So, you got yourself a ZZ plant. Good decision! It’s one of the best houseplants you must have in your collection, especially if you have a black thumb. ZZ plant is a tough houseplant. Yes, it’s tough as nails, which means it’s also perfect for newbies, busy, and forgetful plant owners. It basically thrives off of neglect, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know the basic rules on how to keep your houseplant alive.
Today, we’re going to share tips and tricks on how to keep this Instagram-worthy houseplant happy and healthy. Who knows? You might march into your local plant shop and get yourself another pot of this easygoing houseplant. Let’s get started!
What is a ZZ Plant?
Zamioculcas zamiifolia, or more commonly known as ZZ plant, is one of the easiest houseplants to care for. It originates from East Africa and has been around for centuries. This houseplant is also known by several names:
- ZeeZee plant
- ZiZi plant
- Steel plant
- “Eternity plant”
- Aroid palm
- Zanzibar gem
- Z plant
This houseplant grows slow, but it can survive occasional watering and low light areas of your home. No wonder it’s one of the best home office plants where ideal care might not be possible. Plus, it’s also a great air-purifying plant since it eliminates toxins such as xylene, toluene, and benzene in your home. ZeeZee plant can grow from two to four feet tall indoors.
Why Are ZZ Plants So Popular?
To be honest, the ZeeZee plant looks like a fake houseplant with its shiny, perfect, and rich green leaves (don’t judge me, please). Plus, it’s commonly found in office buildings, which is not the ideal place to grow plants. However, I have mentioned that it thrives off of neglect, which makes it perfect for people with a black thumb. Also, it’s really easy to care. Trust us. You get a beautiful air-purifying plant that can tolerate neglect. Perfect!
How Do You Care for a ZZ Plant?
Again, taking care of a ZeeZee plant is simple. However, even though this houseplant can survive a lot of neglect, it’s best to give it proper care if you want it to be happy and healthy, starting with sunlight.
ZZ plants prefer bright, indirect light. However, it can tolerate low-light conditions or bright, fluorescent light. It’s one of the reasons why they are popular as indoor plants for spaces with low light or no windows. Also, keep in mind that ZeeZee plants do not like direct sunlight since its leaves can dry out and burn from too much direct exposure to the sun.
Rule of thumb to keep your plant alive is to water when the soil is dry. For most plants, letting it sit in water can cause root rot, which causes plants to wilt and die.
To keep your ZZ plant alive, it’s best to water it regularly if you want it to grow faster, but allow the soil to dry between watering. For ZeeZee plants, it’s always best to underwater than to overwater, since it can survive months without water, but it will easily die by root rot.
ZZ plant prefers temperatures between 65°F-75°F. Plus, it grows best in humid climates, but it can also survive in less humid climates. If you live in a place where the air is usually dry, mist your ZeeZee plant’s leaves with water to keep it alive and healthy. Do not place your ZeeZee plant near an air conditioning vent or places below 45°F because it will prevent your plant from growing properly.
Are ZZ plants toxic? The answer is yes. ZeeZee plants are toxic to both humans and animals because it contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause skin irritation and stomach pain when digested. Keep your ZeeZee plant in a safe place where your kids, dog, and cat can’t reach it. However, it’s still safe to have a ZZ plant in your home, just remember to wash your hands properly right after tending to your ZeeZee plant or wear gloves to lessen contact.
Pests & Problems
Pests: ZZ plants are prone to aphids. These are like the “sap” for your ZeeZee plant. It will cause unusual yellow marks or spots on your plant. If this happens, you can wipe your ZZ plant’s leaves with mild soap and hot water to eliminate the pests. Also, keep in mind that aphids easily blend in with leaves, so it’s better to check closely, especially under the leaves.
Problems: The most common cause of the death of a ZZ plant is overwatering. An overwatered ZeeZee plant has leaves that are both turning yellow and falling off. Remember to let the soil dry before watering. However, if you noticed its leaves are simply starting to drop, then it means your ZZ plant is underwatered.
Here are some additional care tips to keep your ZZ plant healthy:
Propagating: To propagate your ZZ plant, stick a mature stem in water and wait for roots to emerge. You can also divide the plant into two to three smaller plants, but it’s not recommended to be done too often since ZZ plant grows slow.
Repotting: It’s best to repot your ZZ plant in the spring. Also, choose a planter that’s one size bigger and has proper drainage. To properly repot your ZeeZee plant, remove it from its initial pot, cleanup and prune the roots, then transfer it to its new planter with well-draining potting soil. Water your plant until the bottom drains.
Fertilizing: Fertilize your ZZ plant once or twice in the spring or summer with a diluted liquid fertilizer like 20-20-20.
That’s a wrap on how to take care of your ZZ plant. It’s really easy, right? Grow your plant knowledge by visiting our Plant Care page to learn more tips on how to keep your plants happy and healthy!