ZZ Plant Varieties

The ZZ plant is found in nurseries and stores in many parts of the US.  These popular and easy to grow plants have a few lovely varieties that are available for purchase.

The plant varieties of the Zamioculas Zamiifolia or ZZ plant discussed in this article are; the Zamioculcas Zamiifolia ‘Raven’; the Zamioculas Zamiifolia ‘Zenzi’ or Dwarf ZZ Plant; the Zamioculcas Zamiifolia ‘Zamicro’ and Zamioculcas Zamiifolia ‘Lucky Classic’.

The ZZ plant is from the Araceae family and is native to the tropical areas of eastern Africa. In 1996 nurseries propagated the ZZ plant commercially.  Since then, varieties of this plant have been cultivated and are available to the public.

ZZ Plant Varieties

The Zamicolous Zamifoliais (ZZ )Plant is famous for its beautiful, waxy foliage and ease of care.  The stems grow from rhizomes that resemble potatoes, which store water, so these plants do not require much watering. It is no wonder that this lovely plant has been extensively cultivated to produce a small group of variants. The varieties are:

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia ‘Raven’

ZZ Plant Raven

This variety of the ZZ Plant is a herbaceous evergreen perennial.   It was discovered in Asia in 2015 and is now propagated in North America since 2019.  Once quite rare to find, you can now readily purchase it.  Characteristics of this unusual variant are:

  • The leaves are intense purple, oval-shaped, glossy, and waxy that sometimes appear almost black in low light. 
  • Slow-growing.  Grows about 30 inches tall and wide over several years
  • The leaves are attached to a strong, single, upright and tapered stem
  • New leaves grow from the rhizome and are bright green.  Unfurled leaves retain a bright green color but, within one week, change into a dark purple.

The ZZ Raven is a plant that will attract attention wherever you place it.

Zamioculas Zamiifolia ‘Zenzi’ or Dwarf ZZ Plant

The plant is a dwarf cultivar of the ZZ plant and, with its beautiful green foliage, is a popular choice for the office.  Its characteristics are:

  • Small, oval-shaped, fleshy, deep-green shaded leaves
  • It grows at a average rate and takes its dwarf name from its height of around 1ft to 2ft on maturity.

Although the Zenzi ZZ is small in stature, it does have a presence and will thrive in well-lit areas of indirect light.

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia ‘Zamicro’

This cultivar is a miniature version of the standard ZZ plant. It is a stemless evergreen plant that can reach a height of 2 feet.  Characteristics are:

  • Attractive, medium-green, pinnately compound leaves arise from its rhizome
  • Each leaf has 6-8 pairs of elliptic, glossy leaflets

The lovely miniature plant will look beautiful on shelves or coffee tables in your home.

Related: ZZ Plant Too Much Light

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia ‘Lucky Classic’

The leaves of this variant are slightly different from the original ZZ plant. 

  • The leaflets are more rounded and flatter than the other varieties
  • The color of the leaves is medium-green, much the same as the original plant.

Plant this variety in beautiful containers to make a lovely display in your home.

How To Care For The ZZ Plant Varieties

ZZ plant Zamicro

The ZZ plants have a reputation for being low-maintenance houseplants and need the minimum of care.   To keep your plants thriving, follow this easy guide.

Temperature And Humidity Requirements

These plants do not like cold temperatures so avoid placing them in cold or drafty areas.  Keep a comfortable temperature above 45 F.  ZZ plants do not require humid conditions but avoid heaters and sunny windows, which could dry the air around them. You could increase the humidity with a humidifier.

Watering Your Plants

In summer, water your plants every week but do not overwater.  Ensure there is perfect drainage, and if an inch of topsoil feels dry, that would be the time to water.  In winter, water the plant once a month. 

Dust Off Your Plants Leaves

Dust off the leaves every week with a soft, damp cloth.  This dusting will keep the leaves shiny and attractive but do not use any commercial leaf shining products for these plants.

Light Requirements

Indirect light is suitable for all ZZ plants as exposure to enough light allows the growth of new shoots every 1 to 2 months.  For indirect light, place the plant near the window instead of in front of it.  These plants will survive in low-light areas, but growth will be much slower.

