The ZZ plant, or Zamioculas zamiifolia, is a popular houseplant which is valued for its attractive glossy foliage and easy maintenance. If you want to expand your plant collection or share them with others, then propagation is an excellent option instead of buying entirely new plants. There are a few methods you can use to propagate ZZ plants, so let’s explore the options we have and the details.
Propagation by Division
To propagate through division, you’ll need to follow these steps:
Select a mature ZZ plant that has healthy leaves and stems.
Gently remove the plant from the pot, carefully separating the root system into smaller sections to divide them, ensuring each division has several stems and a good amount of healthy roots.
Plant each of the divisions into a separate pot filled with well-draining soil.
Water the newly potted divisions, placing them in a location with bright and indirect light. Direct light will put too much stress on the plant – it’s best to focus on establishing a healthy root system. Maintain a regular watering schedule, providing good amounts of humidity to encourage the development of roots and foliage.
You can increase the humidity around a division by doing something simple such as covering it with a clear, plastic food bag to keep the water in, lowering the transpiration rates. This is particularly effective when taking stem cuttings of ZZ plants and other species.
Leaf cuttings can be a bit challenging, but it is possible to propagate ZZ plants through leaf cuttings by following these steps:
From a mature ZZ plant, you should choose a healthy leaf. Look for any leaves that are a good length, with no signs of damage or disease such as brown tips or yellowing.
Using a clean, sharp knife, scissors or pruners, carefully cut the leaf into sections which are around two to three inches long.
Allow the leaf cuttings to dry for a day or two, helping to form a callus which will prevent rotting the leaf cutting.
Prepare small pots with well-draining soil, or a mix of perlite and peat moss.
Insert the leaf cuttings around an inch deep into the soil, making sure that the cut end is facing downwards towards the medium.
Water the soil lightly, covering the pot with a plastic bag or a propagator dome to maintain high levels of humidity to encourage root development.
Place the pot in a warm area, preferably with indirect light. You should avoid direct sunlight as this can put too much stress on the root system.
Mist the leaf cuttings occasionally, helping to maintain humidity and check the moisture of the soil regularly.
After a few weeks, you should see new shoots start to emerge from the leaf cuttings.
Once the new plants have started to develop roots and a few leaves, they can be transplanted into their own individual pots.
Propagation by Stem Cuttings
To propagate a ZZ plant through stem cuttings, you can follow these steps:
Select a healthy stem from a mature ZZ plant that has several healthy leaves.
Using a clean, sharp knife, scissors or pruners, make a clean cut just below a leaf node. This is the point where the leaf is attached to the stem.
Remove any leaves from the lower portion of the stem cutting, leaving only a few leaves at the top intact.
Allow the cut end of the stem to dry for a day or two, allowing a callus to form.
Prepare a small pot with well-draining soil or a mixture of perlite and peat moss.
Insert the lower portion of the stem into the soil, ensuring that at least one node is below the soil surface to form roots. You can also dip the stem into the rooting hormone to encourage rooting, though this is optional.
Water the soil lightly, covering the pot with something such as a plastic bag or a propagator to create a humid environment.
Place the pot in a warm spot that gets bright and indirect light.
Mist the cutting regularly, helping to maintain humidity and check the soil moisture regularly to make sure it doesn’t dry out or get too wet.
Hopefully, within a few weeks, the stem cutting should develop roots and start to produce new leaves.
Once the new plant has started to establish roots and sufficient growth, it can be repotted into its own container with well-draining soil.
When propagating ZZ plants, it’s essential to have patience as these plants will tend to grow quite slowly. As long as you provide consistent care including regular watering, indirect light exposure and good humidity levels, your propagated ZZ plants will surely flourish and bring natural beauty to your indoor space. It’ll just take some time and proper nurturing.
In summary, propagating ZZ plants can be achieved through numerous different methods such as division, leaf cuttings or stem cuttings. Each method has its own advantages and allows you to expand your plant collection, spreading the joy of ZZ plants with fellow enthusiasts. Whichever method you decide to use, make sure that you follow the steps carefully and provide the necessary care and patience for successful propagation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long does it take for leaf cuttings to root and grow into new ZZ plants?
Leaf cuttings will typically take several weeks to root and start producing new foliage, so it’s important to have patience during this process – especially since ZZ plants are known for their particularly slow growth. You should provide the cuttings with a warm and humid environment, with indirect light and regular misting to help encourage root development. Once the cuttings have started to develop roots and a few leaves, they can then be transplanted into individual pots with suitable potting mixes such as perlite and peat moss.
How easy is it to propagate leaf cuttings compared to other methods?
Leaf cuttings can take a while longer to root, but it’s still possible to propagate them through this method and encourage them to develop a rhizome and roots. I typically propagate the majority of my plants through stem cuttings or seeds, with stem cuttings being the favored method as plants will develop a lot quicker.
Can I use rooting hormone when propagating ZZ plants?
ZZ plants are known for their ability to root easily, so you don’t necessarily have to use rooting hormone for successful propagation. However, if you prefer to use rooting hormone, you can apply a small amount to the cut ends of stem or leaf cuttings before you plant them in the propagation medium. I typically use a powdered form, but you can get them in liquid form or in a spray bottle. Rooting hormones could potentially speed up the development of roots, but it’s not essential to root ZZ plants.
Can I propagate ZZ plants in water instead of using soil?
While some plants may be able to be propagated in water such as willows, ZZ plants generally prefer to be rooted in a well-draining soil or a mixture of perlite and peat moss. Using water as a propagation medium may lead to issues such as rotting or weak development in ZZ plants, and if you don’t change out the water, it may promote the growth of nasty bacteria. It’s recommended to use the division or cutting propagation methods listed in the article, using a suitable propagation medium to get the best chances of a successful ZZ plant propagation.