Cardboard Palm

A Beginner's Guide to Cardboard Palm Care | All you Need to Grow!

Family: Asparagaceae
Common Name:  Cardboard Palm
Botanical Name:  Zamia fururacea

Be honest -- you love houseplants, but you can be a bit neglectful. If you want a plant that can thrive despite your busy schedule, then the Cardboard Palm is perfect for a potted plant. Let it bask in indirect sunlight, and it will remain happy while you are out somewhere, remembering that you should have watered them from time to time. There is no need to re-pot these indoor plants right away. Allow the roots to start forcing their way out of the container, and then in the spring, replant them into a pot that is one or two sizes larger in diameter than the root ball.


Cardboard Palms thrive in bright indirect light for at least five hours a day. Without this sunlight, their health will decline, as the leaves turn yellow and drop. It’s an excellent habit to rotate your plant every week to help promote a well-proportioned, full figure. These plants are grown in the shade in the greenhouse, and they should never be placed in full sun unless they are appropriately acclimated over a few weeks!


The large b base of your Cardboard Palm will store lots of water, so always err on the side of dryness. You will only need to water these plants approximately once or twice a month, but the ideal watering frequency is determined by pot size (the smaller the pot, the greater the frequency), soil type, and amount of light and warmth they receive. If you use potting soil that retains water, allow the soil to dry out between watering thoroughly. If you are using potting soil with significant drainage, then keep an eye on the soil -- Cardboard Palms can suffer if left without water for extensive periods. If these houseplants are in bright indirect light and the temperatures are high, they will need more water than if placed in a cooler, darker spot.


The best soil mixture for these indoor cycads has lots of materials that promote good drainage. You will still need a fair amount of coco coir or peat moss as those fibers absorb the water making it available for the roots to access. Combine 40% coco coir, 40% wood chips or pumice, and 20% compost when transplanting your Cardboard Palm. Learn how to create your own soil mixture for palms and every other indoor plant!


The ideal temperature for these plants is 65-85℉, but they can survive in temperatures as low as 50℉. 


Cardboard Palms will do well in average household humidity. Still, if you find the tips of the leaves are rapidly turning brown, you should consider increasing the humidity through the use of a humidifier. Learn other ways to increase the humidity for your indoor plants!


Fertilizing a Cardboard Palm is not 100% necessary, but it will benefit from you top dressing it with worm castings early in the growing season. Be careful not to add too much; work the compost into the top inch of the soil.

Growth Rate

Don’t hold your breath as Sago Pals take their time to grow! They generally reach about 3' indoors and spread equally as wide, given the space. They will produce a lot of new growth once their trunk has formed!

Pet Friend or Foe

Sago Palms are toxic to pets and humans. Foe!

Pro Tips

  1. Rotate your Cardboard Palm every time you water it 1/4 turn so every side can access the light!
  2. Zamia fururacea produces egg-shaped flowers, but they rarely bloom indoors.
  3. Re-pot these hardy h when they start to become root-bound as this will encourage them to become fuller and taller! 


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