How to Care for a ZZ Plant

ZZ Plant.jpg

Zamioculcas zamiifolia, or ZZ Plants, are a perfect starter plant for any “brown thumb” who tends to love plants from afar. If you have a less than stellar track record with plants, consider the ZZ your new best friend. Read along for specific care instructions!

How much light does a ZZ Plant need?

The ZZ plant does best with bright, indirect light but also lives happily in low light. This makes it a great option for an apartment without a lot of windows, an indoor office, or even a bathroom without any natural light.

How much water does a ZZ Plant need?

Your ZZ Plant likes to be showered with compliments, not water. Tell it how nice it looks and how shiny its leaves are. Play it some music or ask how its day went. Forget to water it for weeks at a time. Be amazed.

All kidding aside, the ZZ Plant really does thrive on very little water. Water your ZZ when the soil has completely dried out. It’s similar to a succulent or cactus in its watering needs and can actually survive for months without water.

Does a ZZ Plant need fertilizer?

Nope. You can fertilize at half-strength in the spring if you really want to, but your ZZ will be fine without it.

What is the best temperature for a ZZ Plant?

ZZ Plants do well at room temperature but should not be placed near drafts, vents, or air conditioning units. Being too cold (under 50 degrees Fahrenheit) will stunt growth of your ZZ.

Common ZZ Plant problems

To put your best foot forward with your low-key ZZ Plant, read on to avoid the few common issues that might crop up. 

Too Much Light

While it’s nearly impossible to give the ZZ too little light, it can get a sunburn if it’s left in too much direct sunshine. If the leaves are curling, leaning away from the light, or showing signs of yellowing, try adding some shade or moving the plant away from the light source.


The easiest way to ruin your ZZ Plant’s day is overwatering. If the ZZ is turning yellow or feeling soggy/mushy, it may have root rot and definitely has been overwatered. Back off on the water until the soil has completely dried out. If your roots are already rotting, you may need to trim them back and repot the ZZ Plant, or take a cutting of your existing ZZ stalks to propagate new roots (ironically, this is done by placing the cut stalks in water).


While underwatering basically impossible to do, your ZZ will let you know if it needs more water. It is a drought resistant plant but in times of extreme drought (i.e., forgetfulness - no judgment, it happens), your ZZ Plant may start to drop leaves to conserve moisture. Water thoroughly so the top inch of soil is moist and watch your ZZ Plant thrive once again!

Crazy About your Sharp Dressed Plant

The ZZ is a gorgeous and eye-catching addition to any home, but you should keep it out of reach of curious pets and kids since it’s toxic to humans and animals. Wash your hands after handling your ZZ Plant.

If you have further questions about caring for your ZZ Plant, please let us know and we’ll be happy to help.

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