When it comes to easy-care houseplants, there’s one tropical we can’t overlook: the zamioculca (Zamioculcas zamiifolia), which in some countries is also called fortune plant.
It is a very striking species, with very striking leaves and stems and highly appreciated both for its ability to decorate interiors and its extraordinary resistance. If you want to learn more about how to take care of a zamioculca, keep reading us in this EcologíaVerde article in which we show you a practical and complete guide on the zamioculca care.
Characteristics of the zamioculca
scientific name Zamioculcas zamiifolia, this tropical plant native to Africa is very suitable for beginner gardeners or those who have little time to care for their plants. Here we start talking about its characteristics:
- The zamioculca plant owes its particular appearance to its ability to accumulate water in their leaves and stems fleshy, which act as a reserve in case of drought, making it a succulent plant.
- It is a perennial plant, which in its original habitat reaches heights of up to 1 meteralthough in a pot and indoors it tends to stay somewhat below this height.
- The flower of the zamioculca has very little ornamental value, since it is about small inflorescences of a very inconspicuous yellow tone, so it is a species appreciated mainly as Green plant.
- Their leaves are toxicso it is convenient to prevent children or pets from ingesting it by mistake.
If you like this type of plants with a striking green color, here you can discover 51 green indoor plants.
Location and light for the zamioculca
This plant appreciates being in illuminated areas, although it does not need it as much as other houseplants. If you have a well-lit room, where you can place your zamioculca away from the direct incidence of the sun’s rays, you will be giving it a good supply of light that will prevent its stems from shrinking or decaying.
With regard to temperature, as it is an indoor plant, it goes without saying that it will not be exposed to extreme conditions. In any case, the zamioculca grows well in temperatures above 15ºCso try not to place it in rooms where the temperature will drop below that value.
If you place it outdoors, keep all this in mind and place it in an area with a suitable temperature and in semi-shadethat is, close to the sunlight but not directly.
Irrigation for the zamioculca
It’s very important do not overwater this plant Since, like most plants with water retention capacity, too abundant watering can easily cause root rot.
Therefore, avoid flooding the plant as much as possible when watering it, and make sure to place it in a pot with drainage holes. Let it the earth dries up between irrigations, especially if your plant is not in a very bright area. In cold months it will be necessary to further reduce the frequency of watering. If you have doubts, it is better to water a little, than in excess.
We encourage you to learn more about the subject of irrigation with this other post about When to water plants.
Substrate and fertilizer for zamioculca
Since it is a plant that does not tolerate excess moisture, it is very important that its substrate offers drainage that works as well as possible. Prepare a bed of expanded clay, coarse gravel, or some other similar material at the bottom of the container, and then use a light, well-draining universal substrate. Here you can learn more about the right substrate for plants that retain water well in their stems and leaves: How to make a substrate for cacti and succulents.
In regards to subscriberthe plant appreciates a contribution monthly in warm months, which can be dissolved in the irrigation water. It is convenient that it is a quality fertilizer, rich in microelements and macroelements. We recommend you learn with this other guide How to make homemade organic fertilizer for plants.
When is the zamioculca transplanted
This plant has very strong and highly developed roots, which will soon occupy all the available space in the pot if it is growing properly. For this, approximately every 2 years it will be necessary to transplant it to a new larger container.
It is possible that the strong roots of the plant can deform the pots or containers, forcing us to break them carefully in order to extract and transplant it. If you find this to be the case, transplant it the following spring.
We advise you to take a look at this other post about when and how to transplant a plant.
My zamioculca has yellow leaves, why?
There are several reasons why the leaves of a zamioculca turn yellow:
- The first and most common is that you are watering it excessively. If this is the case and the trend continues, the leaves will darken to black, a sign that the plant is rotting. Prune all affected leaves with a sterilized tool and space out watering.
- It may also be that your plant needs a transplant or a contribution of fertilizer, since it has depleted the nutrients of its soil.
- It could be due to an attack by the cottony mealybug, a pest that sometimes affects this plant. Look for the pest on the underside of the leaves and apply Neem oil or potassium soap.
- It can also happen that you are giving it too much direct sun and the leaves are burning. In this case, you will see that they begin to turn yellow but in a short time they become browner, dry and fall off.
My zamioculca has fallen stems, what do I do?
If the leaves seem to lose their strength and the stems droop limply, it’s most likely because you’re watering the zamioculca excessively.
If you are wondering what to do if your zamioculca has fallen stems, we recommend that, as in the previous case, to recover the plant if this type of problem occurs, space the risks and check that the substrate has had time to dry before watering again.
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