Houseplant of the month September: Zamioculcas
We recommend the Zamioculcas. A plant that does not need much light and this is a plant that really can take care of itself.
Since 1996 does the plant belong to the houseplant range. The name of the plant is also called Zamioculcas Zamiifolia, or ZZ plant. It is unclear how the name is made up. Culcas is an old name for another species, called Colocasia. Zamio stems from the Zamiifolia leaves that resemble Zamia ferns. The plant has an exotic appearance with its shiny leaves and smooth stem. It is a perennial plant with feathered leaves which grow to a length of 40-60cm. The plant is very stable; does not fall out, does not grow fast and does not require much care.
Greetings from Zamioculcas
Where does the Zamioculcas come from? This trendy plant grows mainly on rocky soil in lowlands in East Africa in countries such as Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Malawi and Zanzibar. The weather in this natural environment is very variable, but fortunately the plant is resistant to changing weather. When it rains heavily, the plant quickly stores what is in its thick stems. With this water it can grow months ahead and therefore survives even in prolonged dry weather.
What to look for when buying Zamioculcas
When buying Zamioculcas, it is important that the plant is free of pests and diseases, although Zamioculcas is not very prone to these.
The number of feathers (stems) determines the classification. A feather is counted if it is at least half the length of the tallest feather on the plant. The plant may sometimes have the odd yellow leaf, which suggest that it may have been stored for too long or has been too wet. Black spots on the stem are part of the plant and do not indicate problems. Also check the pot size in relation to the thickness of the plant, and the number of feathers and their length. On some plants the pot will be somewhat warped due to the enormous strength of the underground tubers in the pot. This can sometimes even cause the pots to tear. In that case repotting is an urgent necessity.
Care tips for customers
Zamioculcas is an ‘easy care’ product that is very tolerant.
In terms of position it will thrive in both a light spot and partial shade.
A room temperature of 18-22°C is fine. The plant should not be too cold, although again it generally won’t complain too much about that.
What Zamioculcas really cannot cope with is overwatering. The soil can be left to dry out a bit between watering. The plant has strong succulent properties in its leaves and roots to get it through a dry period.
Give some plant food once a month, and regularly spray the leaves with tepid water.
Old leaves can be removed if required. New feathers (leaves) will form if there is sufficient light.
The underground tubers are incredibly strong and can distort the (plastic) inner pot and crack the cachepot. The Zamioculcas must be repotted before it gets to that stage.
In the summer, when the temperature no longer goes below 12°C, the plant can also be placed in the garden or on the patio. Be careful of bright sunlight though.
Because the underground tubers are very powerful and growing, it is sometimes necessary to repot the plant. You do this by cutting the stem and placing it in a new pot with moist soil. After a while the cutting becomes a rootstock, new stems and leaves grow from it. The moment when this can best be done is spring or immediately after purchase. In the spring, roots recover faster and is therefore the best time to repot.