Zenzi ZZ Plant: Detailed Growing And Care Guide

You may be surprised to find out that there are a dozen different cultivars of Zamioculcas zamiifolia or the ZZ plant. Since it took off in popularity only recently, you may not see too many varieties in the shops. However, eager plant breeders have discovered a few new ones that differ from the original in exciting ways.

The zenzi ZZ plant is a member of the Aroid family and a dwarf variety that only grows about a foot tall. It has thick, fleshy, upright stems, with deep green leaves growing densely along their length. The leaves tend to bunch up and curl more than in other varieties. It is a cute little evergreen.temo

The zenzi is a dwarf variety that, like all ZZ plants, makes an intriguing addition to your indoor plant collection. It is also one of those ‘impossible to kill’ houseplants that are perfect for beginners. The zenzi’s cheerful, bright, glossy green leaves will add a spark of joy to a dull and gloomy corner as they can survive in low light conditions.

Related: Overwatered ZZ Plant: Important Steps For Saving Your Plant

How To Know If Your ZZ Plant Is A Zenzi

ZZ plants have bright green leaves between two and three centimeters across at their widest.  The leaves grow along a stalk called a rachis. A single plant will have four or five of these stems growing from its base.

The stems of the original cultivar will slowly grow to a height of around three feet and with a spread of between two or three feet. They are usually more vertical than horizontal, especially under overhead lights. The zenzi variety only grows to around a third of a meter or one foot in height.

It is still new in 2021 and therefore hard to find at the moment, so the chances of happening across one are pretty low. Most gardening shops and plant nurseries have only the original cultivar and one called ‘Raven’ with leaves of such a dark green, they look almost black.

The zenzi variety has deep green leaves like the original cultivar but grows more compactly because it is a dwarf version. The rachis is thicker and stockier than other ZZ cultivars, and the leaves are more densely packed.

However, if you aren’t familiar with the usual ZZ cultivar, you may not be able to tell the difference. If the original cultivar has not grown to its full height, you could mistake it for a zenzi. Therefore, the height of the two different cultivars is not the best way to identify them unless you know their age.

If you see the two cultivars side by side, the stems of the zenzi look much fleshier and fatter than those of the original cultivar. They also stand more upright. The leaves of the zenzi and the original cultivar are shiny, deep green, so there are no marked differences in color to distinguish them.

The zenzi’s leaves curve upwards from the stems and tend to curl more than those of its taller cousins. If and when a zenzi flowers, it produces a small pale yellow flower in the middle near the base, resembling a tiny corn cob. Size-wise, the zenzi’s leaves are smaller – around an inch or two when mature.

Caring For Your Zenzi ZZ Plant

Zenzi ZZ Plant fertilizer

The zenzi is a hardy, tropical plant that does not require high humidity or air temperatures. It does pretty well at normal humidity levels and, although you can keep it in your bathroom, you don’t have to. They are undemanding and can live entirely under fluorescent lights if there are no windows – for example, in an office.

The plant is slow-growing, especially in low light and cooler conditions, but caring for it is uncomplicated and straightforward. As they are a dwarf variety, zenzis will fit nicely in a tiny home or on an office desk. They also have quite an unusual appearance and are easily distinguishable from other house plants.

Lighting

The zenzi, like its taller siblings, does well in low to moderate light. It does not like direct sunlight and shouldn’t be placed too close to a window where the sun can strike it. The leaves may turn yellow and eventually brown if exposed to direct sunlight.

It is prized as an ornamental for its foliage, and flowering is rare.

If your plant is bending towards a light source, it could be telling you it needs a bit more light. The zenzi will grow faster in bright light than in low light but is tolerant of low light.

The stems can also bend away from a light source if it is too much. This is an unusual feature of ZZ plants as other plants continuously grow towards the light. The zenzi has thicker leaf stalks than other ZZ plants, so they will not bend as readily.

Soil

The zenzi needs well-draining soil with a pH of between six and seven. It prefers being slightly root-bound. You can use a mix of forty percent cactus soil and sixty percent normal potting soil. Air must be able to reach the roots, so very dense soils and pure potting soil are best avoided.

Water

The beauty of ZZ plants is that they don’t need much water. They are drought resistant and store moisture in their fleshy stems. Water your zenzi ZZ plant only when you can feel the top layer of soil is dry, and don’t panic if you forget to water it now and then.

It should only need watering once a week in summer and once every two weeks to a month in winter. Remember that the soil will dry out faster if you use radiators or central heating in winter.

The main thing is not to overwater because the roots are likely to rot, and you could kill it with too much kindness. The rule of thumb when watering your zenzi is: when in doubt, don’t.

The water should always be at comfortable room temperature. Don’t water your plant with cold water as this could kill it. Since water just rolls off its waxy leaves, it is better to water at the base of the plant.

Fertilizer

All ZZ plants are slow-growing, and the zenzi is no exception. Using a well diluted liquid fertilizer once a month in the growing season is all that’s necessary. The zenzi doesn’t need a lot of food. Do not fertilize it in winter.

Air Circulation

The plant likes good air circulation between its leaves as its native country is not high in humidity. It is unnecessary to mist the leaves as the plant gets most of its water from its roots. If the air is too dry, your zenzi won’t complain if you mist around it, but don’t let too much moisture run down into the soil and make it soggy.

Temperature:

Thermometer in a garden

An ambient temperature range of fifteen to twenty-four degrees Celsius is necessary for your zenzi to thrive. It can tolerate occasional temperatures down to eight degrees Celsius but not for very long. The warmer it is, the faster your zenzi ZZ plant will grow.

Freezing temperatures of lower than 8 degrees Celsius will kill your zenzi.

Pests

All ZZ plants are naturally resistant to most pests that infest indoor plants. If your plant gets pests such as scale insects, it is probably not healthy, and you should try to find the cause. It could be too much water, a lack of nutrients or the pot may be too small.

If you do see pests on your plants, only use pesticides as a last resort. You can wipe insects off the leaves with a mix of water and alcohol or a solution of neem oil. A little dish soap mixed in the water/alcohol solution could also do the trick.

It is very unusual to see pests on a ZZ plant, but if you do, it is likely to be a scale insect. Usually, there are only a few at first, and you can dip a cotton bud in rubbing alcohol or vodka and wipe the leaves and stems with it. Be careful not to spill any alcohol directly onto the plant as this could kill it.

Also Check: How Often To Water ZZ Plant In Winter: Important Planting Tips

Potting

Zenzi ZZ plants are small and prefer snug-fitting pots to large ones. Ensure the pot has drainage holes, and don’t repot until you see roots appearing around the rim. Since it is slow-growing, you may only need to repot once every two or three years.

When repotting, make sure you use a pot that is only one size larger than the old one.

The Benefits Of A ZZ Plant

ZZ plants are beneficial to offices and homes because they purify the air. Research has shown that they filter out common toxins such as toluene, benzene, ethylbenzene, and xylene. So you not only get a stunning little houseplant but the health benefits too!

Conclusion

The zenzi ZZ plant is a worthwhile, hardy little indoor plant that lends its beauty to dull spaces. It is a dwarf variety that is pest resistant, does well in low to moderate light, and needs a light hand when watering. If you are fortunate enough to find a zenzi, snap it up because it is still a rarity at this stage.

References:

http://www.ladybug.uconn.edu/FactSheets/zz-plant.php