Zamioculcas Species, Aroid Palm, Succulent Philodendron, Zanzibar Gem, ZZ Plant

Zamioculcas zamiifolia

Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Zamioculcas (zam-ee-oh-KUL-kass) (Info)
Species: zamiifolia (zam-ee-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Caladium zamiaefolium
Synonym:Zamioculcas loddigesii
Synonym:Zamioculcas lanceolata


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Medium Green


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From leaf cuttings

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona(2 reports)

Scottsdale, Arizona

Brea, California

Burbank, California

Carlsbad, California

Clayton, California

Fontana, California

Merced, California

Redlands, California

San Diego, California

Susanville, California

Tulare, California

Upland, California

Alamosa, Colorado

Meriden, Connecticut

Wilmington, Delaware

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Englewood, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida(2 reports)

Fort Myers, Florida(2 reports)

Green Cove Springs, Florida

Homestead, Florida(2 reports)

Jacksonville, Florida

Lake City, Florida

Lake Worth, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Marianna, Florida

Miami, Florida

Miami Beach, Florida

New Port Richey, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Winter Haven, Florida

Hampton, Georgia

Loganville, Georgia

Villa Rica, Georgia

Chicago, Illinois

Davenport, Iowa

Chalmette, Louisiana

Gonzales, Louisiana

Kenner, Louisiana

Slidell, Louisiana

Thibodaux, Louisiana

Violet, Louisiana

Greenfield, Massachusetts

Columbia, Missouri

Dunellen, New Jersey

Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey

Woodstown, New Jersey

Warne, North Carolina

Ada, Oklahoma

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Mannford, Oklahoma

Mcalester, Oklahoma

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Middleton, Tennessee

Abilene, Texas

Alvin, Texas

Austin, Texas

Broaddus, Texas

Bryan, Texas

College Station, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Greenville, Texas

Kerrville, Texas

Lockhart, Texas

Mont Belvieu, Texas

Pearsall, Texas

Portland, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Rowlett, Texas

Saratoga, Texas

Trinity, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 28, 2015, petrov wrote:



On Jan 22, 2015, Camillia84 from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Received this plant from a girl at my husbands office----almost dead, no leaves & sopping wet soil. Had no idea what it was at the time. Split up & salvaged what I could of the plants root system. She wanted me to salvage it. Re-worked every thing & included water tube so she wouldn't over water it. Got it back about a month later--dying!
Ended up with three plants, still some-what alive, so re-planted them---then forgot about them on the back porch! Two years later, they are thriving!!! Seems they thrive on neglect & not a whole lot of water!!!


On May 19, 2014, 2013_2 from Greenville, TX wrote:

Zone 8b, Greenville, Hunt Co., Texas
Over wintered in south window.
5/19/2014 placed outside in shade tree on west area.
No problems with this ZZ Plant!


On Jun 24, 2013, MusaRojo wrote:

I bought this plant as a rescue from a supermarket. It had been without water for so long the stems looked like black wires! The leaves were covered in mineral deposits from a happier time in the plant’s life when it had been watered occasionally. To get rid of the mineral deposits I gave the plant a heavy daily misting with bottled water instead of pouring water onto the soil once a week or so.

As the plant took in water from the misting, the stems plumped up into their normal shape. A spear which had halted its growth began growing, and became larger than the older spears. The plant then produced three entirely new spears, all of which were much larger than the older spears. At this point I thought it was time to repot the plant and found that yet another new spear h... read more


On Aug 29, 2012, absinthe27 from Albertville, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

This plant is ridiculously easy to take care of. I have two in the house and one in my office, all of which are about three years old, and none have ever had problems. One is planted is a round fishbowl with no drainage material whatsoever, and still it flourishes. Very pretty and super easy to maintain.


On Sep 12, 2011, leha from Santa Rosa, CA wrote:

ZZ is a nice, and relatively nontoxic plant, although you should not eat it. I suspect the rumors about it being poisonous came from someone who confused it with the cycad, Zamia furfuracea, to which it is not the least bit related, though it bears a cursory resemblance, and may have gotten its name from this.

Zamia furfuracea has a pretty bad reputation for killing those who eat its seeds (or probably any part of it), but ZZ, as I said, is innocent.

