Return to Library Home Page

Scientific: Zamioculcas zamiifolia
Common: ZZ plant, Zanzibar gem, Zuzu plant, aroid palm, eternity plant, emerald palm
Family: Araceae
Origin: Eastern Africa from southern Kenya to northeastern South Africa

Pronounciation: Za-me-o-CUL-cas za-mi-i-FOL-ee-a

Hardiness zones
12-20 (with cold protection), 21-24
USDA 9 (with cold protection)-11

Landscape Use: Containier plant, entryways, patios, atriums, interiorscape specimen.

Form & Character: Upright, arching, clean and shiny.

Growth Habit: Evergreen, herbaceous perennial, clumping with compound leaves extending upwards and arching to 3 feet height with somewhat greater spread, acaulescent with underground succulent rhizomes (stems) containing swollen water-storing tubers.

Foliage/Texture: Elongated, pinnately compound nearly succulent dark green leaves to 3 feet in length emerge at the soil surface surrounded by a brown sheath, leaflets ovate to 4 inches in length, strongly glaborous, up to 24 leaflets per leaf; medium coarse texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Simple, basal, green-colored spathe surrounding a creamy white spadix, uncommon; fruits uncommon.

Seasonal Color: None

Temperature: Easily damaged by air temperatures lower than 55oF or air temperature above 105oF.

Light: Shade, prefers indirect sunlight and is tolerant of low light interiorscapes for extended intervals. Intolerant of Phoenix sun.

Soil: Tolerant, but in Phoenix grows best in a fast-draining soil or soilless substrate consisting of organic matter and pumice. Fertilize sparingly no more than three times a year.

Watering: When grown in containers, ZZ plant can survive and even flourish for extended periods of several weeks to months without water. Highly intolerant of overwatering.

Pruning: Remove yellowing, senescing leaves as needed.

Propagation: Division, leaf cuttings.

Disease and Pests: Root rot caused by overwatering.

Additional comments: ZZ plant is the consumate container plant for shaded, indirect sunlight exposures. Its deeply green, glossy, shiny foliage will serve as a foliar accent plants outdoors in shaded entryways or covered patios or atriums, or it can flourish indoors with minimal care provided there is sufficient indirect sunlight from a large window.