ZZ Plant Care Guide

Bold. Beginner Friendly. Attractive.

The ZZ Plant is a great addition to any household’s indoor plant collection. Read on for detailed information on ZZ Plant care, or hit the button below to download LeafWise’s ZZ Plant Care Card.

ZZ Plant Care Guide

ZZ Plant Quick Care Guide

Bright/Indirect

LIGHT

Well-Draining

SOIL

When Top 1-2 Inches are Dry

WATER

50-60%

HUMIDITY

Bright/Indirect

LIGHT

Well-Draining

SOIL

When Top 1-2 Inches are Dry

WATER

50-60%

HUMIDITY

65-95°F

TEMP.

2-3 Years

REPOT

Dead Stems

PRUNE

ZZ Plant Overview

Quick Care Sheet (Click Here)
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Light:N/A
Soil:N/A
Watering:N/A
Humidity:N/A
Ideal Temperature:N/A
Tolerance:N/A
Propagation:N/A
Pet Safety:N/A
Maturity Size:N/A
Zone:N/A
Soil pH:N/A
Botanical Name:N/A

The ZZ Plant, or Zamioculcas zamiifolia, is a very trendy and popular plant currently. There are several reasons for this massive trend in interest toward ZZ Plants, both of the standard and raven variety.

First of all, ZZ Plants are incredibly easy to care for, as you’ll quickly learn in our ZZ Plant Care Guide! Second, they are a fantastic plant for those wanting to learn more about plant propagation. Lastly, they can grow large and are an eye-catching addition to any space, whether it be your home or office.

You’ll often see people talk about two different ZZ Plants within the online discord: the regular ZZ and the Raven ZZ. The only difference between the two is that the Raven ZZ Plant has leaves that turn a jet black color with maturity. New growth for Raven ZZ Plants grow in green and then quickly turn into their signature, attractive deep black hue. On the flipside, a regular ZZ will maintain its green foliage even in its maturity.

When it comes to Raven ZZ Plant care, it will be exactly the same as your standard ZZ Plant. Whether you came here for regular ZZ Plant care or the Raven variant fo the ZZ plant, #NAME# has you covered in this guide!

Light Needs

ZZ Plants thrive in bright and indirect light. We’ve found our ZZ Plants that share a wall with a window while not being in direct sunlight consistently explode with new and rapid growth. Avoid direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will fry the leaves on your ZZ Plant. If you notice your ZZ Plant leaves drying out or crisping, move it to a less bright area and monitor for improvement.

The ZZ Plant can also thrive in less than bright, indirect light, but you may notice growth slows down in these types of environments. Legginess can also be a sign that your ZZ Plant is not receiving enough light – if you can’t increase the amount of natural light exposed to the plant, we suggest supplementing with a plant-safe grow light.

Soil Type

ZZ Plants need soil that is well-draining. The best solution we’ve found for a well-draining soil that provides enough moisture and nutrients for consistent new and healthy growth are a mixture of standard indoor potting mix and perlite or another drainage-enhancing material such as pumice.

We use a 2:1 ratio of potting mix to perlite with great results for both drainage and growth. So, for every 2 cups of potting mix, you’d work in 1 cup of pumice or perlite. Using a measuring bucket is an easy way to measure your soil/aerator ratio.

When it comes to soil pH, the ZZ Plant enjoys a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. If you find your soil retains moisture for too long and causes mushy stems in your plant, then you’ll want to add more perlite or pumice to help increase the drainage and reduce water retention in the soil mix.

Watering Preferences

Watering a ZZ Plant, or Zamioculcas, doesn’t need to be a chore or a guessing game. In fact, when it comes to watering ZZ Plants, less is often more. These plants are incredibly drought-tolerant thanks to their rhizome roots that store water, making them an excellent choice for those with a less-than-green thumb or anyone with a busy schedule.

A good rule of thumb for watering ZZ Plants is to allow the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry out between waterings. This typically means you’ll be watering your plant every 7-14 days, depending on the season and the conditions in your home. During the warmer months, you may find that your plant needs water more frequently, while in the cooler months, watering can be reduced.

When it comes to watering your ZZ Plant, slow and steady wins the race. You’ll want to water slowly, allowing the water to soak into the soil and reach the root system. Stop watering once you see water starting to come out of the bottom of the pot. This is a clear sign that the soil is thoroughly saturated.

Overwatering is one of the most common issues for ZZ Plants, and it can lead to yellowing leaves and root rot. If you notice that the leaves of your ZZ Plant are yellow or wilting, you may be overwatering. On the other hand, under-watered ZZ Plants may have brown, crispy tips on their leaves.

