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Belle's Green House

Cardboard Palm

Cardboard Palm

Regular price $38.50 USD
Regular price Sale price $38.50 USD
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Despite its common name, the cardboard palm (Zamia furfuracea) is not a palm tree. Its name comes from its growth habit, which is similar to that of palms. Cardboard palms grow pinnate leaves (a leaf composed of many small leaflets on either side of a stem) much like a palm frond that you'd find on a lipstick palm. The leaflets are bright green and oval, and they have a slightly fuzzy feel similar to cardboard. The plant is generally shorter than it is wide, with a thick, partially subterranean trunk. It has a slow growth rate and is best planted in the spring. Outside of its tropical growing zones, it’s commonly kept as a houseplant.

Cardboard palms are hardy plants, and they generally don’t require a great deal of care. The key to growing them successfully is to provide them with well-drained soil and give them lots of sunlight, especially during the growing season (spring to fall) and when the plant is young. Other than that, you’ll have to water whenever the soil dries out and feed your cardboard palm twice a year. 

These plants don’t have major problems with pests or diseases. However, overwatering and allowing water to collect on the plant foliage can cause fungal diseases. So be sure only to water the soil around the base of the plant. Regular pruning is not necessary, but you can prune off dead, diseased, or damaged leaves as they arise. 

Light: Cardboard palms grow best in full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days. Indoors, place your plant by your brightest window, and be sure to rotate the pot regularly so all parts of the plant get an even amount of light. Otherwise the cardboard palm will start to grow lopsided. 

Watering: Only a moderate amount of water is required for cardboard palms. And overwatering can cause the roots to rot. From the spring to fall, water whenever the top inch of soil feels dry. But over the winter, reduce watering by about half of what you watered during the growing season. 

 

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