Houseplant Care Tips

Various Houseplant Care Tips Including Watering and Lighting Requirements.

Houseplant Care Tips

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

ZZ Plant Care

Common Name: ZZ Plant, Aroid palm, Fat Boy, Eternity Plant
Scientific Name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia
Lighting: Bright to Moderate
Watering: Low

The ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is an easy to grow houseplant. It seems to handle neglect and miss-care very well. The ZZ plant is characterized by stems radiating shiny, dark green foliage. The ZZ plant is a slow grower therefore do not expect large amounts of growth to come from this houseplant. In outdoor or greenhouse situations it appears to grow faster. The average height for the ZZ plant is approximately 15-30 inches, however I have seen some up to 3 feet.

The ZZ plant prefers bright, indirect light; however it can grow fairly well in low light situations as well. Keep in mind, in bright, indirect light, this houseplant will do even better. Do not place this plant in direct sunlight though as its foliage can burn fairly easily. Keep direct light exposed to the plant filtered.

The ZZ plant likes to have its soil on the dryer side of things. Do not allow the plant to sit in water or the soil to stay moist. If the foliage begins to yellow, chances are you're overwatering the plant. Your ZZ plant should only need watering once every 2 weeks or more. Others have said once a month is sufficient.

This houseplant can be kept outdoors if temperatures stay above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. However do keep in mind that it should be placed in an area where direct sunlight is limited.

I have not taken cuttings from this houseplant, however others I've read say you take a leaf cutting and place it within soil and it grows, thus giving you an endless supply of houseplants!!

This is a poisonous houseplant so please don't allow children or pets to eat it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the zz plant! I have 2 good sized ones and I have another started. I took a leaf off of a stalk and put it in some dirt. It has formed a little tuber at the end of the leaf. They say it takes a year for it to send up a new leaf stem. I planted mine in cactus soil so I can get away with watering every week in the summer. In the fall/winter months I water everyother week. These are beautiful plants and one of my favorites.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous plant loving kid said...

Do you have a pic? I'd love to learn about these plants and this is the best plant site I've ever been to!

3:12 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

Plant loving kid -

Here is a picture of my ZZ.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

How do you know when to repot the ZZ?

I got mine a few months ago and about eight new stems shot up pretty quickly, but three of those have since died. The leaves first turned yellow, so I think I overwatered even though I've only watered it about three times. Now I have six or so very dark green stems and five taller light green stems that seem to be darkening.

Also, what type of soil should be used to repot? Is there a fertilizer I should use?

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Abdullah said...

Indeed ZZ is a very beautiful. does not requires lots of care but only less water. I also use liquid fertilizer with water once three to four months. There are different leaf and stem sizes but all are adorable.

3:06 AM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

I have to disagree - the ZZ is NOT a slow grower. I've had mine for about a year and a half, and it has about tripled in size, if not more. Mine sits in a window where it gets bright, direct sunlight for about six hours a day, and it's growing like MAD.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I acquired a zz about 6 weeks ago. And, so far it is doing well - living outside in my courtyard. I've watered it once, particularly because I didn't know when it had last been watered. It seems to have grown some even. It is actually in an area of bright light but also some degree of spotted sunlight -- not full-on sun. I would say it is happy. But, then again it has been in the upper 90's here with heat indexes into the 100's. Since I believe this plant originated in Africa, I think it is enjoying the heat and humidity. I just have to make sure it gets moved when the rain comes through -- which hasn't been an issue at all, unfortunately. And, won't be anytime soon. It's biggest downfall is that it's poisonous . . . yikes and I am concerned about that should my pets be exposed.

12:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do agree with everyone the ZZ is a very interesting and beautiful plant. I have four, and have given them out as gifts from ones that I have repotted or started. I also have one that grew a small white flower, just like you would see on a peace lily but made different. It is not the prettiest thing but to let everyone know in time it grows up and out like a stalk and at the end of it has a smallwhite like flower. Again a very interesting plant.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a ZZ plant with large beautiful leafs. I noticed that some of them are turning yellow. I water it once a week and have it sitting in a spot where it doesn't get too much light. What am I doing wrong that it's turning yellow? HELP!


7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got 3 stalks with numerous leaves approximately 3 years ago. It has never changed. It does not grow, it has never lost or grown a leaf. Can anyone tell me what to do?

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

I have to agree with Rachel about the ZZ being a "slow" grower. I actually have the pleasure of looking after 50 of them at work. When we first took them over we divided those 50 into thirds, as there was barely a cup of dirt in each pot and the pots were 25" pots -- unfortunately before I found out what kind of plant it was. Putting them in good, humus, moist soil. We lost at least 60-75 of them. Re-potted in rocky, sandy soil -- and only watering once a month -- they are thriving. I have one in my office that has about 10 new leave stalks that have come up in the past month. LOVE THIS PLANT.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

i am curious...i have had a ZZ plant for a little over a year. It sits in a North facing window and is still very much alive. However, the leaves are no longer as shiny or plump as they used to be. Any thoughts?

12:46 PM  
Blogger Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening said...

This is a great plant. Mine grows rather quickly in indirect sun with watering every one to two weeks. It will take drought but I find when watering it reguarly it grows even faster. My plant is now aobut two and half feet. When the growth gets top heavy I stake it until it gets sturdy.

7:46 AM  
Anonymous shalini said...

hai.. my kid 3 years old unfortunatedly bite the zz plants leaves...what shold i do?

4:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this just happened, check with a doctor. It's suppose to be poisonous!

5:51 PM  

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