How to care
for your ZZ Plant
The ZZ – not to be mistaken for the Zzz produced in comic books – is a very popular houseplant whose origins go back centuries in Eastern Africa. The Zamioculcas Zamiifolia (a mouthful, for sure) is a tropical perennial with smooth, naturally shiny and waxy leaves that range from bright to emerald to nearly black that spring from its bulbous stalk. Dependable, solid, and never one to complain, the ZZ is a very popular choice for offices and homes due to their warrior-like ability to thrive in a range of conditions. Neglect, low-light conditions, neglect and more neglect – the ZZ is a stalwart houseplant for those brown-thumbers out there trying their darndest to turn their thumbs green.
ZZ Plant Family
Care Level : Beginner, Expert or Somewhere in the middle.
Excellent beginner plant as ZZ tolerates neglect, are drought tolerant and can grow in low-light conditions.
ZZ plants thrive in low to bright, indirect light areas of your home. Avoid direct light, otherwise you’ll see scalding signs on their leaves (curling leaves, yellowing, too much leaning). Dust accumulates on ZZ leaves, so wipe it off with a damp cloth (not a commercial leaf shine or it’ll clog!) to allow for them to photosynthesize more efficiently.
ZZ plants have water-storing rhizomes hidden underneath its soil, so they’re very drought-resistant plants. Water once every 2 to 3 weeks and let the soil dry out completely.
Average home humidity conditions are fine for ZZ plants. If there’s artificial heating in your home, consider placing your ZZ on top of a pebble tray submerged in water. Avoid placing near cold drafts and sources of heat.
ZZ plants will thrive in room temperatures of 15-24°C – don’t go any lower than 8°C.
Toxic. Keep away from nibbling pets and curious children.
Other fun facts:
- In a NASA plant study, the ZZ plant was one of the top air purifiers – specifically adept at removing copious amounts of toxins, like xylene, toluene, and benzene from the air.
- The ZZ plant (Fortune Tree) is thought to bring good fortune and luck with its significant thick, textured leaves. If you buy 10 and then another 10 a month later, we’ll know it worked.
- Zamioculcas Zamiifolia is a tongue-twister of a name which contributes to its abbreviated name, “ZZ” or “Zanzibar Gem.”
- This plant has thick succulent roots and can live for months with little to no water.
- A couple of decades ago, Dutch nurseries in South Africa saw the plant’s propagating potential and in started distributing it around the world in 1996.
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