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Care of the plant Zamia pumila or Coontie palm.

Care of the indoor plant Zamia pumila or Coontie palm

The genus Zamia, family Zamiaceae, includes 50 species of palm-like shrubs native to the American continent. Some species are: Zamia pumila, Zamia furfuracea, Zamia integrifolia, Zamia purpurea, Zamia boliviana.

Common names: Coontie palm, Sago Palm, Cardboard Palm, Florida Arrowroot. This species is native to Greater Antillies and Florida.

They are plants with the appearance of a small palm tree with a very short or underground trunk that reaches 1 meter (3.28 feet) in height. The leaves are up to 1 meter (3.28 feet) in length and are made up of greyish-green leathery leaflets with white hairs. They are dioecious plants that produce male and female cones on different plants.

They are used as indoor or greenhouse plants and, in subtropical climates, in pots for patios and terraces, as isolated specimens and in groups in the garden. It's a toxic plant if bitten so it is best kept away from small children and pets.

Zamia pumila does well in full sun and semi-shade exposures; It must be taken into account that in full sun it will grow upright and it will grow more horizontally in the shade. It does not resist temperatures below 13 ºC (55.4 ºF). In case of placing it next to a window, it's important to turn the plant so that it grows homogeneously.

They grow in any well-drained soil; use a mixture, in equal parts, of normal garden soil and siliceous sand. Transplant every 3 years to a slightly larger pot.

Always water moderately, waiting for the soil to dry well. They are quite resistant to drought but if it lasts too long they can lose leaves.

Fertilize in spring with leaf mulch or compost.

They do not need pruning.

They are resistant plants to the usual pests and diseases.

The propagation is a very slow process since the seeds are of very slow germination; it's best to buy new plants from nurseries, garden centers, or plant stores.

Images of the indoor plant Zamia pumila or Coontie palm

Zamia pumila
Zamia pumila