I have seen are 2-5' tall and, at least here in so Cal, rarely flower, or less rarely than the P lamerii.

Positive BayAreaTropics On Oct 17, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

The most common Pachypodium and maybe the easiest to maintain.Looks as if originaly collected on Mars! Fast grower for a Pachy. I have seen large ones kept outdoors all year in the Bay Area but,they were in pots barely larger then the trunks and under overhangs. As always, the key to keeping a borderline tropical is keeping the soil dryish and fast draining so air can permeate. I have never seen a geayi in flower.
2008: Well,things and times change-lol.Palmbob is right that lameri is the slightly faster grower.I had just had one rambunctious geayi that's all. Keeping more of both seems to confirm lamerii is more gardening friendly. P.geayi still has a place with it's maybe fatter trunk,longer thinner leaves that under certain lighting and cultural conditions turn silver or blackish even.
Also large potted P.lameri are showing up for sale at box stores and while P.geayi is still common at small sizes,larger are not often seen except for specialty nurserys.

Positive GUENWYVAR On Sep 19, 2004, GUENWYVAR from Media, PA wrote:

This is a fantastic plant !! I have 2. I got the first one around 1977 at a new supermarket. They had a whole rack of them & all were about 3 or 4" tall. I thought they were cute & unusual.Madagascar Palm aka Pachypodium Lamerei the sign said. I got the other one a year or so later. Anyhow the first one is now 6' tall measured from trunk to top. It's in a huge tall clay pot which makes it seem to be at least a 1.5 feet taller.It has 2 big branches & a bud branch off one of them. One branch is about to BLOOM!!! This is the 3rd blooming. I forget the first year it bloomed,but the 2nd time was around 2000 I think. The branches develop where the flowers were.Both of these plants are real conversation pieces & attention getters. I know no one else who has them.The thorns are horrifying; very long & sharp as needles.Believe me,you'll only bump into that plant ONCE. I've heard that it will only bloom after it's about 3' tall. It was about that at first bloom.The 2nd plant is about 5' 2" tall & has never bloomed.It has one branch that developed after it fell over & broke. I live in Southeast PA & keep them indoors from cool fall to late spring.They're out all summer. They get fed Miracle Gro. I worry about getting the big one in & out of the house thru the door since it touches the top of the door now. Eventually there'll be the ceiling.......Can you trim these plants ?

Positive lphatala On Aug 19, 2004, lphatala from Woodinville, WA wrote:

This plant was purchased in 1980, when it was about 8 inches high. It grew (as an indoor plant) to a height of 7-8 feet. I never saw it bloom, but it was always producing leaves. In the last 4 months, it stopped producing leaves. Today, I lost a conversations piece. The bottom of the trunk rotted and the plant folded about 4 inches from the base. The remainder of the plant seems solid. I cut the trunk into 6 inch lengths and I'll let them callous. Hopefully, by planting them in a sandy soil, they will propogate and I'll have small palms. This was a terrific house plant!

Positive lynxx On May 26, 2003, lynxx wrote:

Fast growing and good indoors if it has good drainage and lots of light. Magnificent form/accent plant.


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

Gilbert, Arizona
Goodyear, Arizona
Brentwood, California
Clayton, California
Hayward, California
Huntington Beach, California
Rancho Mirage, California
Reseda, California
Rosedale, California
San Diego, California
San Leandro, California
Simi Valley, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Upland, California
Denver, Colorado
Big Pine Key, Florida
Melbourne Beach, Florida
Miami, Florida
Naples, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Plainfield, Indiana
Kenner, Louisiana
Saint Louis, Missouri
Las Vegas, Nevada
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Houston, Texas
Kent, Washington

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