Under-rated, under-mention and totally underappreciated - The ZZ Plant is the real deal.
Zamioculcas zamiifolia, (ZZ Plant is easier right?) is a member of that oh-so-wonderful family of plants, Araceae. Originally found in Africa, from Kenya through to South Africa, they weren't propagated and sold internationally until 1996. Since then, they've turned up everywhere, and for good reason too.
Why we love the ZZ Plant
ZZ's are grown for their dark, fleshy green foliage. The leaflets are attached to bulbous stalks that arch out and create an architectural looking plant. Almost waxy to touch, the leaves are smooth and shiney and the stalks grow from thick rhizomes (water-storing roots not dissimilar to a small potato). This root system makes them easy to propagate by division, as well as allowing them to tolerate drought-like conditions. Water is stored in the rhizomes and the thick foliage.
Better yet, the waxy foliage reflects light and can brighten rooms, which is made even more appealing by the fact that these guys can tolerate lower light conditions.
The sculptural look provides contrast in textures among other plants, or can be a statement on its own. Its low maintenance, low-light tolerant, and interesting to look at. 3 from 3 in our books.
(And if you want to up your ZZ game even further, look out for the 'Raven', an almost black verision of the plant, and #3 in our 'Top Plants of 2020' Post)
ZZ Plant Care
A jack of all trades, the ZZ Plant can tolerate anything from bright, indirect light to low light. Keep clear of direct sun and you'll be cheering, but they're best suited to medium light rooms.
With their water-storing rhizomes, they can be suceptible to root rot from overwatering. Water every couple of weeks and make sure the soil has dried out before watering again. Keep in mind, these plants are tolerant of a range of light levels, so depending on where you have it sitting you may need to water it more or less (more for a bright room, less for a darker one).
ZZ's are loved because they are so versatile, and this extends to potting media. They'll be happy in any good quality potting mix, although being part of the Araceae family they'll benefit from being in and Aroid-specific mix.
Feed monthly over sping and summer with a liquid plant fertiliser.
Keep away from curious pets or children (or partners). ZZ's are poisonous if eaten.
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