Skip to Content

ZZ Plant – Best How To Care and Propagation Guide 101

ZZ Plant – Best How To Care and Propagation Guide 101

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia, better known as the ZZ plant, is a straight forward and easy to care for office and houseplant. It literally shines and is gorgeous, tough and a perfect gift for someone who is not a plant enthusiast.

The other advantage of this houseplant is that it is currently really fashionable, suiting both traditional and contemporary home. It’s a great looking and versatile plant with a lot going on to make it stand out from the rest.


ZZ plant care is easy

ZZ plant is easy to care for






The best soil choice would be fast-draining cactus potting mix. Mix 1 part of horticultural sand or perlite and 1 part of high-quality all-purpose potting mix to maximize the drainage.



ZZ plants can survive in low light conditions though they prefer bright, indirect light. To provide indirect sunlight, place the plant in front of a window covered with a sheer curtain, in front of a window with a northern exposure, or a few feet away from a sunny window.

They can even thrive under bright, fluorescent light. ZZ plants do not like direct sunlight. Outdoors, the plant grows well in a location with morning sunlight and afternoon shade or in bright indirect light.

Too much exposure to sunlight can cause leaves to get dried out or scorched.



The ZZ plant prefers moderately moist soil, although it tolerates drought. Regular but moderate watering is essential if you want your plant to thrive. Mostly, soft water is preferable, especially rainwater.

When tap water is used, allow it to sit for some time for the chlorine to evaporate. 



ZZ plants prefer an average room temperature between 65 degrees F-75 degree F. Stunted growth can happen if the average room temperature drops down below 45 degrees F or if you place your plant near an air-conditioning vent.



The ZZ plant can tolerate less humid climates, but thrives best in humid climates. However, when the air is really dry during less-humid climates, you can mist ZZ plant’s leaves with water to combat it.



Use a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month to feed the ZZ plant during the main growing season (that is April to August). It’s a good idea to dilute (diluted by half) the fertilizer and feed at the time of watering to prevent fertilizer burn.



There are two ways to propagate ZZ plants. The first method is to divide the plant into 2 or 3 smaller plants. However, this shouldn’t be done often as the rhizomes are known to grow slowly.

The other method of propagation is to stick a mature leaf in soil and wait for roots to form.



The ZZ plant can grow up to 5 feet. When enough rhizomes are planted together, they mature faster and allows the plant to grow up to a height of 10 inches in a year. Then it continues growing until it reaches its full height.



Upon buying, repot the plant if the pot is too small. This helps the plant to grow more adequately. Repot your zz plant every 2 to 3 years and use a slightly larger pot each time. Spring is the best season for repotting.

Bonus – Air refresher

According to a study from the University of Vermont, the ZZ plant is great at cleaning the air and removing benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and zylene and is considered a “clean air houseplant”.


ZZ Plant Care Infographic

ZZ Plant Care Infographic



Zamioculcas Zamiifolia is a slow growing, reliable performer that is easy to propagate. But, propagation can take up to 9 months or even more. ZZ plants grow from thick, large rhizomes.

Propagating Zamioculcas Zamiifolia is as easy as separating these rhizomes, or otherwise rooting leaf cuttings is the best option.

Propagation of ZZ plants through division cannot be done frequently, because the plants produce rhizomes slowly and removing them frequently can damage the parent plant.

Yet another way of propagation is stem cuttings in water.

In general, vegetative single leaf cuttings are best for propagation. The best thing is that Zamioculcas Zamiifolia plants have an unusual trait of rooting.

They can root with or without a node attached to the leaf cutting.


Propagate from leaf cuttings

Step: 1

Pinch off a few leaves from a mature ZZ plant and place the leaves on a piece of newspaper or paper plate for one to two hours. This allows the wounded portion of the leaf stem a chance to get callous before propagation.

Step: 2

Fill in a pot with good, damp potting mix and press down each leaf into the soil, stem side down. The leaves of ZZ plants should stay upright, with several inches of space between them.

