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Cardboard Palm - 10in


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The ancient Cardboard Palm adds an element of mysterious wonder to any space. Despite its name, this unique plant is not a palm at all, but a cycad, featuring fronds of stiff foliage with rounded, evergreen leaflets that grow in opposing pairs. At full size, these fronds can grow up to three feet long, giving the impression of your very own tropical forest.

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 - easy peasy.

This plant doesn’t like to have its roots disturbed, so only repot once the roots have outgrown the container and are poking out of it. This will typically occur every two to three years until the plant has reached its maximum size. Select one pot size up, gently remove the cardboard palm from its old container, and replant it in the new one with fresh potting mix at the same depth it was planted before.