This former houseplant is part of the Cycad family, and is commonly known as the Cardboard Plant because its leaves feel like cardboard. This odd plant is one of the 'living fossil' plants that have been around since prehistoric times. Another Cycad is the Sago Palm, and although they both resemble palms, they are not really palms at all. I've had this Zamia in the house for awhile, but decided it needed to be outside on the patio instead. It does well outdoors in USDA Zones 9-11, as long as the temperature stays above 28ºF. As much as I love plants, I really don't like to have a lot of plants in the house. I usually end up moving them outside after I get tired of looking at them cluttering up my house. Some survive, some don't, but I think this one has a good shot at thriving as a patio plant. It's drought tolerant and takes very little care.
Although this Snake Plant was a houseplant for only about five days, it still qualifies in my book as a former houseplant. At the time I purchased it, I really thought that for once I'd keep one of these in the house as a plant for a low light area, but after placing it, I decided it needed to be on the patio, just like all the other Snake Plants I've had in the past. I just didn't want to look at it every time I walked by the area I placed it, so out it went. It remained on the patio a few months, then, I decided it would make a good yard plant. I'd never seen these used in a landscape before, and one source warned that the S. trifasciata would quickly get out of control with numerous offshoots if placed in a garden. It's been in the ground for about six months now, and it has, indeed, produced quite a few offshoots. I've let them go as it has a lot of room to spread out. Once it puts out enough offshoots to fill the area to my liking, I'll start removing any new offshoots. I say this with conviction, however, I should know better. I can't seem to keep up with all the Agave pups growing around many of the Agaves in my landscape, and now I've added another garden chore!
Because this is Bloomin' Tuesday, I thought I'd better throw in a photo of one of my blooming landscape shrubs, the Damianita Daisy. When this plant is in bloom, it's gorgeous, but when it's not, it's the ugliest thing you can imagine, with woody gaps of dried stems and foliage that leave bare spots all over the plant. It blooms off and on from late spring to early fall. When the foliage is distrubed, it has a sharp, turpentine-like scent that I think is pleasant. I lost several of these shrubs this past summer, and right now, this is the only one in bloom of those that are left. I just avert my eyes when walking by the others.