ZZ may have also suffered from this case of mistaken identity on another score: water. Unlike Zamia, ZZ does need regular water. If you don't water it, the plant may go dormant and drop its leaflets. This will not kill it, as watering can bring it back, but it will be prettier with water.

My ZZ came... read more


On Dec 6, 2010, Alexwtf_93 from Susanville, CA wrote:

i got this 4 years ago in a 4 inch pot, i repotted it right away and it spread out and filled the new pot, it is now in a 10 inch container and almost 3 feet tall, grows well wherever i put it


On Mar 20, 2010, allisons883 from Vincent, AL wrote:

When my mother died in Aug 08, the flower shop sold me a zeze plant because I told them of my inability to grow anything except weeds. They said I would not have a problem with this plant because it can be neglected and grow great. It did for about a year and half. Here lately the ends up the stalks have dried and shriveled up. The bottoms of the stalks are still green and full. It is looking pretty rough. I have been trying to find information about this and see what I can do to help revive this plant with no such luck. Anyone else have problems with dry shriveled stalks??


On Feb 25, 2010, trackinsand from mid central, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

i'll add my 2 cents on the ZZ plant. mine was purchased several years ago at HD. it was already a large plant. i bought an appropriate pot for it (a rather squat but large diameter, round plastic pot) and also a plant dolly because i knew it would be too heavy to move around the back porch which faces east.

it gets morning sun for several hours year round. i water it about every 10 days in summer and hose it down (on mist setting) about once a month. when the stalks get too unwieldy i cut them off and use in a vase inside. they last for months.

the first winter i had it, i wheeled into the house when our temps dipped below freezing but this winter was such a long, unusually cold one and the plant has gotten so wide that i left it on the (screened) porc... read more


On Feb 5, 2010, mkkk from Kota Kinabalu,
Malaysia wrote:

I am from Malaysia, zz plant in Malaysia is money tree, and it is very famous, but since last year newspaper reported that the tree is poisonous, even the soil in the pot and advice not to touch the plant or reuse the soil to plant fruit or veg.
I do notised that the pot can never grow other plant for so long we are having the zz in our car porch.
I would like to find out more.


On Aug 27, 2009, JerusalemCherry from Dunellen, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

Check out the picture I uploaded on this page with my Variegated ZZ Plant. You can find the standard ZZ Plant at home improvement stores etc, but the variegated ZZ Plant I could only find online and the member that was selling it was located in Thailand. Most Thai online plant sellers will ship to the US bare root via EMS. My ZZ plant arrived in great condition and very quickly (approx 4 days).

I find the care of this variegated ZZ Plant the same as the all green version. I water the ZZ Plant well (I grow it in cactus soil or potting soil that I add sand/turface too). Once the soil is near dry I water it again during the active growing season. During the winter months (I live in NJ ‘northeastern US’) I keep it dry for most of the winter months. During this winter time,... read more


On Aug 3, 2009, silvettann from Abilene, TX wrote:

In 2004 I was dazzled by the ZZ plant in a garden center - in of all places-- WALMART- McAlester, Oklahoma! The price was insane but I purchased anyway. No one there had a clue what it was or how to take care of it. After checking out the nature of the plant online I was even happier I bought the two they had.
I have four pots of them now (2009) and I've given away at least three pots to friends. I divide them when the pots get too choked. To my knowledge none have bloomed.
I have left for months and they survived without being watered and I've watered them alot and they survived too much attention. Some are in the house in the hot morning sun and some are in no light whatsoever, one stays outside in dappled light until the weather starts to change in the fall. Two pot... read more


On Jun 15, 2009, sevp from Warne, NC wrote:

Love this plant! I've bought it about 4 years ago, had it in a bright sunroom in our house in Georgia and moved over the winter to North Carolina. Right now it's living on top of a cabinet with 2nd story windows giving it lots of light. It had 4 small fronds when I got it, has added 5 large ones in the past, and is working on 2 right now. I've severely neglected it at times and spoiled it some too. It's still in it's first pot, but after reading all your comments I can't wait to repot it to see what will happen! Never lost a leaf and even though my daughter's cats have nibbled on just about all my other houseplants they never touched this one. Smart cats.


