Zamioculcas zamiifolia, also known as Zanzibar Gem or most commonly as ZZ, is an aroid plant native to the forests and grasslands of eastern Africa. The ZZ plant is unique in that it can be propagated from a single leaf, though the most common method is to divide its rhizomes as it grows. The ZZ plant has a unique, bulbous root system that acts as a water reserve and aids in drought tolerance. Glossy compound leaves grow out from the rhizomes. New growth emerges as a bright light green before turning a deep shade of emerald.
ZZ plants are perfect for beginner plant parents and are all around popular house plants for multiple reasons. The plant’s slow growth makes it perfect for growing in pots, and dividing the plant is easy when it comes time to repot or make more room. While they do best with bright indirect light, they are adaptable and tolerate partial shade and low light conditions. ZZ are happiest in a well-draining soil. They should be watered thoroughly when the soil is dry, but are forgiving of infrequent watering's, making them perfect for plant parents who are just learning or do not have as much time to spend on their plants as they would like.
Although plant parents tend to have their own parenting style and each plant’s needs are different, our plant experts have a few suggestions they’ve found to be helpful overall.
The ZZ is low to medium light tolerant allowing it to live in most living spaces but thrives in medium to bright indirect sunlight.
The ZZ’s bulbous roots called rhizomes naturally store water making it a drought tolerant plant. We suggest watering once a week allowing soil to drain and dry. Over watering can cause the plants leaves to turn yellow, the roots to rot and the plant to die so start off with a bit of water and get to know your plant.
Similar to humans, plants prefer temperatures of 65⁰ to 85⁰ although some resilient plants like the ZZ are native to arid climates and can tolerate much warmer weather.
A very light feeder, apply a balanced houseplant fertilizer at half strength once every 1 - 3 months.