Need tips on zz plants there not happy with me. And someone told
me it was a rare houseplants. I know ten people who own this plant in a mile radious
So you see it's not at all rare. What yours doing that has you concerned? I grow this as a succulent. Bright, indirect light, water every couple of weeks. No special care here that I can think of. I've got 2 that I've grown from single leaves (takes a while).
Any chance you can share a pic of the problem?
Ditto what PG said. I don't even water mine that often though. Only about once a month. And she lives on top of my fridge. I have had her about 7 years or so.
What makes you think yours is unhappy?
I can echo the same sentiments--I usually try forget about mine so I don't kill it with care--I may even water it less than my jades, which also do well when ignored :)
This post reminded me that it was time to water lol I think its been about 2 months! oops :-)
Not sure about them being rare. I keep mine outside on the front porch. They get shade until about 5:00PM, then full sun. I water a lot in the summer when they're outside, much less in the winter. i haven't found them to be picky at all. Here's a picture from this winter.
..one of my favorite plants
What is that pls. Randy, a variegated ZZ, which I've never heard of or seen, but since you are crazy for variegates (like I am too), I figured that's gotta be what it is.
Thats what it is..
The ZZ Plant was introduced to the retail market about 10 years ago, so prior to that it was rarely sold at retail. However, due to it is proven hardiness in both good and low light and its low care requirements, it has become increasingly popular in recent years and is now available in most retail plant shops.
Avoid over watering and unnecessary repotting and this plant will survive just about everything else. It is as close to a fool-proof plant as there is.
thanks for the advice.randy where did you find variegated zz plant
Collector in Thailand
you went to thailand or you bought it through mail
My ZZ is growing like a weed, which does not make much sense according to what I have read in various places online, including this thread. (I keep reading that they are extremely slow growers and are low maintenance) I've had it only 4 weeks and it has four new shoots coming up and a rhizome with several leaves that unfurled from its sheath (if that's the correct word) in about 48 hours. I repotted it to a larger pot Sunday night to accommodate this growth. I've been joking with friends that pro atheletes must be sneaking into my home and dumping their performance-enhancing drugs into the pot. So far, it seems to me that they like crowded "families" -- lots of shoots growing close together, as opposed to just a few growing wildly toward the ceiling. I am watering it every two weeks. It sits in a 2nd-floor, north-facing window. Sorry for the poor photo quality. Phone camera is not what I want it to be. To give you an idea of scale, the pot is 16 inches high and the tip of the tall rhizome reaching to the upper left is 22 inches above the soil.
Oh this old thread. I have long given that plant away. Pretty plant brad
Oh my... You, give a plant away? :P
Pretty plant indeed.
Here's a recent picture of mine. I've had it for about six months I think (maybe eight?). It is pushing out five new growths right now. You can only see two/three of them as the others are tiny but growing. That gnome in the photo? Oh, he's just made a home in my ZZ Plant forest. :)
Thanks Teen! Plantmaniac ... Thanks, but yours is AMAZING. Interesting differences in color too, what with some of the rhizomes (newer ones, I presume) being brighter than the others. If I am to judge by your photo, then my guess that ZZs like crowded "families" is spot on, and I won't need to repot for a long while. You've got a bona-fide forest there. It's a wonder the gnome hasn't been pushed out of the pot by all the growth. Mine is thriving too. This is my only indoor plant at the moment, so I check in on it quite a lot. I've had it just over 4 weeks. And I REALLY need a better camera. Soon.
Sounds like you've gotten bittn by the contagious houseplant bug. Now you'll have a hard time not bringing someone else home. :) Hubby keeps looking at mine and asking if it needs a new pot yet. i think I'll wait until next year hehe. I wish I didn't put it in a ceramic pot... It's going to be fun attempting to take my ZZ out.
I give plants away all the time(mostly spider plant babies) I gave the plant away because it was in poor health, as I posted about. I usually give plants away that are failing with me, usually the plants that costed me most and are the prettiest.
Yeah, it's sometimes those plants you don't want to part with that you end up giving away. :\
And occasionally someone who really likes the plant will leave an impression on you about wanting the plant and I give it away. Then I regret It later :-(
Planto, I might have some good news for you on repotting. When I took my ZZ out of the smaller plastic pot and put it into the larger one, I noticed that the root system seemed to be a quite dense and thick plug, so that I could almost have fit it neatly into the bottom half of a gallon milk jug container. I guess that makes sense. The rhizomes in both our ZZs seem to like growing EXTREMELY close together in dense thickets, so it would stand to reason that the roots might do the same.
I do that too. :\ Most of the plants I've given away, I gave them to my Mother-in-law; at least that way I can "visit" them, Haha.
I'll let you know when I repot mine if your theory is correct lol. I guess I'm more nervous about the way my pot is shaped. It's wider in the middle than it is at the top or bottom (most pots I have are wider at the top and smaller at the bottom). That's going to be interesting figuring out how to get it out if by then, it's circled the pot with its roots.
mine were doing great and growing out of the small pot after 5 years, so I felt I had to repot them. the roots were very healthy - very thick and white like orchids. healthy tubers, etc. I decided to wash out the old soil in the middle, the tubers were super healthy too. the roots so huge, I couldn't fit them in the larger pot - so I cut them in half. and potted in very porous half bark mix. guess, what? it went down after that and I have a disaster on my hands - half stems yellowed. when I lifted them out to check - most roots and tubers rotted away. and I did not even water for the first 2 weeks. anyway, from now on I will only uppot, without disturbing the roots. and I will never ever bareroot them again. I hope they will survive this ordeal - i pulled them out again, most have stopped rotting, a few still had to be trimmed more. hardly a tuber left at all on any.
now just misting and will water may be in 3 weeks, but only if i see that some roots are growing (will have to pull them out again). a total nightmare! never had anything like that happen to me. ever! in 20 years of pot/repot/uppot/unpot pottery-pot...
These are not plants I would mist -- just don't get a good feeling abt it.
Planto and Petrushka, it sounds like you both have more experience than I do, so all I can do is watch and learn here. My last plant was a pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) that survived 10 years with it's ceramic bowl sitting in a plastic bowl of water and that entire contraption sitting in a 100-gallon glass aquarium(basically a terrarium), with a solid glass top cut to snugly fit the lid. I opened the terrarium and topped off the outer bowl once every three weeks. You can imagine that when I went to a glass cutter with the unusual request of cutting a slab of glass to PRECISELY fit this large aquarium, he thought I was trying grow (ahem!) "controlled substance" plants. I got quite a laugh out of that, because anyone who knows me knows that my only "drugs" are coffee and the occaisonal Tylenol PM. And I don't feel good about taking the aspirin. LOL
and I am trying 3 dif methods.
about misting: the plant needs to get moisture from somewhere to grow roots, I don't wont them to start using up stalks as water-reserves (too many already yellowed). since it continued to rot on the bottom in dry porous mix - I see no other way but to simulate propagator: warm and humid on top, dry on the bottom. lots of plants can go for months without watering in dry soil in propagator/terrarium conditions and grow roots and maintain foliage.
they are tropical plants and lots of posts suggest ample watering in 'wet' summer season. and I was giving them more water as they were growing so fast. and then I checked the pot and discovered rotting tuber. which is why I immediately bare-rooted and repotted. and now I will never water them more when they are growing :(.
they were very happily producing multiple new stalks in each pot prior to repot/collapse.
since various methods contradict each other and I do want to save at least some plants (had 2 crowded pots, divided into 4) - I am currently rooting 2 stalks without any roots or rhizome or tuber in water (some people did that and had roots within a few weeks) - already see 1/4" roots appearing. so that's good.
another 2 large clusters are in 'propagator': no tubers, but some existing roots are dusted with rooting powder, wrapped in slightly moist long fiber sphagnum + deer moss (I use it with great results for rooting var. succulent things), bagged in dappled bright shade. am afraid of rot, but so far so good after 1 week, I mist inside every few days to keep medium from drying up. there are some root nubs showing.
and then I have 2 largest clusters in orchid bark with a handful of sphagnum peat with just a few tb of water - bark was kept bone dry for 2 weeks to dry up the rot, then I checked and added peat. some still have tubers.
these are the ones I am misting daily - they are in warm dappled western location, very bright, but sheltered under the shelf. people said that in good dappled sun and very warm and humid location you can and should water - since I am afraid to do that, I at least mist. I will check for roots in a month.
sorry for lengthy post - but I posted in aroid forum and nobody replied. so I did what I did on my own judgment. and now I wait.
