Trendy leaf plants

Amazing and surprisingly easy to care for, Rhipsalis and Zamioculcas are stealing the show in flower shops and garden stores.

Not only does their out-of-this-world leafage catch a second look from impressed visitors, but caring for these trendy leaf plants is as easy as can be!

Let’s take a closer look at these two beautiful plants.

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Quick facts

Long hair-like trendy rhipsalis drooping from a top shelf.

Rhipsalis

A succulent plant that’s a member of the Cactaceae family, rhipsalis comes from tropical forests of the South and Central Americas.

It’s also found on certain islands of the Indian Ocean and in some parts of Africa, where it thrives on shady tree trunks.

There are a host of different colors and shapes, each variety boasts various possible leaf thicknesses and fleshy meat, but they all have one point in common: no thorns at all, and long sprigs that give the plant a “hairy” look.

Native to East African rocky plains, the zamioculcas plant produces thick stems ridged with pairs of thick, lush, shiny green leaves. Since it’s used to arid seasons, it won’t throw a fit if you forget to water it every now and then.

Caring for these trendy plants

Trendy zamioculcas in designer setting with mesmerizing background

Zamioculcas

These care-free plants, rhipsalis and zamioculcas can survive both shade and extreme light, and only require moderate watering, once a week, or even only every fortnight in winter. Both abhor wet, waterlogged soil, so check that there’s a way for excess water to drain away instead of gathering at the bottom of the pot. Don’t let any water linger in the tray or pan under the pot when you’ve finished watering.

Set your rhipsalis up high, in a suspended pot or atop a shelf: its cascading leafage will fill you with joy. If stems get too long, trim them.

You can spur the growth of your zamioculcas by giving it a large pot, it can reach 3 feet (1 meter) tall. If you’d rather keep it small, just keep it in its original pot. You can add a little fertilizer during the growth phase (summer) to provide nutrients. From time to time, run a moist sponge or rag along the leaves to remove dust and recover their shine.

In both cases, you’re dealing with tropical plants that don’t really like dry air. In winter, heating tends to dry the air up indoors, so it’s best to group your plants together and mist them with soft water on a regular basis.

Multiplying and propagation

Rhipsalis stems make for easy cuttings in a mix of acidic heath soil and sand. Same thing for zamioculcas stems, although it also works to simply let them sprout roots in a glass of water, among other Zamioculcas propagation techniques.

Laure Hamann, light edits by Gaspard Lorthiois


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden :
All pictures by Erik van Lokven/Elize Eveleens, courtesy of Bloemenbureau Holland