How To Care For The ZZ Plant – Zamioculcas Zamiifolia


The ZZ Plant – Zamioculcas zamiifolia has become very popular and is grown and used indoors around the world.

Interior plantscapers always look for “new” plants they can use indoors to provide a different look. Growers always look at new items to offer customers something different.

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia Perfect Houseplant Qualifications

Zamioculcas fits just about every need of what a new indoor plant introduction should be.

  • Handles low light
  • Low water requirements
  • Tough under indoor conditions
  • Handles neglect well

ZZ Not New

The ZZ has been around for decades. In fact I grew it 35 years ago but wasn’t smart enough to introduce it :).

It is a member of the aroid family along with the philodendron, spathiphyllum and aglaonema.

You would never know it though. It looks and resembles the cycad – Zamia furfuracea or cardboard palm.

The base of the plant stalks are swollen from which the stem host dark green, naturally shiny leaves. It’s easy to think that the plant has had leaf shine put on it. We don’t recommend leaf shine.

Here’s a video from Kraft Gardens discussing the Care of your ZZ Plant

One Rule Of Best Indoor Plants

One rule almost all the BEST indoor plants have is – they grow slow. The ZZ is no exception.

It is easy to propagate but develops slowly. Most of the plants are grown from leaf cuttings just as you would a jade plant.

Plants are grown in 4 inch up through 14 inch pots. Large plants can reach 3 feet in height and I have seen a very old plant of 4 foot.

The average height of most of the plants grown is about 16 – 28 inches, and the plant can have a wide spread on it. It works well as an accent plant in areas where it can"spread its wings".

Zamioculcas can be put right along side the sanseveira and aspidistra – tough. It handles low light well and the plant even grows.


ZZ handles Low Light Levels Well

Even though the plant does well in lower light levels, by placing it in brighter light it performs even better.

Keep the plant away from any hot direct afternoon sun as the plant can burn. A good bright filtered afternoon sun would work well.

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia Don’t Sit In Water

Don’t let this plant sit in water or stay wet. This plant is better to keep on the dry side. If you water it too much or the plant sits in water you may find yellowing leaves.

A little more about watering from my side. I purposely neglect plants to test their toughness. In my office I have a ZZ which has been inside for about 16 months.

Let me tell you – I don’t do anything to it. It looks pretty good considering I have not watered it… Ready for this – drum roll please – 6 times in 16 months.

The best part of the ZZ may not be its toughness, or low light ability or low water requirements – but no insect problems. Or none that anyone has been able to identify.

Eliminating this one element makes caring for your plant much easier. The plant has left you with only a couple of things to manage – light and water, what could be easier.

The downside, yes there always is a downside. The downside is that ZZ is slow growing so the production is slow. Ask at your favorite nursery or garden center about the ZZ – the Zamioculcas Zamiifolia.

Share your ZZ plant experiences!

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