I take these out & handle &/or repot w/ no trouble, but mine are small as I've started them from single leaves. They're nowhere near filling their pots. My mix is fast draining & I water thoroughly into pebble trays underneath.
Not sure one can divert these plants from using their own water storage (if I understood that right).
yah, it's funny sev years ago one of them had a tuber rot. I flipped it out, cut the piece off, added some bark to lighten the mix and it was perfectly ok. I never thought about it. and watered them like I do succulents, like sansi. they were very easy.
I really don't know what happened.
the stems were yellowing one after another - first I thought they were just old dying off, since the new ones were growing strong. but when it did not stop, I knew smth was not right...
here's a pic of how great the roots looked. you wouldn't think these can all collapse in semi-dry medium within 2 weeks?
I am watching to see if more stalks will yellow - it's rot indicator. I think so long as I can stop the rot, the rest will regrow. if they can take water thru new roots, they shouldn't kill more stalks. I kept most stubs of wilted stalks on - they suppose to store water.
Mine ZZ is thriving in the light, porous (vermiculite?) potting soil that it came in. On a discussion that I started before I found this one titled "how do I know when to repot my ZZ plant?" (http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/propa/msg0606575630676.html), I was basically told that so long as the soil is light, over-watering should not be a problem. In such porous soil, the roots will take what they need and excess water will drain out the bottom. Just don't have the pot sitting in a drip saucer with standing water. That was the advice. Since root rot seems to be an issue here, I wonder if your soil is not porous enough and retains too much water? Forgive me if that is an extremely dumb question, as I fully admit that I do not know soils. (I have to go on wikipedia just to understand some of what you said. LOL) I just got my ZZ on May 11. The only other thing I have grown in the past 10 years has been a pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) and that was in Spaghnum moss. Simple and low-maintenance as you get. Hope it gets better for you.
my soil was very porous and light and only barely moistened and not watered for 2 weeks! did not help.
in the old pot was mostly roots, packed ultra tight after 5 years of growth. should not have cut them.
now it's just orchid bark mix , like 90% - that's ultra porous.
am not watering for 2 weeks. and then will just drip lightly.
what got you to wiki? rhizome;)? now you just HAVE to go and look up rachis :).
Nice lookin' roots there Petruska.
Here's a shot of one of my ZZs featuring the new growth it was pushing up a couple of months ago. They seem to have growth spurts in Sept. & Feb., tho' this year I think it was Jan.
Hi Petrushka. I got "rhizome" early on. The things I had to look up were not words that I could not understand, so much as concepts or phrases that I had never seen used. I had no idea about the porosity gradient of "orchid bark mix" (sorry, but it just doesn't come up in conversation much in my life. :-p ), and had never seen the phrase "rooting powder" or the word "propagator" used in a sentence, though I could guess what their uses are as the words are almost self-explanatory. But I would still have to look up what the heck is IN "rooting powder" and what a "propagator" looks like. They present some interesting mental pictures. I imainge rooting powder as a sort of talcum powder for plant roots and a "propagator" brings to mind an incubator for bird eggs, which is probably NOT AT ALL what it looks like. Did I mention I am having fun AND getting an education on this forum? LOL
And I just looked up "rachis" -- "In plants a rachis is the main axis of a compound structure. It can be the main stem of a compound leaf, such as in Acacia or ferns, or the main stem of the inflorescence." (Wikipedia).
Interesting. So is the rhizome of a ZZ plant the rachis to its leaves? Or do I lose points for that guess? :-)
nope :). the rhizome is the nubby brown part that rachis is attached to. sometimes on young plants it's just tuber and rachis, you can't even see the rhizome. the rachis is 'the fatty stem' that the leaves are attached to. when leaves dry up top part of rachis shrivels and the fatty bottom can remain for a long time - plant gets water from it in dry season. when they were growing well, they'd decline some old 'stems' and they shrivel up occasionally - i'd cut them off just for pretty. but now I am keeping them on.
it's funny, your terrarium can serve as a propagator box too. so you had one without knowing. and with addition of heating pad/mat you can get more heat necessary for seed germination/root development. closed shoe box makes a great propagator.
pirate girl, that's how one of mine looked like in mar - I had 7 stems total that shot out! a record! I waited for them to unfurl and harden up to xplant. so at least i still have lots of new stems...storing water. although many of them are wrinkling already, drying up...but i am misting. may be i should bag too? i think i am going to bag!
You guys INSPIRED me to go out hunting for a new zz plant. Nice growth pirate
@ Pretrushka, thanks for the vocabulary lesson. Seriously. You may now go back and substitute "rachis" for every time that I used the word "rhizome" and through that distorted lens my posts might make more sense to you. LOL.
@ Pirate Girl: What is the technique you use to get the shoots to grow so perectly straight? There is clearly a cord near the top of the photo, but the shorter ones at the bottom and outside edges of the plant are straight too.
I use no technique to grow them straight at all, they just do that. What you perceive to be a white cord is actually a pipe cleaner, loosely gathering the stems together so they don't splay all over this way & that.
I'm not PG nor am I answering your question, but I've noticed mine just seem to go wherever they please haha. I'm interested in how PG keeps hers straight too!
Mine go all over the place too. Not that I mind at all. I suspect that in a few months I will have a bona fide ZZ bush, if not a tree.
Sorry for all those repeats. Was certainly not intentional and I do not know how it happened.
Better photo of new shoots. Three clearly visible in the center, and then one smaller one being the third stem from the right.
You have quite the forest growing there!
No kidding, eh? ! I think Lance Armstrong is sneaking into my home and dumping his human growth hormones into the pot. I can't wait to see what happens when my ZZ hits puberty. LMAO
I just got a ZZ a few weeks ago, having no idea what it was. I just liked the looks of it. But now, because it is growing like crazy, I'm wondering how tall do they get, when to transplant, etc. strange there is no info about them in any of my plant books. Have learned something more here than I knew before and tyvm for that. BT
Hi BT, You and I are very much in the same situation. I got mine in early May and it was SUPPOSED to be a slow grower, but it has grown like a weed. I could go off on how fascinating this plant appeared to me when I saw it, but let's get right to your points: growth and repotting.
REPOTTING: Here's how I look at it. These plants grow in the wild (native to Africa, if memory serves), so you CANNOT put them in pot that is too big. The entire landmass on which they are living is their pot. So when mine started growing explosively (I was joking about Lance Armstrong dumping his performance-enhancing drugs in my potting soil), I went back to the hardware store where I purchased the plant and for the special sale-price of $9, I bought the largest plastic flower pot the store sells. It might have been a bit excessive, but at the sale price, it was affordable, even on my slender budget. And I have never heard of a ZZ plant (or any other plant) dieing because it had too much space. Better too much than too little. A CRITICALLY IMPORTANT point is that the pot has drainage holes in the bottom so that the soil is never in standing water. All sources seem to agree on that point. I have my pot sitting atop small decorative bricks in a drainage saucer, so the bottom of the pot is never in contact with the drainage water. It is working well.
GROWTH: In the same article that referenced Africa (I wish I could recall where I saw it. Sorry.), I read that they can grow to 6 feet in the wild. My tallest stem (or "rachis," as I have been taught to say by someone here) is about 22 inches, and is leaning a bit at that height, so I don't expect it to get much bigger. I have 5 new shoots that have begun sprouting up close to the older stems/rachis since I got this plant last month, so it seems to me that as indoor plants, they like to grow OUTward in thick, dense thickets, rather than upward. I think photos from others on this thread back that up too. I am watering heavily just one time every two weeks, but you will find that others here water less than that, with great success.
