More commonly known as the ZZ plant, Zamioculcas zamiifolia is a foliage plant often grown indoors in containers as a decorative plant. If you wish to grow this plant indoors, learning the most ideal long-term care techniques to foster healthy growth is the most important way of enjoying all the aesthetic benefits this plant can offer the environment in which it is grown.
Zamioculcas zamiifolia is a tropical ornamental perennial that is originally native to East Africa, particularly Tanzania and Zanzibar. Its dark-green foliage bears succulent rhizomes at its base during blooming season. A unique characteristic of Zamioculcas zamiifolia among other aroid plants is that Zamioculcas zamiifolia can be propagated by way of a single leaflet dropping to the ground, establishing roots and forming bulblets that eventually grow into mature plants.
Zamioculcas zamiifolia prefers a warm climate and is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 9 and 10, meaning it can withstand minimum winter temperatures no colder than 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Zamioculcas zamiifolia should be grown in a well-drained soil that is not too heavy and that has a pH reading around 6.0. If you are using a growing medium, an orchid compost or peat moss and perlite mixture fosters healthy growth.
One of Zamioculcas zamiifolia's distinguishing characteristics is its high tolerance of hot weather and drought stress; you could almost say it thrives in neglect. Some growers have reported success in growing Zamioculcas zamiifolia watering it only once per month or less. Of course, individual climatic and atmospheric conditions may require more frequent watering. But in general, the Zamioculcas zamiifolia is one of the more low-maintenance houseplants available for gardeners to grow.
Due to its effortless propagation by single defoliated leaflets, Zamioculcas zamiifolia can easily become a weed. The plant will naturally defoliate during certain times of year. Because they require so little care from the gardener, each leaflet can easily become its own plant in a short amount of time. If you wish to control the spread of your Zamioculcas zamiifolia, be sure to clean up all leaf debris that defoliates from the plant before it is able to establish itself in the soil.
- University of Connecticut: Zamioculcas Zamiifolia
- University of British Columbia Botanical Garden & Centre for Plant Research: Some Advice From the Pros on Growing Zamioculcas Zamiifolia, the "ZZ" Plant
- Purdue University Extension; Propagation and Production of Zamioculcas Zamiifolia; R.G. Lopez, et al.