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Plant identification

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Question: Plant identification

A couple of years ago I bought the plant which I am sending you a link for viewing:

//www.dropbox.com/s/nllbmdwrmfxbozc/IMG_0587.JPG

//www.dropbox.com/s/aw25uefwa5pmird/IMG_0589.JPG

I can't grow it and at the slightest watering the leaves wither as photos.

I would like to know the name so I can seek advice and guidance on cultivation.

Cordial greetings,

Simone


Answer: Plant identification

Dear Simone,

your plant is a fairly large specimen of pachypodium lamerei, a beautiful succulent stem plant, native to Madagascar. Consider that in nature it is called Madagascar palm, because the adult specimens can reach 10 m in height; they are plants that are part of the apocynaceae, such as oleander, and if the cultivation takes place in the best way you can expect white flowers, very similar to those of oleander, but larger. The problem with these plants, similarly to what happens with all succulents, lies in the fact that it is fundamental to find the place where to grow them, where they enjoy the correct brightness, and that they receive the correct amount of water. Usually they are held in full sun, or in light shade, but at least a few hours of direct sunlight must receive it; watering must be regular, from May to September, but it is very important first of all to make sure that the soil is dry between two waterings: insert a finger in it, if you feel fresh and damp, postpone watering for at least a day . In addition to this, it is of fundamental importance that the soil in the pot is very well drained; otherwise the humidity is retained by the substrate and the plant is subjected to radical rot very quickly, which can also kill it. In your case, from the photo it is not seen well, but your pachypodium would not seem positioned in a sunny place (but I repeat, from the photo it is not clear); if then every time you water the leaves dry up, it is clear that there is something wrong with the soil. At this point it is perhaps the case to repot the pachypodium; choose a pot that is not excessively large, because when they are grown in captivity, pachypodiums tend to develop better if they are placed in pots with a diameter slightly greater than that of the stem, because otherwise they are more prone to rot, and tend to grow less. The soil must be very well drained, consisting of a part of universal soil, and a part of washed river sand, or coarsely shredded pumice stone; the whole must give a compound that lets the water flow easily. Fertilizer may not be what you use for other plants, you have to choose one suitable for succulent plants, with little nitrogen, otherwise the plant will produce many green parts, not very resistant to rot and other damage. In winter it is grown at home, or in any case in places with minimum temperatures above 12-15 ° C.

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