Finally, before I found this thread I started my own, called "how do I know when to repot my ZZ plant?" Here is the link: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/propa/msg0606575630676.html
But this one has been just as informative, and bit more active. Both have been very helpful. None of the info on either thread contradicts each other.
Hope that helps.
FOUND it! The link where the Africa connection was made: http://www.guide-to-houseplants.com/zz-plant.html
No mention on height, but I like the watering tips. Yes, I am just a it obsessive on this plant. But it's the only one I have. I have only one cat too,and I give her wayyyyyyyyyy too much attention for her taste. LOL
My ZZ Plant is PREGNANT! LOL. Seriously though, it has produced a seed pod, which appears about to burst. Anybody have any advice on storing seeds for later use? I guess they must be pretty hardy, considering that one can by seed by the pound (or the ounce in small paper envelopes) at hardware stores just about everyplace.
Anyway, here's the pic, with the usual apologies for my phone camera. (Getting an I-phone soon.) The seed pod is the structure that looks a bit like a sculpture of a candle-flame,broad and tapering to a point at the top. Look at the base of the "flame" and you will see a small opening. The white dots in that opening appear to be the seeds. Looks like this one could contain 50-100, though that is NOT an educated estimate, so don't hold me to it. The structure's identity mystified me for quite a few days before I began to guess "seed pod."At first, it looked like a normal stem as it developed. But then, a seperate growth started to develop off the side of the side of the stem, as if the stem were somehow developing disjointed. I had wondered if it was some sort of unhealthy mutation for several days before I began to speculate that it was a seed pod, as it was developing so differently from the other stems. Only in the past 48 hours has the pod begun to open, revealing seeds. I'll probably scoop them up and offer them to friends and neighbors.
New phone camera! Seed pod close-up! I think my plant likes me! LOL If Godzilla had a house plant, it would have to be a ZZ!
An extreme close-up of the seed pod with seeds about to burst. I like my new camera. You can even see the veins in the pod. From its pointy tip to the base where the brown-ish stem begins, the structure is about 3.5 inches.
Hate to burst your bubble, but that is a flower, not a seed pod. The green portion you see is a spathe, a modified leaf, whereas the white thing you see emerging is the actual "flower." Type in ZZ Plant flower into Google to get a look as to what it will look like when fully opened. Glad to see yours is flowering though!
This post was edited by plantomaniac08 on Mon, Jul 8, 13 at 20:14
Yup, Planto beat me to it ;>), it's exactly that. I've seen them in bloom & yes, that's going to bloom open.
As an Aroid, it has a spath bloom like Spathyphyllum (Peace Lily).
Congratulations & enjoy.
NOT a seed pod??? So much for all those delightfully crass jokes I was formulating about identifying the "father" of my "promiscuous" plant. LOL. Thank you both for the congratulations and for the education. I'm still quite excited. The reason I would not have guessed "flower" is that I recall reading somewhere (that ubiquitous "somwhere" that comes up when one surfs the web too much) that ZZs produce "small insignificant flowers." This flower seems pretty large and significant to me. Any idea how often they flower, or how many flowers they produce? Still thrilled and watching with rapt attention. Thanks again for the well wishes and the information. I'll keep posting pictures as the flower develops.
This post was edited by BradleyD on Tue, Jul 9, 13 at 3:19
I believe that the flower I mentioned (the white part), is actually composed of lots of tiny flowers. Once yours opens all the way, you'll be able to see each little "flower" better. It almost looks like little puzzle pieces placed together (I believe each "puzzle piece" is a "flower"). I guess that's what they mean by insignificant lol.
I don't know how many flowers they produce (as in one flower, not the amount of tiny flowers on a "flower"). I honestly don't think that a flowering ZZ Plant is common (saying that it's not something you see everyday).
Mine has been growing like a monster over the last... almost year now. Hubby keeps looking at it and going, it's growing a new "stalk" again? I've had like ten "stalks" so far. I haven't seen a bloom yet though. *shakes fist at you* No, just kidding. I'm just turning green with envy. :P
This post was edited by plantomaniac08 on Tue, Jul 9, 13 at 10:56
A flower!, it must really like you! Im sorry to say that aroids rarely produce seeds, let alone flowers as houseplants, even the mexican breadfruit plants are difficult. There are some that flower frequently such as peace lilies, calla lilies and believe it or not, chinese evergreens
The flower bloomed in less than 12 HOURS! I go to bed, and it's closed, as in the previous pix. I wake up 8 hours later and THIS sight greets me! The Spathe seems to have folded back as though peeled. But I didn't do it, and my only "roommate" is my cat, and she lacks opposable thumbs! Also, if she had somehow done something to the plant, there would have been evidence, like chewed leaves and dirty cat-prints on the window sill.
And here is a more distant, panoramic shot, with better exposure. Honestly, if the fast development seems odd in a good way, that is just life here in Savannah. There is a spiritual undercurrent to the downtown district that seems to bring forth uncanny chains of events that defy coincidence. One small example. I have recently been applying Feng Shui to my apartment. I put the ZZ in one of the few windows that is not occupied by a cat bed, in a spare bedroom that I use (too infrequently) as a meditation room. Add to this the fact that I have never raised one of these plants before. But where (in Feng Shui terms) is the empty window where this plant just happened to end up? The Relationship Corner. LOL. File that under "pleasantly peculiar."
This post was edited by BradleyD on Wed, Jul 10, 13 at 4:35
This new shoot has taken off a bit since the flower opened. It seemed to me as if it was dormant while the flower was developing and then suddenly started growing again since the flower bloomed. What appears different to me about this one is that for its height it seems more slender and darker than the other stems that have developed. Maybe it's just going to be a different colored stem, or am I going to witness another surprise? For perspective, this new shoot is about 4.5 inches tall and the flower is about 6 inches behind it, not directly beside it.
Your stem hasn't unsheathed yet. Sometimes you will have a stem with two sheaths. One is shorter than the other so you see it unfurl first. You should see the stem soon enough. :)
Interesting. It just looks a bit different than the other ones I have seen. And we all know what happened the last time I saw an anomaly. LOL. Fascinating little life form.This is the only plant I have, so it is almost like a pet.
The flower has DECIDED to lay down. Really. I saw it fallen over and,thinking that it was wilting, gently tried to lift it upright. But the spathe was not the least bit mushy or wilted and the stem had actually grown that way and had no intention of going vertical again. Thus, it is now creeping along the soil, seemingly quite intent on growing horizonally.
Just recovered from my brain-cramp (lmao) and had the brilliant idea to simpy rotate the pot so that the creeping flower is pointed away from the window. Anyone wanna play prognosticator? Will it go vertical again and bend over backwards to reach the light, or continue creeping along in the direction in which it is pointed?
that's just great! mine were doing very well for 5 years and never bloomed - may be too congested? yours look like they have a lot of room to spread.
I am still rehabbing mine: so far so good, got some root growth, mostly no more rot, have to pull them out to look at roots every 7-10 days or so. too much work, but am not willing to chuck them. hoping that in a few months they'll stabilize. I lost most tubers, who knows how long it will take them to grow new ones.
Some plants have phototropisms in their flower ans/or flower buds(Such as sunflower) It would be interesting to know if it will change direction
I have had my zzplant about a month. It is needing to be repotted. You can see roots hanging out. But they were like that when i purchased. I am afraid to do this since it looks so good. I have the pot as u see. But im not sure what type of soil to purchase. Ive watered it a bit here and there but not really following a plan. Once a month a good soaking and make sure it drains well? I have a cat that chewed a couple leaves (grrr) but otherwise i just love how it looks. The shiny leaves and height are what made me purchase.