To prevent overwatering, always check the moisture level of the soil before watering. You can do this by simply sticking your finger into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. If it’s still moist, hold off on watering for a few more days. Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of underwatering with ZZ Plants.

The key to successful watering ZZ Plant care is balance. With careful observation of your plant’s leaves and a regular watering schedule that takes into account the conditions in your home, your ZZ Plant will thrive.

Humidity

Humidity and the ZZ Plant, or Zamioculcas, have a pretty casual relationship. These plants are not picky when it comes to humidity levels and adapt well to most indoor humidity conditions. That’s one of the reasons why they are such popular houseplants.

That being said, understanding humidity and its effects is still important for your plant care knowledge. The average home humidity tends to hover around 40-60%, and while the ZZ Plant is very forgiving, it can benefit from a boost in humidity, especially during the dry winter months. Maintaining a higher humidity level can make your ZZ Plant feel more at home, as it naturally grows in the humid tropics of Africa.

Concerning Zamioculcas humidity preferences, it’s key to avoid extremes. Excessively low or high humidity can stress the plant and may lead to issues like brown leaf tips or pests.

To check the humidity level in your room, you can use a hygrometer, an affordable and easy-to-use tool that provides a digital reading of your room’s humidity level. If you find the air in your home too dry, consider using a humidifier, or place your ZZ plant in a well-lit bathroom where it can enjoy the residual humidity from showers.

Another trick to increase humidity is to group plants together. Plants naturally release moisture into the air (a process called transpiration), and by grouping them, you can create a more humid microclimate. But remember, while the ZZ Plant appreciates humidity, it’s not a requirement for its growth.

In your journey of caring for your ZZ Plant, keep these humidity tips in mind. And remember, at the end of the day, ZZ Plants are quite resilient and can thrive in a variety of conditions!

Ideal Temperature Range

The ZZ Plant, or Zamioculcas, is a tropical perennial that hails from the warm regions of Eastern Africa. It has adapted to survive in various environments, making it a sturdy houseplant that can endure a range of conditions. However, to make your ZZ Plant feel right at home and encourage it to flourish, it’s helpful to mimic its natural environment as closely as possible.

In its native habitat, the ZZ Plant experiences temperatures typically ranging from 65°F to 79°F (18°C – 26°C). It’s accustomed to warm temperatures, but it can handle cooler ones too, with a minimum tolerance of about 60°F (15°C). Remember that it’s a tropical plant, so it won’t fare well in freezing temperatures. Always protect it from cold drafts, such as those coming from windows in the winter or air-conditioning vents in the summer.

When it comes to indoor care, maintaining a consistent temperature is key. A simple way to control indoor temperature is through your home’s thermostat. It’s also important to consider the placement of your ZZ Plant. Avoid spots near exterior doors or drafty windows where temperature swings might occur. Also, keep your plant away from heat sources like radiators, as the hot, dry air could damage the leaves.

The ZZ Plant is quite a chill buddy and doesn’t demand much. Keep it comfy, shield it from extreme temperatures, and it will happily reward you with its lush, glossy foliage. With a bit of attention and love, your home can become the perfect oasis for your ZZ Plant!

Repotting

The ZZ Plant, or Zamioculcas, is a laid-back plant that doesn’t mind being a bit root-bound, which means it’s content growing in the same pot for several years. But even the most easygoing plants need a change of scenery every now and then, and repotting your ZZ Plant can give it some much-needed room to grow.

Generally, ZZ Plants need to be repotted every 2-3 years. This timeframe isn’t set in stone, though. Your ZZ Plant will tell you when it’s ready for a new home. Signs that it’s time for repotting include roots growing out of the drainage holes, the plant becoming top-heavy and tipping over, or the soil drying out more quickly than usual after watering.

When you do decide to repot, the new pot should be about 2 inches larger in diameter than the current one. This gives the roots more space to spread out without overwhelming them with too much soil, which can retain more water and potentially cause root rot.

Here’s a simple guide on how to repot your ZZ Plant:

  1. Choose a pot with good drainage and fill it about one-third of the way with fresh, well-draining potting soil.
  2. Gently remove your ZZ Plant from its current pot, being careful not to damage its roots. If it’s stuck, you can run a knife around the inside edge of the pot to loosen it.
  3. Place your plant in the center of the new pot and fill in around it with more potting soil, pressing lightly to remove any air pockets. The top of the root ball should be just below the rim of the pot.
  4. Water your plant thoroughly and place it back in its favorite spot.

