Madagascar Palm Complete Plant Care Guide

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Madagascar Palm’s draw people in because of their unique look and easy care.

Madagascar Palm plant care directions.

  1. Water. This plant prefers to stay on the dryer side. Water thoroughly when the top half to the plants soil is dry.
  2. Light. Madagascar Palm thrives in full sun but can also live in partial shade indoors. A south facing window is best for this palm.
  3. Fertilizer. Fertilizer during growing season (when the plant is showing new growth). I fertilize every watering but you can fertilize every other watering or once a month.
  4. Humidity. This plant doesn’t need high humidity and lives in normal household humidity.

Madagascar Palm thrive with these care tips.


Madagascar Palm’s are great indoor and outdoor plants. If you live somewhere with mild winters in hardiness zones of 9-11, you can place your plant outside. These plants do not like temperatures below 40°F (4°C) so keep your plant indoors if it gets colder than that outside.

These plants live in direct sunlight or bright indirect sunlight. If you plan on getting this plant and placing it in a dark corner in your house, your plant won’t thrive like it should.

Sometimes this plant gets too much hot bright direct light and you’ll notice the leaves start getting crispy. If this happens, move your plant to a spot with a little more shade.


Water your Madagascar Palm when 50% of the soil is dry. You want to water this plant enough that the soil does not completely dry out.

You can find out if your plant needs water by sticking your finger in or using a moisture meter. You can also put a chopstick in your plant and if the chopstick comes out with a lot of dirt, this means your plant is still wet and doesn’t need to be watered.

You’ll find that you’ll water this plant less often in the winter. Don’t follow a once a week schedule without first checking your plants soil. Some people water their plants once a week on the same day without checking their plants soil and this often needs to overwatering.


Madagascar Palm’s thrive in soil that is well draining. You can use a basic cactus mix. If you only have houseplant mix at home, you can use 2 parts houseplant soil to 1 part perlite and 1 part course sand.

If you don’t want to make your own potting mix, buy a pre-made mix like Fox Farm Ocean Forest. This potting mix contains a blend of high quality ingredients perfect for any houseplant.


Madagascar Palm thrive in a home that is normal household temperature. You can grow this plant outside if you live in USDA hardiness zones of 9-11.

This plant does not do well in colder temperatures outside under 40°F (4°C). However, this plant can take full hot sun in the summer.


Fertilizer your Madagascar Palm with an organic or synthetic fertilizer. I use slow release granule fertilizer because it’s easy to use. Like most houseplants, pause fertilizing in the winter months when the plant is not actively growing.

If you are using a non-organic, synthetic fertilizer, it’s always recommended to dilute the recipe in half because of how strong the N-P-K ratios are. If you are using an organic fertilizer, you typically do not have to worry about diluting the recipe because the N-P-K ratio is so low.

I use Blue Butterfly fertilizer and it has an NPK ratio of 6-4-5. This is pretty balanced and I use it for all of my plants. I also do NOT dilute this recipe in half because the NPK ratio is quite low.


This plant does not have humidity needs as it likes things on the dryer side. The Madagascar Palm makes for a great houseplant because you do not need to worry if it’s getting enough humidity.


In the spring time, you can propagate a Madagascar Palm by taking an offshoot and letting it callous for a few days. You can then place this offshoot in its own pot in soil or outside in sunny or bright indirect sunlight. Water your plant when it’s about to fully dry out.

Madagascar Palm Common Questions

How do you take care of a Madagascar Palm?

Madagascar Palm’s are easy plants that do well in home temperatures or hardiness zones of 9-11. Make sure to give this plant a lot of sun and let it dry out about 50% between waterings. This plant does not have humidity requirements and is easy to take care of.

How tall does a Madagascar Palm get?

In the wild, Madagascar Palm’s can get up to 24 feet high and 2 feet wide. Indoors, this plant can get as high as 4-6 feet tall.

How much sun does a Madagascar Palm need?

Madagascar Palm’s love a lot of sun and can even do with some heat if they’re placed outdoors. Indoors, this plant would love a south facing window. I have my plant growing under grow lights in a south facing bedroom.

How cold hardy is a Madagascar Palm?

If you live in an area that gets colder than 40°F (4°C), bring your plant in.

Why is my Madagascar palm leaves turning black?

If your plants leaves are turning black, this can be a sign that your plant isn’t getting enough light or not enough water. Black leaves can also be a sign of cold temperatures.

