ZZ Plant

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the ZZ Plant

If you are one of those people who is horrible with plants, the ZZ plant is made especially for you. The real name of a ZZ plant is Zamioculas zamifolia and it is becoming very popular as an indoor house plant. It has a solid stock and leaves which are round and very thick. If you live in a very warm climate, you could probably grow the ZZ plant outside but that is not usually done in North America. The plant originated in Africa.

The ZZ plant is a part of the Aracae family, of which the most well-known plants are the philodendron and the peace lily. The great thing about the ZZ plant is that it requires little care. It doesn’t drink much water at all and is happy with not being watered for long periods of time. A watering every couple weeks or even once a month is all it needs. In fact, if you water it too often, the plant will turn yellow and die. So, go light on the water and on the fertilizer as well.

When it comes to lighting, the ZZ plant once again is not at all fussy. Keep it out of direct sun because the leaves are easily burned. It is the happiest in medium light but can even take low light without negative effects. How many other plants can take whatever soil, water, fertilizer, and light you happen to give them and still thrive!!! The plant is not bothered by any pests either.

No insects at all are going to be attracted to the ZZ plant so you don’t even have to debate the philosophical positives and negatives of using synthetic pesticides or going organic. The plant does get any diseases either. If you are still reading, it is just about time to rush out to your local gardening store and demand a ZZ plant. If you know someone that already has one, you can ask them if perhaps they might let you take a cutting or two so you can grow your own.


The ZZ plant is easy to propagate from cuttings. All you need to do is to acquire a nice, healthy leaf and break it off the plant. Set it out for a few hours open to the air in a nice cool, dry spot, as you want it to form a callus at the point where you broke it off. Once the callus has formed, place your leaf with the callus down in sand which you have moistened.

The next step in propagation is to put the tiny plant in a sealable plastic bag and seal it. All that is left to do is to place your bag in bright but indirect light. Add water to the sand when the soil looks dry. Your baby plant should start growing roots in the first twelve months. This is a long time to wait unless you just have your heart set on growing one from scratch. But, the ZZ plant is a very slow grower even when it is going strong. Don’t expect it to just shoot up, whether it is a cutting you just planted or a more mature plant.

Usually these plants start out in a four-inch pot and then are transplanted gradually until they are so big they need a fourteen-inch pot. Most ZZ plants grow to be, on average, fifteen inches to over twenty-five inches. Some plants may get as large as three to four feet. You can count on this plant being healthy and growing slowly for many, many years so it might be advantageous to find a permanent spot for it.

A ZZ plant will bloom when it is mature enough. The flowers are shades of yellow or gold and usually appear in the mid-to-late summer or fall.

Lest you think there is not one thing negative about a ZZ plant, there is. It is poisonous. So, if you have kids or pets, either don’t get one of these type of plants at all, or put it in a spot that is not accessible to kids, dogs, cats or other creatures.