How to Propagate a ZZ Plant: Follow These 3 Steps for Success

By: Matt Slaymaker
December 2, 2023
How to Propagate a ZZ Plant
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Delve into the world of ZZ plant propagation with our comprehensive guide. Propagating your ZZ plant not only multiplies your green companions but also allows you to share the beauty with friends. 

Whether expanding your indoor garden or looking for a thoughtful gift, these step-by-step propagation methods will help you nurture new ZZ plants with ease.

Discover the joy of cultivating life from your beloved ZZ, enhancing your space with lush greenery while enjoying the fulfilling journey of plant propagation. 

Can I Propagate a ZZ Plant?

Can I Propagate a ZZ Plant

 

Certainly! ZZ plants and Raven ZZ plants are easily propagated, offering a rewarding and cost-effective way to expand your indoor house plant collection. 

You can propagate a ZZ plant through leaf cuttings, stem cuttings, or by division. This process not only allows you to multiply your plant collection but also rejuvenates the original plant. 

By creating new ZZ plants, you can have meaningful gifts for loved ones or fill more spaces in your home with green life. With proper ZZ plant care and attention to detail, propagation is a delightful and straightforward endeavor for both novice and seasoned plant enthusiasts.

Best Time to Propagate a ZZ Plant

Healthy ZZ plants can be propagated at any time of the year, but you’ll typically get the best results if you propagate your ZZ plants when they’re actively growing in spring or summer. 

The Tools You Need to Propagate a ZZ Plant

Whatever method you use, you’re not going to need very much to get started, however, it is a good idea to be prepared. If you get everything together in one place before you start it makes the process easier.

Essential tools and materials you need include:

  • Plant shears that are sharp and free of rust (a razor blade or sharp kitchen scissors are suitable swap-outs)
  • Rooting hormone can help ensure the success of the rooting process
  • Wide-mouthed water container that’s clear or green translucent
  • Pots that are around twice the size of the root ball on a rhizome
  • Well-draining soil mixture
  • Rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide for tool disinfection

Propagation of plants is a rewarding and fascinating process to obtain new plants. However, it’s important to follow proper sanitization and safety measures to prevent plant diseases and ensure the healthy growth of the plants. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Disinfect surfaces, such as greenhouse benches, potting stations, etc. 
  • Disinfect knives, shears, and other harvesting tools
  • Frequent hand-washing with clean water and soap is key

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How to Propagate a ZZ Plant Effortlessly in 3 Ways

Propagating a ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is a simple and rewarding process that allows you to expand your plant collection effortlessly. This resilient, low-maintenance and easy house plant can be propagated in three different ways, each providing a reliable method for creating new ZZ plant offspring. 

1. How to Propagate a ZZ Plant From Stem

ZZ Plant Stems for Propagation
Source: Joyusgarden

 

Propagating a ZZ plant from a stem is a straightforward and effective method to create new plants. This technique involves taking a healthy stem cutting from an existing ZZ plant and encouraging it to develop roots, ultimately giving rise to a new, independent plant. This is the slowest method but can be very rewarding if you’re willing to wait several months before a cutting turns into a new plant.  

Propagate ZZ Plant in Water From a Stem

  1. Select a mature and healthy stem ensuring it is at least a few inches long and possesses several healthy leaves.
  2. How to cut a ZZ plant for propagation? Make a clean cut using pruning shears or a sharp knife just below a node (the point where a leaf connects to the stem).
  3. Trim any leaves on the lower part of the stem, leaving only a couple of leaves at the top.
  4. Place in a clear glass or jar with enough water to submerge the cut end of the stalk, ensuring the node is submerged.
  5. Change the water every few days to maintain cleanliness and provide oxygen to the developing roots.
  6. Roots should start to appear after a few weeks.
  7. Once the roots are a few inches long and well-established, they are ready for transplanting into soil.
  8. Plant in a well-draining potting mix, burying the roots and leaving the stem at the same depth as it was in the water.

ZZ Plant Stem Cutting Propagation in Soil

  1. Follow steps 1, 2, and 3 from above.
  2. Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone to encourage faster root development.
  3. Fill a small pot or container with a well-draining potting mix.
  4. Create a hole in the potting mix using a stick or your finger and insert the cut end of the ZZ plant stem into the hole, ensuring the node is buried in the soil.
  5. Water the cutting thoroughly, allowing the soil to become evenly moist but not waterlogged. Ensure the pot has drainage holes.
  6. Place the pot in a location with indirect light.
  7. Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy.
  8. After a few weeks, check for root development by gently tugging the plant. If you feel resistance, roots have likely formed.
  9. Once there is a robust root system and the ZZ plant is showing signs of new growth, consider transplanting it into a larger container. 

2. Steps to Propagate a ZZ Plant From Leaf

ZZ Plant Leaf Propagation

 

Propagating from a leaf is another simple and reliable way to expand your plant collection, offering an opportunity to cultivate new growth from individual leaves. This method harnesses the plant’s natural ability to sprout from leaflets, making it a convenient way to reproduce the plant. 

How to Propagate ZZ Plant Leaf in Water

  1. Choose a mature and healthy leaf, ensuring it’s free from any damage or disease.
  2. Cut the leaf using clean scissors or a knife, making a clean cut at the base of the selected leaf. The cutting should be at least a few inches long.
  3. Fill a clear glass or jar with enough water to submerge the cut end of the ZZ plant leaf.
  4. Place the cut end of the leaf into the water making sure the whole of the cut section is submerged.
  5. Remember to change the water every few days as this will keep the cutting clean and provide sufficient oxygen for the developing roots.
  6. After a few weeks, you should start to see roots emerging.
  7. When the roots are a few inches long you can transplant it into a pot with a well-draining potting mix. The roots should be buried but the leaf must be above the soil.
  8. Place the potted ZZ plant leaf in a location with indirect sunlight.
  9. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. 

