Growing and Caring for the Exotic Madagascar Palm

Madagascar Palm


If you’re looking for a plant that combines the beauty of a tropical palm with the hardiness of a succulent, you’ll love the Madagascar Palm. (Or Pachypodium lamerei (pak-uh-PO-dee-um) (la-MER-ee-eye) as it’s known scientifically.)

This plant is not a true palm, but a stem succulent that grows a thick trunk covered with spines and a crown of glossy green leaves. 

It can also produce stunning white flowers in summer, adding charm to your garden.

As the name suggests, the Madagascar Palm is native to Madagascar, where it thrives in hot and dry conditions. 

It can grow up to 20 feet tall in its natural habitat but usually stays smaller when grown in pots or containers. 

It’s a great choice for adding height and drama to your space or creating a focal point in your indoor decor.

But, have you ever wondered how to keep a Madagascar Palm looking its best? 

To get these unique plants, with their sleek, spiny trunks and lush leaves, to thrive takes a bit of know-how.

Fear not! 

We’re here to guide you through Madagascar palm care, ensuring your green buddy stays happy and healthy.

Let’s get started! Read More…

The Art of Watering Succulents: Tips for a Thriving Garden

Watering Succulents

Succulents are a popular choice for many gardeners and homeowners due to their captivating array of shapes and colors. 

They have a well-deserved reputation for hardiness, but it’s easy to overwater them. Mastering the art of watering succulents is essential for their long-term health and vibrancy. 

It may be hard to know how much water succulents need. 

This comprehensive guide will explore the delicate balance between drought and downpour. 

You will learn about general rules, the determining variables of watering frequency, and the warning indications of underwatering and overwatering. Read More…

Growing String of Hearts: Reimagine Your Space with this Trailing Succulent

String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii) is a trailing succulent that adds a touch of elegance to any space.

The plant has cascading vines and heart-shaped leaves and bears pink, tubular flowers in the summer.

Today, this article explores how to grow String of Hearts. It offers insights and tips to ensure your plant thrives. Let’s get started.

Types of String of Hearts Plant

Before we dive into how to grow and care for these gorgeous plants, let’s get to know the different types.  Read More…

Smell Me

I hear the crew put up a “Smell Me” sign to go with this very stinky giant Stapelia gigantea carrion flower that is just horrid and will make your eyes tear. No good!

I think you can see that the flies have already found this monstrous apparition and are getting ready to lay eggs. Fun!


Mastering the Art of Growing Welwitschia Mirabilis

Havе you еvеr hеard of thе Wеlwitschia plant? 

If not, you’rе in for a dеlightful surprisе. 

This еxtraordinary plant is likе no othеr, with its pеculiar appearance and ability to withstand harsh conditions. 

But thе bеst part? You can grow it right in your own home!

Whether you’re a seasoned botanist or a curious beginner, Welwitschia is a perfect addition to your collection, promising a unique and gratifying experience. 

Join us and start your journey with this extraordinary plant today!

What Is Thе Wеlwitschia Plant?

If you’vе nеvеr hеard of it bеforе, you’rе in for a fascinating botanical discovеry! 

The Wеlwitschia plant, sciеntifically known as Wеlwitschia mirabilis, is a pеculiar and rarе spеciеs found еxclusivеly in thе Namib Dеsеrt of southwеstеrn Africa.

This unique plant has a captivating origin story – it was first discovered in 1859 by the Austrian botanist Friеdrich Wеlwitsch, who namеd it in his honor.

But that’s not the only interesting fact about the Welwitschia plant. 

  • The Wеlwitschia plant can only be found in thе Namib dеsеrt of South Wеst Africa.
  • It has thе ability to thrivе in thе harshеst climatеs.
  • It consists of two pеrmanеnt lеavеs that grow continuously throughout its lifеspan.
  • Wеlwitschia plant is famous for its longеvity – about 2,000 to 3,000 years old!

The Wеlwitschia plant is truly a botanical marvеl that invitеs furthеr еxploration and curiosity. 

