About ZZ Plant
Even beginners and people with “black thumbs” can keep ZZ plants alive, which is part of their appeal. Though these plants thrive outside in their native habitats, they can be grown as indoor plants anywhere.
Also called Zanzibar gems, the ZZ plant has been known to be mistaken for fake plants because of its shiny, waxy leaves that are deep green. These are slow-growing plants that can thrive in several different environments.
“ZZ” stands for Zamioculcas zamiifolia and is part of the Araceae (Arum) family. It is related to another popular houseplant - the peace lily.
ZZ plants are tropical perennials that grow and reproduce via rhizomes, underground tuber-like stems that store water and food. Being perennials, ZZ plants will live for many years.
In the wild, the above-ground portion may die in freezing weather, but the plant will regrow from the rhizomes the following spring.
The ZZ plant is native to Eastern Africa, from Kenya to South Africa.
The ZZ plant’s stems are upright, starting thicker at the base and tapering into a point at the top. "The ZZ plant bears thick, slightly bulbous stalks with beautiful waxy green leaves," says Paris Lalicata, Plant Education + Community Engagement Associate at The Sill. These deep green, oval leaves with a smooth, waxy finish that them a plastic look. "Individual leaflets are typically one to three inches long," adds Lalicata.
This plant looks like a small tree or shrub and is very attractive. It makes a beautiful accent piece to any room in the house.
"ZZ plants have underground potato-like rhizomes that help the plant store water and nutrients. They are present just below the soil surface but can occasionally become exposed above ground which is normal and harmless to the plant," says Lalicata.
These rhizomes help make the plant drought-tolerant, helping it go weeks without water. "During times of unfavorable conditions in the wild, the ZZ plant can die back down to the rhizomes where they will sprout new growth once conditions become favorable again. The ZZ plant will also use these rhizomes to slowly creep underground overtime to new locations, spawning new aboveground leaves along the way," Lalicata explains.
Types Of ZZ Plants
There are several different varieties of the ZZ plant. Some of the most popular are:
Raven ZZ plant
Jungle warrior ZZ plant
Lucky ZZ plant
Variegated and albino ZZ plants
ZZ Plant Styling
ZZ plants are very versatile and can be used in almost any room in the house. They can add a pop of green to your room or office and can be styled in several ways, including:
Planted in unique pots on a table or shelf
Placed on the floor in the corner of a bedroom or office
Placed in a wicker basket on the floor
Styled beside other succulents and vertical houseplants, like snake plants