The ZZ Plant is one of our favorite PLANTZ. It might have something to do with the extensive use of the letter “Z”, but we love it. If you’re looking for a ‘get it, and (nearly) forget it’ plant, try this one. To keep its leaves glossy and shiny, there’s only a few things you need to know:
This plant is a lite drinker, rarely requiring watering more than once a month. With proper sub-irrigation techniques, we’ve seen these plants thrive on 45-day watering intervals. Use your Soil Sleuth (probe). Check it every couple weeks. When it gets really dry, wait 2 more weeks and then water it thoroughly (and forget it for several more weeks).
ZZs thrive in medium light, but can be sustained in very low light. In fact, there are scenarios where you can give it too much light, like unfiltered sunlight from an adjacent window. Filtered light is best, but you can use this plant practically anywhere except your closet; unless, of course, you have really cool closet with a nice window).
The ZZ Plant likely will not need to be fed during the first 6 months after it has shipped. During this time, it will use the residual nutrients from nursery production. After 6 months, it can be fed quarterly with a complete fertilizer formulated for interior plants.
Simply wiping the leaves with a wet cloth usually does the trick for dust removal. For spots where something else (besides dust) has landed on your plant, use a mild soapy solution to wet the cloth; then wipe. EZ-ZZ.
There’s not a lot to do here either. Sometimes, you’ll get a random yellowing leaflet that can be pruned or pinched off. If an entire leaf starts to go yellow, prune it all the way back to the stem.
In an unofficial survey of PLANTZ staff, we’re not sure we’ve ever seen a bug on a ZZ. If one shows up, take a picture and send it to us as proof; then wipe it off with a rag or sponge soaked in a mild soapy solution.
Like many in the Araceae family, the leaves and stems of the ZZ are toxic to animals (including humans), so do not ingest any part of the plant. And, we’ve just been informed that cats are actually animals too; so, if you have a cat (or dog, or any other pet), keep them away from the ZZ.