How To Propagate ZZ Plants With Success

  • By: Succulents Plants
  • Date: December 16, 2022
  • Time to read: 10 min.
Propagate ZZ Plant
Photo by courtesy of Damian Lugowski

Are you looking to propagate ZZ Plants but don’t know where to begin? Don’t worry because this article will cover all the steps to successfully propagate your own ZZ Plant. We’ll discuss the materials you’ll need, how to safely and effectively cut the rhizomes, prepare the soil, and how monitor your plant’s progress. So read on to learn all the tricks and tips you need to know to begin propagating your own ZZ Plant today!

Materials Needed For Propagating a ZZ Plant

Propagating a ZZ plant is a rewarding activity that anyone can accomplish with time and effort. It’s essential to gather the necessary materials ahead of time to ensure that you have everything you need for success.

First and foremost, you’ll need a ZZ plant cutting. Ensure the cutting is taken from a healthy, mature ZZ plant and is at least 4-6 inches long. Next, you’ll need a pot filled with a potting mix of equal parts peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. Make sure your pot has excellent drainage to prevent root rot.

You’ll also need to choose a rooting hormone. This is an optional step, but it will increase the chances of success. Rooting hormones contain a combination of auxin, a naturally occurring hormone that encourages root growth.

Finally, you’ll need pruning shears, a trowel, and a watering can or spray bottle. Once you have all the necessary materials, the propagation process can begin!

Sharp Knife

One of the essential tools you need is a sharp knife. A sharp knife makes cutting the stem easier without damaging or crushing it. This is important since a crushed stem can quickly become infected.

When choosing a knife, make sure you select one with a blade that is about the same thickness as the stem. This will make it easier to cut at an angle, which will help the propagation process. You also want the knife to be razor-sharp. A blunt knife can crush the stem and make cutting more difficult.

When cutting the stem, use a sawing motion and only cut until the blade is entirely through the stem. If you try to cut the stem in one swift stroke, you will likely damage it. Also, use gloves to avoid any potential cuts when handling the ZZ plant.

Once the stem is cut, you must remove the leaves and prepare the cutting for propagation. To do this, you will need to dip the cut end of the stem in a rooting hormone. This will help the stem develop roots and increase its chance of success. After dipping the stem in the rooting hormone, you can then place the stem in a pot filled with well-draining soil.

Perlite and Potting Soil

The best way to propagate a ZZ plant is by using potting soil and perlite. Perlite is a lightweight, porous material that provides drainage and aeration to the root system, making it the perfect choice for propagating plants. Potting soil is important because it helps retain moisture and nutrients and provides a suitable environment for the plant’s roots to grow.

To make the perfect potting soil and perlite mixture, you will need equal parts perlite and potting soil. First, mix the two ingredients in a bucket or wheelbarrow. Then, fill your planting container with the mixture, ensuring that there are still plenty of air pockets. Water the mixture until it is evenly moist but not soggy.

Once your potting soil and perlite mixture is ready, it is time to propagate the ZZ plant. To do this, cut off a stem from the mother plant. Make sure the stem is about three to four inches long and includes several leaves. Dip the end of the stem in rooting hormone and place it in the potting soil and perlite mixture. Cover the stem with a thin layer of the mixture, keeping the leaves exposed. Finally, place the pot in a warm, bright place, and water it regularly to keep the soil moist. With proper care, the ZZ plant should begin to root in a few weeks.


Pruners are an essential tool when it comes to propagating the ZZ Plant. The most important aspect of using pruners when propagating the ZZ Plant is making sure you make a clean cut each time you cut away a piece of the plant. To do this, it is best to use pruners with sharp blades, as this minimizes damage to the plant tissue. Using pruners with blunt blades can cause tears in the plant leaves and stems, increasing susceptibility to disease and hindering the plant’s success in the propagation process.

When selecting pruners, choosing a pair with adjustable tension settings is essential. This allows you to apply the right amount of pressure to the stem when cutting and helps ensure that your cut is clean.

It is also essential to ensure that the pruners you use are disinfected regularly. This helps prevent contamination from transferring to your ZZ plant as it is propagated. It is best to use a mild bleach solution to disinfect the pruners before and after each use and to store them in a clean and dry place.

Planting Containers

It’s essential to have the proper containers and soil conditions to ensure success. Planting containers is crucial in providing an environment that will help your ZZ Plant thrive and propagate successfully. So it’s essential to be mindful of what materials should be used and how to protect your plant best as you prepare it for planting.

The first and most important thing to do when choosing a container for your ZZ plant is to ensure that it is large enough to accommodate the plant’s root system. A container too small could cause the roots to be often bound up, leading to the plant’s decline. A container with suitable drainage holes is also essential to ensure excess water doesn’t become trapped and cause root rot.

Use well-draining soil with a good balance of organic matter. A soil with a slightly acidic pH balance is ideal, as this will help maintain the proper ZZ plant environment. Finally, it would be best if you used a potting mix free of added fertilizer or chemicals. These can be toxic to the plant and cause it to become unhealthy.

Step-by-Step Guide: How To Propagate ZZ Plants

Propagating a ZZ Plant is relatively straightforward and can yield great results. The ZZ Plant is a popular plant for a variety of reasons. It is straightforward to propagate, requires little maintenance, and is not prone to many pests or diseases. It is an excellent choice for those new to gardening or those looking for a functional, low-maintenance houseplant. We’ve got you covered if you’re looking to propagate a ZZ Plant. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to successfully propagate your own ZZ Plant.


Step 1: Obtain a Healthy ZZ Plant

When purchasing a ZZ plant, look for a green and healthy one without brown or yellow spots on the leaves. You should also check for any pests or diseases, as these can cause issues when propagating. It is also essential to ensure the plant is from a reputable source.