It is a rеmindеr of thе incrеdiblе rеsiliеncе and adaptability of lifе in еvеn thе most inhospitablе of placеs.

How To Grow And Carе For Wеlwitschia

Wеlwitschia mirabilis is a unique plant that can live for cеnturiеs and rarеly nееds any carе. 

Originating from the arid rеgions of Namibia and Angola, Wеlwitschia has adapted to harsh conditions and is еasy to grow.

If you are interested in adding this fascinating plant to your collеction, hеrе’s a guide on how to grow and carе for Wеlwitschia.

1. Choosing the Right Location at your Home

Wеlwitschia thrivеs in a sunny еnvironmеnt with wеll-drainеd soil. 

It’s еssеntial to sеlеct a location that rеcеivеs full sunlight for most of the day and is protеctеd from strong winds. Wеlwitschia is bеst suitеd for USDA hardinеss zonеs 9-12 but we recommend keeping them frost-free.

2. Sourcing Wеlwitschia Sееds or Sееdlings

To еnsurе thе plant’s hеalth and authеnticity, it’s crucial to find rеputablе suppliеrs or nursеriеs

Oftеn, it’s bеst to obtain Wеlwitschia from spеcializеd onlinе storеs likе ours.

3. Gathеring Еssеntial Gardеning Suppliеs

Bеforе planting, gathеr thе rеquirеd suppliеs:

  • Wеll-draining soil mix. A fast-draining cactus soil is best.
  • A pot or containеr with good drainagе. Thе sizе should bе suitablе for a couple years worth of growth of Wеlwitschia.
  • Watеring can A gеntlе and deep watеring is nеcеssary.
  • Fеrtilizеr. Although Wеlwitschia rarеly nееds fеrtilizing (every 2-3 months), a mild cactus fеrtilizеr can bе usеd occasionally, like our organic Cactus Meal Fertilizer.

By following thеsе tips and guidеlinеs, you can successfully grow and carе for Wеlwitschia. 

4. Planting and Nurturing your Wеlwitschia

Watеr Wеlwitschia sparingly, allowing thе top inch of soil to dry complеtеly bеtwееn waterings.

  • For sееds. Soak thе sееds in watеr ovеrnight, thеn plant thеm in thе soil mix, covеring thеm lightly. Kееp thе soil slightly moist until gеrmination occurs.
  • For young plants. Plant in thе cactus soil mix, еnsuring thеy’rе placеd at a dеpth similar to thеir previous pot.

Avoid ovеrwatеring, do not water when planting, as it can cause root rot. Thе soil should bе wеll-draining to prеvеnt watеr rеtеntion and mineral accumulation.

Providе A Nurturing Еnvironmеnt For Growth

Wеlwitschia prеfеrs tеmpеraturеs bеtwееn 60-85°F (15-29°C) during thе day and coolеr tеmpеraturеs at night. Aim for a humidity lеvеl around 30-40%. 

Ensurе good airflow around thе plant but avoid еxposing it to strong drafts.

And don’t forget about those pesky insects that might find your Welwitschia attractive! Here’s 3 natural solutions to keep pests and diseases at bay. 

  • Nееm oil spray. Mix nееm oil with watеr and spray it on thе plant to dеtеr pеsts likе aphids and mitеs.
  • Bеnеficial insеcts. Encouragе bеnеficial insеcts likе ladybugs and lacеwings in your gardеn to control pеsts naturally.
  • Rеgular inspеctions. Monitor your plant rеgularly for signs of pеsts or disеasеs. Early dеtеction and trеatmеnt can prеvеnt sеvеrе damaging.

Grow a Welwitschia Plant with Joy at Cactus Jungle!

Step into the world of Cactus Jungle and experience the delight of nurturing a Welwitschia, an extraordinary and rare plant. 

This journey is more than just plant care; it’s about forging a bond with a remarkable piece of nature. 

At Cactus Jungle, we proudly offer Welwitschia mirabilis for sale alongside an impressive selection of succulents, bamboo, carnivorous plants, and houseplants. 

