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11 tips to care for a ZZ plant

11 Tips To Care For A ZZ Plant

Here are 11 tips to care for a ZZ plant making the maintenance for this almost indestructible easy peasy.  And if I’m honest, the ZZ is by far my favorite plant. 

I fell in love with this plant when I was looking for something to place in my bedroom.  I wanted something green in there but it had to be a plant that could survive with low light since it didn’t have windows.   The light it did get came from the adjoining sunroom which separated the two rooms via pocket doors.  

When it was time to repot it, I moved it into my west facing sunroom.   The light in there was pretty bright so most of the time I kept the pleated honeycomb blinds pulled three quarters of the way down so the room was filled mostly with diffused light.   

ZZ Plant, (aka aroid palm, Zanzibar gem, Zuzu plant, eternity plant or emerald palm)

Botanical Name and Family: Zamioculcas Zamiifolia from the Aroid family

Other ZZ plant species include:
Raven ZZ
Z. Zamiifolia “Dowon”
ZZ Zamicro 

11 tips to care for a zz plant

Photo: Shutterstock


Tips to care for your ZZ

Light:  Can survive in low or bright light.  When my ZZ was in my bedroom the growth was slow.   But the minute I moved it into the sunroom and it was exposed to more light it grew much faster.

Best Grown: At least 10 feet from a south or west facing window.

Benefits: It can remove toxins like xylene, toluene, benzene from the air.  It’s resistant to pests and disease.

Soil: It requires a well draining potting soil.

Watering:  Water when the soil is completely dry.  Actually under watering is not a bad idea especially since the rhizomes (looks like a potato attached to the roots) stores water.

Fertilizer: Use a 20-20-20 fertilizer once a month

Repotting:  Repot your ZZ in the spring or early summer.  Since it’s a slow growing plant you should only have to upgrade a pot size ( two inches larger) every 2 years.  And a pot with a drainage hole is ideal so don’t forget to get a saucer.

Toxicity: the leaves and sap are toxic to humans and animals.  Humans should wash their hands after touching the plant.  It can cause skin irritation on contact so it’s not a bad idea to use gardening gloves.  While it’s toxic to animals causing skin irritation, vomiting, diarrhea or a stomach ache it is not lethal.  

How big will it grow:  ZZ has a slow growth rate but can grow 2 – 4 feet high and wide.

Propagating: You can either separate sections of the rhizomes or cut at least two leaves attached to a bit of stem and place in water until you see roots begin to form in about 3-4 weeks.  To help the process along you can add the eggshells from 2 cracked eggs to the water.

Temperature:  The ideal temperatures for a ZZ is 60 – 75°/16 – 24°C.  Avoid exposure to temperatures below 45°F/7°C.  In the winter if the air in your home is dry, it loves having a humidifier near by.

I hope you find these 11 tips to care for a ZZ plant helpful.  If you’re interested in another plant for beginners check out my post on the snake plant.