New stars in town are ZZ to grow

You’ve seen it. Now you know it. ZZ plant. The plant with the crazy name.

ZZ plants have attained that popularity, particularly with commercial interior plant specialists who know how truly durable they are. They’re different. They’re low-needs, and they’re handsome. What’s not to like!

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Here’s what you’ll want to know…
Common name: ZZ plant
Scientific name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia
Family: Araceae
Native home: Africa
Primary use: Houseplant
Size: 3-4 ft. tall and wide
Introduced varieties: ‘Dowon’ has dark purple, almost black foliage. ‘Zamicro’ is dwarf than regular species.

It’s difficult to walk by a bench filled with ZZ plants and not pick one or two up to take home.

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Form: Arching with leaves emerging from ground
Growth rate: Slow.
Light requirements: Bright light, but no direct sunlight after 9 A.M.
Soil preference: Highly organic, consistently moist. Do not keep soggy.
Fertilizer requirements: Annually with high-N, water-soluble type.
Cold tolerance: Listed as hardy in USDA Zones 9-10, but that scares me. I would suggest protecting from all types of freezes. Bring indoors once temperatures start to drop below 50F.

ZZ plants are propagated by division of their fleshy rhizomes or by leaf cuttings. Both will require patience.

Propagation: Division or leaf cutting. (Be patient. May be slow to root.)

Note: This plant is moderately toxic, so keep out of the reach of young children and pets.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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