The ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is one of the easiest plants to care for.
Native to Central America, it can handle some neglect which makes it ideal for beginner plant parents. As long as you don’t expose it to direct sunlight and it’s watered at least once a month, it will thrive.
The ZZ plant is easy to propagate as well. The University of Florida calls the ZZ plant a great passalong plant.
Just a warning though, according to the NC State University the ZZ plant is poisonous as it contains calcium oxalate. So keep it away from prying pets and curious children.
But how to Propagate a ZZ plant and is it difficult?
The good news is that it is easy to propagate the ZZ plant and I am going to show you how.
Only a small piece of the ZZ mother plant is needed for all 3 ways to propagate it.
How to Propagate a ZZ Plant
You can propagate a ZZ plant by stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, and division at the root. Stem cuttings won’t grow a baby plant easily. Leaf cuttings don’t cause damage to the mother plant. Propagation by division is the quickest method, but the mother plant needs to be established first.
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Propagating a ZZ Plant — Extremely Easy!
Underneath the soil, ZZ plants have rhizomes which are swollen stems that are packed full of nutrients and water.
These fleshy structures make looking after this plant easy and propagation a breeze.
As I said above, there are 3 methods of propagating this plant.
They’re all really easy, however, it’s not a quick process so patience really is key when you’re creating new ZZ plants.
Deciding which method to use depends on plant experience and knowledge.
How to Propagate ZZ Plant from Stem Cuttings
Stem cuttings will yield results quicker than leaf cuttings but you won’t get a baby plant instantly.
Use sterilized scissors or knife and take a cutting that’s around 2 inches long with a couple of leaves on.
Ensure to create a clean cut that’s straight across to limit damage to the mother plant.
It’s then recommended to leave the cuttings out so the ends can callous. It’s not essential but it does reduce the chances of rot when it comes to rooting.
As with both stem and leaf cuttings, there are 2 options when it comes to rooting.
Rooting ZZ Stem Cuttings in Water
The first is using water in a propagation station. I love this method as I can see the process and I find that fascinating.
Simply place the stem cutting into a container of water, just enough to cover the end of the cutting.
Place the container in a warm and light spot, change the water every couple of weeks and keep an eye on it. The water will evaporate which will slow down the rooting.
Be patient, even though the process is visible, it can still take 2 months or longer for roots to develop enough to be potted.
Rooting ZZ Stem Cuttings in Soil
Place around 2 inches of regular potting soil into the pot’s bottom and add the stem cutting.
Put more soil around the cutting to add stability to the cutting and then water well.
It can be hard to see progress with this method but after a few weeks, I gently tug on the cutting.
If there’s resistance, it’s been successful and I have to wait longer to see the fruits of my labor.
How to Propagate ZZ Plant with Root Division
If quick propagation is the goal, division is the method to use. The mother plant does have to be well established with plenty of stems.
This method is ideal for ZZ plants because of the rhizomes it has underneath the soil. If there are new stems growing next to the mother plant, it’s ready for division.
Remove the ZZ plant from its pot or container and shake off the soil from its roots.
Each section should now be visible which makes it easy to divide. But, ensure that each section has plenty of stems and roots.
Repot each plant into new containers with fresh potting soil.
The plant might look unhappy for a while but as long as it’s given the right attention, it’ll spring back to life within weeks.
How to Propagate ZZ Plant from Leaf Cuttings
No tools are required for this method which makes it ideal for propagation beginners.
Simply pinch a few leaves off the mother plant, making sure it’s as close to the plant base as possible.
Once you have a few healthy leaves, the process can begin. It is slower than stem cuttings but it’s less likely that damage will be caused to the mother plant.
As with the stem process, either the soil or water method is ideal for rooting.
Rooting ZZ Leaf Cuttings in Water
Take a small container and place the leaf into it.
There is the option to cut the bottom quarter of the leaf off which will encourage new growth but the leaf will need to be left to heal for a while before rooting can begin.
Simply watch and wait for the roots to appear. Once a healthy root system is established, it’s ready to be potted.
Rooting ZZ Leaf Cuttings in Soil
Follow the steps for rooting stem cuttings in soil but instead of placing a stem into the pot, carefully place the leaf pinched side down into the soil.
Give the soil a decent drink and again, it’s a waiting game. The leaf can be gently tugged on after a few weeks to see if the roots have established beneath the soil.
It might also look as though the leaf is starting to move upwards and out of the soil.
Don’t worry, this just means that a rhizome and stem are starting to grow beneath the soil which is ideal.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Propagate a ZZ Plant
How can a ZZ plant be propagated?
A ZZ plant can be propagated through division, stem cuttings, and also leaves.
What medium works best for ZZ plant propagation?
To propagate a ZZ plant you can either put the cutting, leaf, or division directly into the soil or you use a different potting mix such as perlite or sphagnum moss. Alternatively you can use can root a ZZ plant leaf, cutting, or rhizome in water.
How long does it take to propagate a ZZ plant?
It usually takes 4 weeks for a ZZ plant leaf or rhizome to start to grow roots or a new leaf. For a ZZ plant stem cutting it will take up to 8 months to start to grow new roots that are long enough to be potted.
What is the best way to propagate a ZZ plant?
The best way to propagate a ZZ plant is to use a rhizome. These are the underground tubers. Since they often contain roots and leaves it is the quickest and easiest way to propagate a ZZ plant.
When is the best time to propagate a ZZ plant?
The best time to propagate a ZZ plant is in spring and summer. The warmth and amount of sunlight in this season are beneficial to plant propagation.
Conclusion About How to Propagate a ZZ Plant
Propagation of a ZZ plant is a lot of fun and easy to do. I usually tend to propagate at least one backup plant for every plant and own.
In addition, I create cuttings that I either gift to friends or sell for profit.
Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.