Step: 3

Keep the pot in a place that receives at least eight hours of bright, indirect sunlight. Place the pot on a plant heating pad maintained at a constant temperature of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step: 4

Frequently check the dampness of the soil by pressing your fingers to a depth of 1 inch. If the soil looks dry, spray the soil (not the leaf) with water.

Step: 5

Continue providing damp soil, warmth, and bright light to the ZZ plant leaves.


After you’ve done this, one of three things will happen eventually.

1. You may find a new stem emerging from the side of the leaf you planted. That is obviously a good sign as it means that your new plant is on its way. However, it may take a minimum of 16 weeks, so patience is the key.

2. You will notice that the leaf propagation is not going according to plan. Gently pull off the leaf from the soil, and you may find small tubers at the lower end. This is basically the plant’s energy and water storage. Put back everything into the soil, and hopefully, the tubers will push up new growths.

3. The leaf is dead, and when you pull it out from the soil, there is nothing to see. Propagating your ZZ has failed this time, but take it easy, please. Give it another shot eventually. It will surely be a success next time around. Fingers crossed. 


How to properly water your ZZ plant


You might ask yourself: How often do I need to water my ZZ plant?

During fall and winter: Minimize watering the plants and wait for the soil to get dried before watering. This will warm up the water and won’t cause cold shock.

During spring and summer: Ensure the soil is moist and check if water drains properly. Water the plants deeply enough to saturate the roots and then allow the soil to dry slightly before watering again. The plant doesn’t tolerate constantly soggy soil.

How can you know that you are underwatering my ZZ plant?

Underwatering ZZ plants results in dry, crispy tips on the leaves. If this is the case, prune your plant and enhance the frequency of watering.

How can you know that you are overwatering your ZZ plant?

Overwatering ZZ plants results in yellowing of leaves and mushy brown stalks.

Another indication to overwatering is dropping leaves.

Prune your plants and hold on for watering. When the soil gets completely dry all the way through the pot, then it’s time to water them. This may take up to a month.


The ZZ plant has stunning dark green foliage

The ZZ plant has stunning dark green foliage and thrives on neglect from our personal experience.



1. Water your ZZ plant regularly, but not too much that it becomes wet or soggy. Soak the soil surface once every week or two weeks, and do not water them until the soil gets dry 1 inch below the soil surface. The best way to kill ZZ plants is by overwatering them.

2. Wipe dust from the ZZ plant’s leaves using a soft, damp cloth once every week or every two weeks. This promotes aspiration and keeps the leaves, smooth, shiny, glossy, and attractive. Avoid all sorts of commercial leaf shining products on this plant.

3. Avoid direct sunlight and very dark areas. If the sun is intense through your windows, use a sheer curtain to minimize the light.

4. Keep your ZZ plant’s home environment as stable as possible. As with any tropical plants, extreme temperatures can stress them out. Maintain the temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and avoid keeping them near forced air vents, A/C units or radiators.

5. Use fertilizers once a month but only when the plant is growing. It’s fine even to skip the fertilizer. If you do feed the plant, though, make sure not to overdo because this can harm your leafy friend. Dilute the fertilizer before use.



ZZ plants are generally a very easy-going plant and pest-free. However, it has been known to get mealybugs. Treat pests immediately with regular wipe-downs of the plant and weekly sprays of horticultural oil (neem oil).

1. Yellowing leaves: Yellowing of the leaves is typically caused by too much water. Too much water logging in the soil causes the rhizomes to rot from fungal development.

2. Leaves are curling: Curling leaves may be an indication of too much light. If curling occurs, then it means that the plant is trying to move away from the light source. To avoid this, move the plant to a shadier location or filter the light by using sheer curtains or blinders.

3. Leaf drop: Underwatering for a prolonged period can cause leaves to shed, a survival mechanism. By shedding leaves, the plant minimizes the rate of water loss through them. Overwatering can also cause the tubers to rot, which then affects the leaves.

