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Growing Indoor Zenzi ZZ: Tips, Advice and Instructions


Zenzi ZZ is known for having attractive features. Its diverse appearance and feels bring it to being one of the most common houseplants and a popular choice among plant lovers. The dwarf cultivar of the ZZ plant also makes a great desk plant and can be displayed on an office desk.

In this curated Zenzi ZZ care, we’ll discuss the yay’s or nay’s when it comes to raising your ZZ plant. We’ll also talk about the origin and other interesting facts about this plant! You can check out our Where To Buy if you’re looking to take one home for yourself.

What Is Zenzi ZZ?

The ZZ Zenzi plant is a perennial from the Araceae that is famous because of its cute dark green leaves.

This attractive plant is also known as Zanzibar gem, Aroid palm, and Zuzu plant. It is a hardy plant that is drought resistant and will grow well in hardiness zones 10-11 when outdoors.

Origin And Family

The Zanzibar gem is part of the Zamioculcas genus in the Araceae family. It is native to the forests of Eastern Africa. As an attractive houseplant that can tolerate times of drought, it has become a favorite for many indoor growers.

Where To Buy

You should be able to find Zenzi ZZ at your local nursery or a home improvement store. However, if you don’t want the trouble of driving, scanning aisles, and transporting a plant to your car, head over online to Etsy. We’ve had great success buying our houseplants there!

Prices for the Zenzi ZZ are expensive, starting at $18 and reaching up to $73.

Zenzi ZZ Plant Size

The Zenzi ZZ, as a houseplant, reaches a height of 30 to 45cm. It typically grows at a slow to moderate rate, but you can place it close to an east or west-facing window for ideal plant development. You may place it in an area with bright indirect light, but it still grows well in lower light situations.

Zenzi ZZ Care Needs

Most plants, including Zenzi ZZ, are simple to cultivate with adequate care.

It favors relatively dry soil and is known for having evergreen leaves. For best results, water this Zenzi when the top of the soil is completely dry. Although it requires only low water, your pot, like most plants, should have sufficient drainage holes.

Care Difficulty

The Aroid palm is typically considered an easy-care plant. For growing conditions, the main considerations are the amount of water and the amount of light that this plant has.

Growth Rate

When grown indoors, the Zuzu plant grows to a height of 30 to 45cm. It grows the fastest during spring.

Most Zamioculcas species, including the Zenzi, have a slow-to-moderate growing speed.


When it comes to potting material and size for this plant, it’s generally okay to use a nursery pot. The main thing to take into consideration is that your container should have at least one drainage hole. Zanzibar gem does not like sitting in water; otherwise, it may succumb to root rot.


To maintain a healthy plant, it is a good idea to transplant it to a bigger pot once it grows to a certain size. When it is root-bound or when you notice any brown leaves, roots growing out of drainage holes, or soil that drains and dries out very quickly, you’ll know that it’s time to repot.

On average, Zenzi ZZ grows at a slow-to-moderate pace and needs to be repotted every other year. Soil loses its natural nutrient components gradually, so it’s better to add some well-drained potting soil when you’re repotting.


When it comes to growing medium for Zenzi ZZ, a well-draining potting soil is your best bet. Perlite, orchid bark, and horticultural charcoal are ideal for the soil. Aeration and drainage are a necessity for this plant.

Here are some great growing medium options to choose from:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $12.96 ($0.03 / Ounce)
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99 ($0.04 / Ounce)
Sun Gro Horticulture...image Sun Gro Horticulture 8-Quart Black Gold 1310102 Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $14.73 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Miracle-Gro Potting Mix $32.46
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quarts | The Hydroponic City Stake $23.99 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)


pH for this plant must be around 6.0 to 7.0, meaning your Zuzu plant likes slightly acidic soil. If you’re repotting on schedule or regularly adding new soil, pH level wouldn’t be as much of a concern compared to when you’re growing this plant outdoors. 


Your Zanzibar gem will prefer that the soil remain reasonably dry between watering sessions. Feel the soil with your finger and determine whether it is fully dry. If this is the case, vigorously drench your plant until water leaks out of the pot’s bottom.

Overwatering is one of the most prevalent causes of indoor plant demise. When in doubt, an underwatered Zanzibar gem is typically preferred over an overwatered Zanzibar gem. Use a well-draining soil and a container with drainage holes to keep your plant’s roots from drowning.


Zenzi ZZ prefers low light for 12 hours daily. Keep in mind that you’re trying to recreate its growing conditions in its native habitat in East and South Africa. Keeping this plant near an east or west-facing window works well in most situations.

You’ll know your Zenzi ZZ is getting too much light when you notice its leaves being scorched and dried out. Conversely, the plant turns brown if it doesn’t get enough light.


Feed your Aroid palm if you want to give it some extra nutrient boost. Use slow-release fertilizers during the plant’s growing season in the spring.

Here are some plant food alternatives:

In wintertime, when growth naturally slows down, there is no need for you to fertilize your plant as much as you should during its growing season.