Fossypants and Petrushka, I put my ZZ in the largest pot that I could find, reasoning that if it grows anywhere in the wild, then it has the entire continent on which it resides as its pot. Thay may sound naive, but as you can see it has worked very well. I'll get an even bigger one if I can find it. I have only one plant for the same reason that I have only one cat: so I can spoil them rotton! :-)
Fossypants, your ZZ looks amazingly healthy. This is my first ZZ, but I can at least share what has worked for me. In addition to getting the largest pot I could find, I soak the soil down heavily once every two weeks in a pot that has good drainage. I also have it in a north/northeast facing window. (I lack an east facing window.) I was ecstatic to get a flower from it! I am attaching a photo of the soil that my ZZ has thrived in. I got it in a large bag at a hardware store.
As for that flower: All's quiet. Nearly 24 hours after that last photo, there is only the teensiest change: the flower seems to be levelling out just a tiny bit more and resting on the soil but, again, it isn't due to any wilting. I am watching carefully for that. The stem is strongly horizontal, meaning it resists any effort to pull it vertical. If it goes any further forward without going up, the flower will run into the wall of the plastic pot, so it will be interesting to see if it bumps into the edge or curls upward. I certainly am keeping it pointed away from the sun to see if it changes direction and curves back toward it. That would make for some FASCINATING photos - a plant whose stem does curls backward! No photo of the flower this time because there just isn't any dramatic change. Will keep you posted.
Now that the flower drama has peaked and subsided, the new shoot is kicking into overdrive, near left. It's still a bit more slender than the others were at this height, but you can see the new leaves already peeking out. Looks like each stem has its own "personality." I am guessing this one is going to be especially tall. In the back right, about 6 inches away, you can see the spathe of the flower, which seems steadfastly determined to dig into the soil. I am heavily soaking the soil once every two weeks (every other Saturday) and giving the plant LOTS AND LOTS of space. I'll get an even bigger pot if I can find one.Once again, Thank You all for the education you have been giving me.
It surprizes me that a question I made a year ago can turn into an ongoing interesting discussion. I have since that question personally lost any interest in growing this plant.
Hello, itÃ¢ÂÂs been awhile. The photo attached here shows the lush stem that matured from that shoot in the last photo above, dated July 15. Hard to believe it was a mere budding shoot so recently. It started to take off shortly after my flower bloomed, as if politely waiting its turn. (You remember the flower, right? It was that fascinating structure that I mistakenly thought was a seed pod. LOL. I really am learning a lot here.) It is the stem with the EXTREMELY bright green leaves. For simplicityÃ¢ÂÂs sake, I shall call it Ã¢ÂÂPost Flower Shoot #1Ã¢ÂÂ or Ã¢ÂÂPFS1.Ã¢ÂÂ Now that PFS 1 has matured into a luscious new stem, YET ANOTHER shoot is taking off. Call it Ã¢ÂÂPost Flower Shoot #2Ã¢ÂÂ or Ã¢ÂÂPFS2.Ã¢ÂÂ The page does not seem to permit two pictures in one post, so PFS2 will be next.
Here is "Post Flower Shoot #2" or PFS2. Clearly, I have been extraordinarily blessed with this plant. I cannot pretend that it has anything to do with experience, as this is my first ZZ. Many other sites claim that the ZZ is a slow grower. But it seems to me that ZZÃ¢ÂÂs are hearty plants that will adapt to their situation and will grow as fast as you will let them. (Either that or I have some mystical botanical gift for raising them. But my ego is not big enough to take that idea seriously.) Give them lots of care and they will grow quickly. Give them water sparingly and they will grow as slowly as a cactus and still survive.
I do have another theory about the rapid growth of my plant and of course I invite critique. My theory can be summed up in two words -- carbon dioxide! IÃ¢ÂÂve been under a lot stress lately (an uncertain job market and my mother is deep in Stage 2 AlzheimerÃ¢ÂÂs) so I am practicing breathing/meditation exercises to relax. I do this in front of my ZZ, which is the only plant that I have. Remember your grade-school science classes where you learned about plants? You learned that we exhale carbon dioxide and plants take in that gas and give off oxygen, which in certain amounts can make a person a bit Ã¢ÂÂ¦ high. (Hmmm, no wonder people feel so much better after a nice walk in the woods, eh?) The plant benefits from the CO2 that I exhale and I benefit from the oxygen it gives off. And I am a big guy (6Ã¢ÂÂ0 and 200 lbs), so my ZZ gets a LOT of carbon dioxide! ThatÃ¢ÂÂs my theory.
I will soon be shopping for yet another, bigger, flower pot. I donÃ¢ÂÂt consider it an emergency just yet as the Ã¢ÂÂgroveÃ¢ÂÂ still have lots of space in which to grow, 4-5 inches in any direction. But I do not recall seeing any pots (with drainage holes, which are an absolute necessity) bigger than this one, which is about 16 inches across. Then again, I wasnÃ¢ÂÂt looking very diligently, as I did not consider that the ZZ would ever outgrow this pot. I just looked at the pot and thought Ã¢ÂÂWow, only $9 for that gigantic thing? Gotta have it!Ã¢ÂÂ
Are ZZ's self fertile?
Evidently, all you need to do to propogate a ZZ is simply place a leaf in the soil and -- SURPRISE! -- it sprouts roots. I haven't tried that because mine is doing quite well without my assistance, other than watering it every two weeks. Here is a youtube video by a woman who was having success with that method. I would not have guessed that growing a new one would be that simple. Amazing.
all the pics are very pretty. When I get new leafs on mine they die off right away water about once a month. First one I bought years ago grew so tall and wide had to get rid of it.
Have not had that kind of success with any others this far.
And the news is ... nothing new. For the first time since I got my ZZ on May 11, there are no new shoots. Seems like the plant decided to go dormant the moment the days started getting shorter, as if it was time to take a rest. No complaints. This plant has done so much and "moved" (grown) so rapidly, I came to regard it almost as a pet. I guess now I just look on admiringly and dust off its leaves once in a while.
My ZZ seems to have a snarky sense of humor. When I made the above statement about no new growth and the plant going dormant, about 16 days ago, I PROMISE you all there was had been no new shoots on this plant for weeks. Then a few days ago, this appeared (see photo). So in the outlandish possibility that my lovely botanical roommate can sense what I am saying and likes to prove me wrong just for laughs, I would just like to say Ã¢ÂÂ¦ there is ABSOLUTELY NO POSSIBILITY at all that this plant will grow wildly thick and tall and reach at least 7 feet in height before the end of the year. Stay tuned. LMAO. Seriously though, I canÃ¢ÂÂt ever recall a houseplant that gave me this much to observe. This really has been interesting.
Seeing your extreme success and enthusiasm with your pet ZZ has made me want one again. I had one a number of years ago, and I didn't like the way it was growing in all directions, and the leaves would get so dusty. I wanted it to grow thick, lush and upright. I re-homed it.
You've made me want to try it again, so I just might do that!
Jasdip, this has been one of the most low-maintenance living things that has ever entered my home, so its rapid growth is a mystery to me. Perhaps I am blessed by things such as geography and architecture (diretion that the ZZ's window faces, the window's position relative to heating/air condition vents etc. There may even be elements of Feng Shui which are relevant here .) All I have done is water the plant heavily once every two weeks and make sure that its pot has excellent drainage. That's it. I can see what you mean about dusting the leaves. I have just taken a picture and I see the need to dust them. It has been a couple of months since I have done that. But watering once every two weeks and dusting once every two months still qualifies as low-maintenance, eh?
LOL, you're showing off again Brad! Stop it!! Hahahahhaaa!!! Lovely little new stem you've got there.
Well, it's just not everyplace that one can have such a dialog on a plant. Thank you for the compliments, and for reading.
Any current news on your ZZ Plant?
Haven't looked at this in a while, but in the last pic you put, Brad, on the left it looks like possible spider mite damage. Could just be something about the flash, and I'm not great at seeing tiny details. What do you see in person?
These things make bulbs with huge roots coming from them. I agree they need plenty of room.
If I'm looking at what you're looking at, I think that brown section might just be left over "sleeve" (for a lack of a better word). I've noticed some of the sleeve from mine's new growth didn't completely detach when they dried up, leaving some on the stems. I grabbed a q-tip and wet it, and gently rubbed most of it off, but some of it didn't want to come off... left some brown stuff on my stems. Is that what you're referring to btw?
