Zamioculcas is an exotic guest from hot countries. It first appeared on the shelves of flower shops 20-25 years ago. An unusual plant was liked by amateur flower growers with a decorative look and unpretentiousness. However, despite the undemanding, it still needs certain conditions for normal growth and development. Let’s figure out what kind of flower it is — zamiokulkas — and what care it needs at home.
All about proper care for zamiokulkas
Species features of exotic
– Humidity and heat
— top dressing
— dormant period
Species features of an ornamental plant
Zamioculcas is an evergreen succulent. It comes from the aroid family, in which there is only one species. Its homeland is tropical Africa, where the flower can be found in natural conditions. Here it grows on poor loose soils, easily tolerates alternating periods of drought with tropical downpours, and grows to a considerable size. At home, with good care, the plant can only reach 0.7-1 m in height.
The exotic plant has an unusual structure. It has no stems. What is accepted for them is, in fact, a complex leaf that is formed directly from the root. The leaf axis (rachis) is very juicy and fleshy. On it are dense leathery leaves-feathers. For their bright green color and shape, the flower was popularly called the «dollar tree». The rhizome looks like a tuber, from which worm-like shoot roots extend. They are very powerful, capable of breaking a pot in which they have become cramped.
Exot grows slowly. During the year, the length of the petiole increases by 12-15 cm, and only a few new leaves appear on it. The plant lives for a relatively short time — no more than 10 years. It rarely blooms. This occurs only in adult plants (from three years old), most often at the end of the life cycle. Therefore, not every grower can see how Zamiokulkas blooms.
The flowering process begins with the appearance of an inflorescence among the rachis petioles, it resembles an ear. At first it is difficult to notice, because the peduncle is hidden under a thin petal-veil. Later, the inflorescence increases in size. It consists of many small flowers of pale yellow or cream tone with a pleasant smell. Zamiokulkas blooms for a long time, but the seeds do not form, even in the case of artificial pollination. Berries appear only in the natural environment.
What conditions are necessary for decorative exotic
Zamioculcas is unpretentious. However, for normal development and growth, he needs conditions close to natural. We will analyze what is needed for the well-being of the exotic.
African origin determines the plant’s love for the sun. It prefers good light, easily tolerates direct sunlight. Lack of light is not good for exotics. It is drawn out, emaciated, becomes pale. During periods of short daylight hours, it is best to organize additional illumination.
But on hot summer days, it is better not to leave the exotic on the southern windowsill, so as not to get sunburn on the leaves. They look like ugly yellow burnt spots. It is impossible to cure them. For light shading, curtains or ajar blinds are suitable.
The plant does not tolerate excess moisture. Juicy powerful roots quickly rot in such conditions, so frequent watering is not required. On average, the bush is watered once a week in the warm season and once or twice a month in winter. This is quite enough. Excessive dryness is also undesirable. The African exotic easily tolerates drought, but in conditions of water scarcity, it begins to use up previously accumulated reserves. At the same time, he sheds his feather leaves and loses his attractive appearance. Before watering, it is worth touching the soil in the container. It must be dry. Watered with boiled or settled water, in which there is no chlorine. After 10-15 minutes after the end of watering, the liquid that has flowed into the pan must be drained.
Humidity and heat
Proper care of the Zamioculcas flower also implies a normal temperature regime. In the warm season, it is in the range of 23-28˚С, but exceeding 38˚С is fatal. In winter, for normal development, the bush needs a temperature in the range of 15-18˚С, but not lower than 12˚С. Humidity for an exotic plant is not very important. He prefers dry warm air, so he does not need spraying even for hygienic purposes. If dust has accumulated on the glossy leaves, it can be washed off with a shower head or cleaned with a damp cloth.
Under natural conditions, the flower grows on poor soils, so it actively takes nutrients from the substrate. During the period of growth of green mass, it is desirable to feed it. From April to October, top dressing is carried out once a month. You can use any dry or liquid complex for cacti or succulents. These are Agricola, Purshat-M, Good Power and similar mixtures.
