ZZ Plant Care

A Beginner's Guide to ZZ Plant Care

ZZ Plant Care Guide

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Family: Araceae
Common Name: ZZ Plants, Zanzibar Gem, ZZ Plant, Zuzu Plant, Aroid Palm, Eternity Plant, Emerald Palm, ZZ Zenzi, ZZ The Raven
Botanical Name: Zamioculcus Zamiifolia, Zamioculcus Zamiifolia 'Zenzi', Zamioculcus Zamiifolia 'Raven'

A perfect gift for your negligent, plant-loving friend, this shiny and slick easy-care plant has a unique, eye-catching form and a gorgeous, dense cluster of glossy zig-zag leaves. It is drought tolerant, can handle dry air, and can adjust to low-light conditions. If given bright indirect light, it will shoot out new growth, much like emerging bamboo shoots. Like a succulent, the thick stems and bulbous roots store water, making it the perfect houseplant for the traveler or workaholic. It is probably the most hardy indoor plant you can buy -- just don’t over-water it!

ZZ Plants are known to be slow growers, but in the right conditions, ample light and warm temperatures, they can grow faster! They generally reach about 3' in height but will spread our horizontally if given the space. ZZ Zenzi is a slow grower in comparison to the standard zamiifolia, making it the perfect office desk companion! If ZZ Plants excite you and you love deep ebony leaves, then you will trip over yourself for the ZZ Raven! This enchanting houseplant has the same care requirements but can handle living in slightly lower light conditions!

Important! ZZ Plants are poisonous if ingested, so be very careful if you have pets and/or small children.

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The Zamioculcus zamiifolia can live in low to bright indirect light, but the brighter the indirect light, the better as more light encourages faster growth producing a healthier plant. If ZZ Plants are grown in light deprived spaces, they often become leggy and loss their deep, emerald green color. Conversely, setting this hardy houseplant in direct sunlight, without properly acclimating will cause the leaves to become sun-scorched or bleached out. You can grow ZZ Plants in full sun, but you must either grow them there from very young plants, or gradually introduce them to this environment over a period of weeks.


Only water these hard-to-kill indoor plants when the soil is completely dry. This plant will go without water for long periods of time and over indulging them with water can lead to very bad results! They store water in their thick stems and leaves so there is no need to keep the soil moist on a continual basis. ZZ Plants need much less water in the cooler months and depending where you live, you might find yourself watering them once a month during the winter. A great way to decide when it's time to water your Zanzibar Gem is to pick it up and if it feels light and the soil is dry to the touch from the top to the bottom of the pot, then it is time to soak the soil, completely! Try submerging the entire soil base in a tub of water to ensure that all of the soil has absorbed the water.


ZZ Plants love good drainage and a soil mixture containing pumice, perlite, or wood chips to provide the drainage they need! Most bagged potting soils will be adequate for transplanting your zz plants. Consider mixing in cactus potting soil to help with drainage. If you decide to transplant your palms (we do not recommend transplanting your new plants for at least 3-6 months after receiving them), make sure you do not damage the roots. 


This plant is very adaptable, and will survive in temperatures from 55-85℉. They can even handle colder temperatures, but they should never be exposed to freezing cold air! ZZ Plants will be just fine no matter what you keep your thermostat set to!


All Zamioculus varieties are adaptable to most household humidity levels. Ideal levels are above 50%, but even if you have lower humidity, depending on where you live, they will most likely adapt! A sign of an indoor plant that is deprived of humidity is that the plant will start to develop brown edges on its leaves. You can always increase the humidity in your home with a humidifier or place your plants on a tray filled with pebbles and water. Consider this an opportunity to create a little plant styling moment for your ZZ Plant!


Fertilize twice during the growing season with a ½-strength diluted complete fertilizer, once in the spring and once again in the summer as these plants do not like to be fertilized often. You can use organic fertilizer like worm castings, or compost. Simply pour on a thin layer onto the top of the soil and evenly mix it in with a small fork. Water your plants after you have added any granular fertilizer!

Growth Rate

ZZ Plants are slow to moderate growing indoor plants and can reach heights of 2-5' indoors depending on the interior conditions!

Pet Friend or Foe

ZZ Plants are toxic! Foe

Pro Tips

  1. Make sure you clean the leaves to encourage sunlight absorption.
  2. Use a well-draining soil when transplanting.
  3. Make sure you transplant when the roots bust the pot open.
  4. When you transplant ZZ Plants, you can divide them by splitting the root ball into section. Please note that some plants are patented and propagation is prohibited! Check the patent status of all houseplants before you propagate.
  5. If you are unsure as whether or not to water your zz plant, don't water. Wait until the soil is bone dry!

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