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Zamia care tips

Zamia as a houseplant


Zamioculcas – Zamia plant is a tropical perennial plant native to Eastern Africa, Mexico and Central and South America’s tropical areas. It is a genus of flowering plant in the family Araceae and it is also known as Zanzibar gem, ZZ plant, Eternity plant or Emerald palm. Although not a palm tree, its growth habit is similar to a palm, therefore it is commonly known as cardboard palm or cardboard cycad. They should be fed with palm food.


Zamia is grown as an ornamental plant mainly for its attractive glossy foliage and is a very easy to care plant and requires low maintenance. 


The leaves are long, shiny and dark green. The stems of these pinnate leaves are thickly thickened at the bottom. The flowers are produced in a small bright yellow to brown spadix 5-7 cm long, partly hidden among the leaf bases. Flowering is from mid summer to early autumn.


Zamia plant contains an unusually high water contents of leaves (91%) and has an individual leaf longevity of at least six months, which may be the reason it can survive extremely well under interior low light levels for four months without water.


Growing conditions


Light: Zamia thrives in moderate to bright light with some morning or afternoon sun. A shaded place will be tolerated but will grow more slowly. During summer it can be placed in the garden or the balcony. 


Water: If Zamia is in a high light environment it will need to water more often than if it is in a shady area. Make sure not to over water the plant as you can cause the roots to rot. Wait until the soil dries before watering again.


Temperature: Zamias are fairly hardy plants. They may survive outdoors as long as the temperature does not fall below 15oC. Hot temperatures give an increase of leaf production. They are drought tolerant and should be protected from extreme cold.


Cultivation: It may be propagated by leaf cutting: the lower ends of detached leaves are inserted into moist gritty compost and the pot enclosed in a polythene bag. Though the leaves may well decay, succulent bulb-like structures should form in the compost and these may be potted up to produce new plants. The process may take upwards of one year.

The plant can also be propagated by division. It means to divide the plant once it’s a very large size and too big for its pot. Remove the entire plant from the existing container and gently separate some of the tuberous rhizomes. 


Caution: All parts of Zamia plant are toxic to the majority of pets and children, so keep the plant away from animals and kids.


Cleaning the leaves: The leaves are glossy so if they become dusty they will lose there shine. Don’t use leaves shine products as this can be harmful. Wash the leaves with water and the natural gloss will come back.


Enemies and diseases


Mealy bug is the most commonly enemy for Zamia. These sticky, white insects live in hidden in the crown of the plant or on the underside of the leave. Remove by hand or with a strong spray or with a combination of horticultural oil with an insecticide. 


Crawling beetles can eat Zamia leaves and spider mites can be a problem in poorly ventilated greenhouses. 


Diseases mostly caused by high humidity or too much moisture on either the leaves or soil. Black mold can appear on the older mature leaves of Zamia. It can be wiped off with the finger but without correction of the problem it will return.


Brown leaves: This refers to the edges of the leaflets getting brown, dried out or discolored. There are a variety of cultural problems that causes this such as lack of humidity, desiccation from too little water, too high temperatures or poor quality of water and fertilizer. 


Zamia plant is an excellent houseplant for gifting to friends, family and co-workers as it purifies the air and will spruce up any house or office. Celebrate any special occasion with a beautiful plant that will bring nature indoors and stay fresh and last long from anthemionflowers.gr.