Lucky Feather, Zamioculcas zamiifolia - care, propagation and cutting

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zamioculcas Zamie

For some time, an easy-care Aronstabgewächs is offered in Germany, which also makes plant friends happy without a green thumb: Zamioculcas zamiifolia, perhaps therefore with the German name Glücksfeder considered. Below you will find an overview of care, propagation and cutting of the beautiful succulents:


  • Family: Arum family
  • Genus: Zamioculcas
  • Botanical name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia
  • German name: Lucky Feather, Zamie
  • Growth height: 45 to 90 cm
  • Effort: Easy-care beginner's plant
  • Culture as: Houseplant
  • Decoration value: Foliage plant
  • Installation options: Grows faster, faster in bright locations

Growth shape and location

The Zamioculcas zamiifolia is a perennial tropical plant from Africa that behaves as if it had been "invented" as a houseplant for the temperate latitudes: it develops many shoots side by side, with strong, glossy leaves down to the palm of your hand 90 cm.
The lucky spring grows in their homeland on mountainous, change-exposed forest shrub areas and is satisfied with virtually every location. The optimal growth temperature is between 18 and a good 26° C (65° to 80° F), so in the German household the Zamie grows continuously at optimal temperatures.
Bright, indirect light is the favorite of the lucky pen; they have experimented with the darkness they endure: The Zamie grows even at a meager 270 lux, which corresponds to a location 70 cm away from a 100 W light bulb. The Zamie grows faster with lots of light, slower at darker locations and with darker leaves.
The ambient temperature also has an influence on the growth rate; in warm temperatures Zamioculcas zamiifolia forms more leaves. An outdoor summer location is right, you can not expect the Zamie to go below 15° C, do not know it and do not like it. Plump midday sun does not cause any sunburn on the leaves until it gets used to it, the soft morning sun and the evening sun make it all the more enjoyable.

Zamioculcas in the pot

The shiny feather leaves of the lucky spring shine because they are covered with a natural protective layer. This natural protective layer needs occasional care, otherwise dust settles and with the shine it is over. You can easily wipe the leaves with a damp sponge or rag. The use of shine spray is not recommended because of the high water content of Zamioculcas leaves, probably the ingredients interfere with the plant metabolism. The best care for the natural seal should be rubbing with the inside of a banana peel.

No poisonous plant, but poison eliminator

The Zamie is usually described as poisonous in all plant parts. Even small amounts of plant material should be able to trigger symptoms such as unpleasant mucous membrane irritation. Although it should only be slightly toxic, but for stronger symptoms, medical treatment makes sense - normal worried parents will probably leave the Lucky Feather after reading such lines in the store.
Therefore, a slightly more detailed classification that gives the Lucky Feather access to households with children (but may well protect adults with sensitive skin from unpleasant surprises) follows:
Zamioculcas zamiifolia contains oxalic acid as crystalline calcium oxalate, neither of which should be ingested or in contact with sensitive skin. But also no poisons that let us fall dead: Calcium oxalate in crystal form can irritate nothing more than skin, because it is not absorbed in the; Oxalic acid could be dangerous when eating about 5 kg Zamioculas leaves - the intake of 5 kg rhubarb, carambola, Swiss chard, spinach with equally critical oxalic acid content is certainly closer.
Oxalate needles on the skin are annoying, but no poisoning, which is why the lucky spring also does not appear in the official list of the Federal Republic of poisonous plants (more info on which: pdf).
So the skin contact remains. Yes, you should not lubricate sap with calcium oxalate crystals in the eyes, mouth or other mucous membranes; yes, skin-sensitive people should wear gloves when handling the plant, children should keep their distance.
But you can do something about the pecking: The tiny crystal needles are bright, hexagonal and well visible under polarized light (eg LCD monitor), they can be removed with patience, magnifying glass and tweezers. Or dip your hands for 40 minutes in warm solution of 2/3 lemon juice and 1/3 water (warm up in between). In acid, calcium oxalate dissolves and can be rinsed off. Dab dry and do not rub, repeat procedure.

Fortunately spring

Instead of excreting poison, the Zamie removes toxins from the air: in 2014, researchers at the University of Copenhagen showed that Lucky Feathers filter potentially dangerous VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from the air, and in descending order, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene.

Earth, substrate, repotting

Unpretentious is undemanding, also in relation to the potting soil:
  • Recommended is finished palm soil
  • Composed of potting soil, clay, humus, lava stones, carbonate of lime, slow-release fertilizer
  • These constituents can also be used to enrich ready-made potting soil and simple garden soil
  • Things that are not in the garden can be found at the hardware store or in the garden center.
  • Carbonated lime surrounds the breakfast egg
The Lucky Feather develops a root system with a thick water storage tuber and outgoing rhizomes, on these images of offspring is clearly visible:
The pot must be so large that rhizomes can spread. But not too big: If the first root shoots do not feel a limit, rhizomes grow longer than plants in the upper area - until a well-established Zamioculcas zamiifolia sets about cracking the maximum height of about 2 meters described in our latitudes.
At the natural site, the rhizomes often grow horizontally through the earth, because they have no choice in rocky terrain. You can therefore put the plant in a flatter pot; However, tuber and rhizome also adapt to the depth of the pot:
Depending on the location, Zamioculcas zamiifolia grows quickly. At the latest when the root looks like in the last picture, the plant must be repotted (initially usually annually, later every two to three years). This is best done at the beginning of the growth phase in March or April, you proceed as usual:
  • Zamie pot, shake off old earth
  • Make sure that there are no pests in the ground (rare in Zamia)
  • If in doubt, wash off the old soil completely and replace it
  • Look at the root and cut away damaged rhizomes
  • Possibly. also immediately separate rhizomes for propagation
  • Put plant with new soil in next larger pot

