Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ZZ Plants

The ZZ Plant
Zamioculcas Zamiifolia - its botanical name.

We seemed to get asked everyday about this interesting interior plant. Slightly difficult to find around town, but Exotic Plants has a great connection with a grower on the coast that keeps us in good supply. These easy to care for plants are great for today’s more modern homes and offices; but also hold their own in a Tuscan container, oriental pot, or country basket.

ZZ Plants have long leafy stalks that keep their shine naturally. They vary in height from around a foot to about 3 feet tall. As far as care goes … they are easy. They like a little bit of water weekly, but like to be kept on the dry side, some people recommend watering every other week. And they handle low light conditions well; they can flourish in good light, but seem to burn in super direct sunlight. A great plant for those who forget they own houseplants or travel a lot. They are slow growers but growth speeds up when in brighter light conditions and their waxy leaves are nicely resistant to pest or insects. Interestingly enough, this plant’s origins are from East Africa, but can easily be found in Sacramento at Exotic Plants Ltd. We carry many sizes from an inexpensive 4” potted ZZ to a lush 14” potted ZZ plant. Visit us soon for your special ZZ Plant, 1833 Howe Avenue, Sacramento in The Cost Plus Shopping Center at Alta Arden. Hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Summer is slowly coming to a close as families return from vacation and children return to school. A great way to keep that vacation feeling in your home or office, is the addition of a tropical bromeliad. If you can't be there, Exotic Plants can bring a little touch of the tropics to you with brightly colored tropical Bromeliad plants. These long lasting plants with vibrant blooms are grown in many colors and are easy to care for.

They need bright light and warm indoor temperatures. Add water to the cups of the leaves once a week, and just a touch to the soil, not too much or it will cause the roots to rot. In one week, most of the water should be absorbed by the plant. If not, wait a week before watering again.

In a few months the colorful bloom will begin to die. When you're unhappy with its look, simply remove at the base of the stem with clean scissors. By this time you may already have a "pup" or new shoot growing from the mother plant. The secret to getting a new flower with color is Ethylen gas. In the wild, animals and insects live in the bromeliad cups, and their dead remains, along with decaying leaf matter, create Methane gas. In the home, we can provide this by cutting up an apple and putting a couple of pieces into the cups. Then placing a clear plastic bag over the plant to intensify the effect ... encouraging a colorful bloom. Hope that provides some insight into Bromeliads, be sure to visit Exotic Plants to see our large selection of these tropical beauties. And don't forget ... We deliver in the greater Sacramento Area!