How to Care for Bread Plants


White-bread plants (Zamia pumila L.) are more commonly called coontie. Southeastern native American tribes used the roots and the fruits as flour and many people use the plant in much the same way today, according to scientists with the United States Department of Agriculture. A member of the cycad family, the bread plant is a perennial shrub that is endemic to dry, sandy locations. Grow your bread plant in partial shade.

Step 1

Water the bread plant when the soil is dry. Drench the plant and then allow the soil to dry again prior to watering.

Step 2

Fertilize the bread plant with 24-7-8 fertilizer, according to the rate suggested on the label, once a year, in the spring.

Step 3

Inspect the bread plant periodically for signs of insect infestation. Bread plant is particularly susceptible to Florida red scale, according to Master Gardeners with the Florida Cooperative Extension Service. You can identify this insect by the brown splotches it leaves on the foliage. Insecticidal soap, applied according to the package directions, will help control an infestation.

Tips and Warnings

  • Bread plants are a protected species in Florida. It is prohibited by law to collect this plant from the wild.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Insecticidal soap


  • United States Department of Agriculture: Zamia Pumila
  • Florida Native Plants
  • Florida Cooperative Extension Service: Florida Coonties and Atala Butterflies
Keywords: grow bread plant, care bread plant, care for coontie

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.