My glossy ZZ Plant

Five months ago, my sister Juliet gave me a ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia); it was just an 8-inch long stem with 2 glossy green leaves. It is commonly called the Eternity Plant. My friend Hermi referred to it as Zamia; Gloria Vargas and Juliet called it interchangeably as the Welcome Plant or Fortune Plant due to the fact that most people put this cheerful-looking foliage near entrances, at least here in the Philippines. I potted that single stem with loam soil and decomposed rice hulls. Then, I placed it in a shady area near my gate.

There several things I’ve noticed with this plant.

  • First, it likes bright light and tolerates low light.
  • Second, its direct exposure to sunlight often results with scorched leaves.
  • Third, this plant is cactus-like for it thrives even when neglected. (I didn’t water if for a week and it looked okay!)
  • Fourth, regular watering makes it perform well, hence the glossy look of the leaves.
  • Fifth, pests seemed to stay away from it.

The fifth observation made me ask this important question: Is ZZ Plant poisonous? I just hope not…but of course the plant is for an ornamental purpose and not to be ingested by humans or animals.


Ti plants for good fortune?

I found these Hawaiian Ti plants (Cordyline fruticosa) with stunning foliage at Mugna Garden Fair, Iligan City in the year 1997. These are also known as Cabbage Palm, Good Luck Plant, Palm Lily, Ti Plant, Kī, La’i in Hawaii. According to most dealers in garden fairs, these are the plants they recommend to create an indoor or tropical look in homes or gardens.

Due to busy schedules at work when I was still teaching, I’ve neglected my Ti plants. So, eventually the supposed to be good-luck plants I’ve purchased from Mugna wilted. Fortunately, my friend Tasing gave me various stem cuttings of these fancy-leaf ornamentals in exchange for other plants.

Those stem cuttings are actually trunks of the plant. I started to plant the leafless 5 inches long stem cuttings in sandy soil. After several weeks, shoots and leaves appear on each stem. With proper amount of light and water, and also a good potting medium, the stem cuttings develop to become trunks with colorful leaves.

With many varieties available in the market, these fancy plants are becoming popular in homes and private gardens. I don’t believe that these plants are luck bringers. However, these plants would improve your appreciation for beautiful things, and thus, they would bring positive energy to your home.