Everybody who has ever been into gardening knows that it is good to add a little color to your home. Of course, green looks great, but a little spice never hurt anybody! One such way of going about the said situation is by bringing home a ZZ plant.
The plants are famous for being very durable and adding zing to your home or workspace in the best and most unique manner. One thing you need to know is that you will still need to work on the plant and can’t just pop flowers without care. Here is everything you need to know about ZZ.
What do we know about ZZ Plant?
A member of the Zamioculcas genus, the Zanzibar gem is a flowering plant in the family Araceae, containing the single species Zamioculcas zamiifolia. ZZ is known to be a tropical perennial plant native to eastern Africa, from southern Kenya to northeastern South Africa.
In the past, the ZZ plant would only be found in planters in malls and large office buildings and due to their amazing integrity would frequently be mistaken for fake plants, partially because they needed so little care and always looked extremely healthy.
As the years went by, they have found their way onto the shelves of both big box and hardware stores where you can get them to be members of your home.
ZZ plants are known to have stems that grow in a graceful, wand-like shape that begins with a thick and bulbous base and then happens to taper to a point. Along the stem grow fleshy, oval-shaped leaves that successfully make the plant look like stylized feathers.
The entire plant possesses a waxy, shiny coating that manages to make it appear to resemble those made of plastic. Between the sculptural qualities of the plant and its waxy coating, it makes a lot of sense that people mistook it for artificial plants in malls and office buildings.
ZZ plants are known to be slow-growing plants that prefer bright, indirect sunlight. One of the benefits of the ZZ plant is that it can thrive in many lighting conditions. If you ever plant or repot a ZZ, you should go ahead with it in the spring or summer when it’s in an active growth phase.
Plants are known to be poisonous to humans and animals if ingested. Here are some things, in addition to the information already available, how does one care for a ZZ plant?
How to care for the ZZ plant?
ZZ plants are famous for being low-maintenance, easy-to-care-for houseplants that even gardeners with the blackest thumbs (someone unable to grow plants) can keep alive with minimum care. All they need to do with regard to care is adequate light and a good watering every couple of weeks.
However, you don’t have to worry too much if you forget to water your ZZ plant—these plants grow from rhizomes, which happens to help them to store water under the soil, making them drought-tolerant plants.
Though it thrives outdoors in Africa, it’s best if you grow the plants indoors. If you want to grow it outside, plant it in a container that can be brought indoors when there is a drop n temperature.
ZZ plants have a naturally shiny exterior with regard to their leaves but can become dull as dust accumulates. Be careful that you never clean the leaves of a Zanzibar gem with a commercial leaf shine because that will just clog the pores of your plants. Instead, gently wipe away dust and debris with a damp washcloth to restore its shine.
ZZ plants, as their durable nature suggests, are not overtly picky about their potting medium as long as it is a well-draining one. The plant is known to do just fine when potted in standard potting mixes available in most nurseries in your town.
If additional drainage is required, mixing in perlite or sand will help.
Just ensure that the soil in which your plant exists does not clog, because if it does, the accumulated water will end up giving your beautiful plant root rot, and nobody needs that. The fungal infections will destroy your plants.
These plants are, as has been mentioned before, highly drought-tolerant and can handle infrequent watering thanks to their thick rhizomes. You should, as a habit, water ZZ plants once the soil dries out completely—usually once every two weeks, depending on their growing conditions. Conduct a finger test, to be sure that the soil has been dried out completely.
It’s better to water your plant less than give it too much water, especially if the plant is as drought tolerant as this one. When watering, pour it on the plant thoroughly with the water running out of the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot. Get rid of the excess water y draining out the plate.
Temperature and Humidity
Average household temperatures and humidity are usually acceptable for Zanzibar gems. ZZ plants are a little sensitive to the cold and do not tolerate cold temperatures well (no lower than 45 degrees Fahrenheit), so avoid placing your plant in a place close to drafts or particularly cold areas of your home.
ZZ plants aren’t very demanding of humid conditions, but if your home runs on the dry side, consider increasing the humidity around your plant by purchasing a humidifier or placing it on top of a water tray so that the plant doesn’t get too dry or doesn’t die too soon.
ZZ plants usually do not require regular fertilizing to thrive throughout their life. However, if you’re planning to increase the size or vigor of your plant, fertilize your ZZ plant with a variety of indoor plant fertilizers diluted to half-strength one to two times during its active growing season.
