How to Propagate ZZ Plant in Multiple Ways


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Loving your ZZ plant and want to grow more? Then you will want to know how to propagate the ZZ plant.

The ZZ plant, Zamioculcas Zamiifolia, is one of the most popular plants among people who love indoor gardening. Beginners love how easy it is to grow this plant and how hardy it is. 

In this article, I will discuss the various methods of how to propagate the ZZ plant through various means and how to choose the best method for you.

Different Ways to Propagate a ZZ Plant

 There are actually three different methods for doing so. All you need for a completely new ZZ plant is just one small piece of its mother plant – stem, leaf, or root division. 

How to Propagate a ZZ Plant with Stem Cuttings

Stem cuttings from a ZZ plant are going to produce quicker results than the leaf cutting propagation method. You’ll be able to propagate in water or soil.

I’ll cover both ways of propagation here. As you will see in the propagation steps in water, it will be easier to monitor the root growth in water because it’s see-through. It’s much harder to monitor when it’s growing in soil. 

Stem Cuttings in Water

Here’s how to propagate a ZZ Plant in water from a stem cutting:

  1. Use a sanitized knife to cut a stalk off from the base of the mother plant. Choose a stem that is at least 2 inches long and has a minimum of two healthy leaves on it. 
  2. Place the stem cutting in water to grow. Change the water out every 3-4 weeks. 
  3. Leave the stem cutting and water somewhere it can receive plenty of bright indirect light. 
  4. As the cuttings grow, keep an eye on it growing a root rhizome to allow you to repot it in new potting soil. The roots can take as long as two months or longer. 
  5. When the roots have grown to at least one inch, you can repot the child plant into a grower pot. 

Stem Cuttings in Soil

Here’s how to propagate a ZZ Plant in soil from a stem cutting:

  1. Cut a stalk off from the mother plant’s base using a sanitized knife. Choose a 2-inch or longer stem with at least two healthy leaves on it. 
  2. Place the stem cutting in loose, well-draining potting soil.
  3. Make sure to continue watering the cutting, so the soil stays moist. 
  4. Place it in a location with plenty of bright indirect light.
  5. It’s not as easy to see new roots developing, but you can lightly pull on the cutting. If it gives you some resistance, that means the roots are starting to take place. 
  6. Growing new roots will take a little in soil than in water. 

How to Propagate a ZZ Plant with Leaf Cuttings

Leaf cuttings will take longer to propagate than stem cuttings because the roots will take longer to grow. However, there are still many benefits to propagating them, so it’s worth the wait. 

Here are the two different ways to propagate a ZZ plant using leaf cuttings.

Leaf Cuttings in Water

Here’s how to propagate a ZZ Plant in water from a leaf cutting:

  1. Cut healthy leaves off the mother plant. 
  2. Place the leaves in water to grow, while changing the water every 3-4 weeks.
  3. Leave the leaf cutting and water somewhere it can receive plenty of bright indirect light. 
  4. Keep an eye for when the roots have grown to one inch or longer to begin the repotting process. 

Leaf Cuttings in Soil

Here’s how to propagate a ZZ Plant in soil from a leaf cutting:

  1. Cut off healthy leaves from the mother plant. 
  2. Place the leaves in a pot of loose, well-draining potting soil. You can place multiple leaves in a pot. Each leaf should be upright and about 1cm into the soil. 
  3. The soil should stay moist, so continue to generously water it. 
  4. After several weeks, you can begin to check if the roots are growing and taking place. Give it a slight tug to see if you get resistance from new root growth.  

How to Propagate a ZZ Plant Through Division

Propagating plants through cuttings is one of the fastest ways to grow new plants. It means that you’ll need a fairly mature plant with several stems.

Division works for zz plant propagation because they cluster their root rhizomes together.

  1. When you notice new stem shoots coming out of the ground from the rhizomes, that means that the plant is ready for division. 
  2. Take the mother plant out of the pot, loosen the soil, and divide the plant into multiple parts.
  3. Ensure that each divided section contains leaves and roots.
  4. Place the plants in loose, fresh soil in a pot with drainage holes. 
  5. Since these plants are already mature, each section will offer more potential for successful growth. 
  6. If they don’t grow right away, it’s probably because they’re a bit stressed from the division, But they eventually recover quickly without any issues.

