ZZ Plant Care Guide: How To Grow Zamioculcas Zamiifolia

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia, more popularly known as “ZZ plant” derives from the first letters of its name. This plant is loved for its easy growing, beginner-friendly and non-demanding nature.  The wide, dark, structured glossy leaves instantly add life to any interior. That’s why I really admire this plant. Another reason why I admire this plant is that it’s super hardy and can do with a lot of neglect. So if you are a beginner, you are just starting with gardening, this is the plant to buy because it’s going to be extremely forgiving in your initial days of making a lot of mistakes.

ZZ Plant care

What  is a (ZZ Plant)/ A little about (ZZ Plant)

The ZZ plant is native to Eastern Africa, Tanzania, Cania and South Africa. This one belongs to the Araceae family. This is an evergreen plant that grows up to 3 feet tall and mature ZZ flowers. The ZZ grows from rhizomes and it has thick, upright stems bearing narrow, smooth, shiny dark green glossy leaves.

ZZ Plant Care & Info Guide

Botanical NameZamioculcas Zamiifolia
NicknameZanzibar gem, Zuzu plant, ZZ plant, aroid palm, eternity plant or emerald palm
HeightStems length 3ft (30 cm) or more
Air PurifyingYes
LightGrows well in bright indirect light but can tolerate low light
WaterWater when the top 2-3 inches of soil becomes dry
TemperatureAverage to warm probably about 65-75°F
HumidityAverage humidity
SoilAll-purpose houseplant potting mix
ToxicityToxic to humans and pets if ingested
Where to growBright indoors, shaded outdoors
Maintenace LevelLow maintenance

ZZ plant care: ZZ plant best grows in bright indirect light with Average warmth of approximately 15-24°C(60-75°F). Average household humidity around 40% relative humidity is probably fine for the ZZ plants. Choose a well-draining houseplant soil and keep it in a pot with drainage holes. Water them only when the top 2-3 inches of soil becomes dry.

ZZ Plant Care Guide-How To Grow Zamioculcas

Also Read: Complete Satin Pothos Care Guide: How To Grow Scindapsus Pictus

ZZ Plant Light Requirements

ZZ plants are often said to be low-light plants which is kind of true but also kind of false. They can tolerate very low light but that’s tolerate! They will still live in it but they won’t grow. They won’t thrive in very low light.

So you could put one in a place that really doesn’t experience that much light but it’s not gonna get any bigger or stronger or put out those crazy growths. 

Also, they don’t like direct sunlight. It will burn the leaves and you don’t want that either. So try to keep them away from direct sunlight. 

So the best light for a ZZ plant is a kind of medium to bright indirect light that’s ideal. We all want that for our plants we want them to keep growing. It still could function in super low light but it’s not ideal. So keep it in a place where it gets a little bit of Sunlight.

Watering ZZ Plant 

When it comes to watering your ZZ plant, they don’t need all that much. They’re quite a drought tolerant. They’ve got very tuberous stems and rhizomes underneath the soil and those hold a lot of water.

ZZ plant doesn’t want to be over-watered. It wants to be watered even less than the average house plant and a good rule of thumb is to make sure that the soil is dry to about two inches deep.

To check whether your plant needs to be watered or not, you’ll put in your finger just about two inches deep. See, if there’s any moisture at that level and if there is not then go ahead and give it water. But don’t get crazy with it and make sure that you’ve got of course a drainage pot or a drainage hole on the bottom. When you will see that water is coming from the drainage hole then stop watering.

ZZ Plant Temperature Requirements

When it comes to temperature, the ZZ plant will probably be happy and comfortable in your home if you’re happy and comfortable in your home. They can tolerate quite a range of temperatures but they don’t really want to get below 5 degrees Celsius or 40 degrees Fahrenheit. That is too cold for them and they really will not like that and it could die. 

Stunted growth can occur if you place your plant near an air conditioning vent if the temperature drops below 45°F.

Average warmth is fine of approximately 15-24°C(60-75°F) 

ZZ Plants Humidity Requirements

When it comes to humidity average household humidity (around 40% relative humidity) is probably fine for the ZZ plants. They don’t really need all that much. If you’re having humidity problems like the tips of the leaves start getting brown and crispy then you should probably add a little bit more humidity.

Best Soil for ZZ Plants

This plant has bulbs and these bulbs actually hold quite a bit of moisture in them. So what that means is that like most house plants it doesn’t want to be overwatered. 

They like a pretty well-draining soil. So lots of perlite or sand or whatever you use to make your soil drains because it doesn’t like to sit in water.

So well-draining soil will be a good option also it’s important to keep it in a pot with drainage holes.

