ZZ Plant Care
This plant managed to fall in love for its unpretentiousness and unusual appearance. And they even came up with a popular name — «Dollar Tree». Indeed, it is very similar to the «Money Tree». Although, in all its characteristics, it is much larger and more massive. And since in our country the currency used to be valued more than rubles, it means that a plant larger than crassula should attract more valuable funds. This is how the duties of these two plants were divided with the appearance of this unpretentious exotic in our homes: Crassula, that is, the «Money Tree» — increases family income, attracting rubles; and Zamioculcas, that is, the “Dollar Tree”, helps to earn and accumulate dollars.
Description of Zamioculcas
Zamioculcas ( Zamioculcas ) is a monotypic genus of plants of the Aroid family (subfamily Aroideae, tribe Zamioculcadeae), represented by a single species — Zamioculcas zamiifolia ( Zamioculcas zamiifolia ) native to tropical Africa.
Homeland zamioculkas — the desert expanses of Africa, where it grows along with other succulents — plants capable of storing moisture in fleshy stems, leaves and roots, which these plants use during the drought period.
Zamioculcas has a large underground tuber, rather large leathery leaves covered with a wax coating. The leaves of Zamioculcas are pinnate, erect, located on thick, fleshy petioles. All parts of this plant are adapted to create water reserves in case of a prolonged drought. In a dollar tree, flowering is a rather rare phenomenon, especially in room conditions.
The Zamioculcas flower resembles an ear, in which light, small, inconspicuous flowers are collected. The cob itself is formed in the lower part of the plant and is covered with a green veil, therefore it is hardly noticeable. Zamioculcas grows slowly, but an adult plant grows up to one meter in height, so it is more suitable for large rooms, although as a single plant it will decorate any interior.
Features of growing zamioculkas
Temperature : Moderate, preferably 16..18 °C in winter, but not below 12 °C.
Lighting : Bright place with diffused light. In summer, he prefers outdoor accommodation — on the balcony, in the garden, etc. In winter, you will have to rearrange the zamioculkas closer to the window.
Watering : Moderate from spring to autumn, but at the same time no water should remain on the pallet, watering is rare in winter, the soil should dry well before the next watering. Zamioculcas tolerates some dryness more easily than stagnation of water in the soil — this can lead to root rot and the formation of stem rot.
Fertilizer : Usually does not need top dressing.
Air humidity : Zamioculcas does not require spraying the leaves, but sometimes it is necessary to arrange washing so that the plant does not become dusty and does not lose its attractiveness. In the summer, outdoors, there is enough rain washing.
Transfer : Annually in the spring. The soil should be quite nutritious. For young plants — 1 part of sod land, 1 part of leafy land, 1 part of peat and 1 part of sand. You can add a little well-rotted humus soil. Transplantation of old specimens of Zamioculcas is carried out every two years in the spring. A pot for zamioculkas should be commensurate with the root system. Good drainage is a must.
Reproduction : By dividing the bush, leaf, cuttings. Let the leaf dry a bit before planting. It is desirable to root cuttings or a leaf with soil heating and with the use of phytohormones, for better root formation. Rooting can take up to 2 months.
Care for zamioculkas at home
As a houseplant, Zamioculcas has been cultivated with us relatively recently. This plant is very suitable for our apartments, where central heating creates dry air in apartments close to deserts. In addition, the houseplant zamioculkas is very unpretentious. You can forget to water it, it tolerates bright sun and slight shading, a fairly wide temperature range (from +12 ° C degrees in winter to +30 ° C and above in summer). Zamioculkas do not need to be sprayed, although spraying does not do any harm to Zamioculkas.
The answer to the question: «How to care for zamioculkas?» simple — zamioculkas loves heat, bright light, very moderate watering. He does not like dampness, especially at low temperatures, therefore it is necessary to water Zamioculkas in summer as the earthen clod dries out completely, and in winter no more than 1-2 times a month.
The best place in the apartment for Zamioculkas is the window sill of the south window, but it will not wither on the north side either. True, with this arrangement, the leaves of the plant will be somewhat smaller, and in this case it should be watered much less frequently. In summer, the Zamioculcas flower is good to take out to the balcony.
The dollar tree also has no special requirements for soil. The soil in the pot can be anything, but not clay (you can take a ready-made earthen mixture for cacti), but good drainage is required.
Zamioculcas grows slowly, so it is not often necessary to transplant it, but still, when the roots fill the entire space of the pot, transplanting into a larger volume is very desirable for zamioculkas. When transplanting, pay attention — the tubers do not need to be deeply deepened into the ground. They should be slightly visible on the surface.
It is necessary to feed Zamioculkas with fertilizers for cacti and succulents very carefully, only once a month during the growing season, and even then it is not necessary. It is better not to feed at all than to overfeed. During the dormant period in winter, it is not necessary to feed at all.
