Zanzibar Gem, ZZ Plant

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

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Zamioculcas zamiifolia

How to keep them thriving indoors in Melbourne!

Please Note: The information below is specific to this particular variety. For more detailed notes on the general growing conditions required for all Indoor Plants, check out our ‘Growing Indoor Plants Successfully’ factsheet.

Also known as the Eternity Plant in a nod to its indestructible character. This is up there with Aspidistra for the way it embraces neglect. Indeed the ZZ plant thrives on neglect, as overwatering is its death knell. Keep it warm and dry and it will thrive, the attractive dark green shiny waxy leaves on the wand like stems will delight you for years to come.


Allow to completely dry out in between watering. Water well (you can use the opportunity to wash any dust off the leaves) when you do water, allowing water to run out the bottom holes. Wait until all the water has finished running out before putting back in the saucer of slip pot. Must not sit in water. Reduce watering over winter.


Bright indirect or filtered light all year round. Avoid direct sunlight – it can scald the leaves. Can take low light, and will need even less water in those conditions.

Temperature and humidity

Ideally keep between 13C and 30C. Will grow more in warmer temperatures.


Hardly at all. At most once or twice a year of half strength, and only in the warmest months.


Minimal. If necessary wipe down the leaves with a damp cloth.


• Best done in spring.
• You can either simply go up a put size or you can split and divide it into two smaller plants. The sap is irritating to the skin, so wash hands well after dividing the plant.
• Use a good quality potting mix and pots with good drainage.
• If simply repotting into a larger pot, go up one size, if you choose too big a pot, then the excess potting mix retains moisture and can lead to fungal problems and root rot.
• Pat down firmly (removes air-pockets) and water in well using a weak seaweed solution.
• Allow to settle in for a couple of days in a shady spot, then move to a position with bright indirect light and treat as per normal.


Not prone to insect attack. If any trouble, try wiping leaves with white oil, will remove any insects and shine the leaves at the same time.

Yellowing leaves

• Old leaves naturally turn yellow as they age, before turning brown and dying.
• Overwatering can lead to yellowing
• Stress from moving to a new position, being repotted or divided. Allow time for it to settle in.