On Dec 3, 2008, activeZZ from Hoboken, NJ wrote:

I purchased a 3' ZZ Plant in June 2008 and it seems to be growing a lot faster than what I've read about this plant. It's in a 13" wide pot, gets no sunlight, and two cups of water every two weeks. Over the summer, it grew almost ten "incomplete" flowers and it still has one (I removed the others, because they turned brown). It has grown eight new stalks since I got it and the tallest new stalk is already 3' tall. All the new stalks, including their leaves, are light green.

The plant is still, and has always been, very healthy. However, the leaves of several of the pre-existing stalks started turning yellow, then brown and eventually came off easily. The tops of the stalks started turning brown and I cut them down. The bottom 3-5 inches of the stalks are still dark ... read more


On Apr 12, 2008, ExoticRainforest from Siloam Springs, AR wrote:

Some of the information above does not exactly line up with botanical findings although it is generally accepted by most growers.

The ZZ plant gets its common name from the scientific name Zamioculcas zamiifolia Engl. The plant is an aroid and it is one of the most unusual of all aroids. The species is also sometimes known by the synonyms Zamioculcas loddigesii, Zamiacaulcas zamiafolia, Zamioculcas lanceolata, and strangely Caladium zamiaefolium but the common names are Aroid Palm, Arum Fern, Money Plant, or simply ZZ Plant.

The ZZ plant is an unusual aroid from Zanzibar and Tanzania in eastern Africa. This strange plant has many different sizes which is why it has several different scientific names. Botanists used to think the plants that were taller were... read more


On Mar 29, 2008, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) wrote:

A house plant I have not killed.


On Feb 9, 2008, Sharkey from Marianna, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I purchased this plant 3 to 4 months ago at Walmart. However, I just subscribed to this site in hopes that someone can help me save the plant before an unidentified worm destroys it. I noticed a number of worms (?) in the tray underneath the plant. I'm not sure what they are and how to treat it. I assume that is why some of the leaves are turning yellow. I only water it every few weeks. It is indoors in a southeast corner and it gets lots of light during the day. It's a thick plant with many 3 to 4 ft. stalks. Some of the larger stalks are leaning almost completely horizontal. I love the plant and want to save it! Even though I'm having a slight problem with it, I would still recommend it! I'm looking forward to learning to use all the resources of this site, as I have lots of plants and ... read more


On Jan 6, 2008, fburg696 from Farmersburg, IN wrote:

I picked one of these plants up at Lowe's after seeing it there a couple times when I went there for potting soil.I knew it would die if i didnt get it so i bought it and I have never regretted it.
This plant is sort of slow growing but when it does put on new growth it is very rewarding.I like the way the leaves are created by this plant, they sort of unfurl when they are mature.I havent had any blooms yet, but there is signs of new growth.
The form of this plant is very appealing to me.It's also one of the easiest going plants i have.
I am sort of new to houseplants and I have had no trouble taking care of this one.A little water and fertilizer every once in a while is all it takes.Mine gets morning sun and after that it gets shade in the afternoon.
If you are... read more


On Nov 26, 2007, txboy65 from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Had mine for a few years now. Found it at a local home improvement store. It has quickly outgrown the pot I put it in - which is a shame since the jade color of the pot really looks good with the leaves. Just brought in in from under the tree where it spent all Summer here in Austin Tx. I had to pry it out of the ground where it took root. I am thinking a wider pot for this item. Looks like it wants to spread. Probably have about 2 dozen amazing green and smooth branches with more on the way. Just a lovely item to have.


On Oct 10, 2007, robbit from Brooklyn, NY wrote:

yesterday i went to the florist down the block and saw this sad tall, slender plant. i didn't know what it was, and the guy working that night never really knows what the plants are called or how to take care of them. then i had a dream about the plant. so today i went and got him! he was nearly falling over--too tall and not many roots to hold him up. the man working showed me what he is "supposed" to look like and showed me a "healthier" one and said he'd give it to me for 8 bucks if i wanted to take it. he said it wasn't doing so well. I got him anyway! he looks healthy to me...i think he was just not potted very well. i got some potting soil and a new pot for him and replanted him (or...all 4 of him and a knot i also found!). he seems a lot more stable now. can't wait to see... read more


On Sep 4, 2007, Sashagirl wrote:

I have a love/hate relationship with this plant.

