Saturday, June 28, 2014

Random plant event: Zamioculcas zamiifolia

Okay, well, the third part of the Anthurium update just doesn't look like it's going to happen anytime soon. So we may as well look at the other plants for a bit. A few of them are even doing things.

A very, very long time ago, in the halcyon days of August 2011, I managed to obtain some leaflets of Zamioculcas zamiifolia 'Zamicro' or 'Mini' or something like that. (The cultivar wasn't identified.) And I tried to start some new plants from the leaflets, as you do. Which went well, for once, and a year later I had actual plants, in tiny four-pack cells.

(June 27)

Three years after getting the leaflets, they're all still in four-packs, because I am terrified of repotting them. Repotting Zamioculcas, for me, has always gone badly, and although I think I know why these are doing well when previous Zamioculcas haven't,1 I am still scared to mess with them in any way. They're growing, I'm happy, they're happy: why fix what ain't broke?

And that's how things have been for quite a while. Then a couple weeks ago, I learned that if anything, I have underestimated how happy they are, because behold:

(From June 13, plus or minus a day.)

That's the first one. I think there are two more on the way. Excitingly, they appear to be at more or less the same stage of development, which means that I might wind up with two flowers blooming at the same time, and you know what happens when I have two aroids blooming at the same time.

(June 27)

Though as long as it takes Zamioculcas to grow from a cutting, I can't imagine what slow kind of torture it is to grow them from seed. You know I'm going to try regardless, but I'm going to be crossing my fingers at the same time in hopes that the pollination fails.

The spathe never really get any prettier than it is in those first couple photos:

(This photo and the next: June 27)

But the way the spadix dries up is sort of interesting.

So that's something that happened. I'll let you know if I get any pollination. As much as I hope I don't wind up with seedlings, I am kind of interested in seeing what the berries and seeds actually look like.

1 A gritty, fast-draining soil mix, and shallow soil for the size of the plants. Previously, I'd been using pots with standard dimensions (as wide as tall), and regular potting mix. Short-term, this was usually fine, but given enough time, eventually something would happen and they'd rot.


Liza said...

Hmmm...if you saw a dried up spadix on the ground on the woods, it'd be pretty easy to mistake it for a pine cone.

I like it, it's cool loooking.

I've never had a Zamioculca. Does that make me a lesser plant lady, haha?

Anonymous said...

If the flowering plants are clones of each other, I wonder if an attempted pollination would accomplish anything -- I am not entirely sure, but I believe reading somewhere that Zamioculcas are self-incompatible.

mr_subjunctive said...


No, of course not, though I have to say I'm a little surprised that you would never have tried one.


I haven't read anything one way or the other, but if they are self-incompatible, then I will probably not see anything. I don't necessarily know that the leaflets I started with came from the same plant at the garden center, but I would think the plants at the garden center probably all came from the same original plant, since it's a cultivar.

I suppose we'll find out.

Liza said...

I meant to say a teeny tiny pine cone.

I know, it's weird, right? They're around for sale sometimes, but I've just never been drawn to them personally. I would've been inclined to use them for my plant biz, but my old wholesaler didn't offer them. Now that the wholesalers are gone, I don't really want to pay retail prices for them.

It's probably just as well, if they are as laid back as they seem, I'd probably have a hundred of them in my house.