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Gardening How-to Articles

ZZ Plant: A Narrative Guide

Lee Patrick is an exhibit developer and former botanic photographer for BBG.


  • Kevin May 23, 2018

    I have a small zz plant which recently put out a new shoot with leaves not yet unfurled. Really like this plant !

  • BBG Library Staff January 10, 2018

    Hi Amy: ZZ plants (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) are known for growing in very low light conditions inside homes, but they are said to grow faster with brighter light (but not direct sunlight). You might also try low doses of time-release or liquid plant fertilizer higher in nitrogen than potash. Look for an N-P-K number like 10-0-0 or 7-2-2. Nitrogen encourages foliage growth while potash encourages blooms. You can also trim the flower stalk (peduncle) off as soon as it starts growing, in hopes of rerouting the plant’s energy to producing taller foliage rather than flowers. In the meantime, enjoy the flowers on your plant while you have them! ZZ plants do not commonly bloom indoors.

  • Amy A December 13, 2017

    My ZZ plant is over 7 years old. For The last 3 years it has flowered over and over (about 8 times) but has had no new leaf growth. I can’t find any information on in what conditions it flowers versus in what conditions it grows new leaves. Any ideas about what to do to encourage new leaf growth rather than flowering?

  • Donnie October 19, 2017

    Wonderful article and photos, Lee. I’ve just ordered my first ZZ plant—just found out about them yesterday—and am excited about seeing how it will do in a darker corner of my living room. I had an aspidistra there, but it slowly declined, so I may try your idea of rotating to a brighter place.

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