Care of the Eternity Plant

The eternity plant is also known as the ZZ plant, for its Latin name, zamioculcas zamiflora.
The eternity plant is also known as the ZZ plant, for its Latin name, zamioculcas zamiflora.

The eternity plant is so called because of its hardiness and survival in most growing conditions. With minimum attention, this plant will last for what seems like an eternity. Also called a ZZ plant, for its Latin name zamioculcas zamiflora, this houseplant can withstand most lighting conditions, and is very resistant to insects and diseases. A cousin to philodendron, eternity plants originated in Africa and tolerate dry and shady conditions well.

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Light and Temperature

An eternity plant can live in full sun, partial sun or shade. The only lighting it will not survive is complete darkness. It does best, however, in partial or filtered sun. Its best temperature is from 60 to 90 degrees F, so most indoor temperatures will be fine. It should not be subjected to temperatures below 45 degrees F for more than short periods if grown outdoors. Higher temperatures will make the plant grow faster and leaf out more. More light will cause the eternity plant to dry out faster, so more frequent watering is required in full sun conditions.

Water and Soil

Soil for an eternity plant should be well-draining, since the plant does not require much water, and will develop root rot if it is soaking wet. Over-watering will result in yellowed leaves. It has a tuberous root that stores water for the plant in between waterings, so let the soil dry out before you water the eternity plant. When you do, water evenly around the plant, and make sure you use a drip tray at the base of the pot for good drainage. Water the eternity or ZZ plant about once a week, or two weeks if the soil is still moist after one week.

Other Considerations

Eternity plants are not known to be subject to insect pests or plant diseases. They can be fertilized as little as four times a year and still grow well. They also prefer low humidity, around 30 percent. Take care not to let children or animals eat the plant, as it is somewhat poisonous; when large amounts are ingested, it can be fatal. Eternity or ZZ plants are easy to divide or propagate; just take a cutting and pot it, and a new plant will begin growing.

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