If I could pinpoint a moment that my houseplant interest really turned into a full-blown hobby / obsession that would be September 2020. That means that I am still a very new houseplant parent. I have been having so much fun taking the time to care for and learn more about each plant that I have in my home ….which now is well over 40 of them! I really am not sure how I got here. It’s like I blinked and all of a sudden, I have a house full… I also rather enjoy propagating so that doesn’t help to narrow things down.
This week on my houseplant tour I want to highlight my ZZ plant or Zamioculcas zamiifolia. I noticed recently that my ZZ plant is shooting out a new little tuber which will eventually be a whole new stalk in my planter. Over the last week I have done some research on ZZ plants and found out a lot of information that I did not realize about it….. like the little rhizomes that it grows which I think look like potatoes.
ZZ plants are indigenous of Africa and are quite drought tolerant plants. This plant is often seen in homes and offices worldwide. One of the major advantages of having this plant is that it thrives on neglect. You can place it in a dark corner and forget to water it without much damage happening to the plant itself.
- As I mentioned earlier. The ZZ plant is quite drought tolerant. Personally, I water mine about once a month if that. I have my plant in a ceramic pot with soil that is not the best draining. Because of this I can get away with watering it less often but, you really want to use a well-draining mix. Something like a cactus mix or adding a lot of perlite to your soil would do the trick. I would also recommend keeping your ZZ plant in a terracotta or clay pot. This will help eliminate issues with overwatering and root rot. ZZ plants do not like to sit in water or have wet feet. They have waxy leaves and thick stalks that will trap water just like a succulent so less is more with them.
- ZZ plants like overall tempretures of about 65°-75° F and average humidity levels of about 40%.
- Zamioculcas zamiifolia can handle all types of lighting situations. You can easily grow this plant in the interior of your home where it gets very dim light or in a bright corner. An important thing to note is that the less light the plant gets the slower it will grow. Let’s be honest this is already a fairly slow growing plant so its helpful to give it more sun. I had one new stalk in the summer when I purchased it and now 6 months later I am getting a second one.
- These plants only produce blooms if they are stressed. If you see a bloom on your ZZ plant that means it needs your attention. Many of the stories I have heard about blooms on these plants are when they are rootbound and desperately in need of a new pot. Now, these guys do like to be root bound but not to the point that they have no space to grow. Confused yet? A good rule of thumb is that if it is growing out of the pot it needs a new home or better yet – you can root divide it and share the ZZ plant love with a friend.
- Overall I will not prune my ZZ plant unless it is unruly. If you wish you can propagate a ZZ plant from either a leaf (break it off the stem and keep as much of the pedial that connects to the stem) or you can cut the stem and propagate. This can be done either in water or in soil. It does take some time for the propagation to create a rhizome and roots so be patient with it!
- Add a balanced fertilizer once a month when watering – I only do this during growing periods. You don’t want to overwhelm the plant.
I have been seeing a ton of these houseplants lately on Facebook groups and Reddit that have grown to be large and incredibly insane. I would love for you to share your plants with me on Instagram!