Shiny leaves


Latin name:
East Africa.

The genus Zamioculcas of the Araceae family includes only one species, Zamioculcas zamiifolia, a perennial herbaceous tuberous plant. The name is given because of the similarity of the structure of the leaves of zamiokulkas with the leaves of Zamia from the Cycad family. Zamiokulkas naturally inhabits the rocky mountain steppes of East Africa, in open spaces among placers of stones, near succulent plants such as euphorbia. Another place of growth is the island of Zanzibar. In appearance, the plant is significantly different from its closest relatives, such as potos and anthurium. Zamiokulkas is the only one in the family with complex non-pinnate leaves, consisting of 17-21 leaflets on a juicy, strongly thickened petiole at the base. The leaves are dark green, leathery and dense, very shiny, connected in a rosette. Tubers of rounded shape are designed to preserve water and nutrients, as the plant has to survive long dry periods in its natural habitat.

As a houseplant, zamiokulkas is not yet very common, although it has all the necessary qualities: it is unpretentious, does not require constant attention, and can tolerate long periods of insufficient lighting and watering. Its exterior design is ideal for landscaping modern interiors.


Zamiokulkas is one of the most unpretentious indoor plants, it tolerates dry indoor air well. It grows very slowly, but each new leaf grows much higher than the previous one. As a substrate, a mixture of turf or garden land with sand or a ready-made substrate for succulent plants (without peat) is suitable. It makes sense to apply fertilizers when a new leaf appears, until it is fully developed weekly.


If the leaves are dirty, it is recommended to wipe them with a damp soft cloth.


Zamiokulkas does not need constant moistening of the substrate. It is necessary to correlate watering with temperature conditions and illumination. Zamiokulkas will not be harmed at all by a complete and prolonged "drought", but a strong moistening of the soil in the dark and cold season can lead to the death of even such a strong plant.


The fastest method of reproduction is to divide the adult plant into parts when transplanting. Zamiokulkas, unlike all plants of its family, can be propagated by individual leaves, but this is a very long process. The leaf is planted in a mixture of peat, sand and vermiculite, or simply in a pot with a plant and kept warm. A year later, a small tuber forms at the base of the leaflet, from which a new specimen will later develop.


It is recommended to place zamiokulkas on bright, sunny windows, in summer it can be taken out on the balcony. When kept in a shaded area, growth almost stops, but the plant does not change its appearance.


Zamiokulkas will suit the room temperature of the air, the lower limit of tolerable temperatures is 10 °C.

Diseases and pests

If the conditions of maintenance are observed, this plant never gets sick. Excessive watering with dark and cold contents and peat soil can cause bacterial or fungal diseases. Cases of pests are extremely rare.


Zamiokulkas is sold all year round in all specialized and even universal stores. Plant sizes range from 15 cm to 1 m.

Additional information


It is better to choose a ceramic container for planting, stable and pour a layer of drainage on the bottom so that there is no stagnation of moisture at the roots. The soil surface can be decorated with gravel or planted with miniature sedum species. As a rule, the plant is transplanted once every 2 years, from February to April. Zamiokulkas doesn't need pots that are too big.

Care summary

Cultivation simple
Watering sparse in winter, until the soil dries out in summer
Transplanting once every 2 years, in spring
Appearance maintenance cleaning the leaves from dirt
Location from bright light to partial shade
Temperature not lower than 10 °C, preferably room temperature
Flowering time extremely rare in rooms, only in old plants
Height up to 1-1.5 m


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