Propagating Zenzi ZZ

You can easily reproduce your Zenzi ZZ through various steps. Check out the detailed instructions for each propagation method listed below.

Stem Cuttings In Soil

One basic method to grow a Zanzibar gem is by directly planting stem cuttings into the soil. If you don’t already have this plant, you can purchase a cutting from Etsy or your local Facebook Marketplace.

It is best to propagate during the spring so it will be easier for your plant to recover from transplant shock.

1. Cut. Cut a healthy section of the plant with clean shears. A cutting should be at least three inches tall and have a few leaves and nodes.

2. Plant. Place the nodes of the stem in a pot or container filled with wet potting soil. To keep the plant in place, press the dirt around the stem or use wooden skewers. Excessive movement might limit root development.

3. Maintain. Position your container near a window that receives indirect bright light. Keep the soil moistened.

4. Wait. New roots should emerge in around 2-3 weeks. A developing sprout is a plausible sign that your cutting has grown roots effectively!

Stem Cuttings In Water

Here are the steps in successfully developing Aroid palm cuttings in water:

1. Cut. Using a sharp knife, cut the stem right below a node. Remove flower stems and lower leaves so that your cutting may concentrate its efforts on root growth.

2. Submerge. Fill an old glass bottle halfway with water and place the cutting inside. Any section of the stem beneath the water’s surface should be leaf-free.

3. Maintain. Your new plant will thrive in a well-lit window with excellent ventilation. Keep a humidifier handy to keep the leaves looking fresh.

4. Refill. Check the water every 3-5 days to determine whether it needs to be replenished with a fresh batch.

5. Transplant. Your cutting is ready for planting in soil when the roots are around an inch long or longer.


A Zuzu plant can also be propagated by breaking the clusters of stems with entangled root systems.

1. Dig up. Tap the edges of the pot with your small shovel to loosen the soil. Pull gently on the plant till it comes out.

2. Separate. The natural boundaries of each stem should be visible. Use your hands to separate them. It may be necessary to trim the roots, but make sure not to harm the main root balls.

3. Repot. Repot each area in smaller pots with the same soil they’ve been using.

Humidity And Aeration

Zenzi ZZ plant is a natural air purifier that loves average household humidity. Keep the humidity level between 40-50% at all times.

Use a plain hygrometer to check the air moisture level in your Zenzi ZZ’s area. If the record is too low, you can improve the humidity through the following methods:

• Plants discharge moisture from their leaves through the process of transpiration, so they’ll benefit from each other if you keep houseplants closely together.

• Keep a flat tray of pebbles and water underneath your plant’s pot. The evaporated water will provide some nourishment to the plant.

• Purchase a humidifier for your plants. This will consistently release steam and raise the humidity in a room.


Warm temperatures are preferable for Zuzu plant plants. They can thrive in temperatures ranging from 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

They do, however, like stable temperatures, so keep them away from windows and other openings that may allow cool air during winter. Also, keep them far from vents and other heat sources that might dry up the air.


Unfortunately, the Aroid palm is toxic to both pets (including cats and dogs) and humans. Because of its calcium oxalate crystals, this plant can usually cause skin irritation. You can expect the following symptoms if this plant is ingested: immediate aching or a burning sensation and swelling of the throat, lips, mouth, or tongue. However, in most cases, this plant is considered non-life threatening.


Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

Is your Zenzi ZZ looking ill? Most would say that this is not a plant with strong resistance to pests, diseases, and overall problems.

In the succeeding sections, I’ve provided the common issues that affect this air-purifying plant. Use this guide to help diagnose and cure your Zamioculcas.

Spider Mites

Houseplants can occasionally bring in unwanted guests in the form of pests. One example is  spider mites. Its larvae are not visible, but adult mites can be seen running around when disturbed.

Spraying neem oil with water on the leaves of your plants can kill spider mites in their larval stage. Organic Pyrethrin sprays are also excellent at combating adult mites. When spraying pesticides at home, pick compounds that are not dangerous to people if breathed.

Fungus Gnats

If you notice your Zanzibar gem suddenly wilting, yellowing, or growing slower than usual, it may be a sign that your plant has fungus gnats. These gnats look like a tinier version of mosquitoes that lightly flutter about your plant.

When you spot these moisture-loving pests, keep the topsoil dry by switching to bottom-watering instead of pouring water from above. Another option is to sprinkle diatomaceous earth on your topsoil. This will dehydrate the larvae and dissuade the adults from laying more eggs.

If the infestation is severe, fungus gnat larvae can be killed by drenching the soil with four parts water and one part of hydrogen peroxide.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew appears as a white cobweb-like substance that covers the surface of your Zuzu plant’s leaves, hindering photosynthesis. The leaves will turn yellow and eventually drop.

This disease is a type of fungus that thrives in warm, humid climates. Young foliage is the most vulnerable to damage. It can be prevented by good, consistent air circulation.