Flattered to be asked about my ZZ, Purple. On the other subject, I agree with Planto. I think the brown debris on the left (if we are all looking at the same thing) is leftover sleeve. I don't know the technical term either, but we have some very well-versed people here, so I am sure we will get that term soon. The plant is thriving. There seemed to be some dormancy in late August to late September, and then WHAM! Back in fast-growth mode again. As for me ... I am in tourism and working LOTS AND LOTS until the end of this month (second busiest month in Savannah, next to July), so I will post new photos in a day or two when I have some time off to rest.
Since the ZZ seems to be growing quickly again, I have increased the watering times from once every 14 days to once every 10 days, under the rationale that if a car runs faster, it will also require more fuel. Hoping the analogy holds true. I water heavily, in a pot with good drainage, as I read somewhere that so long as you have good drainage, you need not fear over-watering. More photos in a day or two, PROMISE! (And a good night's sleep in early November, when my work load lightens, PROMISE! lmao)
So here is the first of two recent photos. This is of the now fully-grown stem depicted as a mere shoot in my last photo of Sept. 18, a couple of entries above. Even at that early stage, it was the stoutest ("fattest?") shoot on the plant. Sure enough, it is now the tallest one on the plant. Also, you can always tell the new stems because, no matter what their height, they are a much lighter green then the older ones. Again, I am watering once every 10 days, up from once every two weeks, to accommodate the new growth. Bigger bodies need more "fuel" right?
This post was edited by BradleyD on Sun, Oct 20, 13 at 19:08
This second photo shows two younger shoots, with the youngest in the foreground and the slightly older one burried in the "grove" of shoots slightly behind it, making photography on it a bit challenging. My cat, Bones, seems to be attracted to the ZZ and rubs against its pot the way she rubs against my shins. I was EXTREMELY concerned that she might be chewing on its leaves but that has not proved to be the case.I am certainly glad of that, as I read somewhere that ZZ plant leaves are poisonous if ingested.
The sheaths on Philodendron leaves are cataphylls. I'm not sure if those sheaths are called cataphylls on ZZ plant or not. Those new leaves are so pretty! Love how excited you are about this plant, Brad, contagious!
Thanks, Purple. As it is my only plant, I do give it a lot of attention. My next challenge will be to find a bigger pot, because I know that I am going to need one shortly. With great difficulty,I have found a few larger ones at a hardware store, but they do not have drainage holes. I may have to drill those myself. Pots larger than this one are very difficult to find. This one is about 17 inches across at the top. If you have any suggestions on where to find larger ones please post them here. Seriously.
You're asking a relative cheapskate, so my thoughts are in the realm of 5-ballon bucket, plastic trash can with holes added, plastic storage tub with holes added. Sometimes it's necessary to split up a plant if it's reached the limits of what one has to offer for pot sizes. I try to have as few as possible I can't pick up by myself. Others might have more attractive ideas. I usually use free/repurposed stuff...
Purple, I was wondering if you could tell me what this small structure is. I have placed a penny beside it for scale.I can pop it like a small grape. The liquid is not sticky and does not seem to have a scent.
And while these mysteries are not exactly up there with "where is Jimmy Hoffa?" I I'm also curious about the small structure growing out of the base of the ZZ stem.
That looks to be a fertilizer ball IMO. And it looks like you have more new growths forming, maybe three!
ANOTHER FLOWER! Just when I think my ZZ can't do anything else to surprise me ... there's a new growth coming FROM THE INSIDE of the sheath/cataphylls of one of the stems. Haven't seen that happen before. Upon close examination, it appears to me to be another flower. If anyone has any different guesses, please chime in! Sitting in a NNE facing window, and I am watering it once every10 days (formerly once every 14). That's it. No joke.
I agree, fertilizer ball. How rockin awesome - a flower!!
My second, since the summer. And this one was really a surprise "guest" at the party. I would never have thought to myself "Gee, maybe I should look down the sheaths of the various stems to see if there is another flower growing down there." LMAO
Wow, another flower! I think you need to bring your ZZ over to my place and allow it to have a talk with my ZZ. *nods*
I took this picture earlier in the day in the deli section of the Kroger store near my home. If you can get ZZ plants at a grocery store, you can get them nearly everyplace. These appear to be much smaller than mine, but otherwise look quite healthy.
And yes, those are packets of fish to the right of the plants. No kidding. This pic was taken in a grocery store. And Planto, it would be interesting to see the ZZ of another enthusiast to see how someone else handles it. But my care has been simple. Maybe the cat-hair dust bunnies produced by my four-legged "daughter" have some beneficial effect? It would be hysterical if some scientific study or other found that to be true. I'd seriously laugh my a$$ off. I have actually seen her (my cat, Bones) rubbing against the pot the way she rubs against my shins.
I think I may have posted a photo of mine in the past, but I don't think it shows up anymore (I deleted the photo). To be honest, I had mine for almost a year and noticed it declining. I removed it from the pot only to discover that while the outside of the root ball was dry (I had it in a fast draining mix), the center was rotted out. When I purchased it, I didn't bother to remove the old soil off of the rootball and being what looked like pure peat, it was sopping wet. Rookie mistake.
I recently purchased a new one about a month ago (missed my ZZ plant, what can I say) and was sure to remove every bit of soil this time around. It has since formed two new shoots and seems pretty happy to me. I know at least, this time around, I won't be mislead into thinking it's happy, only for it to decline into a rotten mess.
I think my other rookie mistake was that this time of year, oddly enough, the location of my ZZ got more direct sun than any other time of the year (to be exact, the rest of the year, it only received indirect sunlight). That being said, I had to water it every two weeks because it was drying out so much. Problem was, the rest of the year with no direct sun, I was still watering it every two weeks. I should have cut back on the watering... With not as much light, it shouldn't have been receiving as much water because it wasn't drying out as fast. Doh.
I'll post a picture for you of my new one tomorrow. It's a bit too dark in here even with an overhead light on.
This post was edited by plantomaniac08 on Tue, Nov 5, 13 at 18:59
Here's a picture of my new ZZ Plant. The little purple container (it's full of buttons, I found it at a craft store for $1.00, but thought it had a decorative purpose more than anything) is for my air plant (Tillandsia ionantha 'Rubra') to sit on. They're friends, what can I say (my ZZ Plant and air plant).
This ZZ Plant is a little bigger than my first one was when I purchased it. I guess it must be pretty happy, I told you I spotted two new growths... that's multiplied to four. I gave it some diluted fish emulsion a week or so ago and it's taking off, haha (not sure the fish emulsion can be correlated to the new growth, but whatever :P ). There's still part of a leaf attached to one of the bulbs (in the bottom right corner of the pot); I just cut it in half and am waiting for it to die/dry up so I can pull it off.
It's not nearly as large as yours was when you first purchased yours, but I'll have to print a picture of yours out and give mine a pep talk (not that it's not trying, four new growths in almost a month's time!).
That ZZ is GORGEOUS! I am looking particularly at how large the leaves are, relative to the rest of the plant. Mine seem to have fuller stems but signifIcantly smaller leaves than yours. And the ones I saw in the grocery store seem more different still.
Regarding your previous post, did the company that sold you the previous ZZ overwater it, hence the rotting rootball? If it's a mistake to neglect removing the rootball to check its status, then I would guess that this is the most commonly-made mistake. I didn't do that to mine, so I guess I got really lucky. But then, my ZZ-to-be was in a section of plants marked "low maintenance" or "minimal care" or something like that, so a good department manager need only have posted signs for employees about when these plants should be watered. And I am sure they would have been happy to comply with such instructions as "If you have lots of other things to do, you can practically ignore those plants over there and they'll be fine."
Ironically, I have increased the watering frequency of mine from once every 14 days to once every 10 days in a time of year when the plant gets less light. But I based that decision on the increased growth of the plant: More mouths to feed would mean more water for their thirsty "mouths", yes? I hope I have made the correct decision. In fact, that the second flower seems only slightly smaller than the first, for whatever that is worth.
