The ZZ plant, or zamioculcas, is native to Central Africa, but has spread across much of the eastern side of the continent too. It’s used to extremes of weather, surviving long periods of drought and then intense downpours. The ways it’s adapted to those conditions are the reason it’s such an excellent, easygoing houseplant.
It can store water and nutrients for a long time, meaning you don’t need to give it a drink very often. When you do water it, make sure to let all the excess run out of the bottom of the pot, so as not to waterlog it. It will cope with neglect - the odd missed watering; minimal light - a lot better than most plants. If you like a plant that’s easygoing and sculptural, look no further.
Give it an extra growth boost by feeding it with liquid fertiliser once per month in spring and summer.
Did you know?
In various parts of Tanzania, the juice of the ZZ plant is used to treat earache, inflammation and ulceration. It’s a regular little green nurse.