The ZZ or Zanzibar Gem, is a semi-succulent native to the semi-arid regions of Eastern Africa. With its wide, attractive, dark green leaves, the plant boasts of many favorable traits for offices and homes like low maintenance, easy care routine, no demands. This virtually indestructible houseplant can take months and months of neglect and low light and still look amazing! Also known as an eternal plant, ZZ plant has air purifying qualities and is able to remove volatile organic compounds from the air. The ZZ plant can consume CO2 even when the sun is down thanks to the capability to perform a particular type of photosynthesis. This attribute makes them perfect for bedrooms!
Common name: ZZ plant, Zanzibar gem, aroid palm
Scientific name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia
Size: 2-3 feet in suitable environment
Maintenance: Easy to grow, hard to kill!
Toxicity: Poisonous to both pets and humans, may cause skin irritation, burning sensation swelling if swallowed or chewed.
Where to keep the plant: On your desk or inside your living room.
Once a week. ZZ’s water requirements are similar to that of a cactus since they have an extremely efficient water retention mechanism. Before giving your plant a drink, it is best to let it dry out. This can mean in winters or low light environments, they needn’t be watered more than once a month.
Indirect sun/artificial light. Light is not a problem when it comes to the Zanzibar gem, they grow best in lots of indirect light (direct sunlight can cause the leaves to scorch), and thrive under the fluorescent lights of offices, homes, and commercial buildings.
Porous medium. Again, ZZ plants are not picky when it comes to the soil mix. There are no special requirements, any well-draining potting mix will do perfectly fine for your plant. It can be grown outside or in pots, in areas with filtered light and well-draining soil.
Moderately humid. Likewise to its nature, ZZ does not have any special needs for humidity as well. The average indoor humidity levels do just fine. ZZs like temperatures between 65°-75° F and average humidity levels of about 40%.
Twice a year. ZZ’s are happy without the fertilizing, but if you wish, they can be fertilized occasionally in the growing seasons of March to May.
Division, Stem-cutting. The best bet when propagating your ZZ is -to simply separate or cut the plant's roots into two clumps and replant them- the process of division. This way ZZ is most likely to resemble its parent’s plant. However, propagation is also possible by rooting leaf cuttings or leaflets.