Alluaudia dumosa is a succulent shrub or small tree native to SW Madagascar. It has grey-green thick succulent stems which have no adherent leaves and very few spines. It is a very slow grower. Our plants at 10 years old are only 2 feet (60 cm) tall in 10 inch (25 cm) containers. In nature, the plants reach about 10 feet (2.5 m) tall with variable spread. They are not very pretty plants, but they are easy to grow. In the landscape, they are hardy in USDA zones 9-11.
Blooming: I have been told that the plants rarely bloom in containers.
Culture: Alluaudia dumosa needs full sun to partial shade with a very well drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix of equal parts loam and sand with small gravel added to insure good drainage. The plants are watered and allowed to dry thoroughly before watering again. We fertilize them only once during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. During the winter months we move the plants to the cold room and the nighttime temperatures are dropped to ~48°F (9°C). During this period the plant are only watered enough to keep the stem from shriveling.
Propagation: Alluaudia dumosa is propagated in spring from cuttings.
Alluaudia dumosa was featured as Plant of the Week November 17-23, 2006.
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Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.