ZZ Plant Complete Care Guide

The ZZ Plant is definitely one of the top choices for busy people. Zamioculcas Zamiifolia is an independent plant that likes to be left alone.

Scientific name: Zamioculcas Zamiifolia

Also called: ZZ Plant, Zanzibar Gem, Emerald Palm, Welcome Plant, Eternity Plant

Family: ARACEAE

If you’re into video content, check our YouTube for this complete care guide:

care meter: 9/10

ZZ plant is very reliable and easy. Highly recommended for new plant parents or travelers.

light

Despite what internet says, ZZ plant doesn’t like dark corners. There is no such thing as “low-light plants”. It is true that ZZs are very resilient and can survive low light for a good period of time, but they really thrive in bright indirect light.

ZZ Plants are tolerant of medium light, but placing it in a dark place will require artificial light. I tried growlights on my ZZ and this method is good enough to keep the plant happy.

Signs that your plant may lack light, are yellowing leaves and very skinny new stems.

ZZ Plant yellowing leaves caused by low light

watering

Forget about your ZZ and water it every 3 to 4 weeks. This is because the roots are actually rhizomes that store water for longer periods of time.

Overwatering will lead to root rot. I had a ZZ once that had rot and the decaying matter attracted a lot of springtails. These tiny insects are usually harmless, but this time they were eating everything. The solution was to cut the roots and propagate them in water.

water propagation of a ZZ Plant

temperature

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia deals great with average room temperature. Anything between 20-25°C will be okay.

Don’t let it drop below 15°C (58°F), colder temperatures and humid soil lead to root rot.

humidity

ZZ Plant prefers average humidity (40-60%). There is no need to mist it, unless you can provide great ventilation.

fertilizer

I fertilize my ZZ Plant once a month during warmer seasons and once every two months during colder times. It’s good to fertilize if the plant is visibly growing even if it’s winter.

The NPK ratio I use is something balanced like a 10-10-10, but I used other ratios in the past, like 9-5-4 and the plants were fine. Basically, anything you have at your disposal should do.

a gorgeous ZZ Plant living its best life

substrate

ZZ plants don’t like excess water, since the roots are juicy themselves. This is why I use a 50/50 mix of coco fiber and perlite.

You can add regular soil to the mix or coco chips. Almost anything that would help drain water faster is great.

Avoid pure peat moss, since it’s too acidic for ZZs. The pH for peat moss is way lower than what ZZ plants need.

plastic versus terracotta

ZZ plants could be perfect for terracotta, since terracotta helps water evaporate faster than plastic. I had mine grow in both plastic and terracotta and they did amazing in both pots.

Careful when the plant needs repotting. The roots grow pretty strong and they could break your terracotta pot. Or deform the plastic.

a ZZ Plant in a terracotta pot

repotting

ZZs rhizomes grow strong like rocks. You could feel them through the plastic pot. When the plant is deforming the pot, it’s time to move out.

Sometimes the roots grow so big that there is hardly any soil left in the old pot. Chose a pot slightly bigger for your repot and gently separate the roots.

Don’t repot if you just got the plant. This causes additional stress that leads to further problems.

ZZ Plant rhizomes roots (they resemble potatoes a little bit, am I rite?)

propagation

I’ve used three methods of propagating ZZ Plants. By leaf cutting, directly into soil or water. I had more success with water. The leaves will develop little rhizomes and sacrifice themselves when new growth appears.

The second way is by division. You could do it when you want to repot your plant and separate it into two or more plants. Division is the safest way to propagate your ZZ Plant.

And the third method is by stem cutting. This was because of the springtails problem from the watering segment. Stems will grow roots veeeeery slow. I had mine grow from 9 months to even more than a year before I put them into soil.

pests

ZZ plants are pretty tough. They rarely get any pests. The only pest I could think of is scale and maybe thrips.

And apart from the springtails incident, that technically are not quite pests, I can’t think of any problems I had with ZZs.

toxicity

Not good for pets. Zamioculcas Zamiifolia is toxic and can cause belly aches, nausea and irritation.

how new growth looks like on a ZZ Plant

other tips

ZZ Plants are shiny by nature. There is no special oil or substance you can add in order to get shiny looking leaves. Just wipe the dust away and they’ll be happy.

If this helped, share it with someone else! ❤️