ZZ plant or Zanzibar Gem (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia) is another tropical plant from Africa that is used as a popular houseplant universally. This plant is native to East African regions like southern Kenya, Zanzibar, Tanzania, to the southeastern part of South Africa.
The best thing about the ZZ plant is its toughness even if in extremely drought conditions. Its large-sized rhizomes store water for a longer period of time and help the plant to survive.
ZZ plants are typically slow-growing indoor plants and have beautiful seamless glossy dark green leaves.
|Zanzibar Gem, Zuzu plant,
|Up to 4 feet
|Up to 4 feet
|Maximum 15 cm long and
8 cm width
|Blooms in the spring of a mix of
white, light green, & yellow colors.
ZZ Plant Sizes & Characteristics
- The size of a perfectly matured ZZ plant indoors is almost between 90cm to 120cm and has a similar width.
- ZZ plant blooms during the spring with spadix-type flowers and the color are generally a mix of white, light yellow, and green.
- It has medium-sized leaves with dark green color.
- Like other Araceae family plants, it’s too a little poisonous as it contains calcium oxalate crystals. So, you have to be attentive to your pets and kids.
ZZ Plant Benefits
- Requires a little maintenance. Good for especially those who have a busy hectic schedule.
- A high drought tolerant hence doesn’t need watering daily.
- Some experiments on the ZZ plant find it one of the best indoor air purifier plants and has the ability to reduce the contaminated particles from the air like benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene.
- Apart from that its beautifully shaped high gloss leaves make a significant impact on the overall design of any room.
ZZ Plant Care
This is a plant that is easy to care for and requires minimum maintenance. Below are some points to care for a ZZ plant.
ZZ plants can tolerate various lighting conditions except for harsh direct sunlight. Indirect bright light is preferable for its healthier and optimal growth.
ZZ plant’s roots and leaves consist of rhizomes, that stores water to use later. So it does not require frequent watering. It is better to underwater a ZZ plant than to overwater. So, water once the soil gets fully dried. Generally, once every 15 days. In extremely hot conditions in summer, you can water it once a week.
It can grow in any type of soil but use potting mix formulated for indoor plants for better results. You have to ensure it’s well-drained. You can use perlite, and peat moss with it to promote good drainage.
Temperature and Humidity
ZZ plants can grow in any temperature and humidity except the coldest. Temperature below 12°C is not good for the Zanzibar gem. A temperature between 15°C to 28°C is perfect.
ZZ plants do not require high humidity levels or extremely dry conditions. It can adapt well to the average indoor humidity level. If you feel your indoor atmosphere is extremely dry then you can use a humidifier or place a plate of water near it.
ZZ plant is not a heavy feeder. A normal houseplant water-soluble fertilizer is enough. You can fertilize it twice a year, especially during its growing season(spring & summer).
Propagating a ZZ plant is tricky and can be done in 3 ways.
- Root ball division.
- Stem cutting
Root ball division is the best way where you can divide the root ball into various smaller sections carefully so that each section has a healthy root and stem and place them in separate containers.
Whereas the last two propagation methods take longer periods of time and have lower success rates.
You have to cut a healthy stem or leaf and keep them partially buried in the soil. Keep the soil a little moist until the new growth emerges.
ZZ plants do not require regular pruning to grow healthier for them. If required you can trim overgrown and damaged stems and leaves to maintain their shape.
Pot Size & Repotting
A medium-sized pot of a height and diameter of 20 to 25cm is good for a fully matured Zanjiber Gem. You should repot it once when it outgrows the existing container or if you notice the roots of the ZZ plant growing densely and tightly, filling up the entire pot. Drainage issues or visible roots in the sides of the container are a clear indication that it needs a larger pot.
Common Pests and Diseases
ZZ plants are naturally resistant to pests and diseases except for the root rot caused by overwatering.
It is advised to routinely check your ZZ plant for common indoor pests such as mealybugs and spider mites. If you spot bugs, you might use an insecticidal soap while adhering to the product’s guidelines.
Various Types of ZZ Plant
ZZ plants come in a variety of cultivars or sorts, each of which has unique traits. Here are a few well-known ZZ plant variations:
Zamioculcas Zamiifolia ‘Zamicro’– This variety is a dwarf ZZ plant that stays small and compact, growing to a usual height of 6 to 10 inches. Although larger, it has the same glossy, dark green leaves as the typical ZZ plant.
Zamioculcas Zamiifolia ‘Raven’– This type of ZZ plant stands out due to its exceptionally deep purple to black leaves. When paired with other green plants, this cultivar creates a stunning contrast and a sense of drama.
Zamiifolia Zamioculcas ‘Zenzi’-is a diminutive form of ZZ plant with more compact growth and smaller leaves. For those looking for a more compact version of the standard, it is the perfect option.
Zamiifolia Zamioculcas “Dowon”– Dowon is a cultivar distinguished by its slightly deformed or twisted leaves, which give it a distinctive and alluring appearance. This variety gives any indoor plant collection a little personality and curiosity.
What is the growth rate of the ZZ plant?
The ZZ plants are typically slow-growing plants. The actual growth rate of this plant depends upon various factors like environmental conditions, plant health, and care provided. However it generally grows to 1 foot in a year