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ZZ Plant
by Chris Baker - posted 02/28/14

The genus Zamioculcas has but one species,Zamioculcas zamiifolia. Say that 10 times quickly! To make things easy, everyone else just calls it ZZ plant. And there couldn’t be an easier plant to grow, either. This almost indestructible plant, with its shiny, leathery, succulent fronds, will grow in the darkest corner of your living room or on a bright sunny porch. The only way to kill it is to overwater it. ZZ plants grow from a potato-like tuber similar to its cousins, caladiums and elephant ears (Caladiumspp. and Colocasiaspp.). The bloom is a typically unexciting aroid flower, hidden at the base of the leaves. Although not a fast grower, a ZZ can get large over time, up to 4 feet. There is one cultivar, the much smaller ‘Zamicro’.

Common Name: ZZ plant, eternity plant

Botanical Name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia 

Varieties/Cultivars to Look For:  ‘Zamicro’

Color: Rich deep green

Blooming Period: Rarely

Type: Tropical houseplant

Size: 16-48 inches

Exposure: Just about anywhere except full sun

How to Plant: Potted houseplant

Soil: Well-drained soil

Watering: Water when soil is dry, never on a schedule.

When to Prune: Divide when needed; share with friends.

When to Fertilize: Sparingly in spring and summer only

In Your Landscape: Use in containers as a tropical.

 

From Ohio Gardener Volume IV Issue I. Left photo by Rusty Clark. Right photo by Chris Baker.

 


Chris Baker is one of the owners of Baker’s Acres Greenhouse in Alexandria, and has been growing, designing and breeding plants for 35 years.