Semisempreverde succulenta native to Madagascar; to the genus alluaudia belong 4-5 species, some of which in nature reach 10-12 m in height, in pots they remain within much more modest dimensions. They have erect, fleshy stems, of silvery gray color, very branched; with the age in the lower part they tend to become woody; the stems bear numerous stiff thorns, including small ovate leaves, bright green, waxy and shiny, which often fall in the cold season. In summer it produces an elongated inflorescence on the apex of the branches, built from yellow or orange flowers. These succulents are dioecious, so there are female specimens and male specimens.
The plant needs very bright and sunny positions; it can withstand short intense frosts, but it is advisable to keep the plant at temperatures above 10 ° C even in winter, so it should be kept indoors or in a temperate greenhouse.
From March to October watering sporadically, allowing the soil to dry very well between one watering and another, the aluaudia easily withstand drought, the wet soil favors the onset of rot and disease. In winter, reduce watering until it almost stops, watering about once a month. In the vegetative period, provide fertilizer for succulent plants mixed with water for watering every 15-20 days.
Grow these plants in rich, deep and very well drained soil, consisting of peat mixed with sand and perlite; given the fairly vigorous growth the alluaudia are repotted every 2-3 years.
The multiplication can take place by seed, in autumn, keeping the seedbed in a temperate place; generally alluaudia are propagated by cuttings, in spring or autumn, allowing cuttings to dry for a few days before rooting them in a mixture of sand and peat in equal parts, which must be kept fairly wet for a few weeks.
Alluaudia: Pests and diseases
A climate that is too cold or excesses of irrigation can favor the development of root rot.