History: The ZZ plant is native to Eastern Africa and was cultivated in Dutch nurseries in the late 90s, so it’s a relatively new houseplant to the US. Even my mother, who had a jungle of plants on her sun porch, never heard of it.
Decor: My favorite aspect of the plant (aside from its easy care) is its glossy, tropical nature. The ZZ plant will complement most decor styles, although I think they do best in modern, global, beachy, or eclectic spaces. Check out these examples:
Toxicity: This plant also helps improve the air quality in your home. However, it is a toxic plant if eaten by humans or animals, so be sure to keep it out of reach.
Water: Because the ZZ plant originates from a dry, African climate, it’s a great choice for those who forget to water. In fact, this plant prefers a dry soil; I water mine once every 1-2 weeks. It’s easy to tell when it’s been overwatered, as the leaves become yellow and droopy.
Potting: The ZZ also likes to be somewhat rootbound, so you’ll save money on potting soil and large planters. If you do find it’s time to repot, use a planter that is no more than 2″ wider from the edge of root ball.
When I repot mine, I use cactus potting soil because it’s a much drier mix than standard potting soil. Ensuring the plant has proper drainage is also key. It really doesn’t want to be overwatered, y’all!
Light: The ZZ plant can thrive in low light but will grow best in bright, indirect light. It does well in artificially lit spaces like offices. In its preferred lighting, it can grow up to 3 feet tall. I can’t wait for mine to get that huge!
Considering how easy it is to care for, it’s no surprise the ZZ plant is my new best friend. It’s the perfect combination of tough, exotic, and low maintenance. Plus, I just love the energy plants bring to a home.
Do you have a green or black thumb? Have you ever heard of the ZZ plant? What’s your favorite houseplant?