Thanks. I shall tell my ZZ you said he's gorgeous. ;) I honestly can't remember if it was overwatered when I bought it, but either way, I think I caused it's demise. The soil it was in was pure peat, and from my experiences, it stays too wet. The root mass was rock hard when I repotted, so I figured eh, I'll just stick it in a new pot... didn't know at the time that there was more roots circling the rootball than there appeared to be in the center. Oh well, lesson learned lol.
Feel free to accuse me of anthropomorphizing (spelling?) too much if you think that's the case, but it really does seem like each plant has a different character/personality, doesn't it? I felt a bit sorry for the grocery store ZZs because they looked sooooooo small. But upon closer look, at least one of them had a new stem with bright green leaves unfurling, and that can't be happening if it is in bad shape, right? Those plants look precisely like a dwarf version of my own ZZ, literally about one-fourth scale, all in perfect proportion. Then again, all of the new stems that have grown on mine since I purchased it are larger than the ones that existed originally. Not saying that each progressive stem is larger than the one before -- only that the new ones are larger than the pre-existing ones.
As for your plant being a "he" I guess I am the same way from the other side of the gender divide. If it is beautiful and I do not know its gender, I presume it to be female. Mine is a lush, beautiful "she" though I have not named her.
My first one had short stems when I first purchased it, but by the time I got rid of it, it had stems over a foot long (also seems like the newest growths were longer than the last).
The four new growths on my new one are just emerging, so I'm not sure how tall they're going to be. I think the thickness of the stems emerging from the soil is an indication of their total height (if that makes sense). I noticed that the longest stems on my old one were really thick when they were emerging from the soil. If that is the case, the new stems on my new ZZ Plant aren't going to be all that tall... the growths looks real skinny, haha.
I guess the ones you saw in the store weren't all that unhappy if they had new growth emerging. My first one had a ton of new growth emerging from it's soil when I purchased it too (another thing that leaves me to believe that I killed it myself).
It's odd, being a plant owner and giving my plants a gender (all mine are guys lol, maybe it's because I'm female). My ZZ doesn't have a name either, but my Peace Lily is named 'Peewee Jr." and my air plant is named "Hairy." I had another PL named Peewee but I sorta killed him. :/ Bad luck with plants this year it seems. I was going to give the PL to my Mom and left it in my car's trunk... It got too hot and sorta cooked it.
I saw a ZZ Plant at a restaurant once whose stems were over three feet long, it was an amazing sight. I wanted to take it home with me, but I'm pretty sure someone would've spotted me with a gigantic ZZ Plant in tow lol.
This post was edited by plantomaniac08 on Wed, Nov 6, 13 at 22:01
I would have been DUMBSTRUCK to see a ZZ with stems more than 3 feet long. Because of that statement, I just measured my longest stem -- a modest 29 inches, though it would have been longer if I had straightened it out.
Post photos of your new growths! Four all at once might be a record. Are they all in one are or spread out?
In an earlier post of one of my photos, you also said that you observed a couple of new growths and I think I see those coming now, though I wondered at it before. It was in the photo where I had the small two-pointed stump-like structure growing out of the base of a larger stem, and I was asking what it might be. I can now see a couple of tiny nubs poking out of the soil, independent of each other and other stems, nearby. So far, this plant has proved that it likes kin-ship. These independent growths are an inch or two apart but within the "grove" of other stems. I haven't seen any structure growing right out at the edge of the pot. And getting back to that strange stump-like structure -- it now has a couple of "sheaths" (or cataphylls?) growing around it. Also, my new flower is demonstrating a "personality" different from the first. This second one is already growng atop a taller, more slender stem and the flower itself is taller and thinner too. Think Abbot and Costello or Fred and Barney, since I lack a female duo of contrasting bone-structure to compare them to. (Hmmm. Ethel and Lucy? lol)
I will upload photos in a day or two. Having some slow download issues. But it will really be interesting to see how all four of your new growths progress at once.
I was concerned that maybe I had repotted my ZZ in too large of a pot (I know a big pot works for you, but I'm a bit scared of root rot again and want to make sure I do everything to keep it from occurring again). So, I just repotted it further down in the pot (less soil because I removed a good bit of the "empty" soil beneath it).
Anywho, while repotting, I spotted 3 more new growths. So, that means I have 7! It will be difficult to capture them all in one picture, as some are on the backside of the plant, some are on the frontside,etc. I have 3 bulbs in the pot, so there's 2 new growths on two bulbs and 3 on one bulb. Guess I'm doing something right lol.
Alright, download issues solved a bit faster than I thought they would be -- that and I am staying up a bit late and taking some cold medicine to get rid of this crappy head-congestion that I caught when the temps in Savannah fluctuated like a roller coaster over the past weekend.
So, the two-pointed structure at the base of the stem sets my ZZs record for slowest-growing thing that is still, in fact, alive and growing. And now those sheaths seemed to have formed around it. Strange. You can also see the two smaller sprouts to the left, which you evidently saw before, but I missed.
What is your best guess on the peculiar two-pointed structure?
I think it's just another new growth... Not sure why it's pointy like that, but I think I had a couple on my old one that looked like that. Some growths seem to grow slower than others
Whatever it is, it is setting a slow-speed record for this plant. Not that I find this annoying. Anyway, so you are up to 7 new shoots??? Congrats! Maybe our plants are psychically chatting. LOL
Haha! I did say yours should give mine a pep talk. Guess it worked. ;) I meant to say in my last post, I hope you feel better soon, head colds stink.
Latest pic of the new flower. Its head is straightening a bit and looking like it wants to grow tall. It is already taller and thinner than the first flower (see previous pics in this thread) I rotated the plant just after I took this photo, so that the flower would now face the light. Was this good, bad or neither? Am I over-thinking? With it facing AWAY from the light, it would have to grow taller to get over the other stems to receive sunshine, as other stems have done. With it facing TOWARD the light it with get more Ã¢ÂÂnourishmentÃ¢ÂÂ but probably go horizontal as the other flower did. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing.
As for the other stems, I always rotate the plant so that the new growth gets the most light. After a new stem unfurls its leaves, I then rotate the plant once every several days in such a way as to get them all to grow taller, straighter and close together.
This post was edited by BradleyD on Fri, Nov 8, 13 at 21:48
With regards to your flower, I think you're overthinking. ;) In nature, I'm not sure every flower produced would be on the side of the source of light. Also, the plant is using energy to make the flower, so I don't think you have to worry about giving the flower light. You have a happy plant, I don't think blooms on a ZZ Plant are common.
Thanks. What you say about the plant using energy to facilitate growth regardless of where the flower is located makes perfect sense. Very nice to know that I donÃ¢ÂÂt have to worry about depriving it of light. Though the stems will lean toward the light/window, so they certainly know where the light is located, for what that is worth.
I have been trying find out how frequently ZZs produce flowers. There is not much written on the subject. The closest I can get is a site that uses the phrase Ã¢ÂÂRarely blooms, but when it does the flower resembles a yellow Calla Lily.Ã¢ÂÂ (I have to look up Calla Lily) Then again, that same site also advises Ã¢ÂÂkeeping the soil moist during warm months,Ã¢ÂÂ which fits with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING any of us on this page (or other sites) have experienced or said, so I might question that one. Nothing at all saying anything like Ã¢ÂÂHoly freakinÃ¢ÂÂ crimony sake, if you can get a ZZ to produce two flowers in six months, congratulations! You are a botanical savant!Ã¢ÂÂ LOL. Perhaps we should not rule out the possible benevolent effects of cat hair. I have very little carpeting (hardwood stairs and tile floors), so the cat hair dust bunnies certainly get around. ;-)
I also found another tinier growth last night, maybe that mysterious third one that you saw in an earlier pic. More on that when it gets a bit bigger.
I think any information on ZZ plants is hard to find period lol. At least, consistent information. In the end, I think plants are a bit trial and error sometimes. The internet can give you ideas, but in the end, I think you have to figure out what works for you. :) What window do you have yours in by the way? South, west, don't know? Lol. I moved mine closer to my window. I figure it's winter, so I shouldn't have to worry about it burning. It's a south window, so plenty of light. I hope I get to see mine bloom one day.
