Madagascar Palm, Are They Ever In Need Of Direct Sunlight?

Most varieties of palm prefer to receive full sunlight throughout the day, but the Madagascar palm is slightly different. While one of its care requirements includes plenty of bright, indirect sunlight (it can't tolerate direct sunlight for long stretches), it adapts well to semi-shaded environments. If you find that your plant does not seem to be thriving in an area that receives little or no direct sunlight, you should move it to a brighter location.

The impressive Madagascar palm is no palm but a succulent plant armed with sharp thorns and a palm-like summit. This tree that likes the sun is native to the south of Madagascar; in its natural habitat, it grows in full sun. As a result, the Madagascar palm can be grown outdoors in the mild winter zones throughout the year.

You can cultivate the succulent in a container (using a clay pot, not a plastic pot), move outdoors in summer, or cultivate exclusively as an indoor plant. Inside, please place it in full sunlight in front of a window facing south or west. Then, rotate your plant to receive equal sunlight. Otherwise, the plant is at risk of deformation as it reaches sunlight on one side.

Ensure that sunlight gets to the plant without artificial shade. As a succulent, it benefits from full sun, but it can tolerate partial shadow on the outside, as well. You can keep it in a pot to move it inside during cold spells or plant it in a sheltered place and cover it during cold nights.

The best spots for Madagascar palms are bright spots with some sun in the morning or evening. We recommend exposing yours to about two or three hours of sunlight daily for solid growth. Newly purchased specimens will need to increase their sun tolerance within the next six weeks to prevent sunburn.

Basics Of Acclimatizing Your Madagascar Plants To Direct Sunlight

While Madagascar plants prefer bright indirect light, you can acclimatize your plants to limited direct sunlight. So how can you acclimate your plant to direct light? Here are some things you can do:

● Put your plant in a bright area away from direct sunlight on the first day. It can be under a patio or a shadow tree in the courtyard. Also, you should protect the plant from too low temperatures and wind to support its survival.

Madagascar palm exposed to indirect sunlight.
You should protect the plant from too low temperatures and wind to support its survival.

● Shift the plant into full sun for only one hour on the first day. The best time to move the plant is early or at the end of the day. Watch out for the hottest noon sun. Please return it to the sheltered location after this time.

● Leave it in the protected place most of the second day, but move it in direct sunlight for just two hours. Once again, it is preferable to do so early in the morning or later on in the day.

● Keep moving the plant towards direct sunlight, increasing total sun exposure by one hour each day. Work up to as many hours in bright sunlight as recommended for Madagascar Plants, at least four to six hours.

● Next, water and nourish your plant enough outdoors. Outdoor areas generally dry the soil of indoor plants slightly more than indoor areas due to breezes and wind, so it will likely require more water. In addition, due to the increased intensity of sunlight and time, the plant will also use more nutrients, so fertilize it slightly more often.

Light Requirements For Madagascar Outdoor Plants

Madagascar palms are beautiful outdoor landscape plants and may be cultivated as hardy perennials. Choose a position that is sunny or partially shaded. The palm will do great in full, bright, indirect light, but the full direct sun is best for this plant, as light affects its growth speed.

If you have recently purchased your own Madagascar plant, you can induce it to tolerate more challenging levels of sunlight than most indoor plants. To do so, gradually add on to the number of hours in the sun over the next month. It is preferable to do so from autumn to the end of winter when the rays are weakest.

Madagascar palm in a pot.
Madagascar palm outdoors during daylight hours every time the weather is above 70 degrees F.

Every week, increase the amount of light by an hour, starting with only an hour of morning light to gain momentum. As a result, the plant will slow down chlorophyll production, reducing the risk of bleaching and sunburn.

Remember to hydrate the sample during this time and permanently stop the experiment if it shows signs of solar burn. This plant’s maximum amount of sunlight is approximately 4 hours per day.

Put your Madagascar palm outdoors during daylight hours every time the weather is above 70 degrees F. Madagascar palms need full sun to thrive. Exposure to temperatures below 30° Fahrenheit (1° Celsius) increases the risk of severe harm and death.

