Our guide to caring for the almighty Variegated Zz Plant. The key to caring for it is to only water it when the soil is dry and give it plenty of light without letting it get direct sun.
Variegated Zz Plant Care Summary
|Light needs:||Medium to bright indirect sunlight.|
|Watering needs:||Water when soil is completely dry, check it weekly.|
|Fertilizer:||Use a balanced fertilizer or one with higher nitrogen for the foliage (an npk of 5-5-5 or 5-3-3) monthly in summer.|
|Soil:||Cactus and succulent mix.|
|Where to buy:||Try our list of Rare Plant Shops or Etsy.|
|Other names:||Variegated Zamioculcas Zamiifolia.|
The Variegated Zz plant aka variegated zamioculcas zamiifolia is originally from Kenya, and this variegated version is due to a genetic variation, and then bred for it’s colors. It belongs to the Arum or Araceae family.
They look stunning in your a home environment and beautiful in decoration. The upright growth pattern with the variegated color of the leaves mean they are well suited to corners side tables.
They are easy to care for an propagate too, we cover all you need to know.
Tip: we recommend Etsy for buying plants. Look for the best rated seller you can, and try to buy as close to your home as possible so the plant does not travel too far.
Variegated Zz Plant Light Needs
Medium to bright indirect sunlight is ideal. The variegated areas must not be exposed to direct sun which can burn them.
Tip: variegated plants often grow slower than their greener counter parts as the chlorophyll (the green bits) produce the energy. So the variegated version needs more light to grow. However the variegated parts of the leaves are more susceptible to getting burned by direct sun, so you have to be careful to give them a lot of light, but not too much direct.
How Often to Water
Water your variegated Zz plant when the soil is completely dry, check it weekly with your finger. depending on humidity, temperature and the season the plant may need more or less water, so always each the soil and you wont overwater it. At the end of the summer when the temperatures cool is the most common time that these plants die from overwatering as they need much less when it gets cooler, so check the soil first!
Tip: be careful to check the soil is dry before watering again, especially in the Fall/Autumn time when t gets colder and the plant will need less water. Many a succulent has died from this! Always check the soil is dry and you’ll be fine.
You can feed the plant a balanced feed once a month in spring and summer. Make sure it is well diluted as any fertilizer burn will show especially on the variegated parts.
Variegated Zz Plant Soil
ZZ plants are succulents, so they want a very well draining course and porous soil, with plenty of drainage material like perlite for example. You can use a commercially available cactus and succulent soil. Or try our DIY cactus and succulent soil.
When To Repot
Check the roots once a year to see if they need repotting, it will probably need it every 2 or 3 years or so. It’s a good ideas to give them root space so they grow to their fullest capacity. They will not grow to their full potential well if root bound.
This variegated Zz plant doesn’t need much humidity as it is from a tropical region. So aims for 40% humidity. they should not need any extra humidity. Keep them out of the bathroom too.
Variegated Zz plants do not like cooler temperatures, try to keep them above 15°C (59°F). The best daytime temperature range to aim for 18-30°C (64-86°F). If the temperature drops too much then place the pot indoors where it gets some warmth.
How To Propagate Variegated Zz Plant
You can propagate a Variegated Zz plant easily, with 3 methods…
The best and easy method of variegated Zz plant propagation is from division at the rhizome. Take the plant out of it’s soil and split off one of the smaller plants by breaking it off at the rhizome (the base of the plant un der the soil where the stems and roots grow from). Make sure you take one of the stems and some of the roots with it. Then pot it up separately.
2) Stem Cutting
You can propagate easily zz plant with stem cuttings…
- Cut a section of the stem off, make sure it has at least 2-3 leaves on it.
- Let it callous over for half a day.
- Place the cutting in sphagnum moss, soil or water to root.
- Keep it warm, well lit (but no direct sun though) and humid, and it should root over the next month or two.
- Once the roots are well developed you’ll see them start to produce growth from the top of the plant. At this stage you can pot them up and treat them as a juvenile plant.
3) Leaf Cutting:
You can propagate a variegated zz plant by taking off individual leaves from the stem and treating them as cuttings. It is slower than the other methods but they should root and grow over time. Plant the cuttings in soil or sphagnum moss and encourage them to root by keeping them warm, humid and well lit. Once they root they will put out a stem, and grow from there.
See also: Succulent Propagation (with pictures).
Variegated Zz Plant USDA Zone
Is It Toxic To Cats?
They are toxic to dogs and cats if eaten, and can cause problems including vomiting. Seek vets advice immediately if you think your pet has eaten any.
Variegated Zamioculcas Zamiifolia.
Where To Buy
FAQs and Common Problems
Why Is My Variegated Zz Plant Is Losing Variegation?
The main reasons a variegated Zz plant loses its variegation is lack of light. If you get this issue, move them to a brighter location.
My Variegated Zz Plant Is Poisonous?
Yes! The variegated Zz plant is poisonous and not suitable for humans or pets to eat. All parts of this plant are poisonous as they cause allergy or skin irritation problems. So be careful when cutting or caring for the plant.
How Tall Will My Variegated Zz Plant Will Grow?
Variegated Zz plants are slow-growing, so they take lots of time to attain their maximum height (which can be four feet, 1.2 meters).
- More info on the Wikipedia page.
- More info on the Kew Gardens plant Page.
- More info on the RHS plant Page.