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How to Grow and Care for your ZZ Plant

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How to Grow and Care for your ZZ Plant

What is a ZZ Plant?

This indoor plant gets voted 'most likely to succeed' because of numerous desirable qualities. Drought, low-light, and neglect tolerant plus a regarded air purifier promotes the ZZ plant to the top of the list for 'must-have's.' Its waxy, shiny leaves reflect sunlight and brighten any indoor room. The leaves and stems grow an artistic form reaching upward towards the sky. It's mature height and width of two to three feet make room for more leafy indoor plants to enjoy around it. This plant would be a lone survivor if left unattended for months without water, making it an easy pick for beginners.

Bloom: The ZZ plant produces a bright yellow to brownish bronze spadix-type flower but isn’t pronounced since they can be hidden among the leaf base. Flowering may occur from mid-summer to early autumn. In other words, this plant isn’t purchased for the flower but for the exotic appearance the showy leaves.

Toxicity Level: If ingested, this plant will cause sensitivity to the skin and mucous membranes to cats, dogs, and humans. Stomach pain, diarrhea, or vomiting may occur. Wash hands thoroughly after handling and use gloves to prevent skin irritation.

Air Cleaner: This plant encourages deep breathes! Your ZZ Plant is rated by a NASA study as removing toxins like xylene, toluene, and benzene. Enjoy the fresh, clean air wherever you locate this plant!

Great for people:

  • Plant beginners.
  • On the go with no time to waste.
  • World travelers.
  • Who has limited space but want immediate impact.

Great for Space:

  • Rooms with artificial or low-medium light (northern or eastern exposure).


How to Care for a ZZ Plant

Light preference: Your new ZZ plant is best in low to medium light except for intense southern or western exposure or direct sun. This indoor plant will thrive in a windowless bathroom, low lit basements, or artificially lit office spaces where other plants don't flourish. If near a light source, rotate the saucer each week so all sides of the plant get adequate light for photosynthesis. That way, you won’t end up with a ‘leaning plant’ that’s trying to follow the light.  

Water/Humidity: The ZZ Plant is similar to a succulent that thrives on less water. Water when the top two inches of the soil is dry. Flush the plant with water over a sink and let the water drain entirely. No leftover water needed to stand in the plant saucer! Repeat this watering schedule when the ZZ plant's soil gets dry again.

Check weekly to determine your indoor climate and set up a routine schedule. Overwatering is the culprit of death for this low maintenance favorite. Yellow leaves and rotting may be the sign it's gotten too much to drink!

Ideal Temps: 13°C-26°C/55°F-79°F. You may see an increase in growth during warmer temperature exposure.

Plant Food/Fertilizer: Fertilize with our organic fertilizer once per month for optimum growth and plant health. The fertilizer is easy to use. Measure your container and scoop out ½ TBSP per 1” container and sprinkle on top of the soil. Water in and continue your watering schedule. Each time you water your indoor plant, the fertilizer is activated. Wash hands after handling plants, soils or fertilizers.

Repotting Frequency: Repot in spring or summer if the root system is overcrowded. Wearing gardening gloves to prevent skin irritation, gently remove the entire plant from the indoor pot. Carefully separate the tuberous rhizomes and divide the plant in half or thirds depending on the overcrowded root system.

Cleaning: To keep your ZZ plant dust-free, wipe its leaves delicately with a damp cloth. No need to spray leaf shine, since their leaves are already built-in with a waxy surface.

Common Issues of the ZZ Plant

  • If your indoor plant starts dropping leaves, it's trying to conserve its internal water during severe drought. Time to water!
  • If your ZZ plant doesn't seem to grow, that's a common complaint. Continue the fertilization schedule and move it to a warmer temperature and brighter room.
  • Aphids [link to an aphid article here] may like the juices or sap of a ZZ plant. If your plant shows any stress (in particular, yellow marks or spots), look under the leaves. Remove these insects by wiping them with mild soap and hot water solution.


Complimentary Plants with your ZZ plant

A companion plant that takes similar maintenance and suitable for beginners is the Snake Plant. Its structure is also for narrow spaces, and its leaves are long and vertical with a beautiful variegated pattern that adds color. 

If you have overhead space, try a Spider Plant. It is excellent for beginners and gives you a 'Green Space' or interior garden area to add on from above! And bonus, it's excellent at removing toxins from the air.   

Similarly, try Chinese Evergreen, Golden Pothos or Succulents for an added variety.

For more information on caring for your new indoor plant, check out our comprehensive care guide here


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