Tropical Style

Can You Cut the Top Off of a Madagascar Palm to Propagate Multiple Growth?

Madagascar palm (Pachypodium lamerei) is also an unusual plant that’s really a succulent in the dogbane family and isn’t related to authentic palms. Native to southern Madagascar, this tender perennial is hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9a through 11 and can be grown in cooler climates if overwintered indoors. It is often grown as a houseplant. This species typically grows in the kind of a single trunk, but it occasionally branches after flowering or in the event the main stem is wounded.


Madagascar palm is notable because of its thick gray trunk and long spines. In the landscape, this tropical species can reach up to 15 feet high and has a slim, straight contour with spirally arranged leaves at the apex. When grown indoors, this plant stays much smaller and contains a spindle-shaped back up. Madagascar palms have big, dark green leaves with a leathery surface and bear white flowers with spiralling petals in late spring to early summer.

Natural Branching

Branching occurs naturally in Madagascar palms that have suffered from some sort of injury, like frost damage. Mature plants also occasionally branch without becoming damaged. This occurs mostly in older specimens and typically happens shortly after booming. Outdoor Madagascar palms are more likely to blossom and to division naturally than those grown indoors. Small branch-like offshoots also occasionally look in the base of the plant and these new limbs can be eliminated to produce a new plant.

Induced Branching

You might have the ability to induce branching at a Madagascar palm tree by cutting the top of the plant. This procedure requires injuring the middle of the spiral from which the leaves normally grow, so the plant produces two new functions. Cut the plant with a clean, sterile knife or shears to reduce the risk of infection. While many Madagascar palms recover, there’s always a possibility your specimen won’t regrow after cutting.


You may increase the possibility that your Madagascar palm will division by providing it with perfect ethnic ailments. Planting in full sun, providing temperatures over 60 degrees Fahrenheit year old and using an extremely well-drained growing medium promotes outdoor plants to develop the extensive root system necessary for branching. Ideally, these crops must receive regular watering throughout the summer and stay relatively dry throughout the cool season to discourage frost damage and produce an extremely healthy specimen.

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