The Ultimate Guide to Zanzibar Gem (ZZ Plant) 

 May 28, 2022

By  admin

Zanzibar Gem is a unique, self-contained ecosystem that plants grow in soil with no need for water or sunlight. This plant gives off an aroma like cannabis but won’t get you high.

Zanzibar Gem is a type of plant that has many varieties. The “zz plant varieties” are the most popular and well-known ones.

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It’s probably something you’ve seen on Instagram. Alternatively, you may have seen it on a YouTube video. You could have even seen one in a friend’s garden. In any case, Zanzibar Gem is one of those plants that everyone has but only a few people understand why.

The popularity of the ZZ plant (as it’s sometimes known) may be attributed to a number of factors. The biggest factor, though, is its sturdiness. The Zanzibar is a tropical plant that can tolerate practically any environment. And, more crucially, it thrives with little to no attention.

As a result, the Zanzibar Gem has become a popular choice among most travelers. It’s an almost ideal option for individuals who desire a gorgeous but low-maintenance plant at home.

We’ll go over all you need to know about it, including how to grow it, what it stands for, and how to keep it alive. Do you want to find out? Then continue reading!

What is the definition of a Zanzibar Gem?


First and foremost, what precisely is it? It is, after all, a plant. But not just any plant will do. Zamioculcas zamiifolia is its scientific name. It is also said to have originated in Africa, according to archives (some of the driest places). This plant, believe it or not, was solely found in Africa until a few decades ago.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that Dutch nurseries in South Africa noticed how quickly the plant multiplied and how hardy it was. They decided to show it to the rest of the world. After a few decades, the ZZ Plant has taken over the world (even the internet).

The plant is distinguished by its waxy leaves, which are smooth and dark green. Pests aren’t attracted to it. It thrives in low-light environments. And it increases slowly in most cases. What’s more, it doesn’t get much bigger than 3 feet.

It’s an almost perfect plant for indoor gardening, as you would expect. It ticks all the boxes as a decorative option.

Aroid Palm, Emerald Palm, Zuzu Plant, Eternity Plant, and ZZ Plant are some of the other names for the Zanzibar Gem.

What Are the Different Types of ZZ Plants?


There are two further variants of Zanzibar besides the one described above (standard Zanzibar). These are the following:


This raven, often known as the black raven, is much darker than the regular Zanzibar raven. It appears dark brown to purple, nearly black, under low light. To obtain such a dark tone, it does not need consistent light exposure.


Variegation refers to a plant’s ability to have many hues at the same time. The variegated Zanzibar has yellow, dark green, and white foliage. It may lose variegation if not exposed to enough light.

Why Should You Grow a Zuzu Plant?


If aesthetics alone aren’t enough to entice you, there are plenty of other reasons to purchase a Zanzibar Gem. These are some of them:

Adapts to Any Situation

Zanzibar is said to have originated in East Africa. Because this part of the continent is largely rocky and dry, the plant evolved the capacity to grow under harsh circumstances.

That’s why the Zamioculcas Zamiifolia can thrive in arid climates with little light and temperatures as low as 59°F.

If you live in an area where the climate is constantly changing or where circumstances are regularly intense, this plant may be ideal for you.  

Thrives Alone & Indoors


The majority of ZZ Plants are low-maintenance. That means you can leave it alone for weeks at a time with no negative consequences.  

It’s even reasonable to argue that when you leave Zanzibar alone, it flourishes. The plant will grow regardless of fertilizer, water, or even sun exposure.

You’ll enjoy a Zanzibar Gem if you’re a carefree person who doesn’t have time to care for a plant (it won’t die on you).

Cleans the Air


Despite the fact that the plant is mostly aesthetic, there is evidence that it absorbs toxins from the air.

Toluene, benzene, xylene, and ethylbenzene may all be removed from the air. While a single Zanzibar Gem isn’t exactly a purifier, you may construct one by combining several of these plants.

With one of these, you won’t be able to keep your home, business, or workstation tidy. It is, nevertheless, a feature worth noticing.

Is it true that ZZ plants are poisonous?

