Zamioculcas is Houseplant of the month for June 2016
Green, geometric and indestructibly cool. Zamioculcas will look just as good after your holiday as it did when you left.
Zamioculcas has a strong plant personality with sturdy, noticeably regular leathery leaves. They grow on the branches in such way that they look a bit like stylised feathers. That makes this strong houseplant a useful addition to the style trend in which traditional rooms are given a new purpose and indoors and outdoors merge smoothly. Plants can thereby have surprising shapes which are a little discombobulating. Zamioculcas is such a plant: it looks like its come straight out of a 3D printer as an enlargement of an obscure but interesting succulent. But all that strength and personality really is Made by Nature.
Eye-catching leaf shape
The beautiful dark green and the regular structure of Zamioculcas provides a point of calm amidst popular geometric monochrome patterns. The effect is reinforced by creating some space around it: place the plant on a bench or a retro stool to give a lovely spatial effect. Materials that work well with this plant are smooth and functional, such as metal, plastic and varnished wood. Zamioculcas’ imperturbable appearance makes an almost psychedelic setting controllable and manageable, and that’s a nice metaphor for modern life. The plant also looks like an outdoor plant, which is also pleasantly disorientating.
Easy to deal with
Zamioculcas is one of the easiest houseplants ever: this guy is almost impossible to kill. They can be placed in either a light or dark spot, and can cope with the fact that you forget to water it once in a while. The plant stores nutrients and water in the stems and the subterranean bulb, and can subsist on these reserves for a few weeks. The only thing that Zamioculcas – originally an African plant – cannot cope with is cold and constant wet feet. If you want the plant to continue growing, move it to a larger pot in good time and give it enough daylight.
Greetings from Zanzibar!
Although Zamioculcas has been known botanically since 1892, it only became a popular houseplant over the past fifteen years or so. The plant’s natural habitat consists of rocky soil in lowlands or at the feet of highlands in East Africa. Zamioculcas grows wild in countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Malawi, and is one of nature’s gems in Zanzibar.
- It is hard to trace the meaning of the name Zamioculcas. Culcas is an old name for another species, Colocasia. The species Zamiifolia has leaves which resemble the Zamia ferns. And the feathered leaves are characteristic of both plants. The name has therefore been formed by combining the two.
- Zamioculcas is a stoic fellow: does not wilt, does not grow quickly, is the embodiment of stability. Because of those Zen-like characteristics the plant provides a helpful focus for meditation.
- The plant is now a popular houseplant due to Dutch growers, who took up the challenge of cultivating it in 1996.
- Despite the sturdy stems, Zamioculcas is still a herbaceous plant. Its strength comes not so much from wood becoming thicker or heavier, but from the veins which store water and nutrients.
For more information see: www.thejoyofplants.co.uk
Published on: 26 May 2016