Garden

Plant identification


Question: Plant identification


A couple of years ago I bought the plant that I send you a link to view:
//www.dropbox.com/s/nllbmdwrmfxbozc/IMG_0587.JPG
//www.dropbox.com/s/aw25uefwa5pmird/IMG_0589.JPG
I can't make it grow and at the slightest watering the leaves wither as in the photo.
I would like to know the name so that 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 plant with a succulent stem, originating from Madagascar. Consider that in nature it is called the Madagascar palm, because adult specimens can reach 10 m in height; they are plants that are part of the apocynaceas, like the oleander, and if the cultivation is done in the best way you can expect white flowers, very similar to those of the oleander, but larger. The problem with these plants, similar to what happens with all the succulents, is that it is essential to find the place 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 the light shade, but at least a few hours of direct sunlight must receive it; the waterings must be regular, from May to September, but it is very important first of all to make sure that the soil is well dry between two waterings: insert a finger in it, if you feel fresh and moist, it sends back the watering of at least one day . In addition to this, it is of fundamental importance that the soil in the vase is very well drained; otherwise the moisture is retained by the substrate and the plant goes very quickly to root rot, which can also kill it. In your case, you can't see clearly from the photo, but your pachypodium doesn't seem to be positioned in a very sunny place (but then again, you can't understand it from the photo); 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 vase that is not too large, because when grown in captivity the pachypodium tends to develop better if they are placed in pots with a diameter slightly larger 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 river sand washed, or coarsely ground pumice stone; the whole must give a compound that lets the water flow easily. The fertilizer cannot be what you use for other plants, you have to choose a special one for succulent plants, with little nitrogen, otherwise the plant will produce many green parts, not very resistant to rot and other damages. In winter it is grown at home, or in places with minimum temperatures above 12-15 ° C.