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ZZ Plant Propagation- Three Methods

ZZ plant propagation can be done with three different methods. Learn how to propagate a ZZ Plant in water, take a leaf cutting or propagate ZZ by root division at the rhizomes.

Zanzibar gem plant propagation is easy no matter which method you choose.

ZZ plants, (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia) are a tough drought resistant plant that comes in three popular varieties. Light green, black and variegated.

These are perfect beginner plants since they grow in almost any conditions. And yep. They are super easy to propagate too.

zz plant unpotted

ZZ Plant Propagation by Rhizome Division:

In this post we will show you how to divide a mature emerald palm at the rhizome. This will immediately give you two independent ZZs.

If you watch the video demonstration at the bottom of our how to card you will see Kayti Propagating her cousin’s (really cool) Raven ZuZu Plant by rhizome division so Kayti can have one. Cousin love.

Read more about the Black Raven ZZ Plant

The Contented Plant

Zanzibar Gems grow with potato shaped rhizomes. The substantial roots grow from the rhizome and feed the plant. the rhizome acts like a camels hump in times of drought.

zz plant repotted
Kayti’s Raven Zanzibar Gem showing off its potato shaped rhizomes.

ZuZu Plants can go a Loooong time with no water. The rhizomes are uniquely designed to keep them alive. When we divide the ZZ plant it’s best to divide a plant that is mature with more than one well growing rhizome.

This way, if you are gentle in the separation, the plant will hardly notice an interruption in it’s planty world. Kayti’s new ZZ plant is thriving.

If you are splitting ONE rhizome be careful. Let both sides of the cut heal over before replanting. Cut rhizomes will need a bit of time to recover but it can be done.

un-potted ZZ plant showing roots and tubers

Kayti also shows you how to repot the Zuzu plant.

We cover all the details of caring for your ZZ Plant in our ZZ Plant Care Guide.

The Contented Plant

Purchase a ZZ plant on Etsy

zz plant in basket
Caring for a zz plant

How to Propagate ZZ Plant:

By the Way, all Zamioculcas zamiifolia varieties are mildly toxic to pets and humans. The sap can irritate sensitive skin. Use Gloves for delicate skin when handling a ZZ.

Yield: ZZ plant propagation instructions

ZZ Plant Propagation

propagating zz plant-showing tubers


  • tray for repotting (or clean counter)
  • sharp knife
  • small scissors


Propagation by Division:

If you have a mature healthy ZZ plant with more than one bulbous rhizome you can divide the plant at the growth separations between the rhizomes and repot them. This is the quickest and easiest method of propagation for ZZ plant.

  1. Gather your materials and toolspropagating zz plant-tools and materials
  2. Gently un-pot your mature ZZ plant.propagating zz plant-repotted
  3. Examine the rhizomes for separation points where you can easily divide the plants.propagating zz plant-unpotted zz plant
  4. Gently remove the dirt from around the roots with your fingers so you can see the separations in the roots and rhizomes.
  5. If possible, pull the rhizome to be separated from the mother plant by working the roots apart. This is ideal.propagating zz plant-pot size
  6. If the roots will not easily separate with encouragement from your fingers cut the root at the connection point with your sharp sterilized knife.
  7. You may also need the knife if you are actually dividing a rhizome. In this case cut the rhizome with enough on each division to feed the plant when repotted.
  8. Let your cut rhizome heal over and build a callous before repotting the divisions. This may take an hour or so.
  9. Look closely at the roots of each division for health. Trim off any black or squishy roots with sterilized scissors.
  10. Now repot the plants in the cactus soil in pots with good drainage holes.propagating zz plant-mixing the soil
  11. Read our ZZ Plant Care Guide for more on how to take care of your ZZ plants.propagating zz plant =-two plants from one

Water Propagation:

This is also a simple method of propagation for the ZZ plant. However it does come with risks. Since ZZ is technically a succulent it is susceptible to root rot. This method also takes several months. Eventually ZZ will grow a new rhizome and roots in water. If it doesn't rot.

  1. Cut a stem just above the soil line.
  2. Place it in a jar of water in a bright indirect light.
  3. Change the water in the jar when it gets murky or every other week or so.
  4. When the rhizome and roots are about an inch or so it's ready to be potted in succulent soil in a pot with good drainage.

Leaf Cutting Propagation:

I have never actually tried leaf cutting propagation. It does takes several months to grow new rhizomes. I'm sharing this method from the Wild Interiors blog. Click over to there for helpful pictures on this method.

  1. For this method you need a healthy leaf. Cut the leaf at its base near the stem of the zz plant with a sharp sterile knife.
  2. Plant the leaf in succulent soil in a small pot.
  3. Water the soil so it is moist.
  4. Repeat waterings every other week or so. It will take about three months to grow a new rhizome.
  5. For a fuller pot just cut more leaves and plant them all in the same pot at the same time.


Watch Kayti Propagate her Raven ZZ Plant by division in the video below.

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learn how to propagate your zz plant-pin image
ZZ plant propagation can be done with three different methods. Learn how to propagate a ZZ Plant in water, take a leaf cutting or propagate ZZ by root division at the rhizomes.

Visit for more on propagating ZZ plant by stem and leaf cuttings

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