You Had Me at Gardening

ZZ Plant Care: A Complete Guide

Don't have the greenest of thumbs? Not a problem! ZZ plant is as easy as they come! Have a look at this easy ZZ plant care guide.

ZZ Plant Care: All About ZZ Plant

ZZ plant, scientifically called Zamioculcas zamiifolia, gets its name from the initials of the Latin name. For a long time, the ZZ plant has only occupied malls and waiting rooms, but it also makes a great house plant. As a result, it made its way into the houses of beginner and advanced gardeners alike.

We talked about ZZ before, and it was mentioned as a common house plant as well as on the list of large indoor plants because it is very easy to take care of. It is the kind of plant that will survive just fine if you remember to water it every now and then and will look great all the time. In fact, it will look so good many won’t believe it’s not artificial.

Still, it does need some care. And if you got it as a starter plant because it’s so resistant, you probably need some pointers. So have a look at this complete guide to learn how to take care of this plant. Wear gloves when handling ZZ because it’s toxic and the sap can cause rashes.

ZZ Plant Care: The Guide

Water

You can literally forget to water the ZZ plant. It is very drought resistant and it’s much easier to overwater it than to leave it to dry. Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. It can take up to three weeks without water, if the pot is big enough, and not watering enough is easy to fix. In fact, if your ZZ is starting to yellow out, it’s more likely it suffers from overwatering.

As with most low-water plants, ZZ benefits from some moisture in the air, so mist occasionally, especially if you live in a dry environment. Its leaves are waxy and you might want to give them a spritz every now and then to clean off any dust.

Light

As with water, ZZ needs little light. Its one enemy is direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves. Other than that, it is so happy in the shade we even featured it on our list of plants to put in dark rooms and corners. If you don’t have a low-lit corner, don’t worry too much. ZZ can take bright light as well, as long as it’s not direct sunlight.

Soil

ZZ is not pretentious when it comes to soil either. Any well-draining potting mix will do. You can plant it in leftover cactus and succulent mix or generic potting mix and it will be just as happy. Use your favorite soil from this list for this plant ad it’s going to be just fine.

The ZZ plant

Temperature

The ZZ plant grows best in warm, but not hot environments. The typical office temperature of 65 to 75 F (18 to 23 C) suits it great, but it can go to warmer temperatures without issue. As long as it doesn’t drop below 40 F (4 C), any temperature is fine. ZZ may be hard to kill, but freezing is one of the few ways you can actually destroy it. Keep it away from vents, air conditioning, or heaters, as all can dry the air too much.

Fertilizing

The ZZ plant can survive just fine without fertilization, but even it will eventually run out of nutrients in the soil. And it’s easier to fertilize than to repot. So use an organic fertilizer every six months after the first few years of having this plant.

Pruning

The only pruning you need to do is to cut off any branch that is getting in your way. Other than that, cut off a stem at no more than 1/3 of its length if you want to keep it and 2/3 if you want to also want to get rid of that branch, and use that to propagate the ZZ plant. Put it in soil with some after dipping it in rooting hormone and wait for it to grow.

ZZ Plant Care: Summary

Water requirements

Water

Little. Allow soil to dry completely
Light requirements

Light

Low to medium, avoid direct sunlight
Temperature

Temperature

Indoor temperatures
Toxicity

Toxicity

Toxic to humans and pets
Difficulty

Difficulty

Easy

ZZ Plant Care: Next Steps

Use the ZZ plant’s naturally waxy leaves to reflect light to light up a dark corner or room. Its arching branches and round leaves make it a nice aesthetic addition to pretty much any space, but it can always do with some help. Pair it with other shade-loving plants, or use it as a backdrop for a dark terrarium.

A great place for a ZZ is in the bathroom. Unless you have large windows in the bathroom, it should be dark enough for it in there. Besides, the moisture from your showers will save you the trouble of misting the leaves and you can water it even less often. It will, in turn, add a boost of green and promote lush relaxation.

ZZ is the perfect size for pretty much every room. It will not outgrow its pot in the first year, like the Swiss cheese plant, for example, but it isn’t exactly small either. It will fit on a table or other surface, but it looks just as great on the floor. It grows to about 3ft tall by 3ft wide, but it can stay smaller if you keep it in a little pot.

zz plant care

Final Thoughts

Did you find this guide on ZZ plant care useful? Let me know where you want to put your ZZ and how it’s doing in the comment section below!

kate.may@youhadmeatgardening.com'
About the Author - Kate May

Hello! I’m Kate, your friendly neighbourhood plant parent with a passion for every green leaf under the sun (and some red or purple, why not?). I love gardening, the peace that comes with working in the earth and the joy of growing things. Over the years I gathered knowledge about both domestic and wild plants, how they grow and their uses. Here I combine my passion for writing with my love for gardening and bring you tips, tricks and cool ideas!

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