Both yes and no. Zanzibar Gems are somewhat poisonous. They, like other plants in the Araceae family, contain distinct poisons. These poisons are a little lethal. Because these poisons are present in every part of the plant, consuming them may be harmful to people and pets.

The plant, on the other hand, is nothing special. The plant was in the news in the 2010s for allegedly causing cancer. While this was shown to be false, the toxins might cause skin irritation and stomach discomfort if consumed. Apart from that, it is relatively risk-free.

ZZ Plants: How to Grow Them


Now that you know a little more about the plant, it’s time to learn how to cultivate it at home. That’s most likely why you’ve come this far.

Here’s all you need to know about cultivating Zanzibar Gems without further ado:

Space & Repotting


You don’t need a huge container at initially since ZZ plants are tiny and develop slowly. However, in a year or two, when the roots begin to wrap around the container, it will most likely need to be replaced. You’ll have to repot it in such scenario.

If required, make sure you have a big enough pot for it to grow in without needing to be repotted. While it is resilient enough to tolerate Repotting, it is preferable to avoid it altogether.

Light & Air


You don’t have to put the Zanzibar Gem in a certain spot. The plant will survive as long as it gets enough light (a couple of hours each day) and enough air.

In fact, it will grow even if you don’t give it any sunlight or fresh air. Brightness, on the other hand, is required to keep the colors lively. However, too much sun might damage the foliage, so be cautious.

Soil & Fertilizer


A Zuzu plant will grow in practically any soil. Regardless, finding well-drained and nourishing soil is always preferable. Compost mixed with sand or perlite may enough for the plant’s needs.

You may fertilize the Zanzibar Gem once a month if you desire quick growth (10 inches per year) and good health (no pests or diseases). It’s possible that an indoor fertilizer will suffice.

Water & Hydration


The Zanzibar is a drought-resistant tropical plant that does not need regular watering. You can even miss a few days and it will still survive (thrive even).

This occurs because ZZ plants contain rhizomes, which are roots that can both absorb and store water. The roots remain continually humid to sustain regular nutrition supply, rather than ingesting the water all at once.

As a result, you should only water the plant when the soil is completely dry. Too much watering might lead to root rot and other issues.

Temperature & Humidity


You won’t have to worry about special circumstances since this is an indoor plant. Even at temperatures as low as 45 degrees Fahrenheit, the ZZ plant will flourish. It can also withstand very high temperatures.

Regardless, temperatures should be kept between 59 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t need to do anything with humidity, either. If the humidity is too low, try obtaining a humidifier (and you see the plant getting dry). Otherwise, it will most likely survive in any case.

Pests & Diseases


You won’t have to be concerned about the Zanzibar Gem being infested with bugs or becoming ill. It seldom requires pesticides or disease prevention since it is such a hardy plant.

Aphids, mealy bugs, and fungus gnats are among the few pests that may harm Zanzibar. If you have other plants nearby, they will most likely choose them over the Zuzu.

What is the Best Way to Care for ZZ Plants?


You’ll have to do more than just keep the plant alive. You’ll want it to thrive if you take proper care of it. To accomplish so, you’ll need to complete the following:


Pruning is hardly unnecessary with this low-maintenance plant. It maintains a steady form and only grows upwards, never becoming overly thick even after years of development.

However, you will need to remove dead leaves from time to time. It’s also a good idea to remove any dry portions. For this, you’ll need a set of shears that are both sharp and clean.

It’s worth noting that when you cut ZZ plants, they don’t grow much bigger. As a result, this is only a maintenance task.


Dust and filth are one among the few issues you’ll have with the Zanzibar Gem as an indoor plant. It is likely to be coated in dust from time to time since it flourishes like any other item of furniture or décor. The pores in the leaves may get clogged, and the plant may cease breathing as a result.

You must clean it with a moist towel at least once every two weeks to avoid this. Cleaning should be done with water rather than harsh chemicals (such as leaf shine). You risk harming the plant if you don’t.


It’s a good idea to repot the Zuzu plant every two or three years if you want it to thrive over time. The plant will be more likely to continue growing if the soil is replenished and nourished. Repotting is especially useful indoors, where the plant develops slowly.

What is the best way to propagate Zanzibar gems?


The ZZ plant, as you may know, is a very resistant plant that needs no particular care. This covers the process of propagation.

