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Everything to know about the ZZ Plant

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ZZ Plant

Common Name: ZZ plant, Zanzibar gem, Eternity plant

Latin Name: Zamioculcas

Family: Araceae

Plant Time: Perennial

Mature Size: 2-4 ft. tall, 2-4 ft. wice

Sun Preference: Partial

Soil Preference: Well-draining, Neutral, acidic

Bloom Time: Mid-summer to early autumn

Flower Color: White or brown

Native Area: East Africa

Toxicity: Toxic to humans, toxic to pets

Growth Rate: 6 inches per month

Wildlife Value: -

The Zamioculcas is a genus of the family Araceae, the only species of which is Zamioculcas zamiifolia. It is a tropical perennial plant native to East Africa, specifically Zanzibar, Kenya, and Tanzania. The ZZ plant is also called the money tree, because it used to be said that if you put it in the corner of the room, you would be fortunate financially.

ZZ plant is a slow-growing, herbaceous evergreen plant with succulent rootstock, up to 120 cm tall. It acts as a deciduous plant when rainfall is low. This is not a common occurrence, as it can survive such periods due to the decent amount of water stored in its underground stems. The zz plant is usually used as a decorative houseplant. The ZZ plant has thick, fleshy, dark green leaves as seen below. They grow in a graceful arching pattern. The leaves are shiny and waxy, with a smooth texture and a glossy appearance.

Everything to know about the ZZ Plant

How do ZZ plants grow?

ZZ plants exhibit slow and steady growth, primarily spreading through underground stems known as rhizomes. These rhizomes, resembling potatoes, serve a vital role in the plant’s reproduction. ZZ plants are native to Eastern Africa, thriving in drought-prone grasslands and dry forests. Their ability to store water in rhizomes and fleshy stems contributes to their resilience during periods of drought.

The leaves of ZZ plants emerge from the rhizome at the soil line, forming what appears as individual “stems” adorned with waxy green leaflets. Surprisingly, each of these stems constitutes a single leaf. New growth in ZZ plants is characterized by a lighter and brighter color compared to the existing leaves, creating an aesthetically pleasing two-toned effect.

Common ZZ plants can attain a height and width of 2 to 4 feet, despite their slow growth rate. As these plants gain popularity, the available options have expanded. Choices include variations in leaf color, ranging from bright green to dark green-black leaflets. Some ZZ plant varieties feature long, arching stems lined with leaflets, adding to the diversity of this plant species.

How to care for ZZ plant?

Zamioculcas zamiifolia plants do not require too much care, but there are a few things you should pay attention to. The first thing is that you always have to give the soil time to dry out between waterings. ZZ’s are fine with being watered every 2-3 weeks (or 1 a month in winter).

The second most important thing is keeping your plant away from very bright and intense direct sunlight. They feel the most comfortable in medium light, between 6 to 12 hours per day. A south-facing window is a perfect spot for it. If the leaves turn yellow and burning , immediately move it to a place out of direct light and water it a little. The leaves should be protected from the intense sunlight at all times. If the leaves are yellowing but there are no visible signs of burning, there is a risk of overwatering. In this case, try to move it to a drier environment with lower humidity.

How much water does the zz plant need?

The zz plant does not require much water. Thanks to the water stored in the rhizome, it can go for a long time without water, so you don’t need to water it too often. To avoid overwatering, the zz plant should only be watered when it is dry. Under suitable conditions at room temperature, this means watering once a month.

What temperature does the zz plant need?

The zz plant can be placed indoors or outdoors. Temperature should be a major concern. It prefers a warmer environment, room temperature is just enough for it to grow. The ideal temperature at which a zz plant will grow most efficiently should be between 60-75°F (15-24°C). The minimum temperature at which you can grow a zz plant is 45°F (8°C). Keeping it below this temperature can cause frost damage to the plant.

From a climatic point of view, the USDA zones 9 and 10 are the most suitable for the development of the zz plant, as these zones have the most extreme temperature fluctuations.

How much sunlight does the zz plant need?

Zamioculcas plants do not require much light. Its leaves are sensitive to direct light, so it should not be exposed to direct light. If you notice any scorching or burnt areas on the leaves, it means that your plant’s leaves have received a lot of direct sunlight, which the zz plant does not like. In this case, the plant should be placed where it is exposed to indirect light, i.e. where the light bounces off other objects, thus weakening the light’s power. The zz plant prefers this type of light.

The zz plant grows perfectly well under artificial light, making it a popular plant for offices and rooms where natural sunlight is not available.

What humidity does the zz plant need?

The zz plant does not require high humidity. A relative humidity of 40% is enough to reach the ideal range for the plant. The zz plant can also be placed in a bathroom, even without a window, and will not be bothered by high humidity. The only danger for the zz plant is that bacteria are more likely to colonize in higher humidity. Care should be taken with bacteria, if any lesions are visible on the leaves, it should be moved immediately to a drier environment.

What soil do zamioculcas plants like?

Zamioculcas plants prefer slightly acidic and neutral soil with a neutral pH. The correct pH should be between 6.0 and 7.0. The flower mixture should be neutral. Charcoal, perlite can be mixed into the soil and mixed with potting soil.

When do you need to repot the ZZ plant?

Experts say it is necessary to repot the zz plant every year. In addition, the zz plant gives signals to the outside world that it needs to be replanted. These can be root overload, slow growth and waterlogged soil. It is recommended to replant in spring or summer, when the plant is most active.

Why does the zz plant leaves turn yellow?

Leaf yellowing can be caused by many things; overwatering, underwatering, too much light, too little light, pests. To make sure environmental factors are not the problem, go through the questions above. Creating the perfect environment is essential to a happy plant.

If we are sure of the environmental factors, then some kind of pest is probably to blame. To control pests, you can use bio-isopropyl rubbed into the leaves with a rag and the pests will disappear.

Should you remove the yellow leaves?

No, you should not remove the yellow leaves. Monitor them first and treat accordingly. Check the leaves after the appropriate environmental factors have been observed and the pest has been written off. As a last resort, if it continues to spread, cut off the affected leaves. Use disinfected pruning shears and gloves.

What are the risks of having a ZZ plant?

Despite the fact that the zz plant is a beginner-friendly plant, difficulties can arise with this species. The most important feature is its toxic and irritant properties. Further, care should be taken against common pests and diseases. Attention should be paid to problems that occur during growth as well.

Is the ZZ plant toxic?

Yes, the ZZ plant is toxic. It comes from the calcium oxalate crystals in the sap. All parts of the ZZ plant are toxic and any physical contact will cause health problems. Consumption of zamioculcas plants often causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The ZZ plant is extremely dangerous for pets and it is not recommended to keep this plant if you have pets.

What disease can occur?

The diseases of the ZZ plant are largely caused by poor climatic conditions. Bad conditions can happen naturally or due to neglect. Neglect of the ZZ plant can lead to its irreversible death. It is necessary to keep the plant in a suitable place, away from direct sunlight and protect it from overwatering. In addition to rotting of the roots, which can be caused by overwatering, there may be direct sunlight on the leaves, which can turn yellow and burn.