I know that my ZZ's window faces North/Northeast, about 5 degrees off magnetic north, and the ZZ sits directly in the center of it. It seems like that is just about right for a plant that does not require blazing eastern/western sunlight. Also, as a minor hobby, I have been getting into Feng Shui. So I also know that this window is in the "Relationship Corner" of the room on any "Bagua" map, which would greatly amuse serious practitioners of FS. They would probably be shaking their heads and saying that a plant thriving there makes perfect sense. I don't know how serious to take it, but if nothing else Feng Shui provides a nice aesthetic for organizing one's home and workspaces.
Anyway, I lucked out in getting a north-facing window, didn't I? Seems like a neutral window, where light is concerned, eh?
This post was edited by BradleyD on Sun, Nov 10, 13 at 23:20
Close-up of another growth beneath the "burrowing" old flower from the summer. I had to move the stem of the old flower to allow for the new shoot to have Ã¢ÂÂhead room.Ã¢ÂÂ I canÃ¢ÂÂt post more than one photo per entry, so I will have to post a few times. I hope no one minds. I will keep the dialog short.
A medium close-up of the new flower. You can see the growth since the last pic, The flower is just an inch or two above the sheath here.
And finally, a teensy, tiny little nub of a shoot growing amid three mature shoots. Geez, NEVER call a ZZ Ã¢ÂÂanti-socialÃ¢ÂÂ! ! ! Sort of wondering if this one will make it. I have seen a couple of shoots die, but those have been tall and slender, with the diameter of a pair of toothpicks. The stubby ones grow slowly, but they usually survive.
24 hours after the previous flower photo. The sheath (or whatever you want to call it) has completely opened folded down around the flower in that short space of time. I wanted to catch a pic of it at a halfway point of Ã¢ÂÂunsheathing.Ã¢ÂÂ No such luck. I would probably have to be checking on it every 4 to 6 hours to get that.
Ups and downs, mostly ups. The flower is pointing down, but two new shoots can be seen in the same picture, and there are others coming up too. This is my first winter with the ZZ, so it should be interesting to see if growth slows or maintains pace.
For all the success I have had with this plant, I found a few dead leaves on it today -- two of them on new stems. I am thinking of reverting back to the old schedule of watering once every 2 weeks, as opposed to once every week and a half, which I have been doing for about a month or two. A few dead leaves on a lush thriving plant that has given me two flowers and several new stems in less than 6 months is nothing to be alarmed about, right? But Ã¢ÂÂover wateringÃ¢ÂÂ continuously comes up as the only thing one can do to harm a ZZ, so why not? Also the Ã¢ÂÂpost mortemÃ¢ÂÂ on the leaves seems to match what I have read about the symptoms of over-watering: discolored leaves that turn yellow, then black, then they become brittle and practically fall off the stem.
But I am interested in differing opinions (other than "Dude, you are wayyyyyyy over-thinking this!" LOL) Most especially if you disagree with me, I would like to hear your rationale. A narcissist would call that inviting an insult. I call it "education."
"A few dead leaves on a lush thriving plant that has given me two flowers and several new stems in less than 6 months is nothing to be alarmed about, right?"
Sorry, but you are overthinking this & you know this, so part of me doesn't even want to answer. That's why I've mostly stayed out of the conversation. Am not a fan of the overthinking (You're the engineer, right? I'm the daughter of an engineer, I sort of get it, but still think it's overthinking & not enjoyable to me. )
The other part wants to say I think they may just be the older leaves aging out -- that does happen, you know that right (maybe you don't)? Think of it a bit as shedding hair, a normal process.
Just several days ago, I threw out a ZZ stem w/ 2 leaves from mine which had yellowed. Mine was just age, haven't seen yours, would have helped, your description doesn't sound great.
I don't leave dead/dying leaves on plants, they won't recover & the decay just invites rot (IMO). Outdoors planted in the ground is one thing, in containers as we're growing is entirely different.
Yours is one of the happiest, healthiest, looking ZZs I've ever seen. I wish you knew that & could relax (about the overwatering). I agree yours grows super fast, like nothing I've ever seen.
Oh wait, you said 'lush, thriving', so you DO know that.
Thanks for all the compliments. As for what I "DO" know and do not know, I have never considered myself an expert as this is my first ZZ. This is also my only plant, and my last one was a Sarracenia Purpurea (pitcher plant) which was also my ONLY plant for several years. You could liken me to a parent who has only one child and gives that child an abundance of attention -- and hence the "over-thinking" (or over-protecting) perception. When that kid gets even a mild fever, the parent hits the alarm bells. I have only one pet (a Silver Tabby) for the same reason, and she is also quite healthy.
But I have NEVER been an engineer. That one would really make certain members of my family laugh. To the contrary, I was always very much into the humanities. English and History were my best subjects (math was my worst), I have a degree in Journalism and at the moment, I am a struggling actor. On the other hand, I have been attending the funerals of family members and friends whom I dearly miss since I was 9 years old. Even now, I am sitting within arm's reach of photos of my grandparents, heroes of a tumultuous childhood and long since "departed." I've seen enough death. This is a much healthier obsession.
Sorry to hear you're dealing with deaths of your family and friends. This is not the best time of year to have to deal with that. I can understand your worry about your plant, especially if it is your "only child." Hubby and I get like that with our dog. We don't plan to have any children, so she is our child. I worry about the littlest things with her sometimes (although, I have gotten better).
That being said, I also tend to worry about my plants sometimes too >.> I think it's normal if you're an analytic person (are you? Haha). Also, it's hard not to fall apart when you see something going on with one of your plants that you were pretty sure was growing well. As PG said, they do have "old stems" that will age, die, and well fall off eventually (in more or less words, I'm not quoting her here). What you have to worry about, if it's more than a couple stems, as if, it starts falling apart. This time of year, you don't need to water your ZZ as much, they can afford to dry out a bit more (the light is not as intense outdoors, winter sun, and your plant will take longer to dry out between waterings). So, you could actually cut back on your watering a little bit (I know, Planto, why didn't you mention this before... it didn't occur to me, don't ask why). Not drastically, maybe by a week or two. I think I water mine every 3 weeks, but, you should decide what's best for you.
I concur. Under the 10-day schedule, I am supposed to water today. But I think I can justify stretching this to 3 weeks, due to low sunlight and a longer drying time for the soil, as you said. In fact, I just touched the soil today and it is still moist, so three weeks will do nicely. I will then re-adjust gradually back to 2 weeks, maybe over a period of months.
On that other subject, yes it can be a bit of a strain to deal with those Ã¢ÂÂempty chairs,Ã¢ÂÂ especially over the holidays, though other days and incidents bring up the loss too. But then I wonder how older people have dealt with it, because they have probably lost more. If my grandparents were still alive, I would say to them Ã¢ÂÂYou lived through the Great Depression and World War II, when daily life was harder, even without wars and socio-economic cataclysms. You must have out-lived a multitude of friends and relatives. How did you cope?Ã¢ÂÂ
I would fall from my chair laughing if they said something like Ã¢ÂÂYou focus on something more positive. Get a pet or a plant.Ã¢ÂÂ LMAO
Sometimes, it is better to not water on a schedule, as you have noticed, sometimes our plants are still moist by the time we're supposed to water again. Different times of the year call for different watering schedules. Lol, that would be funny if they would of said to get a plant.
Annnnnnd ... two more. Late year growths seem to be a bit smaller than their height-of-summer counterparts, but they ARE still there. Then again, this is in Savannah, where it was 79 F yesterday. Cold is really not a factor.LOL
My apologies that I confused you w/ someone else (the engineer). Somehow this time your pic posted differently & I can't see it. Just shows a small square that I can't open, hum.
No worries about the engineer thing. But I don't know what to tell you about the picture problem. It is fine on my end. I have had the problem on my computer before (though not on this page), but I can't remember the solution as it has been a very long time.
