Quoth the Raven ZZ, “evermore”

Apparently these are the freakin’ hardiest of plants.

This plant and her siblings were listed by letter options A to G, I think. She was option “B”.

What says this quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore?

  • Binomial name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia Raven™ or ‘Dowon’
  • Given name: Bea or “B.” for short
  • Native to: Africa (first dark-coloured branch cultivated in South Korea)
  • Bought: July 5, 2021 at Amy’s Little Plant Shop
  • Original pot (current): 4 inch square pot

Field notes — July 5, 2021

  • Soil: 5 (moist)
  • Longest stem: 23 cm from soil to leaf node
  • Number of leaves: 12
  • Signs of pests: none
  • Signs of care issues: crisping on one old leaf tip, circular crispy spot on another (possibly sunburn?)

Research notes

Atmosphere

  • Light: bright indirect, but survives in very low light; avoid direct light
  • Humidity: low is fine; not picky
  • Temperature: 10 degrees Celsius or higher

Water

  • Preference: after soil is completely dry. Summer: small amount every two weeks; winter: once a month

Soil, fertilization, and pots

  • Soil type: well-draining
  • Fertilization: every 2 to 3 months with balanced, liquid fertilizer
  • Repotting: every 2 to 3 years; divide

Lifestyle

  • Grow style: often slow, but can be up to 1 cm/day in ideal conditions during growing season
  • Maturity: 45 to 90 cm; 100 cm if pot is 45 cm wide and deep
  • Neat stuff:
    This cultivar is patented.
    The rhizome stores water; so it likes soil to dry out completely.
    Fresh leaves are bright green, but change to purple, then black, in 6 to 8 weeks.
    Few pests will expend the effort to bother it.
  • Common problems:
    Overwatering (signs: root rot, yellowing or mushy leaves; treatment: ensure good drainage, don’t water for 6 weeks)
  • Pruning: snip long stems at the base if desired; avoid contact with the sap
  • Propagation: Note that, as a patented cultivar, props cannot be sold. That’s OK; I just want a bushier plant.
    Crown division: when repotting plant; spray roots clean, divide rhizomes and roots (if using a cutting tool, let sit in shade for a couple hours to callus), repot at same depth
    Stem cutting: snip to minimum of 15 cm long;
    A. Place in water for about six weeks until roots are over 2.5 cm long (change water once or twice a week), plant in pot.
    B. Place in soil, but keep moist without becoming soggy.
    Leaf cutting: detach leaves (from a removed stem by pulling delicately; by using dropped leaves, or when pruning);
    A. Let sit in shade for a couple hours to callus; prepare a tray with clear covers and soil mix; place leaves 5 cm apart, 1 cm deep in soil, stem-side down; water; cover with clear plastic; place in warm, bright area. Leaves wilt but tubers form and new shoots appear.
    B. Place cut portion in water; stabilize with paperclip; replace water often; when roots are minimum of 3 cm long, plant in soil

Research sources: Nature GardenPlantophiles