Meet Joe Pachypodium

“Joe” Pachypodium (Pachypodium lamerii) is a popular drought-resistant succulent and is known for its thick trunk covered with silver thorns and beautiful flowers.  It grows fairly quickly and can attain a height of 3 feet in a few years.  All parts of the plant are toxic if ingested (the plant is not toxic to fish) and the thorns are quite sharp, so please be careful when handling the plant.

Watering: Pachypodium is a drought-resistant succulent and does not require a lot of water. Once seeds have sprouted, you can remove the grow wick and use it periodically to just keep the media pad moist.

Note: Once seeds plants are 1/2” tall, remove clear humidity dome and cover entire media with gravel.

Lighting: Pachypodium does best in bright light, so ensure your Vita aquarium receives plenty of indirect sunlight or use our Vita LED light.

Temperature: Average room temperatures 60-75°F/16-24°C are ideal. Seeds will sprout faster in warmer temperatures closer to 75°F/24°C. If you transplant your Pachypodium into a pot and have it outdoors for the summer, don’t worry — it can take the heat. Just bring the potted plant back inside when the temperature drops.

Transplanting: When your Pachypodium reaches 4” in height, carefully remove the plant and media pad from Grow Tray to a pot with soil. In warmer regions, Pachypodium can be planted outside.

Troubleshooting & Tips 

Seeds will not sprout – Don’t give up, be patient. Pachypodium seeds can take up to 30 days to sprout. Warmer temperatures above 75°F/24°C will decrease sprouting time.

Leaves turning yellow/falling off – During normal growing season, this indicates overwatering or underwatering. If pad is wet (not moist), remove the grow wick. If pad is completely dry, insert grow wick or spray plant/pad with water. Do not let dry out and do not keep too wet. In winter, it is OK to let it dry as the leaves will turn yellow and drop off – DON’T PANIC! Leaves will grow back when the weather warms up.