After having admired them for several years, I bought a small one four years ago, in a 5" terra cotta pot-from a local Florist.
In the four years I had it, it never grew or changed one bit, except that one of the smaller stems lost a couple leaves.
It didn't make a difference where I placed it , for months at a time. Even plant lights didn't encourage it to grow.
The roots appeared healthy, no disease or insect problems. Finally, after coddling it for all that time, I gave up in disgust, and pitched it.
Sure wish I knew what the problem was, tho.
And, wasn't plastic. :-)


On Jul 23, 2007, marybeverly from Northbrook, IL wrote:

I found this ZZ plant in Naples Florida and its the most wonderful plant you can have, especially good for beauty and conversation. I have even made cuttings and rooted them for friends.


On Jun 26, 2007, goldendragon from Mannford, OK wrote:

My husband and I live a few miles west of Tulsa, Ok. I was given a start of the ZZ plant in the spring of 2004. I have repotted it 3 times since using just ordinary potting soil. The latest repotting was early May 2007. It had already put on 2 flower stems by that time. Since repotting to a larger pot, it has put out several new shoots. As to whether they are leaf stems or flower is yet to be seen. I normally keep the plant in my livingroom during the winter with subdued light from a nearby window. In the spring I put it out on the deck as soon as all frost danger is past and the night time temperatures remain above 55 degrees. It receives early morning sun and about 4 hours of afternoon sunlight. The only thing I have found to cause any damage to the plant is Hummingbird necta... read more


On Oct 5, 2006, VERTICOLOR from TROIS-RIVIÈRES, QC (Zone 3b) wrote:

Back in 2001, my wife and I purchased a ZZ plant which then had only 3 or 4 stems of roughly one foot high. We were attracted by its particularly shiny, plastic-like foliage disposed neatly about those smooth cylindrical stems and also by the peculiar look of those stems at the base. We thought at that time that this plant was some kind of cycad but after intensive searches on the Internet, including this wonderfully well arranged Dave’s Garden site, we found what exactly the plant was.

After a few years of steady and trouble free growing, in June 2005 to be exact, the plant sprouted a curious “thing” that was trying to hide alongside the pot, as if it were ashamed of its appearance! Sure enough, that “think” was not nice at all and was curving down like a sick or underdevel... read more


On Sep 18, 2006, DirkRyan from Mitchell, NE wrote:

i bought a zz plant form my college plant sale i love it its slow to grow a new stem but uts an prefect plant for my room which gets no direct sun and i enjoy its leaf texture.


On Apr 25, 2006, Sujatha from Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia wrote:

An easy plant to grow and has lovely glossy leaves. Grows very well in tropical climate like Malaysia. In Malaysia, it is locally called the prosperity plant and feng shui believers generally keep this plant in the house for good luck.


On Apr 24, 2006, coopermini_1 from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

The ZZ is so cool, it's fun to see it grow because it's fast! I love how the leaves unfurl....AND mine has a small "pod", I'm hoping it's a flower bud! Can't wait to see what it turns out to be. Love this plant!


On Jun 18, 2005, brugmansialover from Santa Maria, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love ZZ plant! It is soo pretty, and very easy to grow, i have it in my restroom, where it doesnt get alot of light, but it sure looks like it loves what im doing, it gets humidity when i take a shower, or a bath, and i use bottled water on all my house plants, because i have bad tap water in this town!!! I cant wait for my ZZ plant to get big, i have seen some huge ones in person, about 3 feet tall!!!


On Apr 20, 2005, artcons from Fort Lauderdale, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

Here in zone 10 it has been a good grower. It's just a bit over a year old. It's growing in light shade.
The leaves are deep green and very shiny. It has not been bothered at all by all the available insects here.
It can be grown from a leaf in soil or sand, and a cut branch put into soil or sand. It takes about 4-6 weeks to grow.
Mine from a cutting at Key West, Florida.


