How to Repot a Madagascar Palm


The Madagascar palm, or Pachypodium lameri, is an upright plant with linear waxy leaves and stiff thorns up and down the trunk. The Madagascar palm is actually in the succulent family and not the palm family. You will find this plant in its native habitat in the country of Madagascar but it's well adapted as a houseplant all over the world. As the palm grows each year, you need to repot it into a larger pot. This allows the root system more room to expand and will produce a more robust and healthier plant. It is easy to repot a Madagascar palm and you only need a few gardening tools to do so.

Step 1

Mix up a sandy loam mix that yields excellent drainage. Use two parts sand, one part peat moss, and one part garden loam. Add a few inches to the bottom of your new pot.

Step 2

Wrap a heavy towel around the trunk of your Madagascar palm. Take a garden spade and loosen the soil around the edge of the pot that your palm is in.

Step 3

Grab the palm through the towel and lift it straight out of the pot. Place the palm in the center of the new pot.

Step 4

Fill the remaining soil mixture in around your Madagascar palm. Tamp it down gently with the shovel and fill the pot until the soil is as high as it was previously on the palm.

Step 5

Remove the towel from around the Madagascar palm trunk and water it thoroughly to remove any air pockets that are in the soil.

Step 6

Water only after the first few inches of soil has dried out. This palm is native to an arid climate and requires low amounts of water.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear gloves when handling the Madagascar palm. Even though it's wrapped in a towel, if the spines poke through they can still injure you. The palm contains toxic poisons which may get into your skin if poked by a spine.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy towel
  • Gloves
  • Garden spade
  • Pot
  • Sand, peat moss and garden loam
  • Water


  • Dept. of Horticultural Sciences: Madagascar Palm
  • Mgonline: Madagascar Palm
  • Lady Greenthumb's Garden: Madagascar Palm
Keywords: repot a madagascar palm, sandy loam mix, garden spade, heavy towel, toxic poisons, sunny and warm location

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.