Low Maintenance Plant: ZZ Plants

Low Maintenance Plant: Coneflower

Add some greenery to your home & breathe easier with the beautiful ZZ plant.

These tough as nail plants are perfect for busy gardeners, frequent travelers and those with black thumbs. Its indestructible nature makes it the perfect plant for the office.

The tropical ZZ plant is a close relative of Chinese evergreen, anthurium and philodendron. NASA found ZZ plants were very effective at purifying indoor air by helping to eliminate air pollutants found in homes and office buildings.

The thick stems, actually leaf stems or petioles, of ZZ plant arise from thick fleshy rhizomes that store water and nutrients. This underground reservoir helps the plant survive difficult times.

Grow your ZZ plant in moderate to low light and well-drained soil. And no need to mist; it tolerates the low humidity in our homes and offices.

Allow the top few inches of soil to dry before watering thoroughly. Pour off any excess water. Or save time and effort by elevating the plant on pebbles placed in the saucer. Avoid overwatering that can lead to root rot and decline of these drought tolerant plants.

No need to worry about pests; these tropical beauties are basically pest free. Avoid drafts of cold air and overwatering that can lead to yellowing. Move struggling plants to a draft-free location and adjust the watering schedule as needed.

Only fertilize actively growing plants as needed. These slow growing plants need minimal fertilization so use a dilute solution of houseplant fertilizer during the growing season as needed.

Transplant potbound plants into the next size container. Or divide into smaller pieces and plant in containers slightly larger than the remaining rootball. Use new plants to expand your indoor plant collection or share with friends.

And have some fun by starting new plants from a single leaf. Remove a leave (leaflet) and bury the bottom half in a well-drained potting mix. In a month or two a new plant will begin to grow at the base of the leaf.

At a Glance
Name: ZZ Plant, Zanzibar Gem, Zulu, Fat Boy, Eternity Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
Size: 2 to 3 feet tall
Light: Tolerates low to moderate light
Water: Drought tolerant – water thoroughly when top few inches of soil is dry
Soil: well-drained potting mix


Written by, gardening expert, Melinda Myers.  Each month Melinda will feature a low maintenance plant perfect for beginning and experienced gardeners looking for attractive easy care plants.  Melinda Myers is a nationally recognized gardening expert with more than 30 years of horticulture experience.  She is a wealth of knowledge and we are pleased to share Melinda’s Low Maintenance Plant of the Month with you!