Zanzibar Gem, ZZ Plant
Rich green upright towers of fleshy succulent stems give Zamioculcas zamiifolia a memorable architectural form that makes for an incredibly impressive specimen plant despite its easy to care for nature.
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Native to dry grassland and forest areas of East Africa, parts of this succulent have historically been used by traditional healers in Malawi and Tanzania to treat ear ache and inflammatory conditions.
The name Zamioculcas zamiifolia alludes to this plant’s strong resemblance to a Zamia cycad, but this tongue twister-esque name is often shortened to ‘ZZ Plant’.
Similar to cycads though, Zamioculcas zamiifolia is one of the most ancient plants we cultivate for our homes. In fact, it’s often described as a “living fossil” as it is thought to have evolved around 42 million years ago.
Care & Size Guidance
Zamioculcas zamiifolia is an incredibly forgiving house plant to care for as its fleshy stems make it extremely drought tolerant. It’s a succulent that loves sunlight, but can even tolerate very low light levels so long as it’s sparsely watered. If the leaves become longer than average, it may suggest it needs more sunlight.
ZZ plants are also easy to propagate at home with cuttings of leaflets and stems with leaves. In the wild, when there is prolonged drought, the leaves will drop to the ground and a new plant will begin to grow.
The plant’s deep green leaves filter air borne toxins, purifying the air in your home.