Gardening enthusiasts often enjoy the thrill of introducing exotic plants to their collection, and the Zanzibar Gem is one such captivating specimen.
Native to the dark, lowland forests of Eastern Africa, this hardy plant has earned its place on many indoor plant lovers' shelves.
If you're creating an outdoor garden, you might wonder about its adaptability to outdoor environments.
Is it possible for the Zanzibar Gem to thrive outside the confines of your living room?
In this article, we'll discuss the pros and cons of planting the Zanzibar Gem outdoors.
Can Zanzibar Gem Grow Outside?
Yes, you can grow Zanzibar Gem plants outdoors in suitable climates.
However, it's important to consider the various factors involved in successfully growing these hardy plants outside.
Firstly, the Zanzibar Gem (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is native to East Africa, where it thrives in warm, tropical conditions.
If you live in an area with a similar climate, your plant should do well outdoors.
They can tolerate a range of light conditions, including indirect sunlight and shady areas, making them versatile when it comes to finding a perfect spot in your garden.
On the other hand, Zanzibar Gems are not cold-hardy plants. Growing them outdoors might not be the best option if you live in a region with freezing temperatures or extreme fluctuations.
They prefer consistent temperatures between 65-79°F (18-26°C) and can suffer damage if exposed to temperatures below 50°F (10°C) for extended periods.
Preferred Soil Type
Another point to consider is their ability to withstand various soil types and moisture levels.
Zanzibar Gems are remarkably drought-tolerant plants and can survive extended periods without water.
However, they don't tolerate soggy soil, which can lead to root rot.
So, if you choose to grow them outdoors, make sure you provide well-draining soil to prevent overwatering.
Exposure to Pests
Pests are another important factor to consider when growing Zanzibar Gems outside.
While these plants are generally pest-resistant, growing them outdoors may expose them to pests like aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects.
Keep an eye on your plant and take appropriate measures if you notice any signs of infestation.
While you can grow Zanzibar Gems outside in suitable climates, be mindful of the potential challenges, such as temperature fluctuations, soil conditions, and pests.
By providing the right environment and care, your Zanzibar Gem plant can thrive outdoors and be a beautiful addition to your garden.
Advantages of Growing Zanzibar Gem Outside
When you grow a Zanzibar Gem outside, it can benefit from the natural light and environment. This often results in a faster growth speed compared to indoor conditions.
The exposure to sunlight provides the plant with the necessary energy to grow stronger and healthier.
Moreover, being outdoors can help the Zanzibar Gem utilize the natural nutrients found in the soil, further promoting its growth.
The aesthetic appeal of a Zanzibar Gem can be enhanced when grown outdoors.
With access to natural light, the lush green leaves of the plant can develop a vibrant and healthy color that is hard to replicate indoors.
Disadvantages of Growing Zanzibar Gem Outside
Exposure to Harsh Climate
Zanzibar Gem thrives best in indoor environments with stable temperature and humidity.
If you choose to grow your Zanzibar Gem outside, it may not handle extreme temperatures and climate variations.
Exposure to harsh weather conditions, such as frost or intense sunlight, can damage the plant's leaves and cause stress to its overall growth.
Keep in mind that Zanzibar Gem prefers temperatures ranging from 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
If your climate zone experiences fluctuating temperatures outside this range, growing your plant outdoors might not be ideal.
Remember to provide adequate shade and protection from strong winds if you still decide to give it a try.
Risk of Pests and Diseases
Growing Zanzibar Gem outdoors exposes it to various pests and diseases commonly found in garden environments.
When kept indoors, this plant is usually pest-free and low maintenance.
However, placing it outside increases the risk of infestations from insects like aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites.
Moreover, wet and humid conditions can increase the likelihood of fungal diseases.
To minimize these risks, make sure to monitor your plant regularly for signs of pest infestations or diseases.
Do your best to maintain healthy growing conditions, such as proper watering and balanced soil nutrients.
How Big Can a Zanzibar Gem Grow in an Outdoor Environment?
In an outdoor environment, a Zanzibar Gem has the potential to grow larger than if it was kept indoors.
While the size of the plant may vary depending on the specific conditions and care provided.
It is not uncommon for a Zanzibar Gem to reach a height and width of up to 3-4 feet when grown outdoors.
This is because the plant will have more room to expand its roots and will be free from the space constraints often found in indoor settings.
Tips to Grow Zanzibar Gem Outside Successfully
Growing ZZ plants outdoors requires a few basic things to help them thrive, especially if you're transferring them from an indoor environment. Here are some tips.
Using the Right Pot
When growing a Zanzibar Gem (ZZ plant) outdoors, it is essential to choose the right pot.
Pick a pot with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging, as ZZ plants are susceptible to root rot.
A larger, heavier pot can also help protect your plant from being toppled over by wind or heavy rain.
Give Them the Right Amount of Light
Although ZZ plants can tolerate low light conditions, they thrive in bright, indirect sunlight.
When growing outdoors, find a spot with filtered sunlight or partial shade.
Direct sunlight may cause the leaves to burn, so ensure that your plant has some protection from intense midday sun.
Ideal Soil for ZZ plants
Zanzibar Gems require a well-draining soil mix to avoid root rot. An ideal mix is a combination of potting mix, perlite, and sand in a 2:1:1 ratio.
This blend ensures proper drainage, while providing nutrients necessary for healthy plant growth.
Do ZZ Plants Need Special Fertilizer When Grown Outside?
ZZ plants are not heavy feeders, but they can benefit from occasional fertilization.
During the growing season (spring and summer), use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength once every month.
Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to leggy growth and poor overall health.
Remember, it's better to err on the side of under-fertilizing when it comes to ZZ plants.
ZZ Plants Can Definitely Thrive Outdoors!
Growing a Zanzibar Gem outdoors can be a rewarding experience with the right care.
Remember to research the specific climate conditions of your location, as the Zanzibar Gem prefers a consistently moderate temperature and humidity level.
Keep in mind that this plant favors well-draining soil, so be sure to monitor its moisture levels when planting outdoors.
Give it some partial shade to ensure it doesn't get too much direct sunlight, as the Zanzibar Gem can tolerate lower light conditions.
Lastly, don't forget to consider potential pests and diseases that could affect the health of your Zanzibar Gem when grown outside.
Confidently grow a Zanzibar Gem outdoors with these tips and transform your outdoor space into a lush, green paradise!
For more tips and facts about ZZ plants, check out these other articles:
A tip of the trowel to OpenAI's ChatGPT for helping cultivate this article.