Zamioculcas: Houseplant of the month February
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.
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 should you look out for when purchasing Zamioculcas?
The Zamioculcas is hardly susceptible to pests and diseases, so you do not have to pay attention to this when purchasing this plant. You can look at the sorting, such as the number of feathers. A feather counts when it has at least half the length of the longest feather in the plant. If the plant has yellow leaves, it has probably been in stock for too long or too much water has been given, so the soil has been very wet. 1 or 2 yellow leaves is no problem. It is not bad if there are black spots on the stems, this is normal. What you have to pay attention to is the thickness of the plant in relation to the pot size. This is because the underground tubers can grow and be so powerful that the pot becomes too small and the pot can even crack. In this case it is necessary to quickly transfer the plant to a larger pot.
Care tips for consumers
Zamioculcases have the same properties as succulents, so you do not have to give much water. In the winter you can safely let the plant stand dry for 2-4 weeks, in the summer you do not water the plant until the top of the soil has dried. You can easily see if the plant is getting too much or too little water. With too much water, the lower leaves will turn yellow. If there is not enough water, leaves will fall and the trunk will dry out at the top.
Place the plant in a larger pot, at least 20% wider than the grow pot. Fill the pot with normal potting soil. Instead of using hydro granules for the soil, the soil must be able to absorb all the water. The water that collects between the grains cannot be absorbed by the roots. Moreover, a large pot increases the health of the plant, stimulates the growth of the plant and the soil can absorb more moisture.
Because the Zamioculcas grows reasonably fast, it also needs supplementary feeding. Therefore give it liquid food in the spring and summer. Use half of the dosage indicated on the package of the houseplant nutrition.
Place the plant in a light or half shade spot, not in full sun. In the beginning, make sure that the plant does not receive too much sunlight, because it is grown under filtered light. So it first had to "get used" to light. Gradually place the plant in more light. The plant grows quickly under a lot of light. If the growth is too fast, the plant will become heavier and the leaves may hang. In this case, place the plant 1-2 meters from the window.
Remove yellow leaves by cutting them as close to the trunk as possible. Stems that become too long can hang. This can be pruned in its entirety, remove this about 5 cm from the tuber.
If a stem starts to hang, you can also tie a bamboo stick along it, so that the stem stays in the right place.
It does not need to be sprayed, but occasionally you can rinse the dust off the sheet.
All parts of the plant are poisonous, so make sure that you wear gloves when pruning or that you wash your hands well afterwards.
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.