A big family with no twins -- each stem is unique somehow. This one is thinner than others, but it seems like it wants to be the tallest and straightest of the bunch.
Wow, I can't believe how much yours has grown. I'm not very tech savy, so I was trying to make one picture of the first picture you took of your ZZ Plant and the picture you posted today. It's amazing! Sadly, I can't seem to win with ZZ Plants. My first one died because I left it in it's original soil (completely peat based) and it rotted from the inside of the rootball. The last two (yes, two) I've purchased, I've tried removing all the soil from the roots and repotting in faster draining soil. They both rotted. I give up. At least you have a lot of success with yours and I really enjoy seeing pictures of it!
Very sorry to hear about your bad luck, Planto. Several pictures up, I have a photo of a bag of the soil that matched the soil my ZZ came in, and I have to believe that contributed to my success. I got the plant a nearby Home Depot. Hope that helps. When I can get a free moment, I will have to attempt the photo trick you suggest, but I am not a tech guru either. I would need quite a bit of time for self-instruction. Glad you like my pictures.
If you like, remind me in Spring & maybe we can arrange a swap. I have 2, so I can spare 1, they're not large, & I've grown them from individual leaves. I'm surprised to hear you've had such trouble w/ them. I completely ignore mine & they're fine.
Nice to see yours just keeps chugging along Brad.
Thanks for the advice (and sympathy). Honestly, I think at this point, I will just accept that I can't grow a ZZ Plant. I know the first one I had rotted because of the soil it was in (some plants seem to be grown in pure peat and it drains horribly; mine was in that stuff).
The last two, I figured it was a no brainer to remove the soil and loosen the roots up. I used a mix of cactus soil and perlite, which was pretty fast draining (a number of sources say you need fast draining soil... Your ZZ Plant doesn't seem to fit that statement lol). They both rotted too.
I have the same bad luck with Sansevieria (Snake Plant). I don't know how many of those I've tried and they either fail to "take off" or their roots die on me (from rot). I don't have the same experiences as some do with either plant. I've tried chaning my care, doing different things to see if it's something I'm not doing right, but have been getting the same results.
I don't know... I don't have any problems with Peace Lilies like some people seem to have. Hubby wonders if the plants I purchased weren't somehow compromised healthwise when I got them. Maybe.
Wow, I'm flattered! As much as I'd love to have one of your ZZ Plants (hand grown by you, no less), I unfortunately would have nothing to trade. I've recently cut down my collection substantionally and all I have now is a Peace Lily and a Spider Plant. Also, with my bad luck with ZZ Plants, I would feel horrible if something happened to one of yours due to me. Thank you for thinking of me though and considering trading with me. I'm very touched.
Planto: you might want to look into trying Semi-Hydro growing with a medium like hydroton, prime agra, or hydrocorn. I have just started converting some of my plants to it so I can't say yet how it will go, but it seems like some people find that helps with rot issues and the guesswork of when to water.
Hmm... I will have to look into that then!
I think I hit on a brilliant solution to the need for an affordable larger pot. Internet searches for phrases like Ã¢ÂÂlarge plastic plantersÃ¢ÂÂ revealed that pots larger than 20 inches can cost anywhere from $150 to $1,200! ! ! No joke. I was sure the web-administrator had made a mistake on the first site I looked at, but they were ALL like that. So anyway, I got the idea of using Ã¢ÂÂplastic tubÃ¢ÂÂ as the search words and found myself looking at storage tubs that one would expect to find loaded with tools in the back of a truck at construction site.
PERFECT! For less than $20 at a certain well-known hardware store, you get Ã¢ÂÂThe 37 Gallon Roughneck Hi-Top ToteÃ¢ÂÂ by Rubbermaid. It is 18.6 inches deep, 32.5 inches long and 20.5 inches wide. Thick, durable, and waterproof. The price is $17.97.
My ZZÃ¢ÂÂs current pot is only 17.5 inches across, so there is quite a bit of room for expansion in this new Ã¢ÂÂtoteÃ¢ÂÂ/tub. There are larger ones available, but the window alcove where the ZZ sits is only 40 inches wide. Naturally, I would drill holes in the bottom of the tub. Also, it looks as if the lid will function quite nicely as a drip pan. Haven't bought it yet. The need for more space is not quite an emergency, but I like this option.
Or maybe THIS! I hope I donÃ¢ÂÂt seem indecisive, but when a better option presents itself, it should not be ignored. I went to the hardware store to look at that storage tote above and I found this: Ã¢ÂÂpatio pond linerÃ¢ÂÂ -- thee more words that I would never have thought to employ in my search for an inexpensive, GIGANTIC plastic planter. It is more than 3 feet across from point to point at its widest, and certainly does look a heck of a lot more like a home for plants, if aquatic ones. But if it can hold that much water (37 gallons), I am pretty sure it can hold light potting soil. I am imagining the weight of one gallon of water versus the weight of this potting soil filling a one-gallon jug. They donÃ¢ÂÂt even compare. Price: $29.(I would not complain if the price was lower, but in the ratio of dollers per inch, this is still a good deal.) I also like the fact it is round. My ZZ isnÃ¢ÂÂt growing in a straight line. The Ã¢ÂÂgroveÃ¢ÂÂ seems to be expanding in many directions. Granted, it needs a cleaning, but it was in the outdoor/home and garden section of the store.
This post was edited by BradleyD on Fri, Dec 27, 13 at 17:52
And I don't want to sound like a paid sales rep so I will leave corporate names out of it, but shop around. This very same liner above is $29 at one store and $109 at another. WOW.
Looks like another flower about to bloom!
Bradley, it's very cool that you have had blooms on your ZZ. I have a large one that I started from a single stem and I always put it outside for the summer, but mine has never bloomed. In my humble opinion, I wouldn't repot into an ugly rubbermaid container. Why not just buy a large but liftable plastic pot at a nursery/greenhouse/largebox store? (don't break your back lifting a pot to let it drain) Then, since this is your only child- oops I mean plant- Buy a beautiful cachepot to put the usually unattractive plastic pot into. I think providing a beautiful home for your only child plant is the right and proper thing to do. have a good day!
I have had a change of heart on that gray Rubbermaid box. I am looking at other options, but you'd really have to see the price on some of the large plastic pots to believe it. Once you get above 20 inches across, the price skyrockets to such ridiculous levels that some kiddie pools would be cheaper.(Not that I would use a kiddie pool as a flower pot. LOL). Right now, I think the pond liner (two photos back) is a nice idea, but I am open-minded enough to look at others. I just have to think outside the box, pardon the pun. Thanks for your compliments. I'll post more pictures of the flower once it blooms.
This post was edited by BradleyD on Tue, Dec 31, 13 at 17:29
Hi Brad & Happy New Year,
Your plant is doing great, I have no idea why you're doing all this, it's way premature (tho' maybe you did mention that).
Every single person I've ever met who grows these keeps them potted on the tight side. I've never seen anyone pot them, up so big it's just entirely unnecessary (& increases their risk of rotting).
But your plant DOES seem to be jet fueled, growing far faster than any others I've ever seen.
Even the man who taught me how to grow these from single leaves & grew them for my entire gardening group kept them potted small. They just don't need all that room & do great w/out it.
The one that grew & bloomed neglected in my bldg's basement laundry also was potted small & it didn't prevent it from blooming.
Hi PG! Happy New Year.
Interesting. With this being my first ZZ, I am certainly not an expert, but I wonder if root rot really has anything to do with space, and perhaps more to do with overwatering and the drainage quality of the soil? The way I figure it, if a plant that I am growing ALSO grows in the wild, then that wild plant has the entire Earth, or at least a continent, as its pot, right?
But yes I did say that it is not an emergency because the stalks/stems have not even hit the edge of this pot yet, so time is certainly on my side
Thanks for all the compliments.
3rd flower and new shoots.Growing tall and slender, as will be seen in next photo.
"Full length" photo. This angle might make the photo appear to be stretched/elongated, but it really isn't.
The twosome. The bricks and my "fur-child" also give a good idea of scale to the plant.