Reproduction of zamioculkas
It is not possible to find Zamioculcas seeds in our latitudes, therefore, for Zamioculcas, reproduction in our area is possible only in a vegetative way. All parts of the plant can be used to produce a new plant.
The easiest way is to divide an adult plant. In this case, the plant is taken out of the pot, the rhizome is divided, dried, then each part is planted in a separate container.
The second method is the separation of a complex leaf — «branches» with a kidney. The separated part is first dried, and then planted in a permanent pot, while the bud-tuber must be deepened into the ground only to the base of the leaf. The next step is regular maintenance.
Finally, the longest way is reproduction by a single leaf blade. The leaf separated from the plant is dried for a couple of days, then planted in a small pot, in light sandy soil, deepening by 1/3, watered and covered with a jar, aired regularly. The process of formation of roots-tubers is very long and new leaves must be expected for about six months.
Description of Zamioculcas zamielifolia
Zamioculcas zamiifolia (Zamioculcas zamiifolia), synonym — Zamioculcas Loddigesa (Zamioculcas loddigesii).
The homeland of the species is East Africa. From the tuberous rhizome, the plant develops leaves 40-60 cm long, which — which is very rare for representatives of the aroid family — are divided into 8-12 individual feathery leaves. The axis of the leaf (rachis) is thick, juicy and serves the plant to store moisture. Feathers are leathery, dense. The entire leaf resembles a leaf of plants from the genus Zamii living on the American continent, which is reflected in the name of the plant.
In dry times, Zamioculcas can shed the upper part of the leaf with feather lobes, which prevents excessive evaporation, while the lower part of the petiole serves as a reservoir for water and remains on the plant. Zamioculkas also stores water in a powerful underground root. Over time, the plant can stretch and reach a height of 1 m.
Diseases and pests of Zamioculcas
Zamioculcas is sick and rarely affected by pests. This is a very hardy plant, but it can also be «driven» by inept care. The biggest mistake is over watering. In this case, the roots begin to rot. If such a misfortune has occurred, it is necessary to remove the plant from the pot, separate the rotten parts of the plant, and sprinkle the rest with crushed coal, dry it and transplant it into new soil, henceforth water the flower very moderately.
If the leaves of a dollar tree turn yellow, this does not mean that the flower is sick. Zamioculcas, although slowly, grows, new leaves appear, and the old ones turn yellow and die, while dark spots may appear on the stems.
If the leaves turn yellow, but new shoots grow and the dark spots are dry, everything is in order, the plant is healthy. It is necessary to remove yellowing leaves only after they have completely dried.
If the zamioculkas turns yellow, and new shoots do not grow, then there is reason for concern. Yellowing of the leaves can cause a sharp change in temperature, drafts, insufficient watering and pest damage.
Zamioculcas can be affected by spider mites, scale insects, and aphids.
The spider mite is a very small red spider. Appears on the underside of the leaves and envelops them with thin white cobwebs. It is destroyed by spraying and washing the leaves, especially from the underside, with water, weak tobacco infusion, pollination (in the fresh air, outside the rooms) with ground sulfur, or the plant is treated with ready-made systemic insecticides.
Shchitovka , or shield aphid got its name from the waxy shield that covers the body of an adult pest. At first, at a young age, the scale insect is hardly noticeable, but it multiplies rapidly, covering the stems and leaves with dark spots. Adults are motionless and sit under shields, from under which larvae crawl out and spread throughout the plant. At this time, they are destroyed by spraying with a soap and tobacco solution, to which you can add a little kerosene or denatured alcohol. Adult pests, along with shields, are removed with a damp swab, but you still need to treat the entire plant with an insecticide or soapy solution to remove the larvae.
Aphids — a small insect can be green, gray or black in color. Settles on the underside of the leaf and feeds on plant sap, which leads to drying and folding of the leaves. Reproduces quickly. It is destroyed by ready-made preparations that are sold in stores or solutions of nicotine — sulfate in water with soap in a ratio of 1 g. nicotine — sulfate per 1 liter of soapy water.
After processing, the dollar tree should be washed well in a day, covering the soil with polyethylene. If necessary, the processing is repeated.
In any case, if zamioculkas turns yellow and flower diseases are obvious, even if the entire aerial part of the plant has disappeared, do not rush to throw it away. Remove the zamioculkas from the pot, inspect the roots and tubers, if they have not lost their elasticity and look healthy, wash them with a weak solution of manganese, dry them and plant them in new soil, start watering.
It is quite possible that zamioculkas, as in its homeland, when the entire aerial part of the plant disappears during a drought, will give new shoots from the remaining tubers when favorable conditions occur. Zamioculcas is hardy and resistant, like a real man.
We are waiting for your comments!