If you already have a ZZ plant, you can use it for propagation. Make sure it is in good condition and free from any pests or diseases before you begin. It would be best to look for actively growing new leaves and stems. If any leaves appear discolored or diseased, you should cut them off before propagating. Additionally, it would be best never to take cuttings from the very top of the plant, as this can lead to unhealthy growth and make the plant more susceptible to pests and diseases.

Before you cut the leaves or stems for propagation, make sure to sterilize your scissors or knife with rubbing alcohol to prevent the spread of any diseases or bacteria. Once you have taken the cuttings, you can place them in well-draining soil and water regularly and in indirect sunlight. With the right conditions, your ZZ plant should begin to grow new roots and leaves in a few weeks.

Step 2: Cut the Rhizomes into Sections

Once you have collected the rhizomes of your ZZ plant, the next step is to prepare them for propagation. The best approach for this is to cut the rhizomes into sections. This will ensure that each section has roots and shoots for increased success.

Before cutting, you should carefully inspect the rhizome for any signs of disease or damage. Discard any sections that appear unhealthy.

When you are ready to cut, use a sharp, sterilized knife and ensure the cuts are clean and precise. You should aim to create sections that are 2-3″ long. Don’t forget to mark the top of each section, so you know which side is the “up” side and which is the “down” side.

Once cut, separate the sections and place them on a paper towel to dry. Allow the rhizomes to dry for 24 hours in a warm, dry location before planting. This will give the newly cut ends time to heal and form a protective coating.

By following these steps and adequately cutting the rhizomes, you can give your ZZ plant the best chance for successful propagation.

Step 3: Prepare the Soil

Before proceeding to Step 4, you’ll need to ensure that the soil for your ZZ Plant has been adequately prepared and is of the highest quality. The kind of soil you should use for your ZZ Plant will largely depend on the climate that you live in.

If you live in a warmer climate, then you’ll want to use soil that is more on the sandy side. A sandy soil will have better drainage, ensuring that excess water does not stay around the roots for too long, which can lead to root rot. You can add some organic compost to the soil to help retain water and nutrients, ensuring it is well aerated.

If you live in a cooler climate, you’ll want to use more soil on the loamy side. Loamy soil is predominantly made up of clay particles and is much more moisture-retentive. You can also add some organic matter to add extra nutrients when adding soil.

Before planting the ZZ Plant, double-check that the soil is draining and contains adequate nutrients. Then, you are ready to move to Step 4!

Step 4: Pot Up the Sections

Once you have carefully cut up your sections and placed them in water, it’s time to pot them up. To do this, ensure quality potting soil that is well-draining and contains a mix of organic matter, like peat moss. Fill your desired container with the soil, leaving space at the top. Then, carefully make a hole in the soil with a spoon or pencil, and place the section in it. Make sure the roots of the plant are pointing down. Then, gently press the soil around the section, so it is secured. Fill in with more soil and pat down to keep it in place.

Once the pot is filled, water thoroughly, ensuring the soil is saturated. Place the pot in a bright, indirect light and keep it out of the direct sun. This will give the newly potted sections time to establish roots and adjust to their new environment. Keep the soil lightly moist and mist the foliage occasionally to help the plant adjust. As the sections start to grow, you can transfer them to a larger pot and continue to care for them until it develops more foliage.

Step 5: Place in a Well-Lit Location

Once your cutting is ready, it’s time to place it in a well-lit location. Direct sunlight is not recommended, as this can scorch the leaves, not to mention cause the soil to dry out quickly. You’re better off keeping the cutting in an area that receives bright, indirect sunlight. You can also use a grow light to provide the cutting with adequate lighting.

In addition to ensuring the cutting receives proper lighting, you’ll want to monitor the soil moisture. The soil should be kept slightly moist but never soggy. You may also want to mist the leaves every so often, as this can help provide the cutting with additional moisture.

Your cutting should stay in this well-lit location for several weeks or until root development begins. Be sure to keep a close eye on the soil moisture, and don’t hesitate to re-pot the cutting in fresh soil if necessary.

Step 6: Monitor Your Plant’s Progress

The final step in propagating a ZZ Plant is to monitor your plant’s progress. This is done by checking for signs of stress, such as wilting or yellowing of the leaves, discoloration in the stem, or any other signs of distress. If you notice any of these, it is essential to take action to rectify the issue to ensure the health of your plant.

If your new cuttings look like they are beginning to root, you want to check the soil to ensure it is moist but not oversaturated. ZZ Plants need more water than other plants, but too much water can be just as damaging and cause root rots. If you notice the soil drying out too quickly, add a layer of mulch or a clay or perlite mixture to increase the water retention in the soil. Additionally, it is essential to provide your ZZ Plant with adequate light. If you are propagating indoors, check the light levels and adjust accordingly.

It is also essential to check for insect pests that may be living on your plant, as these can damage its health. If you notice any pests, use an insecticidal spray to remove them. Lastly, you want to prune any dead or damaged leaves, as these can affect the overall health of your plant. By following these steps, you can ensure the success of your ZZ Plant propagation.


In conclusion, successfully propagating a ZZ Plant is not tricky. All that is needed is a healthy ZZ Plant, pruners, containers, perlite, potting soil, and a sharp knife. Once these materials are gathered and the steps discussed in this article are followed, success in propagating a ZZ Plant will likely follow. Propagating a ZZ Plant also provides an easy way to increase the plant’s numbers. As often as once a month is an ideal time for propagating ZZ Plant, but take care not to be too eager and over-propagate. Lastly, place the newly propagated plants in a well-lit location. When these simple guidelines are followed, propagating a ZZ Plant can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.


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