On Feb 23, 2005, txgirl221 from Saratoga, TX wrote:

I love my ZZ plant. Is feb and it has been on 6 new stems. But now I have 2 old stems that the leaves are dying on. What is wrong. Can anyone help me?


On Feb 3, 2005, sophieprincess from Melbourne,
Australia wrote:

I took a trip to China shortly after purchasing my ZZ plant from a department store in Australia. To my amazement I saw the same plant bonsaied in the breakfast lobby of my hotel (and had very little exposure to daylight at all) I truly was a magnificant specimen in the tint pt with the very fleshy stems bulging out of the top!


On Oct 17, 2004, dvotaw from Lancaster, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

My first siteing was in my doctors office building four years ago. I was just dying to know what it was. Even told my husband how neat this plant was. Well after 4 years of seeing it, I finally got the nerve to reach in and rip off by hand a small stem.(4 leaves)
I was not sure what to do with it I kept in in water for about a month, then I planted it, my friend saw it ask what is was? I surely didn't know, told her I ripped it off after admireing it for 4 years. About 2 weeks later she called from Walmart, said it's a ZZ plant, they were $5.00 , I said get me four of them. They are my pride and joy.
Just such a interesting plant.


On Aug 27, 2004, Indyka from Sulphur, OK wrote:

After doing a little research of my own on the ZZ Plant I have found out that Plant needs to be planted in a shallow containr and in sandy soil. Since I have just recently purchased this ZZ Plant I wanted to find out a little more about it. I also found out it looks and resembles the Cycad zamia furfuracea or cardboard palm. Another bit of information I got was to keep the plant away from any hot direct afternoon sun as the plant can burn. A good bright filtered afternoon sun will work just fine. Also if you over water your plant you will find that the leaves will start yellowing. One article said that the ZZ Plant is a member of the Aroid family along with the Philodendron, spathipyllum and the Aglaonema. The only down side of the ZZ Plant was is slow growing process. I personally... read more


On Jun 2, 2004, fredfour from Fair Oaks, CA wrote:

Fast growing, low maintenance plant that can quickly grow into a 4' tall dramatic addition to any household. A great place to start for the novice or new homemaker seeking an easy care, flexible placement, table top, plant stand or eventually floor plant.


On Feb 6, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a great indoor/outdoor potted plant in So Cal... it's a bit tender.. think the rating on cold tolerance is a bit off... I cannot grow it outdoors in Thousand Oaks consistently (dies off in cold years), though have to admit grows back from the tubers... so maybe you could say it is deciduous in 9a-9b. This is a native of Tanzania and Zanzibar, where it commonly found growing in the short forests and among the rocky areas. It is an aroid, but the only aroid that grows from leaf cuttings... just cut a leaf, stuff it in the ground and it will form a bulb. This is a primitive characteristic so it is thought this is one of the more primitive plants on this earth. NOT related to a cycad as some assume by the name.


On Nov 9, 2003, joeynorris wrote:

I have found one of the best indoor plants I have seen in years. This plant grows good in any light and goes well in any setting. I am a true ZZ lover!


On Apr 6, 2003, kimche from Mentor, OH wrote:

This plant was just profiled in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine as a great, easy maintenance houseplant. The plant contains oxalates (hence my adding toxicity to the description), which are the same chemicals as Diffenbachia (Dumb Cane) contains. It could cause swelling on the tongue and mouth if ingested, so I'd be careful around children and pets. I was very close to buying one until I found that out.


On Mar 26, 2003, jello45420 from Dayton, OH wrote:

This plant is indeed easy to maintain. It grows rapidly and is an attractive addition to any house plant collection.


On Dec 22, 2002, Chamma from Tennille, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I find that this is one of the easiest plants to grow! I do little for it except water it and when I think of it give it a little fertlizer! It grows into quite a large plant and quickly!


On Oct 8, 2001, pinkphal wrote:

The ZZ plant has thick, succulent stems carrying smooth, waxy, glossy leaves. It develops tubers underground.

It has gained popularity in recent years as a houseplant. It is considered reliable indoors, because it does not require high light or very much water. It does not seem to be prone to pest problems (although they do occur sometimes). It grows fairly slowly, particularly when exposed to cold temperatures.