Zamioculcas zamiifolia, or ZZ plant was voted plant of the year in 2002 but for some reason is just now being talked about by everyone. ZZ makes a perfect houseplant, especially for those who have a “brown” thumb, as it takes very little light and very little water. In fact, it grows best when watered only once a month. Fertilize only occasionally and only during the summer months. Keep the plant room temperature and always above 55 degrees. Insects are just not interested in this plant unless it sits in water and rotting occurs.

ZZ plants have beautiful dark green leaves that naturally shine all of the time, as if they were polished. Plant them in well-drained soil, maybe with some sand incorporated in the mix. As the ZZ plant grows, it develops water-storing tubers, much like a potato. They also store water in their leaves and these are the reasons for the need of little watering. These plants perform quite well outside during the summer but remember the rules, low light, little watering and never run temperatures below 55 degrees.

Propagation is easy from leaf cuttings but very timely. It may take up to one year for the old leaf to die and for new shoots to appear. The ZZ plant is a relative of the common Peace lily and has the ability to bloom in the spring, summer or fall and in shades from yellow to bronze. The flowers that the ZZ plant produces are known as perigon, or incomplete flowers. And as with all non-food plants, Do Not Eat.

The Waynedale News Staff

Doug Hackbarth - Broadview Florist & Greenhouses

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