Everything You Need to Know About the ZZ Plant – A Must Have Houseplant!

LAST UPDATED: Feb 24, 2021 | PUBLISHED: Sep 20, 2019 | By:

Get all the details about my new favorite houseplant – the Zamioculcas Zamiifolia, otherwise known as the popular ZZ Plant. ZZ Plant Care is beyond easy and this plant is perfect if you have a black thumb!

Step inside our lake house and learn why this extremely low maintenance beauty might work for your home!

Living room scene with a white sectional, large photos on the wall and a wooden side table featuring a houseplant. #zzplant #zzplantcare

Remember my struggles with framing and hanging this oversized art in our lower level living room at the lake? Why is it that sometimes the simplest household decorating and renovation projects turn into a huge ordeal? (Wait…is that just us?)

Well fortunately, some houseplants, like the ZZ Plant are much easier! A plant is the easiest way to breathe fresh life into your home.

I’ve brought you some fun plant inspiration in the past, including posts about the best easy care plants (you can’t kill them!), my favorite Meyer Lemon trees, and even the best way to water plants when you’re away. Plants can instantly breathe cozy warmth and life into your home.

A little touch of living, breathing greenery goes a long way! Adding a touch of something organic is one of my top tips for creating a warm and cozy atmosphere in your home, and our new ZZ plant does just that.

Living room scene with a white sectional, large photos on the wall and a wooden side table featuring a houseplant. #zzplant #zzplantcare

In fact, I was able to order these houseplants just a couple days before guests were arriving for my blogging retreat at our lake cottage. Even better? They can go weeks without water which makes them easy to maintain – even if you have a black thumb.

Thanks for all your plant suggestions over on Instagram a couple months ago! Yes, this plant is a social media star, and with good reason. The ZZ plant is PERFECT for our low-maintenance needs!

I added ours to a neutral container that has a fresh modern touch to work with our lake cottage decor. You can also put it in a plastic lined basket or terra cotta pot.

Today I’m sharing all the details about this easy to care for house plant!

Living room scene with a white sectional, large photos on the wall and a wooden side table featuring a houseplant. #zzplant #zzplantcare

ZZ Plant Quick Facts

  • ZZ Plant is short for Zamioculcas zamiifolia.
  • This houseplant features graceful wand-like stems and stylized feathered oval leaves.
  • 3-4′ tall full height
  • Native to Eastern Africa
  • Easy to care for; plant requires water when soil is dry and will tolerate some drought.
  • It thrives in moderate, indirect light, but will also do well in areas with low levels of light.
  • Resistant to pests and diseases.
  • Air-purifying qualities create a healthier home.
A white living room with emerald green accents and fresh plants.

Let’s get technical – this plant is really called a Zamioculcas zamiifolia, but WHO is going to call it that? The name ZZ Plant is just as easy to say as it is to care for, which is exactly why I decided to incorporate it into our lake cottage!

A zz plant in a gray pot by a dutch door in a white room.

ZZ Plant Care

Here’s where this incredible houseplant is really the star of the show. It’s so low-maintenance that it can go quite a while without water!

Even if you’re forgetful like me, or if you’re in a weekends-only scenario like we are at the lake cottage, this plant is the ultimate solution.

  • They love moderate/indirect light situations but will do amazingly well even in very low lighting. (Very bright or direct sun can cause a little burning on the edges of their leaves though, so consider filtering any direct sunlight. Avoid south-facing windows for this reason.)
  • Less is more. Less love, less water, less concern, less zz plant care. It’s true! Don’t over-water this plant because they will let you know when they are ready. In fact, only water when the soil has dried out. Indeed, too much water can be the death of these plants so you should treat them similarly to a succulent. They can survive for MONTHS without water! Don’t ask me how I know this. 
  • Fertilizer is unnecessary but if you’d like to give them an additional boost, you can fertilize up to twice a year.
  • Don’t expect distinct, marked growth from this plant. In fact, they will often stay the same shape/height for months at a time, which can actually be ideal for home decor situations.
  • Because the leaves are dark and glossy, they might show a little dust. Don’t use a leaf shine product though-simply wipe with a slightly damp cloth.
  • Any potting soil will do, they don’t require anything special.
A white dutch door, top open, with a small potted plant to the side.

Benefits of Zamioculcas Zamiifolia

I’m so excited to share all the details of this fun houseplant with you because I know so many of you struggle with plant care like I do. In fact, I’ve touched on my struggles with watering in the past, and I’m always searching for the perfect plants that I can’t kill!

I never give up on my love for houseplants though, simply because there are so many benefits to plants in our homes. My appreciation for plants goes far beyond my love for organic touches in my home decor:

A white exterior dutch door, top open, with a zz plant on the floor by the door. #zzplant
  • Increase oxygen levels
  • They reduce illnesses like colds by decreasing dust in your home.
  • Plants create calm and a sense of well-being.
  • Reduce carbon dioxide and provide clean air
  • Naturally increase humidity
  • Plants can reduce stress and even decrease your blood pressure!

One of the only negatives of this easy care plant? It is actually considered poisonous. While that sounds dangerous, it’s fairly easy to avoid anything treacherous here. Be careful with this plant if you have curious pets and rambunctious kids! If you’re repotting the ZZ plant, wear gardening gloves and be sure to wash your hands well after.

Floral wallpapered bedroom, with a modern white dresser and gold mirror, Zamioculcas Zamiifolia on the floor beside dresser
Does the ZZ plant cause cancer?

ZZ plants are actually quite safe, even though they are known to be poisonous. A part of the Philodendron family, they contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can be irritating to skin and can cause stomach upset if ingested. They are not cancer-causing plants.

Should I remove yellow leaves from ZZ plant?

Yes! Always remove any yellowing, dying leaves from your houseplants. However, this won’t fix the root cause of where the yellowing is coming from, which is often too much water.

How do you know when a ZZ plant needs water?

Allow the first three inches of the soil to dry out at the top of the plant before the next watering. You’ll know if it needs water because the leaves will often drop, whereas yellowing leaves indicate too much water.

What’s not to love? I encourage you to give this fantastic houseplant a try, even if you’ve had bad luck with plants in the past. No judgement for black thumbs!

I added these gorgeous plants throughout our lake cottage – they are thriving in every room! Our basement living room, our entryway, and even this dark corner of our bedroom are more cheerful with the addition of a ZZ plant.

A white dutch door with the top open, a small potted plant to the side.

I’d love to hear from you! Do you have a ZZ plant? If so, are you loving it as much as I am? If you’re looking to breathe a little life into your home, this is the perfect way to do it!

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