How to Repot a ZZ Plant

No matter which method of propagation you go with, you’ll need to repot the ZZ plant eventually as it grows. 

To start repotting, you’ll need to get a grower pot or nursery pot with drainage holes at the bottom of it to allow the excess water to drain out. 

You’ll also need loose, well-draining potting soil to go into the pot. Now that you have what you need, here are the steps to repot a ZZ plant: 

  • Fill the grower pot halfway up with potting soil that’s at least 2 inches higher than the bottom. The 2 inches of potting mix allows enough space for root development without crowding out new growth.
  • Put the new plantlets in the pot, gently pushing them down so they’re well embedded into the soil. If you want to grow several plants at once, you can place them together in one container as long as they’re not fighting for space yet. 
  • Add some extra soil around each plant’s stems for added support. Don’t fill it up too high like the rim of the pot. 
  • Water it throughly the first time around and make sure excess water drains out of the bottom of the pot. 
  • Continue to monitor the soil and don’t let it dry out completely. Keep the soil moist. 

Basic Care Tips For The ZZ Plant

Growing ZZ plants requires minimal effort. They can be grown indoors or outdoors. In order to grow them successfully, you must provide adequate sunlight and water.

Here are some basic care tips to follow when growing ZZ plants:

  • Light – Natural, indirect light is best for the ZZ, but it can tolerate other light conditions well. 
  • Temperature – Regular household temperatures are great. Don’t expose it to temperatures less than 45° Fahrenheit. 
  • Soil – Choose well-draining potting mix. You can add some sand and perlite to the soil to help it drain. 
  • Watering – Water the soil every two weeks or so. Timing can vary depending on where you live, so it’s best to see if the top couple of inches of soil has dried before watering again. 
  • Fertilizing – The ZZ doesn’t need fertilizer, but you can still give it a treat 1-2 times a growing season. Use a balanced 20-20-20 indoor houseplant fertilizer that’s diluted to half-strength. 

For a full care overview, check out this article: ZZ Plant Care Guide.

ZZ Plant Propagation Final Thoughts

All in all, the ZZ plant is an easy plant to propagate and maintain. It’s very forgiving when it comes to being moved around and handled. It should be able to thrive in most environments.

ZZ Plant Propagation FAQs

Can you grow a ZZ plant from a cutting?

Yes, you can grow a ZZ plant from stem and leaf cuttings. ZZ plants are very easy to grow from cuttings. Simply take a stem cutting from the base of the plant with a couple healthy leaves and place it in water or soil. Water well and keep the plant out of direct sunlight until roots develop. Once the roots have developed, repot the plant into a pot. 

How long does it take for ZZ plant to root in water?

ZZ plants will take about 3-4 weeks to root in water. It will take at least another 3-4 weeks before the roots will grow large and long enough to be able to repot in potting soil.  

Can I propagate a ZZ plant in soil?

Yes, ZZ plants propagate easily in soil from stem and leaf cuttings. Cuttings should be placed in a container with moist, well-draining potting soil. Keep the soil moist until roots begin to form. Once roots appear, remove the cutting from the soil and repot it into a larger pot containing fresh potting soil.

How long does it take for a ZZ plant to root in soil?

ZZ plants will take at least 3-4 weeks to root in soil. Depending on the soil and light conditions, it could take a little longer. For the plant roots to reach an inch or longer, it will take another 3-4 weeks minimum before you can transplant them into a larger pot. 

Is it better to propagate in water or soil?

Propagating in water is easier to set up and maintain because you’re able to easily see the living conditions of the plants in water. You can monitor the root growth in water, while you can’t see into the soil to see how large the roots have grown. 

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Written by:

Amy Walsh
I love to grow houseplants and herbs at home! Growing plants has always been a hobby of mine, but it turned into an obsession when I moved out on my own. My apartment is now full of shelves of various plants and stacks of pots waiting for new life. It’s not uncommon to find me checking out the latest indoor plant trends online.