How does the ZZ Plant bloom?
Gardening enthusiasts are known to love this plant because of its pinnate bright green leaves that grow on fleshy stems. In addition to that, the waxy coating on their surface gives the leaves a fabulous, lustrous sheen.
But one should be fully aware that a lot of work is involved if one wants to see the ZZ plant bloom. To get flowers on your pretty, glossy friend, you need to take care of the plant, wait for it to bloom, and have a little luck.
One large inflorescence called a cob, typical of aroids emerges and contains all the flowers.
And when one does, a modified, 2.5-3 inches with long pale green leaf cover nearly the cob’s entire diameter. Consequently, what usually happens is that the inflorescence blends in with the surrounding environment, making it tough to discern when the plant is blooming.
Furthermore, the inflorescence is known to have a unique structure that separates the male and female flowers within the cob. The male flowers take up the upper part of the cob, and the lower ones are for the female ones.
An area of sterile flowers ends up separating the two zones. As a result of this, what mostly happens is that the inflorescence is unable to pollinate itself.
How often can the plant bloom?
The ZZ plant rarely blooms in the wild, and it blooms even less frequently when it is kept indoors in a pot because the root doesn’t have enough space to grow and bloom.
And how often your green friend blooms at home depends on several factors, including but not limited to, the amount of care the plant receives. Blooming may not occur at all, or it might be extremely irregular.
You can tell that the plant is about to bloom when you start noticing a small shoot formed at the base, from which a cob will grow out soon. Blooming occurs most often when the plant is mature and has grown to be strong enough to produce shoots and a root system.
Although some experts claim that young ZZ plants can also flower, the most important thing is to learn and care for them in the most educated manner.
What could be the reason for the plant not blooming?
The inability of your ZZ plant to bloom might be due to many reasons. Therefore, you must remove any impediment that is noticeable in the plant to increase your chances of seeing the object which is definitely any gardener’s pride.
- Lighting, temperature control, and watering fail to create an ideal microclimate.
- It’s not getting enough nutrients from the soil.
- You have the wrong-sized plant pot.
- The ZZ Plant has gone into hibernation.
- Pests or diseases have infected the plant.
How to care for a blooming plant?
It is not recommended to readjust the microclimate in the room where the ZZ plant is located because the process consumes a significant amount of the ZZ plant’s energy and might exhaust your plant and hamper its growth.
Therefore, feeding and watering should remain constant with how it was before, as they were before.
It is almost forbidden to move the flower from one location to another, as this might cause the cob to fall off.
How to care for it after it has bloomed?
If you notice that the flower stalks that have fallen to the ground indicate the end of the flowering season. Follow these steps:
- Remove the root of the flower stalk and cut it off at the base.
- Limit the watering to once a month.
- Provide the plant with a cool temperature of between 62-68 °F indoors.
- It is necessary to stop feeding the plant for some time.
- It is best to avoid transplanting and propagating the plant after this.
What does a flower symbolize?
When the ZZ plant has managed to bloom, it means all households are supposed to have positive occurring in the house, like getting a promotion at work or getting married. This could even indicate that your family might have a new member.
Planting a new plant happens to be an excellent time to put coins at the bottom of the pot. This is believed to strengthen the plant’s energy, which will help it grow better and make your home a little more pleasant at the very least.
Withering leaves are definitely a warning sign that the plant owner’s financial situation is deteriorating. Although not scientifically proven, make sure you place the ZZ plant next to a younger, healthier one to prevent further withering. You can expect disaster if the plant dies as soon as it is done blooming.
Are Zanzibar gems easy to care for?
ZZ plants are said to be impossible to destroy because they tolerate poor conditions and neglect, making this an excellent choice for beginner indoor gardeners. But know that when it comes to flowers, it is a little hard to make them bloom.
How fast does the ZZ plant grow?
The plant is known to grow rather slowly. But, it is known to generate a handful of new stems every year. It also tends to grow in spurts of a couple of inches or more at a time every given season.
How long can a ZZ plant live?
Since the plant is extremely tough, it is known to last for a very long period ZZ plants are also known as heirloom plants because you can pass them from generation to generation.
These plants are an amazing kind that is known to bring about the best in your homes, with regards to color, as well as ambiance. And although all the discussion tells us that the plants do great, even when not taken care of in the best possible manner, you mustn’t take this as a reason to neglect your green friends.