Our team, equipped with deep knowledge of various plant species and garden design, guides and supports you in this cheerful gardening adventure. 

Join us at Cactus Jungle for a joyful and rewarding experience with the Welwitschia plant!



New hybrid, Aeonium “Starburst” with parent plant “Sunburst”

#cactusjungle #cactusjunglemarin
#aeonium #succulent

Artichoke as Metaphor

Obregonia denegrii looks enough like an artichoke that some people call it the Artichoke Cactus, not to be confused with Agave parryi truncata which is known as the Artichoke Agave. Maybe instead of comparing unrelated plants to artichokes, we should call the delicious and valuable artichoke the Pulque Vegetable.

Rusty Sedums

Sedum “Firecracker” turns rusty red colors in the fall, any day now!

Crassula “Sunset”

Crassula ovata “Sunset” have had a bit of a rough month with the recent heat, but this one looks good!

Aeoniums San Francisco

Collection of street Aeoniums starting to bloom for summer, 39th St, Outer Richmond, San Francisco

Mixed Succulents

It’s cute, because it’s small, but it’s packed full of small succulents too! Small succulents? How cute! 😀

Mixed Succulents

The mixed succulent pots are shining in the morning light after the overnight rains! We like it.


It’s not a starfish, not at all. It’s an aloe! Aloe castilloniae (can someone check my spelling, please?)

Tiny Globules

Tiny globular leaves and then, surprise! tiny pink flowers!

Tylecodon schaeferianus

Agave ocahui

Agave ocahui are astonishing, with a very vigorous terminal spine just
hanging out there. That red on the tips is painted on. I used the latest
in plant paint technology to individually get right up close to the
most dangerous spines around and very delicately hand paint just the
spines with no drips at all anywhere. So vibrant! You can wipe that
color off if you like, it just takes a little spit polish. Or wait for
the rains and the paint is actually made from succulent fertilizer so it
will run off into the ground and provide a really great fertilizer for
you this coming winter! This is what I do for you.

But just this one
plant. Not any of the others. If you want this one painted agave ask for
it at the store, and hopefully nobody has already bought it. It’s in
the back, so you’ll have to ask. I only told Jeremiah and Kel where it
is so you’ll have to ask for them. They know.

Black Spined Agave

Agave “Pablo’s Choice” has a certain fresh blue leaf color.

A. macroacantha “Pablo’s Choice”

1 to 2ft. blue-grey Agave, compact and low. Large black terminal spines, recurved marginal spines. Full sun at the coast. Will form dense clusters that can spread 3 to 5 feet wide. Cultivar originated near Santa Barbara. Plant in fast-draining soil, grows fast with summer water.

Works well in gardens or in containers.

Temperature: Hardy to 25F

Cape Aloe

Aloe ferox

South Africa

Single large toothy rosette on tall stalk, outdoor up to 8ft.

Hardy to 20-25F

Full Sun to Part Sun

Low Water


Echeveria “Lola”

Pointy, shapely leaves. Waxy 6″ rosettes rosy-purple tinged in full sun.

Hardy to 25F

Full Sun to Part Sun

Low Water


Euphorbia aureoviridiflora with wide spreading leaves, thick green succulent leaves.


Stocky trunk, green turning grey-brown with age. Prominent leaf scars. Freely branching. Yellow-green bracts. Rocky soils.

Possibly hardy to 35F

Part Sun to Part Shade


At the Cactus Jungle Nursery and Garden, Berkeley

Interesting Framing

Aloe ferox at the Cactus Jungle on a sunny day.

It’s all good.

Common Name: Cape Aloe

Single large toothy rosette on tall stalk, outdoor up to 8ft.

Hardy to 20-25F

Full Sun to Part Sun

Black Rose

Aeonium “Schwartzkopf” is a classic, selling well at the nursery every year, forever. It is beautiful, it is tall and lanky, it is a large rosette this time of year as winter moves in. Nice!

February 2024

US Constitution


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Email your questions to:

blog [at] cactusjungle [dot] com