ZZ plants have sensational shiny green leaves that will add a bit of sparkle to even the darkest rooms, and what’s even better is that they are super hardy so they can even live in the shadiest rooms!
If you love houseplants, but you’re not naturally green-fingered (or even if you are decidedly brown-fingered), keep reading because we think ZZ plants are going to become your new best friend! We go through tips and tricks, how to ace ZZ plant care and even delve into the best ZZ plant soil composition. See you on the other side!
The Zamioculcas zamiifolia is actually a plant of many names. They’re most commonly known as the ZZ plant but are also regularly referred to as the Emerald palm, Zanzibar gem, Zuzu plant, Aroid palm, and Eternity plant. Just to make things nice and confusing!
These glorious glossy green plants are native to Eastern Africa but have been popular house plants since around the mid-90s, and as you’re about to find out… it’s easy to see why!
One of the best things about ZZ plant care is that it’s super easy! These tough-as-old-boots house plants can grow in pretty much any condition, and with minimal care, making them great for places like offices with low light conditions (check out our other low light plants here). Or they make perfect beginner plants if you still haven’t developed your green fingers yet!
ZZ Plant Care: Top Tips
So without further ado, here are our top tips for ZZ plant care to help you nail their environmental conditions.
These beauties are great if you have a dark patch in your home, office or bedroom that could do with a bit of sprucing up! However, they’re also happy in bright indirect light so you really can put them anywhere you fancy. They really aren’t fussed! The only thing you need to be careful with when it comes to ZZ plant care is that you keep them out of direct light because it can burn their shiny green leaves.
ZZ plants are very easy going when it comes to watering. This is because they grow from thick rhizomes (that look a lot like potatoes) that store water to make these plants extremely drought tolerant. One thing to note is that these rhizomes are definitely not potatoes and they’re actually quite poisonous, so please don’t eat them!
For top ZZ plant care, water them every 2-3 weeks and less frequently if they live in poorly lit areas. If it gets lots of light then check them more frequently, but then again this isn’t super important because they will forgive you if you forget every now and then. In the summer months water them more frequently and in the winter months, your ZZ plant care gets even easier as they only need watering once a month. Just make sure the ZZ plant soil completely dries out in between waterings.
If you notice that your ZZ plant’s stems or leaves are beginning to turn yellow, then the chances are you’ve been overwatering them. Just let your ZZ plant’s soil dry out completely before you water them again and they should be right as rain!
To Fertilise, or Not to Fertilise?
Plot twist… The answer is both! You only fertilise your ZZ plant’s soil from early spring to late summer when your plant is actively growing. ZZ plants love a balanced liquid fertiliser (e.g. with a 20-20-20 ratio) every month. As always with ZZ plant care, if you forget then your plant will keep powering through, so you really don’t need to worry!
ZZ Plant Soil
You may be getting the feeling by now that ZZ plant care is pretty straightforward, and you’re correct! So, as you might have predicted, they don’t need any particular type of soil to be happy. The best ZZ plant soil is going to be any that is well draining because they prefer to be dry as opposed to moist.
To create the perfect ZZ plant soil, you can mix regular organic potting soil with some orchid bark and perlite for a DIY well-draining potting soil. These beautiful babies like to be pot-bound, too, so you can leave them in their pots for a couple of years at a time. So, why not pick yourself out a pretty little pot like the Stitch textured pot, which has gorgeous metallic-blue tones that compliments the shiny green leaves of the ZZ plant.
Temperature & Humidity
We know it can be quite tricky to modify the temperature and humidity of your home to suit the needs of your plants. So, it’s good news that thanks to their robust nature, ZZ plants can live very happily in a wide range of temperatures and humidity levels.
If you’re super dedicated to your ZZ plant care, the ideal temperature for them to grow is between 18 °C and 24 °C. However, they will tolerate temperatures as low as 8 °C but any cooler than this and they will start to struggle. They don’t have a maximum temperature because they like the warmth, just make sure that you keep them out of direct sunlight so that they don’t burn.
The hardy ZZ plant isn’t fussed about humidity, they will be quite happy in most environments. If you really want to get specific, their optimum humidity level for growing is around 40-50%, so you can give them a mist every morning if you prefer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are ZZ plants poisonous?
The ZZ plant’s one main (and maybe only) flaw is that they’re toxic. In fact, all parts of the plant are toxic to humans and pets. So whilst they make wonderful house plants, they should be handled with care. This means a vital aspect of ZZ plant care is making sure that you wash your hands after handling them, and always keep them out of the reach of children and pets.
Do ZZ plants clean the air?
Yes! ZZ plants are considered great air purifiers. They’re thought to remove airborne toxins like volatile organic compounds such as benzene and xylene from the air. This means that ZZ plants could be good for filtering the oxygen within your home, and because they’re such hardy plants, they do this without really asking for anything in return from you!
Are ZZ plants susceptible to lots of pests?
One of the many benefits of ZZ plant care is that they don’t tend to suffer from pest invasions or disease, so it’s unlikely you’ll face pest issues. That being said, if you’re an extremely conscientious plant parent, you might want to be aware of the most common (although still rare) pests that plague ZZ plants. These are: scale insects, aphids, blight, whiteflies, and mealybugs. It’s worth knowing the signs to look out for just in case your ZZ plant (or any of your other house plants) becomes home to one of these pests so that you can deal with them immediately.
Can you propagate ZZ plants?
ZZ plants can be propagated by cutting off a section of your plant, making sure that the cutting is at least 2 inches long with some healthy leaves on it. Your best bet for baby ZZ plant soil is a well-draining soil, like a cactus mix. Although It’s fairly common to propagate houseplant cuttings in water, you should avoid doing this with your ZZ plant because it will likely cause it to rot.
And there you have it!
We’ve covered everything you need to know about ZZ plant care, and you’re probably in agreement that it’s pretty straightforward. ZZ plants are the perfect first plant because they’re one of the toughest plants around so will forgive all of your mistakes as a newbie plant parent. This also makes them a pretty great present because the recipient will never have to worry about accidentally killing your very kind gift!