Fertilizer for ZZ Plant

When it comes to fertilizer, it doesn’t mean a whole lot. They probably want to be fed about once or twice in the spring and summer and definitely not at all in the autumn and winter probably with half-strength fertilizer.

You don’t want to over-fertilize them. So for feeding the ZZ plants, you can feed them during their main growing period from August to April with a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer (20-20-20) once every two months.

ZZ Plant Repotting

When to repot ZZ plant? When you see that your ZZ plant looks too big for its pot or the roots are coming out from the drainage holes in the bottom or if the soil looks like it’s getting calcified at the top or it dries out quickly then you may repot your zz plant. If your ZZ plant will outgrow its current pot and would require repotting in one size larger pot. Don’t repot your ZZ plant in a super large pot just repot in one size larger pot.

ZZ Plant Propagation

So, how to propagate zz plants? There are a few different ways that you can propagate ZZ plants. They can be easily propagated through rhizome division, leaf cuttings or stem cuttings.

zz plant leaf propagation

The only one that I’ve actually kind of done. I actually did a stem cutting. Basically, all you need to do is, cut off a bit of the stem and then you stick it in water and then the roots will grow out from the bottom of the stem. It will eventually make its own new rhizome and you’ll be able to stick in soil but that takes quite a long time.

ZZ Plant Pruning/Grooming

It is very important to groom this plant so that it looks absolutely beautiful. If you see any yellow leaves simply pull it off. You don’t need to waste the plant’s energy trying to keep those leaves alive. You can Prune out dead and dying stems. Wipe dust from your ZZ plant’s leaves once every week or every two weeks with a soft, damp cloth. This task keeps the leaves shiny and attractive.

ZZ Plant Toxicity

Now let’s talk about the toxicity of this plant and yes, it is toxic. They are toxic to humans and pets. The ZZ produce Calcium Oxalate. Calcium Oxalate has a crystal-like form with sharp edges and causes skin irritation on contact with the sap and can cause irritation of the internal tissues if ingested.

ZZ Plant Common Problems

The good news about the ZZ plant is that I haven’t seen it affected by any pests till today. You can face some problems like

ZZ Plant leaves Turning Yellow: People always ask, Why does my ZZ Plant have yellow leaves? The simple answer is, overwatering is the number one cause of yellowing leaves among ZZ Plants. They don’t need to be watered all that often. You don’t need to water them until the soil is about 50 per cent dry. You can just put your finger just about two inches deep in the soil and if there’s any moisture at that level and if there is not then you can water them otherwise no need.

ZZ Plant leaves Turning Yellow

Leaf tips turning brown: The cause is likely to be low humidity and dry air. Misting the leaves can help improve humidity.

Leaves turning brown: Overwatering is the most common cause here, especially if the leaflet feels a bit damp and not dry.

ZZ Plant Growth: This plant is slow to grow. The best way to help your ZZ plant’s growth process is by giving it optimal water, light and temperature conditions.

ZZ Plant Pests: If you notice unusual yellow marks or spots on your zz plant then you may have an aphid infestation. You can remove those pests by wiping the leaves with mild soap and hot water solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does ZZ plant need sunlight?

ZZ plants are popularly known as low-light plants but they grow best in indirect bright light (direct sunlight may cause the leaves to scorch). They will still live in low light but they won’t grow. They won’t thrive in very low light.

Is ZZ plant poisonous to humans and pets?

Though ZZ plants can survive just about anywhere, even in extremely low light and it’s a very low maintenance plant. But unfortunately, ZZ plants are toxic to humans and pets. The ZZ produces Calcium Oxalate which has a crystal-like form with sharp edges and causes skin irritation on contact with the sap and can cause irritation of the internal tissues if ingested.

ZZ plant causes cancer?

The belief that ZZ plants are so toxic that the plant causes cancer, is not true. This plant is toxic but not cancerous. Where touched, small crystals in the sap may cause rashes on skin. Never eat it, keep it away from your nibbling pets and overly curious children. Always wash your hands after handling them to avoid skin irritation.

How often to water a zz plant?

ZZ plants like to dry out completely between waterings. They’re quite a drought-tolerant. Make sure that the soil is dry to about two inches deep before watering. In low light conditions or winter, you can water them once a month. Remember, overwatering is the number one reason for killing a zz plant.

How big do zz plants get? 

Unfortunately, zz plants are slow to grow but you can enhance their growth by providing them with optimal water, light and temperature. They usually grow slowly to a height and width of 2-3 feet.

Here are all about zz plant care guide. If I miss something about zz plant care also if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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