Fungicides including Bonide and Spectracide work well against powdery mildew. Mouthwash can also be a good way to kill fungal spores. Mix it with water and spray it on the affected areas.

White Flies

Whiteflies, which are related to mealybugs, scales, and aphids, can be identified by a cloud of white flakes rising into the air when disturbed.

Their larvae will eat the sap off your Zanzibar gem, inflicting significant leaf damage. Whiteflies have a moth-like appearance, a triangular form, and a gray-white tint.

In a severe infestation, apply an insecticidal soap (or make your own by mixing a tablespoon of Castile soap with a quart of water). The soap will suffocate the eggs, larvae, and adults. To avoid burn, apply when the day is at its coolest and repeat as necessary.

Scale Insects

Scale insects, which may be green, gray, brown, or black in appearance, may show as lumps on the stems or leaves of your Zenzi ZZ. These little bugs normally remain stationary once they’ve hooked onto a plant.

For minor infestations, you can dissuade scale insects from attacking your plant by aggressively spraying your plant with neem oil (1 tablespoon) and water (4 glasses) using a spray bottle.

There are several pesticide sprays you can use for scales that are considered safe for indoor usage, but you can also use neem oil and horticultural oils. These oils may not kill the pests but will certainly cause some damage to them.


Aphids are small crawlers or winged insects that will suck the sap of your Aroid palm. They can be in different colors of brown, black, white, red, green, and many others.

Check for aphids on the underside of leaves, on unfurled shoots, and on delicate areas of the stem. If you see these insects (usually in a cluster), act quickly before they spread to other houseplants!

First, use a plastic bag to cover the soil. Then, give your plant a rigorous wash with soap and water. You can use a sponge to make sure all surfaces are covered. Once done, isolate your plant in a shaded area with good airflow so its leaves won’t burn from the soap.

If the aphids come back, spray your Aroid palm with neem oil, horticultural oil, or rubbing alcohol. Remember to dilute these products first. 


Mealybugs may infest your Zuzu plant. These little parasites damage your Zamioculcas by inserting a feeding tube into the plant tissues and sucking on the sap. They have the potential to weaken or even kill your plant.

To get rid of them, dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and then physically remove each mealybug with its tip. To suffocate these pests, neem oil can be sprinkled on the leaves.

Brown Leaf Tips

The edges of your Zanzibar gem’s leaves may turn brown if it’s not getting the sufficient amount of moisture that it needs, both from the air and through its roots. Water your plant on time and check if the humidity level in its location is consistent with its needs.

You may also need to consider the amount and frequency that you apply fertilizers. Overfeeding can burn the foliage of your houseplants, and this is typically manifested as browning edges on their leaves.

Yellow Leaves

Sometimes, you may notice yellow leaves on your Aroid palm, which can be a sign of trouble. Moisture stress, inadequate lighting, nutritional imbalance, variable temperatures, insect infestations, bacterial or viral infections, and other factors all contribute to this condition.

To pinpoint the problem, you will need to consider any recent changes in the weather or in terms of how you care for your plant.

Root Rot

The overabundance of water, which leads to root rot, is often fatal for the Zuzu plant. It is difficult to control rotting once it has begun. Your safest choice is to fully remove the root system and restart your plant as if you were propagating a cutting.

Of course, you can always take preventative measures to avoid root rot. Begin by providing your plant with a fast-draining, well-aerated soil mix. This may be accomplished by including bulky materials that will generate air spaces and allow the roots to breathe.

Next is to choose a pot for functionality, not just for aesthetics. The most important requirement for houseplants is good drainage. If your preferred pot lacks drainage holes, don’t be scared to utilize your drill!

Finally, do not water your plant until you are certain that the soil is no longer damp from your previous watering. To check for moisture, stick your finger into the soil or use the old-fashioned wooden skewer approach.

Similar Plants

Love Zanzibar gem? Below are some other similar plant options you should try:

Black ZZ – The family Araceae includes the Black ZZ plant. It is also known as Raven, Black fern arum, and Zanzibar Gem. It flourishes as an indoor plant in the majority of homes when it has a lot of access to gloomy areas or air conditioners.

Lucky ZZ Plant -The Lucky ZZ plant has a black leaf that eventually turns brilliant green and darkens. It has leaf spores that grow upwards before the leaflets along the stem unfold. It has small, compact foliage and tight, compact foliage, in contrast to other dark leaf Zamioculcas cultivars.
Jungle Warrior ZZ – This plant, which has glossy dark green leaves, is just as hardy as the green-leafed Zanzibar Gem. Even in arid conditions, this plant is low maintenance once it is established and needs little care.


Prized for evergreen leaves, Zenzi ZZ is a beautiful decoration for your household. If our growing tips are followed, it will be easy to grow this Zamioculcas.

Do you have a Zanzibar gem in your collection? We’d love to see it! Please submit photos to [email protected], and we might post them on our blog!

Help us grow! This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something recommended. All opinions, however, are our own, and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

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