You can use any universal preparations for flowering. In this case, flower growers recommend halving the dosage.
The dormant period of the exotic lasts from mid-October to the end of winter and the beginning of spring. At this time, the plant needs to provide a temperature regime within 15-18˚С, without sudden changes. Watering should be no more than once every 21-28 days. You don’t need to feed either.
How to transplant zamiokulkas
Often it is not necessary to transplant an exotic plant. It grows slowly, respectively, for a long time «grows» out of the pot. On average, transplantation of young specimens is carried out every two to three years. For adults, a transplant once every five years is enough.
There may be several reasons for an urgent transplant: the flower became crowded or it began to look bad, which was most likely caused by rotting of the roots. After the purchase, the plant is also transplanted. In any case, the algorithm for transplanting zamiokulkas at home will be the same.
Choose a pot. The new container should be 30-40 mm deeper than the old one and the same width. Materials may vary. Clay pots are stable, which is important for a heavy bush. Ceramic is a good thermostat. It additionally warms the root system in winter and cools in autumn. But it will be very difficult to extract the plant during a subsequent transplant. The plastic is lightweight and easily deformed. This is exactly what happens when the roots grow. But it is easy to cut or break it to remove the bush at the next transplant.
- Fill the container. About a quarter of the volume of the pot is filled with drainage. For young specimens, you can lay foam or expanded clay, for adults — heavy pebbles. A small layer of sand is poured on top, then the substrate. It is important to know what kind of land is needed for zamiokulkas. The soil for backfilling is taken loose and light. It is prepared from a mixture of garden soil, peat and sand, taken in equal proportions. Or they take any purchased substrate intended for succulents and add sand to it in a ratio of 3: 1.
- Remove the flower from the old container. The day before, it is well watered to facilitate the task. In order not to damage the roots, the plastic container is easier to cut. In a ceramic flowerpot, you can separate the earthen ball from the walls with a knife, then take out the bush. If it does not work, the container will have to be broken.
- Carefully inspect the root system. The roots should be slightly wrinkled, dense, beige in color. All damaged or diseased areas should be cut with a sharp knife and powdered with crushed activated charcoal.
- The bush is placed in the center of the new pot, covered with prepared soil. You don’t need to fall asleep completely. Part of the rhizome should «peep» out of the ground a little.
Watering should not be rushed. It is necessary to give time for the wounds on the roots to heal. If the substrate is very dry, the first watering is carried out no earlier than two days later. In other cases, watered after a week and a half.
Reproduction of an exotic flower
It will not work to get seeds and grow a new bush from them in our latitudes. But you can use vegetative methods of reproduction. All parts of an ornamental plant are suitable for this. In order for rooting to go faster, it is necessary to reproduce the flower in the spring. Most commonly used
In the first variant, a feather leaf or part of a complex leaf is taken as planting material. They are cut at an angle of 45˚, left to dry the cut for a day or two. The prepared leaf is planted in a small container filled with a wet mixture of coarse sand and peat. Deepen by a third of the length, cover with a jar. It turns out a mini-greenhouse in which the seedling will take root. This will take one to five months. Caring for it is simple: periodically moisten the soil mixture, ventilate the mini-greenhouse and remove condensate.
The second way is reproduction using a single complex leaf. They take the whole petiole-rachis with a nodule on the base and carefully separate it from the main bush. The roots are dried and treated with activated carbon powder. After that, they are planted in a pot, without much deepening. The first time watered after two or three days.
The third type of reproduction is the division of the bush. This option is considered risky, since the exotic may die. The bush is taken out of the container, the rhizome is carefully divided so that there is a leaf bud on each resulting part. The cut is treated with activated carbon, the tubers are left to dry. A day later, they are planted in pots. The upper part of the nodules should rise slightly above the soil. Watered after two days.