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How to care for a ZZ plant

The ZZ plant is a popular houseplant and easy to care for. This plant can handle infrequent waterings and lower light levels.

Zamioculcas zamiifolia are in the Araceae family. This plant is native to Eastern Africa. It can be found growing from Kenya to Northeastern South Africa.

These houseplants are also known as Zanzibar Gem, Zamioculcas, and Zuzu plants. ZZ can grow in a variety of conditions and make great beginner houseplants.

Zamioculas Zamiifolia
Zamioculas Zamiifolia house plant

These plants make great additions to any home. The Raven ZZ is a new trending variety of Zuzu plant that also looks stunning with the right placement.

The Zanzibar gems are drought tolerant and can go up to 4 months between waterings. This houseplant is also able to tolerate lower light levels and can be classified as a lower light houseplant.

Shop ZZ plants on Etsy

raven ZZ plant

According to the Nasa Clean Air study, these houseplants are great at recycling Xylene from the air. They also produce oxygen for the home.

ZZ plants or Zanzibar Gem
ZZ plants in direct sunlight

More Low Light Houseplants:

The Raven ZZ plant is a highly sought after variety that is growing in popularity.

The Contented Plant
How to care for the ZZ plant-pin image

ZZ plants can come in a variety of colors and sizes. The Zanzibar gem comes in a variegated form, a dwarf form, and a darker leafed variety called a Raven ZZ plant.

Yield: Printable Care Guide

ZZ Plant Care Guide

ZZ plant

Zamioculcas plant is commonly known as the ZZ plant or Zanzibar Gem.

This plant has glossy medium length leaves that vary in color and shape depending on variety. The ZZ plant is an easy to care for plant that can survive in lower light levels and infrequent watering.

This Care Guide will teach you how to keep this houseplant happy all through the year.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Difficulty easy


  • Pot (ceramic, plastic, or terra cotta)
  • Potting medium (perlite, soil, and orchid bark)
  • Scissors
  • Rubbing Alcohol


Soil Preference:

  1. ZZ plants prefer well draiing soil. The roots will rot quickly if they sit in moist soil.
  2. A mix of cactus potting mix and perlite will keep the roots happiest.
  3. Make sure your pot has drainage at the bottom. Do not use a pot with no drainage hole for this plant.
  4. A heavy soil potting mix is not recommended for ZZ plants.

Pot Size and Type:

  1. The ZZ plant can grow in many different kinds of pots, I like to plant mine in ceramic pots with a drainage hole.
  2. Repot every second year or when roots come out the drainage holes on the pot bottom To the next pot size up. Don't jump to a huge pot from a small one. Just go to the next size up pot.


  1. The ZZ plant will grow faster in bright indirect light. It will also grow just fine in lower light conditions, but the growth will be slower.
  2. Some filtered sunlight from a window may be appreciated in this circumstance.
  3. Make sure the ZZ plant isn't sitting in constant direct sunlight, the leaves can get burnt.
  4. If you have a variegated variety, the plant will need more light to hang onto the variegation. Otherwise it can convert back to green,


  1. Water your ZZ plant when the soil is dry at least an inch down. These plants are typically drought resistant and can withstand longer periods of dryness compared to other houseplants.
  2. Watering is best done on a regular schedule so the plant is not over or under watered. Both can cause stress on the plant.
  3. The recommendation for watering is every 2-3 weeks.
  4. In dormant winter months reduce watering to when the soil is dry.
  5. Never let this plant get wet feet. heavy wet soils encourage root rot and fungus gnats.

How to Fertilize:

  1. Apply a good quality fertilizer (linked in materials) monthly through Spring and summer.
  2. Decrease feedings by late Fall and allow the ZZ plant to rest through the winter months.


  1. The ZZ plant will do best in temperatures between 55-85 degrees F.


  1. The ZZ plant is a hardy resilient plant. However all plants can get attacked by pests.
  2. Stress by longterm overwatering, poor light, extreme temperatures and soil conditions are contributors to plant stress..
  3. Spider mites, mealy bugs, scale, thrips and whitefly are the most common houseplant pests you will see.
  4. Read our post on How to get rid of aphids and other pests with our homemade pesticide soap recipe or neems oil.
  5. To minimize the possibility of pests be sure to check all nursery plants before bringing them home.
  6. Quarantine all new plants until you are sure no pests live in them.

How to Propagate:

  1. Cut stalk near the base of the plant using sterile scissors
  2. Place stem in water cut side down
  3. Place near a window with bright indirect light
  4. After several weeks roots and a rhizome will grow
  5. Plant in soil when roots are 2-3 inches long


The ZZ Plant is a rewarding and perfect plant for a beginner. This plant will grow tall and beautiful with just a little bit of care.

Your complete care guide for the zz plant-pin image
Zuzu plants are popular houseplants and easy to care for. These plant can handle infrequent waterings and lower light levels.
Caring for the ZZ plant-pin image
The ZZ plant is a popular houseplant and easy to care for. This plant can handle infrequent waterings and lower light levels.

Read more about the history and Zamioculcas plant here.

Zamioculcas are toxic to humans and pets. Keep these plants out of reach of children and away from curious pets.

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