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Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ Plant)


Scientific Name

Zamioculcas zamiifolia (Lodd.) Engl.

Common Names

ZZ Plant, Zanzibar Gem, Aroid Palm, Eternity Plant, Succulent Philodendron, Money Tree, Golden Tree, Zu Zu Plant, Fat Boy


Caladium zamiifolium, Zamioculcas lanceolata, Zamioculcas loddigesii

Scientific Classification

Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Tribe: Marsdenieae
Genus: Zamioculcas


Zamioculcas zamiifolia is a stemless plant with pinnately compound leaves that arise from a stout underground rhizome. It grows up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall. Usually is evergreen but becomes deciduous during drought, surviving due to the large potato-like rhizome that stores water until rainfall resumes. Leaves are smooth, shiny dark green, and up to 2 feet (60 cm) long. Flowers are produced in a small bright yellow to brown or bronze spadix. They are up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long, partly hidden among the leaf bases, and appear from mid-summer to early fall.

Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ Plant)

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USDA hardiness zones 9a to 10b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4°C).

How to Grow and Care

ZZ Plant care starts with a lack of care. In fact, ZZ Plants will do better if you leave them alone. Much like cacti, they need less rather than more water. Water the plant only when the soil has dried out. The rare way you can kill this plant is to overwater it. A ZZ Plant is turning yellow means that it is getting too much water, and its underground rhizomes may be rotting. So if you remember nothing else about caring for a ZZ Plant, just remember to forget to water it. It can survive months without water but will grow faster if watered somewhat regularly. ZZ Plants are happy without fertilizer, but if you would like, you can give the plants half-strength fertilizer one to two times a year and only in the summer months.

Growing ZZ houseplants is easy and especially suited for the forgetful gardener. See more at How to Grow and Care for a ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia).


Native to eastern Africa, from Kenya south to northeastern South Africa.


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