Best Soil For These Variants

The soil mix should have nutrients enriched with one-fourth of compost and one-fourth of soil to keep the drainage high.  Make sure that there is a hole and a drainage layer in the bottom of the pot.

When To Fertilize

To keep these plants in optimal health, use indoor fertilizer diluted to half-strength and fertilize your plant one or two times during the active growing season.  Too much fertilizer can damage the root system and cause yellow or brown spots on the leaves. 

How To Prune The ZZ Plants

ZZ plants are poisonous if digested, so it is advisable to wear gloves when pruning or be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward.

ZZ plants do not require extensive pruning. Remove any yellow leaves with clean, sharp shears and nip back stems that are growing too long.  Prune stems that are dead and dying by cutting off at the soil level. 

Tips For Re-Potting Your ZZ Plant

Repotting ZZ plant

Follow these tips to successfully re-pot your plant:

  • It is best to re-pot your ZZ plant once a year to keep the plant healthy.  Changing the container will prevent the leaves from becoming overgrown and degrading the soil.
  • Use an all-purpose potting mix (equal peat moss, horticultural perlite, organic compost, and sterilized loam).
  • Examine the roots and with pruners or shears, cut back those that are looking unhealthy.  With a utility knife, cut three or four shallow vertical slices through the sides of the root ball. Gently untangle the roots using a hook or your hand. 
  • Place a mesh screen at the bottom of the new pot and add a moist potting mixture.
  • When the ZZ plant is re-potted, the top of the root ball should be about 1 inch below the lip of the new container. Remember to spread the roots out as much as possible in the bottom of the pot. 
  • Do not press down the soil but rather allow the water to settle it naturally. 
  • Water the plant until the water drains from the bottom of the pot.

How To Propagate Your Plants

There are two methods to use to propagate the ZZ plants; division and stem-cuttings. 

To propagate by division, separate the rhizomes and replant them in soil-filled containers.  As easy as that! 

Or, you could use the stem-cutting method by cutting a stem with two leaves from a mature plant and placing it in a container filled with water.   Leave in a warm spot with bright but not direct light.  It will take from six to nine months before any new rhizomes appear.

Diseases That Affect ZZ Plants

ZZ plants are not affected by many diseases.  The most common is root rot caused by excess overwatering.  The leaves will turn yellow, and the food storing rhizomes will rot from the fungal disease.  If this occurs, remove the plant from the soil.   Shake as much soil from the root ball as possible. 

With a scissor, remove any soft or mushy roots or tubers.  Pick any yellow leaves off the plant and if the stem is also yellow, clip it off where it grows from the tuber.  Drench the roots and tubers with a fungicidal solution.

Scrub the plant’s container with hot soapy water and then soak it for 30 minutes in a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water.  Rinse thoroughly.  Re-pot the plant using a good potting mix and move it to a warm room with low lighting.  Do not water for at least a week to allow the plant to recover. 

Reader Also Checked: Dwarf ZZ Plant

Which Pests Do ZZ Plants Attract

Aphids, mites, whiteflies, scales, mealybugs, and gnats are common pests of the ZZ plant.  These bugs attack the underside of the leaves and feed on the plant’s nutrition. The plant will show signs of infestation when the leaves start falling off; the leaves start curling; tiny spots appear on the leaves, and the plant has a wilting appearance. 

To get rid of these pests, mix one tablespoon of shampoo with 4 ounces of water in a bottle. Shake well and spray the plant once a day for two to three months. 

When rid of these pests, wash off the soapy solution with distilled water.  In addition, spray organic Neem oil twice a month onto the plant for extra protection from bugs.

Conclusion

Each of the ZZ plants has its distinctive feature, and they are all well suited as houseplants. These plants need minimum care and stay healthy and disease-free if they receive enough light and are watered correctly.  Beautiful containers will show off these lovely varieties in offices and homes.

References

https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=443993&isprofile=0&#:~:text=Garden%20%3E%20Plant%20Finder-,Zamioculcas%20zamiifolia%20’Raven,Common%20Name%3A%20ZZ%20plant

https://www.bhg.com/gardening/houseplants/projects/raven-zz-plant/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfCVe-As6HA

https://www.thespruce.com/zz-zanzibar-gem-plant-profile-4796783

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamioculcas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSjyRKeYObM