Ceratozamia mexicana, Palmilla, Forest Pineapple

Ceratozamia mexicana

Palmilla, Forest Pineapple
Family: Zamiaceae
Origin: Mexico, Guatemala
Large shrub 5-10 ft tallSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterRegular waterOrnamental foliageThorny or spiny

Ceratozamia mexicana is an impressive large cycad native to Mexico and Guatemala, growing to between 5-10 ft tall. It has ornamental foliage, with dark green smooth leaves and is covered in thorns and spines providing a dense texture. In its natural habitat, the trunk can grow to up to 2m in length and a diameter of 30cm and will spread away from its base.

This species is well suited to tropical and warm subtropical regions and can be grown anywhere within the USDA Zone 9-11. The Ceratozamia mexicana will thrive in full sun and in areas of semi-shade. When grown in full sun, special care should be taken to protect this plant from long periods of excessive heat. Ideal environments will be those with morning sun or filtered light.

The Ceratozamia mexicana requires regular watering and moderate amounts of fertilizer. To maintain its health and vigor, it is best to mulch around the plant, keeping the soil moist and helping to keep weeds at bay. In cold regions it can be grown in a container, allowing gardeners to over winter them indoors if temperatures drop to below 40F.

Despite its need for greater care in cold conditions, the Ceratozamia is a beautiful and rewarding plant and with the correct conditions and care can prove to be an impressive addition to any garden.

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