Remember, your ZZ Plant is a pretty laid-back housemate. It won’t mind if you’re a little late in repotting it. However, when you do give it a new home, it will reward you with fresh, vibrant growth.

Pruning

Pruning a ZZ Plant, or Zamioculcas, is a breeze. Thanks to its slow growth and sleek silhouette, this plant rarely requires a trim. However, if you do find yourself needing to give your ZZ Plant a bit of a haircut, here’s what you should know.

Pruning is generally done for one of two reasons: to maintain a desired shape or to remove dead or dying leaves. In most cases, a ZZ Plant will keep a pleasing shape all on its own, meaning you can sit back, relax, and let it do its thing. But if your plant has a few leaves that are yellowing, spotted, or otherwise looking a bit under the weather, that’s when you’ll want to step in with your pruning shears.

To prune your ZZ Plant, simply follow these easy steps:

  1. Identify the stem where the unsightly leaves are. You’ll want to trim this entire stem, as ZZ Plants grow new stems from the base, rather than sprouting new leaves on existing stems.
  2. With clean, sharp pruning shears or scissors, cut the stem off at the base, as close to the soil as you can get without damaging other stems.
  3. Dispose of the cut stem. It’s generally not a good idea to compost diseased or dying plant material, as this can spread the issue to other plants.

And that’s all there is to it! Your ZZ Plant will take it from there, sprouting a new stem when it’s ready. Remember, ZZ Plants are slow growers, so it might take some time for the new growth to appear. But patience is key when caring for plants, and your ZZ Plant is no exception.

As always, the best way to avoid the need for pruning is to keep your ZZ Plant healthy with proper watering, light, and humidity conditions. And if you’re ever in doubt, remember: it’s usually better to under-prune than over-prune. After all, you can always cut more later, but you can’t uncut a stem!

Propagating

If you’ve been enjoying the company of your ZZ Plant, or Zamioculcas, and want to share the love with friends, family, or just make more for yourself, you’re in luck! Propagating a ZZ Plant is a surprisingly simple process, and it’s a great way to make the most of this already hardy and generous plant.

You can propagate a ZZ Plant in two ways: by division or by leaf cuttings. I’ll explain both methods, but keep in mind that ZZ Plants are slow growers, so the process might take a bit of time. Patience is key here, so don’t rush things and you’ll be rewarded with new plants before you know it!

Propagating by Division:

  1. Take your ZZ Plant out of its pot. This is a good time to do this since you’re likely already repotting.
  2. Gently separate the plant into two or more sections. Make sure each section has at least one stem and that the roots are undamaged.
  3. Replant each section in its own pot, using a well-draining potting mix.
  4. Care for each new plant as you would a full-sized ZZ Plant.

Propagating by Leaf Cuttings:

  1. Take a healthy leaf from your ZZ Plant. Make sure it’s green and undamaged.
  2. Plant the leaf upright in a pot with well-draining potting mix. The bottom end of the leaf should be in the soil.
  3. Place the pot in a warm, brightly lit location, but out of direct sunlight.
  4. Keep the soil slightly moist but never soggy. It might take a few months, but eventually, you should see a new shoot emerging from the base of the leaf.

Whether you’re propagating by division or leaf cuttings, be patient and remember to provide your new ZZ Plants with the same care as their parent. With time and a little luck, you’ll have new ZZ Plants to enjoy and share!

Common Pests

If you’ve been rocking your ZZ Plant care so far, you’ll be pleased to know that Zamioculcas are not often targeted by pests, but sometimes it happens. Let’s chat about the uninvited guests you might encounter and how to kindly show them the door.

  • Mealybugs: These small, white, cotton-like pests love to hide in the nooks and crannies of your ZZ Plant. You’ll spot them if you see little cottony masses on your plant. A gentle wipe with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol will say goodbye to these nuisances. Prevention? Keep your plant healthy and its surrounding area clean.
  • Spider mites: Tiny and spider-like, they often leave little webs on the plant. You can combat these mites with a spray of water or by wiping the leaves with soapy water. Keep the humidity up to prevent an invasion, as spider mites love dry conditions.
  • Scale insects: These sneaky pests look like little brown or white bumps on the stems and leaves. They can be scraped off gently with a fingernail or an old toothbrush. A natural insecticidal soap can also be used to keep them at bay.
  • Aphids: Tiny green or black bugs that often cluster on new growth. A strong stream of water or soapy water can help remove and control these pests.