How often should I water my Madagascar Palm in winter?

As it goes most houseplants, you water less during the winter months since the plant doesn’t need as much water. I water my plant about once every two weeks in the winter months.

How fast does Madagascar Palm grow?

Madagascar Palm’s are not fast or slow growers, but right in the middle. In the best conditions, they can grow about 12 inches a year and mature in about 10 years.

Can I cut my Madagascar palm?

If your Madagascar Palm is getting too tall, you can cut your plant but you have to do so very carefully. It is worth knowing that pruning can hurt some Palms, so you have to be willing to take the risk.

Other Madagascar Palm’s may reward you with looking fuller once you give it a good pruning.

How do you get Madagascar palms to bloom?

Give your plant the best conditions to increase your chances of blooming. This means a lot of bright light, adequate water, and let it be. You might get lucky enough to see a bloom.

How do you save Madagascar Palm from root rot?

If your Madagascar Palm is suffering from root rot, it’s best to prune back any dead branches. If the whole plant seems to be infected with root rot, you may want to prune your plant all the way back for its best chance of survival.

Root rot can happen from overwatering or even very cold temperatures.

How do you repot a Madagascar Palm?

The great thing about Madagascar Palm’s is they prefer to be root bound, which means you have to repot it less often. You still want to repot your plan when necessary because the plant needs fresh soil with nutrients. Once you repot your plant, water thoroughly and place in a sunny spot.

Will a Madagascar Palm survive a freeze?

No. This plant does not like temperature conditions under 40°F (4°C). Bring your Madagascar Palm inside when temperatures get low.

Why is my Madagascar Palm soft?

If your Madagascar Palm is soft, this means your plant is possibly overwated. Water your plant less often and only give it a thorough watering when most of the plants soil is dried out. Your plant may also be soft because of cold temperatures hurting the plant and weakening it.

What do Madagascar Palm seeds look like?

Madagascar Palm seeds resemble lemon seeds. They are yellow-white in color and have an oval shape. Place your seeds in water and let them soak overnight. Then you can place your seeds in well draining soil and water your seeds.

Is Madagascar Palm a true palm?

Some people may be surprised to learn that Madagascar Palm’s are succulents and more closely related to cacti than palms.

How do you take cuttings from Madagascar palms?

With clean pruners, cut off a circular offset from the main plant. As with most succulents, let the offset callous over for a few days and then place in well draining soil. Water thoroughly and place the plant in a good amount of sunlight.

Is the Madagascar Palm toxic to pets?

Yes, this plant is toxic to pets.  You can get more information on toxic and pet-friendly plants at ASPCA here.

Common pests

White fly and spider mites are sometimes found on Madagascar Palm’s. To get rid of whiteflies, you can use an insecticide like Captain Jacks or you can use a natural homemade recipe like 1 part of Dr. Bronner’s soap with 6 parts filtered water. Spray this all over your plant and give it a good soaking.

If you have a spider mite problem on your Madagascar Palm, soak a q-tip or cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and get all the spider mites off. Check your plant every 3 days to make sure your spider mite problem has stopped. You can also use the whitefly spray mentioned above to spray your plant and keep any mites off.

To help prevent pest infestations on your plant, you should:

  • Inspect your plant before purchasing
  • Regularly check your plants for pests
  • Cut off dead leaves
  • Spray your plant with 1 parts soap to 6 parts water on a monthly basis

If you find a plant that has pests on it, quarantine the plant away from your houseplants and clean the plant with an organic or nonorganic insecticide. I use Bonide Systemic on my plants as a preventative and Captain Jacks to kill pests. I spray the plant and wipe down the leaves and stems twice a week for a month until I know the infestation is gone. Make sure to check all of your other plants as it is easy for pests to spread.

Bonide Systemic Granules are a great way to get rid of unwanted pests.

Common issues

Brown tips: If your Madagascar Palm has brown tips, this may mean it’s suffering from salt burn. You may want to start watering your plant will filtered water to combat this. This can also be caused from little water or too much sun exposure.

Yellowing leaves: If your Madagascar Palm has yellow leaves, your plant may want fertilizer.

Curly leaves: If your Madagascar Palm has curling leaves, this may be due to too much sun exposure or not enough water.

Key Points To Remember

Your Madagascar Palm will thrive as long as you give it a good amount of sunlight and let the soil dry out about 50% between waterings. This is an easy going plant that looks cool and is also incredibly easy to take care of.

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