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ZZ Plant

Scientific Name

Zamioculcas zamiifolia


ZZ plant, Zanzibar gem, eternity plant

Origins / Hardiness Zones



Low-maintenance zz plants are Zamioculcas zamiifolia, characterized by their shiny, wide, oval-shaped leaves that shoot upward and quickly grow in a home indoors. The plant natively grows in East Africa, namely Zanzibar and Tanzania. The plants are also called Zanzibar gems for their spotless, waxy leaves that are so deep green that sometimes, these plants are mistaken as artificial.

Light Needs

Water Schedule


Humidity Levels




ZZ plants don't require humid conditions, but if your home runs on the dry side, consider increasing the humidity around your plant by purchasing a humidifier or placing it on top of a tray filled with pebbles and water.

ZZ Plants are mildly toxic to pets and humans. Ingestion will cause mouth and stomach irritation and possible vomiting.

Extremely forgiving and can adapt to most light conditions. But if they had their pick, it would be primarily bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves of your plants.

These plants are highly drought-tolerant and can handle infrequent watering thanks to their thick rhizomes. You should generally water ZZ plants once the soil dries out completely—usually once every two-four weeks, depending on their growing conditions. It's better to water your plant less than give it too much water.

Average household temperatures and humidity are acceptable for ZZs. ZZ plants do not tolerate cold temperatures well (no lower than 45°F), so avoid placing your plant in a location close to drafts or particularly cold areas of your home.

ZZ plants are virtually disease-free, but keep an eye out for common houseplant pests such as mealybugs, scale, fungus gnats, and aphids that may infest this plant. Use insecticidal soap to eliminate most of these pest problems.

The easiest way to propagate a ZZ plant is through division. You can separate the dense clusters of stems into independent plants by simply making a clean cut through the rhizome (the much thicker, horizontal "root"). You can also try stem and leaf cuttings, but they take much longer. Cut a healthy stem in at least two-inch pieces. The stem piece can be placed in water and roots will grow. Or pluck off a leaf with its petiole and place directly into soil. Try to cover just enough that the leaf will stay standing, otherwise it may rot. In either case, once the roots are a few inches long you can pot up your new ZZ!

These ambitious growers are fairly quick to fill out their pot and become rootbound. But this plant thrives slightly rootbound, so you can hold off on repotting until absolutely necessary. Try to repot every 3-4 years in the spring, especially when tending to a younger plant. Increase the pot size by about 2 inches each time. Once mature and becoming unwieldly to maneuver—you can reduce your repotting frequency and switch to a routine of refreshing just the top few inches of soil.

ZZ plants generally do not require regular fertilizing to thrive. However, if you're hoping to increase your plant's size or vigor, fertilize your zz plant with indoor plant fertilizer diluted to half-strength one to two times during its active growing season.

A common problem with a ZZ is how much water the plant is receiving. If the leaves drop, the plant is dehydrated and needs water. The opposite is true if the leaves are yellowing and dropping simultaneously; give the plant more water. If the top 3 inches (roughly the length of your finger) of soil are dry, the plant is ready for water.

Keep these glossy leaves looking their best. Dust blocks the plant from absorbing light—so be sure to keep their leaves clean and dust-free. You can do this by misting and wiping each leaf or a routine hose-down/shower.




Pests / Diseases

Common Problems



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