Pouring and fertilizing

The Zamie uses the lowest petiole of the leaflets and the rhizome to store water for bad times. If it is "well filled," the zamie needs less water than its leaf abundance. It is regularly poured whenever the surface of the potting soil has just dried.
tip - If it is filled up well... if that is the case, you should check shortly after purchase: impulse abutment, you notice on the feathers, whether the sprout bulging or rather soft and hesitant response. Lucky feathers with rather soft shoots / leaves are more abundantly watered for a while, until they are really tight and upright (can take in dried plants, Zamien contained in the leaves 91%, in petioles / shoots to 95% water, that is unusually much).

Zamioculcas lucky feather

Plants with full reservoirs should thrive best when kept slightly too dry rather than too humid overall. If you forget about casting, hardly anything happens for a long time, while waterlogging quickly leads to root rot.
Nutrients need the lucky feather, as soon as they start in the spring with the budding, but also in rather moderate amounts: once a month liquid fertilizer in normal concentration is usually enough after her.

Attitude in hydroponics

The lucky feather, with its rhizomes, develops a stable foundation that enables keeping in hydroponics. This attitude in water, a little stabilizing inorganic material and nutrient solution is quite a change for the plant. The only young plants survive and which requires some preparation:
  • Take Lucky Feather out of the pot
  • Carefully remove all soil from roots
  • Take off the roots
  • Prepare hydro pot with very coarse expanded clay
  • Put "Naked" Zamie in the hydro pot
  • Install water level indicator
  • Put the pot in the waterproof planter
  • Fill nutrient solution for hydroponic culture
  • After displaying the water level gauge, top up with water
  • Nutrient solution must be given approximately every three months
  • Pay attention to the presence of mold, if necessary renew the expanded clay immediately
  • Wash off roots before repotting
  • If mold growth occurred quickly, add vegetable fungicide to the nutrient solution


The flower of the lucky spring is often referred to as inconspicuous. However, the Zamie develops the typical piston-like inflorescence of an arum family, for which inconspicuous actually is not the right word.
Pictures of the flowers rather suggest other names, you can choose between the Stinky finger:, puffed rice on style: or what is needed when the puffed rice the Rice goes out:
Hibernation in cooler temperatures should promote the flowering induction, very regular water supply (as it is "automatically" granted in hydroponic) also; the flowers appear between the middle of summer and early autumn.
tip - Articles about plants are also often about the trimming of plants, the z. B. in fruit trees, hedges, inside dense shrubs can be of crucial importance; for the harvest, the development of the plants, the prevention of fungal attack... all garden plants and no indoor plants. In houseplants instructions for cutting are actually absurd, the existing leaves and shoots were just bought as a room decoration. So it is with the Zamioculcas zamiifolia, it is not circumcised. Even dead leaves should be peeled off better by hand, the stem stump under the "breaking point" can store several years of water.


Zamioculcas zamiifolia

If possible, treat the Zamie to a winter rest in a cool room (with temperatures between 16 and 18° C). She gets less water and no fertilizer. So you drive the metabolism of the plant down to save energy without slowing it down so much that it becomes a deciduous plant, which must drive out completely new in the spring:
  • Lucky feather cool place, but not in temperatures below 16° C
  • Water until mid-October or refill hydraulic accumulator for the last time
  • Water more sparingly from late autumn to spring
  • Before the next watering, the entire top third of the earth is allowed to dry
  • So the Zamie comes without much growth, but in full green through the winter.
  • Towards the end of February, water levels are slowly increasing
  • Until there is the first fertilizer for the start of the shoot
The lucky feather can also be cultivated in a warm room in the brightest possible place. Compared to a summer outdoor space, the water requirement is reduced, because it gets much less light than outside. For "that bit of growth" over the winter she needs little or no fertilizer (you decide that - does she almost not grow, or with a little bit of pep?). If the pitch is in a very dry environment, the lucky spring is happy about occasional water mist from the spray can.


In England, where plant culture has traditionally been a high priority, the Zamioculcas zamiifolia (as "Zanzibar Gem", Zanzibar gem) has long been a well-known "house plant", which is usually propagated from leaf cuttings. It works like this:
  • Every single shoot of the Zamie is a single "Fiederblatt"
  • This unpaired feathered leaf makes up five to eight "feather pairs"
  • A partner of such a Fiederpaares is what we consider as a leaf
  • To multiply, you do not need the whole leaf (the whole shoot), but just a single particle
  • Insert with the lower end about 1/3 into moist cultivation soil, cover container
  • Then the whole thing can be forgotten for about a year
  • The visible portion of the leaf fragment may weather more or less
  • Underground, a small succulent water storage tuber develops
  • Small, but still tuber, that takes at least a year
  • Now the offspring can be potted and cared for like a big Zamie
  • Exposing the tuber to accelerate the shoot growth
You can continue to divide rhizomes (repotters) or separate side shoots from them, but you can not do much faster either; Actually, one is always well advised to believe in English gardener traditions. In this (English) video: the propagation is described, here: = 700 & height = 312 see a future Zamioculcas plantation.

Video Board: Zamie Zamioculcas zamiifolia Zimmerpflanze Hobby.

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