A dream plant for beginners, Zamioculcas zamiifolia, the ZZ plant is not only easy to take care of, it’s also easy to propagate.
The reason why you might want to propagate a ZZ plant can be various — you’re happy with your current ZZ plant, and wish to create new plants to keep or give away, or you’ve knocked over the plant, and you wish to save a stem or leaf.
Or better yet, you have a special variegated ZZ plant you wish to multiply.
There are four propagation methods you can use to multiply your ZZ plant, and in this article, I’m going to cover all these methods.
ZZ Plant Propagation Methods
Multiplication of ZZ plants can be achieved through any of the following methods:
- Leaf cuttings
- Stem cuttings
- Rhizome division
Not all methods guarantee the same level of success. For example, propagating from seeds is not very common, plus it takes longer for the plants to grow from seeds than stem cuttings, for example.
Likewise, propagating from leaf cuttings is less preferable to propagating from stem cuttings.
– Leaf Cuttings
Propagation through leaf cuttings isn’t the fastest propagation method either, but it’s a good way to save a leaf you’ve already accidentally snipped off the plant.
Under greenhouse conditions, however, leaf cuttings can be a relatively easy way to propagate this plant.
Under normal temperature conditions, leaf cuttings can take longer to start growing and produce rhizomes of their own.
Propagation through leaf cuttings can be achieved in two different ways:
- Using potting medium, or
- Rooting in water
To harvest a viable leaf cutting, cut as closely to the stalk as possible. Even better if you can take a bit of the stem as well.
Let it scar for a few hours, while you prepare a potting medium that’s conducive to rooting. Use a soil mix that drains well. Best to use a mixture that’s almost soiless.
Perlite, vermiculate, peat should be added to the mixture to offer it lightness and proper drainage.
Once the leaf cutting is planted, cover with clear plastic wrap and keep in a windowsill. Water occasionally and be patient — it can take as many as 9 months for rhizomes to form.
Harvest the leaf cutting through the method mentioned above and place the cut end in a shallow glass filled with water.
You may need to anchor the leaf cutting with toothpicks or a paperclip (avoid copper ones though).
Change the water frequently and when rootlets start to form, transfer the ZZ plant to a pot.
– Stem Cuttings
A faster method of propagation than the one described above is the stem cutting method. If you have ZZ plant trimmings, don’t throw them out — use them to create new ZZ plants that you can give away to friends.
Select stem cuttings that are around 6 inches long and have leaves on. You can use the water rooting method or plant directly into the potting medium.
If you’re choosing the water rooting method, replace the water every 3 to 7 days. The potting medium option requires that you keep the potting medium moist but not soggy wet.
Both these methods are easy to pull off and offer high success rates. Plus, they’re faster than both the leaf cutting and seed propagation methods.
– Rhizome Division
You can also divide a ZZ plant clump if it’s thick enough. To divide the root ball, withhold watering for 2 weeks, then gently remove the plant from its pot.
Pick a tuber from which stems and roots are growing and use it to create your new ZZ plant. Use a clean blade for slicing the tuber away from the root clump.
And separate slowly to avoid any damage to the mother plant.
Allow for the cut wound to dry for a couple of hours, then plant in a well-draining potting mix and water liberally.
You can’t do rhizome division very often, though. Rhizomes take a while to form, so you may resort to this option only one in a while, especially that it carries the risk of damaging the mother plant.
This is perhaps the most difficult propagation method because seeds are difficult to harvest, but it’s also an available route for those wanting to experiment with this option.
The reason for the challenge is that your ZZ plant may not even flower indoors, let alone produce seeds. Plus, in the relatively ‘sterile’ environment of our homes, pollinating insects aren’t usually available, and they’re needed for the plant to grow seeds.
If you got your hands on ZZ plant seeds or ordered them online, you’ll need to germinate the seeds. Use the same well-draining potting mix as described above, sow the seeds, keep the soil moist, and wait for the plant to grow.
Seed germination takes around 7 days.
How Long it Takes for New Plants to Grow?
The time it takes new ZZ plants to grow depends on the propagation method used. Leaf cuttings can take as much as 9 months to root, but under greenhouse conditions (80 degrees F) this period can be cut down to 4 weeks.
Stem cuttings will grow faster and quicker because the plant already has some leaf fronds to start with. The new roots will form in about 3 weeks, then in another 3 weeks they’ll add around one inch to their size.
Should I Fertilize ZZ Plants?
It’s recommended to fertilize the ZZ plant once or twice a year, as a general rule. Use a diluted liquid fertilizer and fertilize only in summer or spring.
How to Make Your ZZ Plants Grow Faster?
You can make your ZZ plant grow faster by:
- Fertilizing it more often, but take care not to overdo it either, you may end up burning the plant
- Making sure your ZZ plant gets lots of bright, indirect light will also make it grow faster
- Don’t overwater the plant
- Use well-draining potting medium
ZZ plant propagation is not difficult, especially that there are many options available to those eager to multiply their plants.
Depending on the method you choose, you will have faster or much slower results.