Scientific name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia 'Raven'
Synonym: ZZ Plant Raven, Zanzibar Gem
The ZZ Plant Raven, or Zamioculcas zamiifolia 'Raven' for its scientific name, is a beautiful variety of the common ZZ plant. Its unusual, dark purple-black foliage makes it stand out from the standard option. The Raven's dramatic and eye-catching gothic foliage makes it a great option for enhancing the sophisticated atmosphere of any indoor setting, whether home or office.
The Raven is not a naturally occurring plant but a hybrid developed through selective breeding from the Zamioculcas zamiifolia species. The parent plant originated in Zanzibar, which is located in the dry regions of eastern Africa. The hybridization process has produced a beautiful variant that shares the ZZ plant's resilience and ease of care.
The needs of the ZZ Plant Raven are very close to those of the original. It does well in a range of lighting conditions from dark to bright, making it an excellent choice for areas with limited access to natural light. Nonetheless, it can adapt to indirect, bright light of a higher intensity than the plain green version. Overwatering, which can cause root rot, should be avoided at all costs, so water the plant sparingly and let the soil dry out between waterings. The Raven thrives in well-drained soil and can be ignored for extended periods of time, making it a good option for people who are short on time or who are otherwise inexperienced with plant care.
Protecting your ZZ Plant Raven from freezing temperatures is an important part of its maintenance. So make sure to keep it in average room temperatures and not outside during cooler times of the year. The Raven will benefit from a balanced houseplant fertiliser applied intermittently throughout the growing season.
The ZZ Plant Raven, with its alluring dark foliage and minimal maintenance requirements, when paired with a bold planter, is a fascinating addition to any indoor plant collection.
ZZ Plant Raven Common Symptoms
ZZ Plants are hardy, unfussy plants. Here are a list of some of the common problems you may encounter:
- Rotting Plant: This is a sure sign of overwatering. Rather underwater your ZZ Plant, if in doubt. To address this, remove any rotten parts, check that the pot drains well, and then cut back on your watering regime.
- Yellowing Leaves: Another sign of overwatering, especially if this occurs en masse. Cut back on your watering.
- Leaves Falling Off: This is a survival mechanism to severe underwatering. The Plant is shedding leaves to reduce the water loss through its leaves. If you are certain that you haven’t underwatered the plant, then this may be because of overwatering. Whichever it is, adjust watering accordingly.
- Aphids: These pests feed on the juicy sap of the ZZ Plant. Topically remove the bugs with tissue paper, and consider spraying the plant with a Neem Oil solution. You may need to remove the leaves should the problem persist, to prevent further infection.
ZZ Plant Raven Care Instructions
- Origin: Eastern Africa, from northern KZN up to Kenya.
- Light: Bright to low light. Keep it out of direct sunlight which can scorch its leaves. Though intense bright light should do little harm. If you note scorching, move to a less intense light position.
- Water: Water thoroughly and allow the top 5 cm of soil to dry out between waterings. Soggy soil will cause the rhizomes to rot. Despite being drought-tolerant, your ZZ will be healthiest with regular watering.
- Humidity: Average indoor humidity, no adjustments required.
- Temperature: Average room temperatures 16-24°C
- Soil: Fast-draining medium works best to avoid root rot. Good Succulent or Cactus mix works well.
- Fertilizer: Feed every 2-3 months with a good balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
- Propagation: Division of rhizomes. Simply pull apart a new rhizome that has formed, from the "mother plant". Alternatively, propagate via leaf cuttings: pull a leaf off the stem and stick the cut end in moist potting medium. Don't bury the leaf too deep or it will rot. Be patient -- the cuttings can take several months to grow.