Remember, prevention is the best medicine. Regularly check your ZZ Plant for signs of pests, keep it clean, and ensure it’s in the right growing conditions. Healthy plants are less likely to attract pests, and if they do, they’re more likely to bounce back. You’ve got this, plant parent!

Common Growth Issues

ZZ Plants, or Zamioculcas, are generally very resilient and don’t have many problems, but they’re not invincible. Here are some common growth issues you might encounter with your ZZ Plant and how to tackle them:

  • Yellowing leaves: This is often a sign of overwatering. ZZ Plants prefer their soil to dry out between waterings, so if the leaves are turning yellow, cut back on the water. Make sure your plant’s pot has good drainage to avoid soggy soil.
  • Brown leaf tips or edges: This can be a sign of low humidity or underwatering. Although ZZ Plants can tolerate dry air, they do appreciate a bit of humidity. Try placing your plant’s pot on a tray filled with pebbles and a little water to increase humidity. Remember, these plants prefer to be under-watered than over-watered, so be careful not to overcompensate.
  • Limp stems: If the stems of your ZZ Plant are drooping or looking a bit limp, it could be due to insufficient light. While these plants can tolerate low light, they won’t thrive in it. Try moving your plant to a brighter location, but keep it out of direct sunlight which can scorch the leaves.
  • Slow growth or no growth: ZZ Plants are slow growers by nature, so don’t be alarmed if yours isn’t growing very fast. However, if your plant hasn’t shown any signs of growth for a long time, it might not be getting enough light or nutrients. Moving it to a brighter location and fertilizing it during the growing season (spring and summer) can help.

Remember, every plant is unique and might not follow the ‘textbook’ symptoms. If your ZZ Plant isn’t looking its best, consider all aspects of its care and environment. A little observation and adjustment can go a long way in keeping your ZZ Plant happy and healthy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Yellowing leaves in ZZ Plants (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) can be attributed to:

  1. Overwatering: This is one of the most common reasons for yellow leaves in ZZ Plants. They are drought-tolerant and don’t need frequent watering. Overwatering can lead to root rot, which in turn can cause the leaves to turn yellow. Ensure the soil is well-draining, and the pot has drainage holes. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

  2. Light Conditions: While ZZ Plants are known for their ability to tolerate low light, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, turning them yellow. Ensure the plant is placed in indirect light.

  3. Natural Aging: Older leaves at the base of the plant may naturally turn yellow and die off as the plant grows and renews itself.

  4. Pests: Infestations, especially by aphids or mealybugs, can weaken the plant and lead to yellowing.

Drooping in ZZ Plants can be caused by:

  1. Overwatering: Consistently wet soil can lead to root rot, which can cause the stems and leaves to droop. It’s essential to let the soil dry out slightly between waterings.

  2. Underwatering: While ZZ Plants are drought-tolerant, prolonged neglect can lead to dehydration and drooping.

  3. Environmental Stress: Sudden changes in temperature, exposure to cold drafts, or a significant change in light conditions can stress the plant, leading to drooping.

Pruning a ZZ Plant is straightforward:

  1. Determine the Reason: Before pruning, determine why you want to prune. This could be to remove yellow or damaged leaves, to control the size, or to shape the plant.

  2. Use Sterilized Tools: Always use a clean, sharp pair of pruning shears or scissors. Sterilizing the blades with rubbing alcohol can prevent the spread of diseases.

  3. Prune at the Base: For the best appearance, prune the unwanted stems or leaves at their base, where they connect to the main stem or the soil.

  4. Light Pruning: ZZ Plants generally don’t require heavy pruning. Light pruning to remove damaged or unwanted growth is usually sufficient.

  5. Propagation: If you’re pruning healthy stems, you can propagate them. Simply plant the cut stems in soil, and with proper care, they’ll root and grow into new plants.

Conclusion

And there you have it, dear plant enthusiasts! We’ve come to the end of our ZZ Plant Care Guide. It’s been quite a journey, hasn’t it? We’ve learned so much about the hardy and beautiful ZZ Plant, from its lighting preferences to its immunity to common pests. But remember, plant parenting is a continuous learning process and every plant has its own personality.

Now that you’re a part of the #NAME# family, we’re here to help you every step of the way. Want to learn about more plants? We’ve got a treat for you! Sign up for our email list and you’ll receive access to a library of printable quick-care guide cards. Imagine having a quick reference for every plant in your indoor jungle, right at your fingertips. Sound good? Trust us, it’s a game-changer for every plant parent out there.

Let’s grow together, and here’s to many more plant adventures with #NAME#. Thanks for being with us, and keep those green thumbs thriving!