All about the ZZ plant
The Zamioculcas can usually be found on office shelves or waiting rooms displaying their glossy leaves that range from bright lime in their youth to emerald green in their maturity. Larger varieties can be found in pots near doorways or in empty corners.
Zamioculcas Zamiifolia is most commonly known as the ZZ plant but goes by many other names, including: Zuzu plant, Zanzibar Gem Aroid palm, Eternity plant, and Emerald palm.
Different types of the ZZ plant
ZZ is a genus of flowering plants that belongs to the Araceae family. The family contains a single species named Zamioculcas Zamiifolia. This specie a few varieties based on a difference of leaf shape and length, which are:
- Zamioculcas Zamiifolia or 'Lucky classic' – Its leaves are a bit more rounded.
- Zamioculcas Zamiifolia or 'Zenzi' – Its leaves only grow on the top half of the stem and are stacked closer together and thicker.
- Zamioculcas Zamiifolia or 'Zamicro' – It's a dwarf ZZ plant whose stems stay under 40cm in length.
Origin of the Zamioculcas Zamiifolia
Zamioculcas Zamiifolia is native to dry grassland and forests in Eastern Africa and can also be found in Tanzania, particularly Zanzibar, but it grows right across central Africa and the east coast. Its natural habitat consists of rocky soil in lowlands or the foothills of highlands.
How to take care of the ZZ plant
A ZZ plant has thick stems, which along with the plant to store a significant amount of moisture. You can water it only when the soil seems dry, perhaps every 1-2 weeks.
It will forgive you if you underwater it, but not if you overwater it. Overwatering can cause root or stems to rot.
- Lighting exposure: Bright indirect light is ideal for the ZZ plant. Although it can also survive in low-light conditions. Direct sun exposure can lead to scorched, dried-out leaves or even burn the plant.
- Soil necessities: A well-draining potting mix that contains a high amount of perlite or sand within it will suffice for your ZZ plant. Make sure to have good drainage holes in the pot it is placed in.
- Temperature: ZZ can, although survive in average room temperatures, but they grow best in a range of 15-24°C. Avoid exposure of cold shafts and air-conditioners to this plant as it can stunt growth.
- Humidity preferences: ZZ plants can adapt to all levels of humidity. However, if you think it looks unhappy or stressed due to excess parchedness, misting a few times a week or filling the saucer with pebbles and water and placing the plant on the pebbles would help revitalize it.
ZZ plants can survive even if you decide to not fertilize them at all. They are typically slow growers; therefore, feeding them with nutrients will boost healthy growth, but not a quick one.
Yet if you decide to feed them, use a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half its strength once or twice in the growing season. Avoid fertilizing the ZZ plant in the dormant winter season.
Results of the famous NASA research regarding houseplants that purify air, state that a ZZ plant is able to remove ample amounts of toxins including xylene, toluene, and benzene from the surrounding air.
ZZ plants are poisonous. They contain calcium oxalate crystals that result in skin irritation or other serious issues like stomach pain. The crystals are especially harmful to pet dogs and cats, so keep them away from their reach. For safety, wash your hands right after tending to the plant or wear gloves to minimize contact with it.
Propagation of the ZZ plant
There are multiple ways through which you can propagate your ZZ plant, two of which are division and leaf or stem cuttings.
Propagation through division
Cut the large bulb in two and simply repot the bulb. Although this method is easy and quick, it can be harmful as it allows the essential ripping of two parts of your plant from each other to result in a new plant. Also, it takes a lot of time for the bulb to grow back to its original size.
Propagation through cuttings
To do this, cut off a leaf taking a little bit of the stem with it. Next, put the cutting into the soil about 1 cm deep. Water the pot whenever the soil is dry, say every 2 weeks, and wait for it to establish roots. This method is less harmful but takes a lot of time to show results.