How To Grow And Care For ZZ Plants: Everything You Need to Know

zz plant light requirements

ZZ plant,(zamioculcas zamiifolia) is maybe the most ideal houseplant for beginners, for its capacity to endure in low light environments where the majority of other plants would wither and perish.

ZZ Plants need adequate light and you need to water your ZZ Plant every two to three weeks, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.

Where Does The ZZ Plant Originate?

ZZ Plant is a tropical perennial that is indigenous to Eastern Africa. Due to its adaptability to a variety of conditions, it has recently gained popularity all over the world. It is a highly reliable houseplant that can withstand low light levels and requires little water. Sometimes nicknamed the “Zanzibar Gem,” the Smooth, naturally shiny leaflets of ZZ grow, maturing from a bright lime color in youth to an emerald green color. Individual leaflets are typically between one and three inches long and emerge from thick, slightly bulbous stalks that develop from substantial, water-storing rhizomes buried beneath the soil. The ZZ plant’s thick upright stems and rhizomes can store a lot of water. Along the stems, glossy, almost waxy-looking leaflets develop.

How to Care for a ZZ Plant

Even gardeners with the worst thumbs can keep ZZ plants alive with the bare minimum of care because they are low-maintenance, simple-to-care-for houseplants. All ZZ plants require is enough light and a thorough watering once every two weeks. Although these plants grow from rhizomes, which help them store water under the soil, making them drought-tolerant plants, don’t worry too much about forgetting to water your ZZ plant. Rhizomes are plants that help plants grow.

Although it grows well outdoors in Africa, it grows best indoors everywhere else. Plant it in a container that can be brought inside when the weather gets chilly if you want to grow it outside.

The naturally shiny leaves of ZZ plants can become dull as a result of accumulated dust. Never use a commercial leaf shine to clean Zanzibar gem leaves because it will clog the pores of the plant. To restore its shine, use a damp washcloth to delicately wipe away dust and debris.

About Sunlight

Because ZZ plants are adaptable to a variety of lighting situations, they are excellent candidates for indoor growing. The plants can thrive in dim lighting. If not given enough light, they can easily grow lanky. If possible, place the plant in a room with south-facing windows in a location with bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight because it can burn the leaves on your plants.

About Watering

Every two to three weeks, give your ZZ Plant water, letting the soil dry out in between. In higher light, expect to water more frequently, and in lower light, less frequently. Wet potting soil or yellowing and mushy leaves indicate overwatering and root rot, while wilting, wrinkled leaves, and dry potting soil indicate the plant is thirsty.

About Soil

To prevent root rot, ZZ plants require soil that drains well. While your preferred potting mix can be used if your pot has good drainage, some people prefer to add some perlite or a cactus mix for even better drainage.

About Humidity

Because a ZZ can tolerate average indoor humidity and even slightly dry air, it is not necessary to take humidity levels into consideration when caring for one. But aim for 40-50% humidity if you want to replicate the humidity levels it would encounter in its natural environment. Plants can be grouped together to increase humidity levels, or you can add a humidifier or pebble tray.

About Temperature

The majority of houseplants prefer temperatures between 65°F and 85°F (18°C and 30°C). It’s best to avoid letting them drop much below that; a baseline temperature of 60°F (15°C) is advised.

About Fertilizer

According to Palomares, ZZ plants are typically content without food, but if you’d like, you can use an all-purpose fertilizer one to two times a year (only in the summer). It might be time to size up to a larger pot if this causes your plant to experience a growth spurt. “Check out the roots to determine when this plant needs to be repotted,” he says. “It’s time for a new home if your plant’s roots have started to protrude through the drainage container’s bottom.”

About Repotting

One repotting every 12 to 18 months is advised for smaller desktop plants. Typically you want to choose a potting vessel 1″- 2″ larger in diameter to allow for growth. To avoid drowning the plant’s roots, don’t choose a pot that is significantly larger than the one you used before. If you’d like to keep your plant at its current size, repot it into the same container with fresh soil and prune some of the roots and foliage. Repotting is best done in the spring or summer when the plant is at its healthiest.

Every 18 to 24 months, for larger floor plants, we advise repotting. Typically you want to choose a potting vessel 2″- 4″ larger in diameter to allow for growth. Selecting a pot that is significantly larger than the previous one could drown the roots of the plants. If you’d like to keep your plant at its current size, repot it into the same container with fresh soil and prune some of the roots and foliage. The best time to repot a plant is in the spring or summer when it is at its healthiest.

ZZ Plant (2)

Propagating ZZ Plant

Two main methods of ZZ plant propagation are stem cuttings and division. The simplest way to multiply your plants is by division; when you next repot your plant, divide the rhizomes and put each one in a different container.

You may need to wait six to nine months before roots start to grow when stem cuttings are used for propagation instead of division.

  1. Use a sterilized and razor-sharp cutting instrument to cut the entire stalk, including the leaflets.
  2. The stalk should be put in a jar of water after the bottom leaves have been removed.
  3. Place in a light source that is indirect. In a few months, roots should start to grow. To stop bacterial growth, change the water once a week.
  4. When root growth is substantial, place the plant into a container

Other ZZ Plant Problems

ZZ plants are generally resistant to most diseases and pests. The most prevalent issue you’ll encounter is yellowing leaves. This is a sign of overwatering, so be sure to wait until the soil is completely dry before watering!

Check the soil and roots of your plant if you notice yellowing leaves by gently tipping the plant out of its container. The rhizomes and roots should be white and firm. Putting your plant back in its pot and being cautious with future watering are options if they and the soil feels reasonably dry. However, you’ll need to take additional measures if the roots and rhizomes appear dark or mushy because that’s a sign of root rot.

Frequently Asked Questions

ZZ Plant (2)

How Can I Tell If My Zz Is Getting Too Much Water?

Overwatering causes the leaves to yellow and the stalks to become mushy and brown. Overwatering may also be indicated by dropping leaves. Put off watering and prune your plant. Your plant is ready for water when the soil has dried completely throughout the pot. It might take a month to finish this.

How Can I Tell If My ZZ Is Underwatering?

The plant’s leaves develop dry, crispy tips when they are underwatered. If so, cut back on the plant’s growth and water it more frequently.

Are ZZ Plants Secure For Animals?

Because its foliage can irritate humans, cats, and dogs, as well as pets, the ZZ Plant is not recommended for use around animals. Always keeping indoor plants out of small children’s and animals’ reach is the best practice.

Can My Zz Handle Extremely Dim Lighting?

It could, but your plant’s growth will probably be stunted as a result. When watering your plant in a low-light environment, be especially careful not to be too heavy-handed as the risk of overwatering increases.

What Size Does A ZZ Plant Grow To?

ZZ Plants can reach heights and widths of up to two or three feet (.6–.9 meters) when grown indoors, and occasionally even higher. The plant is a slow grower and typically needs three to five years to reach this size, though some grow more quickly and add about six inches per season.

How Simple Is It To Maintain ZZ Plants?

Low-maintenance indoor plants include the ZZ Plant. Aside from water and light levels, there is not much else you will need to consider; however, fertilizing every six months, or even every month during the growing season, will provide additional nourishment. When plant pests do, which is extremely unlikely, you should treat them by giving the plant weekly wipedowns and weekly sprays of a natural pesticide like neem oil. Select a well-draining potting mix for the soil, and as necessary, add ingredients like perlite or lava rocks to increase aeration.