ZZ Plant Leaf Propagation in Soil

  1. Cut or pinch healthy leaves from your ZZ plant, cutting as close to the stem as possible.
  2. Allow the leaves to sit out for a few hours, or even overnight, so they form a callus on the cut end.
  3. Insert the cut ends into a moistened soil mix.
  4. Place a plastic bag over the top of the container to increase humidity.
  5. Let the plants rest in the moist soil and after several months, roots will form.  

3. ZZ Plant Propagation by Division

ZZ Plant Propagation by Division

 

Propagating a ZZ plant through division is one of the fastest ways to grow new plants. It involves separating a mature plant into smaller sections, each capable of growing independently. 

This technique is particularly effective when your plant has reached a substantial size, typically after a few years of growth. Timing is crucial for division, and it’s best done during the plant’s active growing season in spring or early summer when it exhibits robust growth, ensuring a smoother transition for both the parent and newly established plants.

You can divide your ZZ plant using the following technique:

  1. When you notice new stem shoots coming out of the ground from the rhizomes, it means the plant is ripe for division.
  2. Remove the mother plant from its pot, loosen the soil, and divide it into multiple parts.
  3. Each divided section should contain leaves and roots.
  4. Place the plants in loose, fresh soil in a pot that has drainage holes.
  5. The plants are already mature, so each section can grow more successfully.

If they don’t grow right away, it may be because they are a bit stressed from the division. Give them time and they should recover quickly without any issues.

Care Tips for Your Baby ZZ Plant

Care Tips for A Baby ZZ Plant

 

As you welcome the newest members of your indoor green family, caring for baby ZZ plants requires a gentle touch and a watchful eye. In this section of our guide, discover essential tips to ensure the thriving health and vitality of your propagated ZZ plants, from proper watering practices to providing the ideal light conditions.  

Transplanting: What Is the Best Soil for ZZ Plants?

When transplanting your ZZ plant, selecting the right soil is crucial for its continued well-being. Opt for a well-draining mix, such as a combination of potting soil and perlite or orchid bark. 

For a rooted leaf or stem, gently replant it in the chosen soil, ensuring the roots are adequately covered. 

If dividing a young plant, separate the rhizomes and place each division into its pot, using the recommended soil mix. 

ZZ Plant: Light and Temperature Requirements

ZZ plants thrive in low to bright, indirect light but can tolerate some direct sunlight. Ideally, provide them with medium to low light for optimal growth. 

Regarding temperature, they are relatively tolerant plants but are most comfortable in temperatures ranging from 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C).

How to Water Your New ZZ Plant

You should water the soil every two weeks or so. Timing can vary depending on where you live, so the best way to check if it’s time is to see if the top couple of inches of soil has dried before watering again. 

How Can I Make My ZZ Plant Propagate Faster?

While ZZ plants naturally propagate at their own pace, you can encourage faster propagation by:

  • Choosing a healthy parent plant
  • Providing adequate light
  • Maintaining a consistent optimal temperature
  • Regular watering
  • Balanced fertilization
  • Choosing the right method

Common ZZ Plants Problems and How to Fix Them

Common ZZ Plants Problems

 

In the lush world of ZZ plants, occasional challenges may arise, from yellowing leaves to potential pests. In this section, we’ll be your compass for troubleshooting and overcoming common problems.

Why Is My ZZ Plant Dying After Repotting?

There could be several reasons why your plant is dying after repotting. It could be transplantation shock, it’s planted too deep or too shallow, you’re over or under-watering it, or there are pest or disease problems.

Other causes could be improper lighting conditions or soil issues such as lack of drainage or nutrients and minerals needed for the plant to survive.  

How Do I Know If My ZZ Plant Is Overwatered?

Signs of an overwatered ZZ plant include yellow or wilted leaves, root rot, mold growth on the soil, stunted growth, or a faint odor from the roots. 

Can a ZZ Plant Get Too Much Light?

Yes, a ZZ plant can get too much light. They can tolerate a wide range of lighting conditions and grow in low-light conditions, but can quickly become leggy if not given enough light. 

However, you should protect the plant from harsh afternoon sunlight as direct sunlight can scorch the leaves of your plant. 

ZZ Plant Pest Issues

This houseplant is generally resistant to most pests and diseases, however, it can be susceptible to the following pests:

How to Propagate a ZZ Plant: FAQs

Q: What is the fastest way to propagate a ZZ plant?

A: Division is the easiest and fastest method, although you must wait for the “mother” plant to mature enough to create pups. 

Q: How long does it take to propagate a ZZ plant in water?

A: It can take 3 to 4 months or longer for a ZZ plant to root in water. 

Q: How much does a ZZ plant grow in a year?

A: Zamioculcas zamiifolia typically grows at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per year. They usually grow 6-8 new stems and spread outwards by about an inch or so in diameter yearly. 

Q: What is the growing season for ZZ?

A: The growing season for ZZ plants is largely dictated by lighting conditions. In most climates, they typically start growing in early spring and continue to grow until mid-autumn.

Q: Where should ZZ plants be placed in the house?

A: ZZ plants are tropical evergreens that flourish in low-light conditions. They can grow indoors or outdoors on the porch, in a dry shady spot, away from direct sunlight. The best place to put your plant indoors is near a southern window covered with a sheer curtain, or in a windowless room under bright fluorescent lights. 

Conclusion

With these propagation tips, you’ve embarked on a journey of multiplying the charm of your ZZ plant. As you await the flourishing of new green life, consider introducing companions like snake plant, golden pothos, or peace lily. Together, they create a verdant haven, each complementing the other’s resilience and beauty.