ZZ Plant does well in low light conditions, from fluorescent light to bright, indirect light or even full sun if planted outdoors where hardy. ZZ Plant is typically found in the cactus and succulent section because it does well with bright indirect or direct light, and very little water. Found in South Africa, ZZ Plants are native to deserts with full sun and minimal water. Their upright habit does well indoors in corners or locations with limited width.
Growing Zone: 9-11
Mature Height: 36″ – 40″
Mature Width: 20″ – 24″
Classification: Green Foliage
Sunlight: Bright indirect or direct light
Flower Color: Does not flower indoors
Foliage: Green, glossy
Soil Condition: Well draining, cactus or succulent mix (part sand)
Water Require: Likes to stay dry
Uses: Excellent indoors as focal point or background plant
Does Not Ship To: CA, WA, OR, AZ
ZZ Plant might as well be called EZ Plant for its ease of care. ZZ Plant is actually named for its mouthful of a Latin name, Zamioculcas zamiifolia. These plants can stay extremely dry for extended periods, thanks to specialized rhizomes found underground that store water. The dark green, glossy foliage manages to capture any and all light, surviving in the lowest light conditions. Typically found with cactus and succulents in stores, ZZ Plants like to stay very dry. They can rot if given too much water.
Light Requirement of ZZ Plant:
ZZ Plants can handle the lowest of light conditions, even fluorescent light. On the other hand, in their native habitat they live outside in full sun, desert conditions. They are happy with any level of light in that range.
Watering ZZ Plant:
ZZ Plants like to dry out completely between watering. It does not like to stay or sit in water. Plants that are watered too often will not survive. If unsure, do not water.
Fertilizing ZZ Plant:
It is very likely that ZZ Plants will not need any fertilizer for an extended period of time. However, any all purpose, foliage fertilizer will work for ZZ Plants. Indoor houseplant fertilizers fall into two groups: water soluble, liquid quick release, and granular, slow release fertilizers. Jack’s Classic Indoor plant food works well as a powder, quick release fertilizer that is mixed with water to quickly provide nutrients to a plant that has been in a container for an extended time. On the other hand, Biotone Starter or Osmocote Indoor/Outdoor is an option as a granular, slow release fertilizer that can be applied while potting and planting. Any type of fertilizer offers nutrients that help plants with the transition to a new environment. Any of these fertilizers may be used when planting ZZ Plants.
Best Growing Soil for ZZ Plants:
Ponytail Palms need a very well draining soil, and prefer to have dry conditions. Regular potting mix with sand mixed in works well for plants potted in containers, otherwise a cactus potting mix would work. The cactus potting mix already has sand and other ingredients to encourage drainage. If desired, ZZ Plants could be planted in mostly sand with very little peat moss added. Rhizomes or large pieces of roots below the soil are normal to see when transplanting. They store water, and help the plant through times of drought.
History and introduction of ZZ Plants:
Native to Africa from Kenya to South Africa, ZZ Plants love light and minimal watering. Originally named Caladium zamiifolium, ZZ Plant was moved to Zamioculcas zamiifolia in 1905. Dutch nurseries in South Africa noticed how easy the plant was to propagate, and started exporting it around the world around 1996. Although it hasn’t been commercially produced for that long, this plant has made its way into homes and hearts worldwide. Plants are easy to propagate; they can be dug up and divided when transplanting.
Zamioculcas zamiifolia is the Latin name for ZZ Plant. Zamioculcas means similarity to the Zamia genus, while zamiifolia means leaves like Zamia, a group of cycads with similar looking foliage.