The Quickest Way to Propagate ZZ PlantHouseplants Last Updated On 04/01/2022
Zamioculcas zamiifolia, also known as ZZ plant, is popular with beginner gardeners because it is easy to care for it. Even beginners can grow this plant successfully in their home. It is also a great plant for those who cannot dedicate a lot of time and energy to gardening.
Another great thing about a ZZ plant is that it can thrive under many different conditions, even those that are unfavorable to other plants. It can survive in all light levels and it doesn't need much water. Furthermore, ZZ plants tend to grow quickly, so it can be very rewarding for a beginner gardener.
Since these plants grow so quickly, they can often outgrow their containers. While it's possible to repot them into a bigger container, it is also possible to propagate ZZ plant and get more new plants to enjoy.
Generally speaking, it is easy to propagate ZZ plant. It is not a time-consuming process, and it gives effective results.
How to Propagate ZZ Plant with Cuttings
If you wish to propagate ZZ plant, keep in mind that the best method to do it is through cuttings. There are different types of cuttings you can take, but both of them lead to successful results. Another great thing about propagating with cuttings is that this is a very quick process. In fact, it is the quickest way to propagate ZZ plant.
There are two cutting methods you can use for propagation: propagate with stem cuttings, or with leaf cuttings. Stem cuttings generally give faster results, but leaf cutting is also an effective option to use, and, compared to many other plants, does not take a lot of time.
Before you start, you need to know that ZZ plants have rhizomes. These are bulbous and located under the dirt. They retain water, which is why a ZZ plant doesn't need frequent watering. Sometimes, you might be able to see the rhizomes peeking out od the soil at the base of the plant. If you take cuttings from a ZZ plant, it will grow a new rhizome and roots. That is the point of propagation: to get the new plant to grow its roots and rhizome so it can continue to thrive on its own.
Propagate ZZ Plant Using Stem Cuttings
As noted above, if you wish to propagate ZZ plant in the fastest way, it is best to use stem cuttings. The process is pretty straightforward and not difficult at all. Simply cut off a stalk at the base of your plant to make a stem cutting. Make sure to use a sterile knife and to make a straight cut.
After this, simply but the stem cutting in water. Don't forget to change the water every three to four weeks. It doesn't need to be done as a must, but you should not allow for any mold to grow, so it's best to replace water in these intervals.
It is best to place the container close to a window so the cutting can get some bright but indirect light. This will encourage a ZZ plant cutting to grow.
Once you notice the cutting has developed a rhizome and at least an inch of new roots, you can repot it into a new container. It is best to use a specific grower pot with drain holes on the bottom, or a nursery pot. If this is not possible, take a regular pot with a drain hole and a saucer. ZZ plants need proper drainage, so you need to provide it.
Place about two inches of potting soil into the pot. This will give your plant additional room to grow its roots before it needs to be repotted again. When planting, make sure to press the cutting gently into the soil. Keep in mind that you can put multiple cuttings into the same pot. Make sure to place some more soil around each cutting. This will provide support for the plants as they grow. Finally, fill the pot with soil, but not up to the rim.
Make sure to water thoroughly but giving it a stream of water around the whole circumference of the pot. Also, add a line of water stream across the middle of the diameter of the pot. This will ensure that all the roots are watered properly.
Propagate With Leaf Cuttings
Another good way to propagate ZZ plant is using leaf cuttings. These will take longer to grow, but this is still an effective method of propagation. To get a cutting, simply cut off a leaf from your ZZ plant as close to the stalk as possible. Make sure to also take a little bit of the stem. It is best to take more than one leaf cutting, to make the pot look fuller.
Place the stem of the leaf into the potting mix, about half an inch deep. Do the same with the other leaf cuttings. After this, make sure to water well and let the cuttings soak in. Keep in mind that you need to water again once the soil is dry, which is about every two weeks.
Leaf cuttings will take about three months to grow their own rhizomes. Once this happens, you can transport them to a larger pot and let them grow further into strong plants. It is best to transplant them all together, because a group of leaf cuttings growing together looks better than a sole cutting in a pot. However, other than the visual appearance, there is no issue with growing a single leaf cutting in a container.
Photo credit: Jordan Cook