You can always develop a fresh Zanzibar Gem by simply cutting a stem or even take part in the plant’s growth. Both the original plant and the new stem have a good chance of surviving.

However, it is not as simple as we make it out to be. As a result, we’ve put up a 5-step instruction on how to spread a Zanzibar Gem:

1. Select the Most Appropriate Stem or Rhizome

Decide whether you want to grow the plant from a stem or from the rhizome directly (root).

You may just clip it out if you’re looking for a stem. Make sure the stem section has at least two leaves sprouting from it. Clean shears are used to cut the stems. It should be done from the bottom up, as near as possible to the root.

If you want to plant directly from the rhizome, just cut the root in half. After that, choose one of the parts to transplant.

2. Let Dry & Water

After you’ve removed the stem or rhizome from the main plant, you’ll need to let it dry for a few hours.

The stalks will dry up, preventing disease from spreading when you replant them. Then submerge in water. This will allow the stem or root to grow longer before being planted.

3. Transplant the Plant

After drying and soaking the plant, it’s time to repot it. You’ll need well-fertilized potting soil in a big pot, whether it’s from the stem or the root. We suggest a diameter of at least 6 inches.

4. Place it in direct sunlight.

Now you must let the plant develop on its own. However, since you’re growing from a stem or rhizome, it’ll need more sunshine to recuperate than usual. Direct sun exposure, on the other hand, may be harmful.

As a result, we suggest placing the plant in a sunny, well-ventilated area. Within 2 to 4 weeks, the roots will begin to develop and proliferate.

5. Maintain Consistent Hydration 

To ensure a good propagation, keep the soil wet but not soggy. In humid places, water at least three times a week. If you reside in a dry area, water your plants at least five times each week.

It might take anywhere from 3 to 5 months for the plant to begin growing again. You’ve successfully disseminated a Zanzibar Gem if it does.

Problems with Zanzibar Gems that You Might Have


Even though the ZZ plant is quite tough, if you aren’t attentive, it may get sick. Here are some of the issues you could encounter:

Leaves of Yellow

Overwatering is often indicated by the leaves losing their green vibrancy and becoming pale and yellowish.

There’s nothing to be concerned about since this is one of the earliest indicators of overwatering. However, if issues continue in this manner for many weeks, they may escalate to the point of no return.

If the leaves start to turn yellow, you should cease watering completely. Instead, just water every two weeks for a month or two until the yellow fades.

Stem & Rhizome Rot

If left untreated, Leaves of Yellow caused by overwatering may end up in rot and fungal infections. For the Zanzibar Gem, this affects the stem and the rhizomes directly.

Watering every day is a common cause of this. You may easily induce rot if you water more than required since the rhizomes are normally damp even with little water.

You may need to repot the rhizomes into fresh, dry soil if the moisture level in the rhizomes is too high and they exhibit indications of infection or decay. This may not solve the issue, but it may provide the plant a longer lifetime and a better chance of recovery.

Dry Leaves & Stems

Another typical problem with Zuzu plants is when the leaves get dry. You’ll note how the leaves and stems become brown here. This is a typical symptom of dehydration.

It is critical to provide adequate water to the plant, just as it is to any other plant. To avoid this from occurring, we suggest watering at least once a week.

If you live in a dry, hot climate, consider humidifying or spraying the area to provide moisture.


So, did you learn about the Zanzibar Gem’s unique characteristics? Everything you need to know about it is included in this tutorial. There’s nothing more you need to know whether you want to plant it, give it as a present, or just add it to your garden.

If you follow our advice and suggestions, you should have no trouble dealing with this species. If you like it, please spread the word!

Zanzibar Gem (ZZ Plant) is a very popular indoor plant that can be propagated easily. This article will provide you with the basics of how to propagate ZZ Plant and some other tips on keeping this plant alive. Reference: zz plant propagation.

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Emil Schoene

Born and raised in Austin, TX I come from a background of home renovation. By helping my family in my younger years with their construction business, I learned the ropes quickly and as I grew it became my passion that I still do today. Looking to share my knowledge with others. I invite you to leave comments on any post as I know you will have questions that you are not finding anywhere else.

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