Bring your potted Madagascar palms indoors in the cold weather to avoid any damage. If planted outside and freezing temperatures are imminent, covering it with a tarp can help it survive.

Expose your plants to sunlight in the morning or evening to recreate their natural habitat. Plants kept in areas with too much shade quickly show growth retardation, soil mold, and root decay.

Direct sunlight keeps your Madagascar palms healthy and robust. However, they can wither if you expose them to insufficient light, especially during the day. In summer, put the Madagascar palm in a warm place, protected from the wind and sheltered from the rain.

Signs Of Overexposure To The Sun

You will observe initial signs of stress on the leaves; brown edges and yellowed halos will circulate the leaf diameter. The plant may also appear white bleached.

Cactus over exposed to the sun.
Higher sweat levels will lead to the drying up of the soil and the development of wilting.

Higher sweat levels will lead to the drying up of the soil and the development of wilting, thus becoming a serious problem that you must tackle immediately. In addition, some species wither before much water is lost to reduce sweating and dehydration rates.

Growth retardation is the final symptom to monitor. Again, due to the undesired environment, there will be a reluctance to re-grow as juvenile tissues are more susceptible to scaling than older, thicker leaves.

Remedies For Sunburn In Madagascar Palms

As mentioned above, if a plant bears overly damaged leaves and severe dehydration, the chances of survival are considerably reduced. So, let’s talk about tips that may help the recovery process for your plant.

Keep the plant clear of sunlight as early as possible. As there may still be relatively intact portions of the foliage, removing it will prevent further general damage.

If there is visible dehydration, accompanied by dry soil, this is the time to water. Rather than shock the roots by immediately soaking the ground, give it little and often the water in the next few hours. The plant’s root system can still be sensitive to chemicals and cold water, so it is crucial to drop fertilizers for a while.

A close up image of a Madagscar palm.
Keep the plant clear of sunlight as early as possible.

Trim all yellow and brown leaves attached to the plant. Keep branches that are still foldable with a green cambium (under the bark), as new nodal shoots may develop in the next few weeks.

Display a bright environment that does NOT provide direct sunlight. Moving it to a more shaded area may not be helpful mainly because the leaves contain very little chlorophyll, which means that they will not convert natural light sufficiently into stored energy. In addition, moving a plant to a new environment under different conditions will result in environmental shock, resulting in the sudden loss of leaves, delayed growth, and possible death.

Keep the soil uniformly damp and allow the top third to dry. If the leaves do not straighten after one week of saturated soil, there is little chance of survival. Keep the potted plant under a clear bag or box to lock in moisture for better transpiration speed. A well-hydrated leaf is more likely to be photosynthesized, producing more stored energy for the recovery process of the plant.

Indoor Light Requirements

In colder climates, the Madagascar palm is grown in a pot so that you may take it indoors during the colder months of the year. While they do not grow as large in containers—they will grow to about 6 feet high—they still make interesting indoor plants with beautiful tropical leaves.

Even entirely indoors, perfectly positioned in front of a south-facing window, could do the trick! Of course, you should keep the plant in places with lots of lights, whether indoor or outdoor. But it is challenging to keep it as a houseplant as they need a lot of light. Keep them close to a window that benefits from several hours of full sunlight per day if they are inside.

Madagascar palm in a white pot.
It generally requires an environment that is more illuminated than only artificial interior lighting can provide.

Ensure your plant grows in a highly illuminated area. You will need a place that gets at least 6 hours of sunshine. In addition, this plant will do well in an area that gets direct or indirect sunlight from the sun. It generally requires an environment that is more illuminated than only artificial interior lighting can provide.

If you realize that the leaves of your Madagascar palm start to bend to one side, your succulent does not receive enough light. Give your succulents a lighter and rotate your plant occasionally to fix the lean.

Bottom Line

Are you looking for an intriguing and unusual indoor plant? If yes, the Madagascar palm is an attractive choice. The Madagascar palm enjoys the sun, so you should place it in the sunniest place possible. These bold succulent ones are easy to maintain, provided you have a bright, sunny spot for them to call home.

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