Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ): An Indoor Ornamental Plant

ZZ plant (zamioculcas zamiifolia)


Zamioculcas zamiifolia or ZZ plant is a  member of the family Araceae. This plant is so popular because of its unique aesthetic appearance and hardy in nature to tolerate low light and drought. ZZ plants are also resistant to diseases and are very pet-friendly.

Common name

African coontie, ariod palm, arum fern, emerald frond, cardboard palm, and ZZ plant.

Botanical description

Zamioculcas zamiifolia or ZZ plant is a perennial herb with rhizomes. The size of the rhizomes varier with age. Leaves are arises directly from the rhizomes with fleshy petioles having alternate leaflets. The color and appearance of the leaflet make it a beautiful ornamental indoor plant. The leaflets are about 10-15 cm in length and 5-7 cms in width. They are dark and glossy green in appearance makes it look like a plastic leaf.

The flowering occurs only in mature plants during the spring season in the form of a beautiful inflorescence with a spathe and spadix, male, sterile and female flowers.

Why ZZ plant is the best as an indoor plant

  1. Requires low light
  2. Drought tolerance
  3. Shiny glossy leaves look like the plant is made up of shiny polished plastic.
  4. The leaves are very hardy and will remain the same throughout the years.
  5. The plant is disease-free
  6. The plant is also pet-friendly and therefore a cat and dog can have this beautiful plant in their house.

How to take care of a ZZ plant

  1. Well-drained soil with proper aeration is essential for growth.
  2. The plant is a slow-growing plant but requires good space for the growth of rhizomes.
  3. For good appearance and density of the plant, rhizome care is important. The larger the rhizome, the shoot will be produced.
  4. ZZ plants grow between a wide range of temperate of 1- to 35 degrees.
  5. Do not overwater the plant as excessive watering may rot the rhizomes but keeps the topsoil moist enough.
  6. Normal liquid NPK fertilizers once in a year is sufficient for the plant as its nutrient requirement is very low.

Propagation of ZZ plant

The propagation of ZZ plants is mainly via vegetative by rhizome or leaf or petiole cutting.

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  1. Chen, Jianjun & Henny, Richard. (2003). ZZ: A Unique Tropical Ornamental Foliage Plant. HortTechnology. 13. 458-462. 10.21273/HORTTECH.13.3.0458.