How to Propagate ZZ Plants

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Zamioculcas zamiifolia, also known as the ZZ plant, is an East African native that also grows well in USDA hardiness zones 9b through 11. This hardy succulent grows to heights of 3 feet with an equal foliage spread at maturity. Vegetative single leaf cuttings are best for propagation, according to Purdue University’s College of Agriculture. In fact, the ZZ plant has the unusual trait of rooting with or without a node attached to the leaf cutting.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper plate or piece of newspaper
  • 8-inch pot
  • Damp organic potting soil
  • Plant heating pad

Pinch off a few leaves from a mature Zamioculcas zamiifolia plant. Lay the ZZ leaves on a paper plate or piece of newspaper for one to two hours. This will give the wounded portion of the leaf stem a chance to callous before propagation.

Fill an 8-inch pot with damp organic potting soil. Press each leaf into the organic potting soil, stem side down. The leaves should stand upright, with several inches of space between them.

Place the pot in an area that receives at least eight hours of bright, indirect sunlight. Set the pot on a plant heating pad set to a constant temperature between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Check the soil several times a week to ensure it is moist by pressing one of your fingers to a depth of 1 inch. If the soil feels dry, dampen the soil (not the ZZ leaves) with water from a spray bottle.

Continue to provide the ZZ plant leaves with bright light, damp soil and warmth. The leaves should begin to root within approximately 16 weeks. Once the leaves develop a root system, transplant each ZZ leaf into a separate 4-inch pot filled with damp potting soil.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not have an area that receives bright, indirect sunlight during the day, set the ZZ plant leaves under a grow light. Set the grow light to run for 12 to 16 hours a day.
  • Do not over-saturate the soil containing the leaves. Succulents do not require massive amounts of water, and over-saturation will cause the leaves to rot.

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