Zamioculcas zamiifolia, otherwise known as the ZZ Plant, is one of the most aesthetically beautiful and easy to care for plants. They are the perfect size to provide just a touch of contained decoration in the home and are sure to draw compliments from your guests due to their shiny, rich colored leaves. ZZs often get mistaken for artificial plants because of their solid green, waxy leaves, but these plants are definitely not plastic (even though they require quite minimal care). Read on to learn about caring for a ZZ Plant on your own!
Photo Courtesy of Plants.com
ZZ Plants fare exceptionally well indoors and typically grow between 3-4 feet tall, the perfect size to replace an unused side table or to display in an empty corner. They are typically slow growing, only sprouting a couple of inches per growing season, so there is no need to rush to buy planters for repotting. Throughout each season, however, they tend to sprout new stems, making the plant wider. If you aren’t a fan of this appearance, consider pruning your plant to maintain your desired size and shape.
An important note: ZZ Plants are toxic if ingested, so make sure to keep this plant away from pets and children!
Watering and Fertilizing
Like cacti, ZZs don’t need much water, and can actually suffer if they are overwatered. Typically, your ZZ will need a thorough watering every week or two (or whenever the soil completely dries out). These plants are drought-resistant because of the nodes in their roots that store water, allowing them to live for months without water. If you see your ZZ turning yellow, that’s a sign that they are getting too much water and to reduce the frequency of waterings for a while. If you’re ever unsure about if your ZZ needs water or not, it’s better to skip a watering than risk giving too much. As far as fertilizing, ZZ plants can thrive without any fertilizer, but if you want to give them a little extra love, try an indoor fertilizer at half strength 1-2 times during the spring/summer growing season.
ZZ Plants will look their best when placed in indirect light, as direct light can cause scorching and curling of the leaves. Indirect light can be provided by placing your plant near a north-facing or east-facing window or by positioning them under a grow light. The Small 20W Aspect can be adjusted to provide your ZZ Plant with artificial indirect light throughout the day and night. Purchasing a grow light is useful for decorating rooms or spaces with little-to-no natural light and it can be easily moved and adjusted to provide proper lighting for multiple plants! While your ZZ Plant can survive on minimal light, providing a regular source of indirect light will ensure it keeps its beautiful color and continues to grow over the years.
Temperature and Humidity
ZZ Plants are not very particular about their ideal temperature or humidity (how much easier can this plant get?!). Typical household temperatures are great for ZZs and, unlike many tropical plants, they do not need high humidity to thrive. Despite this, it is always a good idea to have a small humidifier running in the winter months to ensure your plants aren’t getting too dry.
Since ZZ Plants do grow rather slowly, you should not have to worry about repotting too frequently. One good way to tell that your ZZ is ready for a bigger pot is when you can see the nodes that store water starting to press up against the surface of the soil (they look like potatoes, so you will know them when you see them).
When looking for a planter, make sure it has a few drainage holes to maintain air circulation throughout the roots and soil. Any general indoor soil mix will provide your ZZ Plant with everything they need!
This Geometric Planter from Etsy is a great option for a young ZZ. It has ample drainage holes and adds a touch of whimsical detail to your plant display. This planter is made with biodegradable plastic and is lightweight, making it easy to relocate your ZZ Plant!
No matter what stage your plant is in, this planter can provide a sophisticated, modern feel to complement your ZZ. From West Elm, this Bishop Pedestal Planter comes in a variety of colors and sizes to match whatever your interior design preference may be at any stage of your ZZs lifecycle!
If you’re in search of a large planter with a stand for your ZZ, consider this terracotta planter from Crate & Barrel. The iron legs are sure to provide a sturdy boost for your plant to raise your ZZ from the ground and make it appear a bit taller. This planter will provide a classic, timeless accent to your home.