How to Grow ZZ Plants
With their thick, glossy leaves, ZZ plants add a fresh, modern accent. Here’s how to care for these low-maintenance, slow-growing houseplants.
Low-maintenance ZZ plants (short for Zamioculcas zamifolia) make ideal office and houseplants. They’re related to peace lilies, but ZZ plants are better known for their thick, glossy leaves than for their (infrequently appearing) flowers. These plants are slow growing, but long-lived if given good care.
Here’s what you need to know to grow ZZ plants.
Where to Grow ZZ Plants
ZZ plants are native to tropical regions of Africa that experience both wet and dry periods, leading to wildly fluctuating growing conditions. This makes them very forgiving houseplants! ZZ plants grow best in lots of indirect light (direct sunlight can cause the leaves to scorch), and thrive under the fluorescent lights of offices and commercial buildings. In zones 10 to 12, ZZ plants can be grown outside in areas with filtered light and well-draining soil. (Morning sun is fine, but plants need protection from hot afternoon rays.)
How to Plant ZZ Plants
Select a container that is no more than 1/3 wider than the plant’s root system. Fill the bottom 1/3 of the pot with Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix, which is specially formulated for indoor plants. Place the plant in the container so that the top of the root ball is about an inch below the rim, to leave room for watering the plant. Fill in around the root ball with more potting mix, then thoroughly water the plant, let it drain, and move it to its permanent location in your home or office.
How to Water ZZ Plants
Once planted, only water ZZ plants when the top 3 inches of soil are dry. It’s much more common to overwater than to underwater these plants, so when in doubt, keep them on the dry side.
How to Feed ZZ Plants
A month after planting, begin feeding ZZ plants with Miracle-Gro® Indoor Plant Food Spikes to provide a steady source of nutrition. Each spike is easy to insert and feeds for up to 2 months. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label.
How to Prune ZZ Plants
Each ZZ plant stem is actually a big leaf with a center rib and leaflets. That means it won’t re-sprout if chopped off in the middle. If a whole leaf (or “stem”) is looking rough, you can prune it back to the soil line and other leaves will re-sprout.
How to Grow ZZ Plants: Recap
- Place plants in bright, indirect light or grow outside in filtered sunlight in zones 10 to 12.
- Plant ZZ plants in pots filled with Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix.
- Water when the top 3 inches of soil are dry.
- Start to feed a month after planting with Miracle-Gro® Indoor Plant Food Spikes.
- Prune only to remove leaves that aren’t doing well.
Ready to start growing ZZ plants? Click on any of the product links above for more information, to purchase the product online, or to find a retailer near you.