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Grow with KARE: ZZ plant tips

A very popular plant that anyone can grow if you follow these tips.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — The ZZ plant gets its common name from its botanical name Zamioculcas zamiifolia.

ZZ plants do best in bright to moderate, indirect light, but will do fine in extremely low levels of light. You can grow ZZ plants in full sun, for a few hours a day in the morning or late afternoon

In fact, ZZ plants will do better if you leave them alone. Water when the soil is completely dry at two or three inches, drench the soil and NEVER let it sit in water. ZZ Plants need much less water in our cooler months.

You can kill this plant by over watering it. A ZZ plant turning yellow means that it is getting too much water and its underground rhizomes may be rotting.

ZZ plants are happy without fertilizer, you can give the plants half-strength fertilizer 1-2 times a year and only when the plant is actively growing.

Lower leaves turning yellow: A small number of lower leaves turning yellow and falling is quite normal. If many leaves are turning yellow, make sure to check that you’re not overwatering.

Leaf tips turning brown: The cause is likely to be dry air and low humidity, especially during the winter months.

Leaves turning yellow to brown: Overwatering is the most common cause here, especially if the leaflet feels a bit damp and not dry.

How to propagate your ZZ plant


Dividing your plant is the easiest way to grow more ZZ plants. Gently separate the plants -- the best time to do it is just before the start of the growing season. Make sure that each plant that you separate has a healthy rhizome and good root development

Leaflet Cutting:

The leaf of the ZZ plant what you see growing from the soil and its leaflets are the “leaves” on the stalk. Cut the leaf just above the soil surface. Set the cutting in a container with an inch or two of water until you see an inch or so of roots.

Have patience it may take months before either of these methods are ready to transplant.

So, if you are looking for a houseplant for a low light area or watering has been a problem growing ZZ houseplants might be perfect for you.

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