Fat plants

Pachypodium


GeneralitŠ°


genus that has about a dozen shrubs or small trees, originating in southern Africa; P. lamerei is originally from Madagascar, it is a small tree, which in nature reaches 4-5 m in height; generally in a container it remains within two meters; it has a greyish, enlarged trunk, a bottle, covered with numerous large spines, usually paired. Plants that exceed the meter tend to branch, giving rise to a roundish crown; at the apex of the branches they produce large oval leaves, slightly leathery, shiny, dark green. In summer the specimens that exceed the 150 cm of height can produce showy apical inflorescences, constituted by clusters of large white flowers, very showy, delicately scented, followed by large dark fruits. P. lamerei is the most readily available species in nurseries, although other species are widespread among caudiciform plant lovers, such as p. brevicaule, dwarf shrub, with branches that rise slightly above the ground; p. rosulatum is instead a small caudiciform shrub, very branched, which produces small yellow flowers.

Display and watering


Exposure: they are grown in a very sunny place, or in any case very bright, sheltered from the direct rays of the sun during the hottest hours of summer. They fear the cold, and in general the minimum temperature should never fall below 7 ° C.
Watering: from March to September water abundantly, but leaving the soil dry between one watering and another. During the cold months let's irrigate sporadically the specimens grown in a place with minimum temperatures above 15 ° C, if grown in a cold green house we suggest avoiding watering.

Pachypodium: Other tips


Soil: prefer dry, very well drained soils; generally a mixture consisting of a part of peat, a part of lapillus and a part of washed river sand is used.
Multiplication: takes place by seed or by cuttings, taken from the specimens they branched out.
Pests and diseases: they fear the cochineal, which often occurs on the lower part of the foliage, in case of cultivation in a poorly ventilated place.