Relatively new to the houseplant trade, ZZ plant has quickly become the go-to plant for interior decorators in both homes and offices. That’s because ZZ grows easily in any light conditions (even under fluorescent fixtures) and has bulb-like rhizomes at the base of each stem that store water when moisture is scarce. (It’s native to Africa where extended periods of drought are common.) That’s why it’s ideal for offices, shopping malls, and busy family members.
Besides being super easy to grow, ZZ plants are prized for their interesting form. Each ZZ stem produces 6 to 8 pairs of glossy green, oval leaflets (left) arranged in a ladder-like formation. ZZ plants can grow 3 feet tall in low to medium light conditions. Mature plants may also flower, producing small cream-colored blooms in a green jacket or spathe.
Although ZZ plants are drought resistant you should still water them whenever the soil feels dry to the touch. Be careful, though, because ZZ plants hate constantly wet soil.
ZZ plants grow relatively slowly so you don’t have to worry about them outgrowing your living room or apartment. If you want a larger specimen for display buy the largest you can find for instant effect.
Currently, there are two forms of ZZ plant available. A dark green variety called Zamicro and an exciting new introduction named Raven® that sports purple-black foliage.
Keep in mind that ZZ plant can be toxic to dogs, cats, and kids so always keep your plant out of their reach.
Written by Doug Jimerson