Zamioculca Care Guide

If Zamioculca Zamiifolia were a person, it would be that popular individual that no one can explain how everyone likes, but as soon as you talk to it you realise that it is good-natured, relaxed and patient. This plant is beautiful and charming, with its long, fleshy branches, deep green colour and shiny leaves that reflect the light and make any environment bright, but its popularity is due to other reasons: it is almost-almost immortal.

If you're looking for a pretty plant that's so laid-back it can handle being forgetful, the Zamioculca is for you, and with this care guide you'll have everything you need to make it the star of your spaces.

From Z to Z: facts about the Zamioculcas

  • It is an ancient species that originated on the African continent where it learned to survive in drought conditions. It was brought to this side of the world by Dutch nurses in South Africa in the mid-1990s and began to spread.
  • It is not all about size, beauty and hardiness. It is part of the army of purifying plants. The ZZ plant improves air quality and is a machine for removing xylene, toluene and benzene toxins from the environment.
  • It is related to Potos and Peace Lily, so you could buy them together to keep them company.
  • Zamia, as it is also known, is slow growing and can reach a height of up to a metre, but will not take up too much space, like a monstera or other bushier, more aggressive plant.
  • It has many names: zamioculca, crow plant, Zanzibar gem, Zamia and ZZ plant. In English it is called ZiZi.
  • Envy exists. A decade ago there was a false rumour that it was a poisonous plant. The truth is that as long as neither humans nor pets chew on the leaves, they are in no danger. Seriously, it's a very relaxed and good vibe plant, so don't listen to the gossip (and don't chew the plants, please).

ZZ Plant Care


Zamioculcas can live in very low light conditions, but this is not always ideal. In fact, if it does not get enough light, it will grow too little and the branches will become too long and stretched out with few leaves. The ideal light point is moderate to medium, never in direct sunlight because it will scorch the leaves. In short: don't leave it in full sun or put it in a completely dark room, it needs some indirect light.


At the roots of your ZZ plant you will find some chubby rhizomes, which look like tiny potatoes. This is where they store a little water and allow them to withstand some periods of drought, so they will be ready to live even if you are one of those forgetful people. In fact, they prefer to be watered infrequently.

I water my ZZ plant every week or two, depending on the ambient temperature. In winter it is recommended to water it every 3 or 4 weeks. However, pay attention to your crow plant for the first few days so that you can establish a watering rhythm.

Remember to always let the substrate dry out between waterings, if you touch it and it is damp, wait a few more days. It is better to forget to water than to overwater.

Soil and potting

Zamioculcas are not picky about the substrate. Any universal substrate will do, as long as it has a pot with good drainage that allows it to remove any excess water that might rot the rhizomes. You can put it in pots that are taller than they are wide, so that it has enough space for roots and new branches.

Temperature and humidity

These plants come from warm, tropical climates, so if you are comfortable indoors or in the office, then your Zamioculca will be too. Remember to keep it away from air conditioning vents (it doesn't like cold draughts) or radiator/heating, as they detract from its humidity.

There is no need to spray it with water or anything else as it will damage the protective coating on the leaf, but it would do well to be with other plants to keep it spritzy.

Fertiliser, propagation and transplanting

Zamia's nutritional requirements are very simple, so you can use a balanced universal fertiliser once a month during the growing season (spring-summer). It is a slow-growing plant, so you will need to repot it perhaps every 12 to 18 months. And while you are transplanting, you can take the opportunity to propagate it. There are two ways to do this: either separate the rhizomes, which is a tricky job, or use the branches that you have pruned, bent or broken (I don't judge. Accidents happen).

Take the branch you've cut off, let it sit for a couple of hours out of the sun and place it in a glass or vase with some water. Only a few centimetres of the twig should be submerged. You can replenish the water as it evaporates. Be patient, as it may take several weeks for it to take root. You will know it is time to put it in the pot with soil when you see the rhizomes, those chubby roots.

A couple of tips: smaller, younger branches take less time to develop roots; and if you cut two or more twigs it is better, because they tend to grow better and stronger when there are several of them.
share it with the world!
About the author
Ame Rodríguez

Dedicated to creating an army of cacti, succulents, poodles and cats to help me conquer the world. In the little free time I have left, I play, write and dance.

5€ discount

on your first purchase sign up and join the club!


I accept the terms of use and the privacy policy.