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ZZ Plant, Care, and Common Problems - Varnish + Vine

ZZ Plant, Care, and Common Problems

ZZ plants are incredibly popular houseplants, and for good reason. They're easy to care for, don't require a lot of water (thanks to their thick leaves), and are just plain beautiful. But there's one thing everyone wants to know: how do you care for them?

In this guide, we will go over everything you need to know about ZZ plants, including what they are, where they come from, and most importantly, how to care for your ZZ so that you can give it the TLC it needs to thrive.

What is the ZZ Plant?

The ZZ plant is a sprawling succulent that's also known as Zamioculcas Zamiifolia. It's a perennial, tropical flowering plant in the same family as calla lilies and philodendrons. This plant is prized for their foliage, which can grow up to 3 feet tall and wide, the perfect size for hanging baskets or large containers on your patio or porch.

The leaves of a ZZ plant are thick and leathery, with glossy green tops that turn bright yellow when exposed to sunlight. They're arranged in pairs along each stem rather than spirally around it like most other tropical plants, which makes them unique among houseplants.

There are a few different types of ZZ plants that you might encounter when shopping for succulents, such as the large ZZ plant, the black ZZ plant, and the normal variety of Zamioculcas. All of them are beautiful and look great in home décor designs and backyard gardens.

Where Does the ZZ Plant Come From?

The ZZ plant is a tropical plant that originates from the rainforests of South Africa and Brazil. It is native to the subtropical areas of these countries, where it grows on rocky outcrops in direct sunlight.

In its natural habitat, the ZZ plant can grow up to five meters tall (just over 16 feet). But in your home or office, you’re unlikely to find one taller than about three feet (1 meter).

How To Care for a ZZ Plant?

ZZ plants are fairly easy to care for, just follow the tips below, and you shouldn't have too much difficulty with your ZZ.

1. Lots of Indirect Sunlight

ZZ plants prefer lots of indirect sunlight, which means they'll do best in a room that gets plenty of natural light but not direct sun. To keep your plant healthy, you should also avoid placing it near windows with no curtains or blinds, as these can cause the plant to burn.

2. Keep the Soil Moist

ZZ plants thrive in areas with high humidity and low drainage, so they need to be watered often, but not too often! Over-watering is a common problem among ZZ plant owners.

To avoid drowning your plant, check its soil every few days and water only when the soil feels dry or when you notice leaves wilting.

3. Avoid Over-Watering

You can also avoid overwatering your ZZ plant by using the "drip method." Dip a bamboo skewer into the pot and remove it after 10 seconds; if no water comes out onto it, then it's time to water!

4. Add Fertilizer

ZZ plants are succulents and don't need much water, but they do need a little fertilizer. Once a month, add a small amount of water-soluble balanced fertilizer to the soil and give the plant a good drink.

Common Problems with ZZ Plants

ZZ plants are fairly low maintenance, but that doesn't mean you can forget about them entirely. If neglected, this succulent can develop root rot, wither, and die, just as any other plant can. That said, there are a few things you can do to help your ZZ thrive in your home or garden.

First and foremost, when growing a ZZ plant, you will want to keep it in a place with plenty of indirect light. This way, the leaves and stems will be green. Remember, if the leaves turn yellow and fall off or become brown, this means that your plant is not getting enough light.

If you see signs of root rot (the roots are soft and slimy instead of firm), this could be caused by poor drainage in your potting mix or over-watering. So, cut back on the amount of water you are giving your ZZ. It's also important to make sure that there isn't any standing water at the bottom of your pot since this can cause fungal diseases that can damage or even kill your ZZ plant.


The ZZ plant is a great addition to any home, office, or dorm room. It's relatively easy to care for and can even be grown in low light conditions. So, if you are looking for a beautiful plant that doesn't require much maintenance, then the ZZ plant may be the perfect choice for you. Just remember to give your ZZ plenty of indirect sunlight, keep the soil moist (but not wet!) And give it a bit of fertilizer every now and again. 

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