Scientific name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia
Synonym: ZZ Plant, Zanzibar Gem
The ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) are a popular houseplant known for its glossy, dark green leaves and ability to thrive in low-light conditions. Originating from the arid regions of eastern Africa, particularly Zanzibar, this resilient plant has adapted to survive drought and neglect.
CAUTION: All parts of this plant are poisonous. Keep it away from children and pets who may play with or ingest this plant.
ZZ Plant 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 is 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 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.
- 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.