4. Brown and crispy leaf edges: Underwatered ZZ plant’s leaves exhibit brown and crispy leaves. Soak your plant’s soil with enough water, allow it to drain and then place it back in its growing location.




Where can you buy a Zamioculcas Zamiifolia?

You can buy ZZ plants from anywhere who sell tropical foliage plants. However, if you’re finding it hard to find one in a physical store, you can buy them online. Few options to buy ZZ plants include:

1. Amazon: You can buy ZZ plants in Amazon, and a single live plant typically can cost you from $ 20 to $ 50

2. Etsy: Yet another option to purchase these green beauties is from Etsy, where the price ranges from $30 to $ 55


How popular is the ZZ houseplant?

ZZ plants are quite popular that can be seen and grown indoor all around the globe. It’s adaptability to challenging growing conditions and interesting foliage has made Zamioculcas Zamiifolia as a decorative piece among interior landscaping, around buildings, offices, and homes. In fact, it was named Florida Plant of the Year by FNGLA more than once.


Where on Instagram can you find the Zamioculcas Zamiifolia?

Instagram is undeniably one of the most popular social media platforms, and there are many ZZ plant lovers to be found on it. 

 Commonly used hashtags for Zamioculcas Zamiifolia are found below:






What other names does the Zamioculcas Zamiifolia go by?

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia derives its name from how it looks. ‘Zamio’ means that it resembles Zamia, a cycad from Central America, and ‘Culcas’ is an Arabic term that refers to Alocasia/Colocasia. Zamiifolia implies that the leaves resemble Zamia leaves, sort of like fern meets palm tree.

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia is such a mouthful that you might prefer to call it by one of its other names such as ZZ plant, Aroid plant, Zanzibar Gem, Eternity Plant, Money Tree, Succulent Philodendron, Golden Tree, Fat Boy or just Zu Zu plant. 


Why do the leaves of my ZZ plant turn yellow?

Yellow leaves are usually a sign of overwatering. ZZ plants are very sensitive, so be careful when you water them.


How often should I fertilize my ZZ?

In general, ZZ’s will survive when they are fertilized spring through fall. Use organic house plant fertilizer by following package instructions for administration and dilution, and fertilize once a month.


Can my ZZ plant tolerate extremely low light?

Yes, it can tolerate extremely low light. But, this may stunt the growth of your plant. In addition, the risk of overwatering becomes heightened, so be cautious when watering your ZZ in a low light condition.


How often should I repot my ZZ?

For larger floor plants, repotting can be done every 18 to 24 months. You may want to find a potting vessel that is 2 to 4″ larger in diameter than the previous one to allow for proper growth of your ZZ.

Avoid choosing a much bigger pot that your previous pot, as this may drown the plant’s roots. You may repot in the same vessel, trimming away some foliage and roots and providing new soil, if you prefer to maintain the current size of the plant.

Summer or spring is the best time to repot as the plant is at its strongest.

For smaller plants, repotting can be done every 12 to 18 months. You may want to choose a potting vessel that is 1 to 2″ larger in diameter than the previous one to allow for proper growth of your ZZ plant.

Avoid choosing a much bigger pot than the previous one as this could drown your plant’s roots. You may repot in the same vessel, trimming away some foliage and roots and providing new soil, if you prefer to maintain the current size of the plant. Summer or spring is the best time to repot as the plant is at its strongest.


Are ZZ plants poisonous?

Yes, all parts of the ZZ plant’s are poisonous. But, there are also some false rumours that ZZ can cause cancers, so people were so cautious that they wore gloves while handling them. However, the truth is that ZZ plants are poisonous, but not cancerous.

So, be cautious and keep it away from overly curious children and nibbling pets, and always wash your hands after handling ZZ to prevent skin irritation.


Why does my ZZ plant have such heavy and long stems?

ZZ plants will grow towards light sources. In poor light conditions, the ZZ plant’s stems can get stretched or spindled and longer than normal. Rotate the pots once a while for an evenly spread plant.