ZZ Care

The ZZ (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is a semi-succulent native to the semi-arid regions of Eastern Africa. It is accustomed to long periods of dry conditions interspersed with bursts of generous rain. As such, the ZZ has evolved a rhizomous root system that holds on to as much water as it can absorb, as well as fleshy, moisture rich leaves. It is crucial to let your ZZ dry out between watering. This is a plant that thrives on neglect and is a great choice for frequent travelers and those who occasionally forget to water. The ZZ plant prefers bright indirect light but is very low light tolerant.


Placement: The ZZ is an ideal plant for the house or office. The species requires little attention and does well in almost any type of container. Indirect bright light is ideal for a ZZ, yet they are also content in low light situations, and do fine in direct light, making it a versatile and near fool proof indoor plant.

ZZs are one of the hardiest plants in nature, can be propagated from a single leaf.

Routine Maintenance

The ZZ plant prefers soil on the drier side and the soil should never be damp, so do not water if the top inch or two of soil is still moist. ZZ plants are especially susceptible to being over watered and twice monthly watering is reccomended. If the leaves of your plant are yellowing or the stems appear droopy, it is likely that the soil it too wet. Allow the soil to dry thoroughly before recommencing your watering routine.

Remember each plant is a unique living thing and may have varying needs, especially in their individual locations. When putting a ZZ in a low light location, water even more infrequently.

PRO TIP: Every month or so, use a microfiber cloth to wipe any dust off the leaves of your ZZ. This helps to maintain their lovely glossy sheen and ensures your plant is able to absorb light more efficiently.

Small Planter Instructions

Our desktop ZZ planters don’t have drainage. For this reason it’s important to keep an eye on overwatering! The lighting conditions will determine how often your plant needs to drink, but always make sure the soil is totally dry before watering. It’s better to err on the side of caution than giving your ZZ too much. If you’re worried you’re not giving your ZZ enough water, check the leaves: if they’re pruned and wrinkly it’s time for a drink.

Standard Planter Instructions

When you receive your new ZZ it will have been top watered before delivery; wait for the top two inches of soil to dry out completely before saturating the soil with water. ZZs are very sensitive to over watering and you will likely not need to water the plant again for several weeks. It is far easier to revive a ZZ that has received too little water than one that has received too much.

Self Watering Container Instructions

The self-watering planters require a good, solid drenching of the topsoil after they are first placed. This is important, because the roots of the plants need to grow into the reservoir in order to drink from it. Water once a week until the topsoil is moist. TEST: After two weeks, fill the reservoir up half-way, and keep an eye on the indicator. If the indicator goes down, it means the plant is ready for reservoir servicing. If not, be sure to water weekly until it does.

RESERVOIR SERVICING: Once the indicator goes down, do not refill the reservoir right away. Similar to how humans need a breath of air between gulps of water, almost all plants require a drying out period. ZZs are sensitive to over watering, so once the reservoir is empty wait 3-7 days before you refill.

From here on out, you should NEVER topwater the plant. If you water from the top, it can drown the plant. Even if the soil is dry, water only using the reservoir.

Step 1: Top water for two weeks. The indicator will look empty, like the picture above.

Step 2: Fill the reservoir until the red indicator reaches the MAX line.

Step 3: Watch the indicator over the next day or two. If it goes down on its own, it means the roots of the plant have grown into the reservoir. From here on out, ONLY water in the reservoir.


The most common issue for a ZZ is over watering. A yellowing ZZ is often a sign it is getting too much water and the rhizomes may be rotting. Do not allow the soil to remain damp, it is important to let the soil dry out completely between waterings. Err on the side of too dry rather than too wet.

If the leaves are wrinkling and the plant is clearly dehydrated then saturate the soil, place the plant in bright, indirect light, and leave it alone for a few days. The leaves should plump back up shortly. Leaves that have already incurred damage may die off, but this does not mean the plant is dying, nor is it necessarily an indicator that the plant needs more water.

ZZs do best when not overly tended, but, as with any plant, it is a good idea to check in occasionally. Gently wipe down the leaves with a damp cloth when the plant appears dusty or dirty and periodically check for pests. Once you get to know your plant a bit, you should start to get a feel for when it is happy or in need of assistance.

Additional Care Guides