How To Grow Zanzibar Gem?

Zanzibar gem

Are you looking for an attractive indoor plant to add color and life to your home? If so, consider growing the Zanzibar gem. You’ve seen this plant in stores and admired it, but you need to learn how to grow it.

This beautiful succulent is easy to care for and can add a touch of elegance to any room. And to your surprise, the Zanzibar gem is an easy-to-grow plant that does well in various climates.

So, you can have the flexibility to grow it indoors or out as it tolerates both sun and shade.

This comprehensive guide will take you by hand and show you how to grow this gorgeous indoor plant successfully, no matter your gardening experience level. Keep reading to learn more!

What Is Zanzibar Gem?

The Zanzibar gem, or ZZ plant, is a perennial plant that originates from Africa. It gets its name from the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania, where it is found in the wild.

The plant can grow up to 1 to 2 feet tall and has long, glossy leaves that are usually green. 

Zanzibar Gem is a hardy plant that can tolerate harsh conditions but prefers a warm, frost-free climate outdoors. It is not typically seen in flowers, but the plant’s flowers are made up of a spathe and spadix.

It is an excellent houseplant for those who want to add greenery to their space without worrying about maintenance.

Types of Zanzibar Gem

Several ZZ plants are available, each with its distinct appearance.

Type #1: Zamioculcas Zamiifolia ‘Raven

Zamioculcas zamiifolia raven
Source: Wikimedia

If you’re looking for a ZZ plant that will add some color to your home, the ‘Raven’ variety is a great option.

With its dark purple-maroon leaves, it’s sure to make a statement.

Type #2: Zamioculcas Zamiifolia ‘Lucky Variegated

The ‘Lucky Variegated’ variety is also attractive, with its green leaves variegated with white and yellow.

However, remember that the variegation will fade if the plant isn’t given enough light.

Type #3: Zamioculcas Zamiifolia ‘Zamicro


If searching for a smaller ZZ plant, the ‘Zamicro’ is a great option. It has shorter stems and smaller leaves, making it perfect for smaller spaces. 

Whichever variety you choose, you’re sure to enjoy the beauty and simplicity of the ZZ plant.

Ways to Grow Zanzibar Gem

Zanzibar gems should be planted in free-draining soil when grown outdoors and in a well-drained potting mix indoors.

If you’re interested in growing them, it’s easy to do so at home. 

Option #1: Growing From a Seed

To grow a ZZ plant from a seedling, you need to know the following:

  • First, soak the seeds in warm water for a day to help them germinate. 
  • Once they’re out and dry, they’re ready to be placed in pots.
  • Choose a pot size 8-12 inches wide, and fill it with well-drained soil. ZZ plants don’t require special potting soil – a standard potting mix will do just fine.

Option #2: Growing From a Young Plant

It’s easier to propagate or grow new ZZ plants from the young Zanzibar plants than the seeds – all you need is a sharp knife and a glass of water.

Then follow the steps below:

  • Cut off a stalk at the base of the plant, making a clean, straight cut. 
  • Place the cutting in the glass of water, and change the water every 3-4 weeks. 
  • If you forget, it’s no big deal – just make sure there’s no mold growing. 
  • Keep the cutting near a window where it can receive bright, indirect light. 

Soon, you’ll have a whole new plant! With just a little bit of care, your ZZ plant will thrive.

How To Care for Zanzibar Gem?

zamioculcas zamiifolia

Here are some factors to consider for caring for your Zanzibar gem.

Factor #1: Water

ZZ plants are drought-tolerant and can store water in their leaves, stems, and roots, so you don’t need to worry about watering them too often.

Once every week or when the top two inches of soil are dry should be sufficient. In the winter, you can cut back on watering as much.

Just make sure you pay attention to your plant!

Factor#2: Light

Your Zanzibar gem will thrive in bright to medium indirect light but can adjust to low light if necessary. However, moderate to medium light is ideal for a healthy plant.

If you provide low light for quite a long, it may result in little new growth, and the stems may stretch if the light is too bright and direct.

This is often referred to as a “leggy plant.”

Factor #3: Humidity and Temperature

These plants prefer warm temperatures and humid conditions. So avoid placing your plant in a cold or drafty spot in your home.

Secondly, Zanzibar gems don’t require high humidity levels. Still, if your home is on the dry side, you should increase the humidity around your plant by using a humidifier or placing it on top of a tray filled with pebbles and water.


After providing all the basic needs, occasional fertilization can do wonders for your Zanzibar gem. A yearly handful of compost should suffice for your ZZ plant. You can do another half-application if your plant needs more fertilizer during summer.

Possible Problems

You should be aware of a few potential problems while growing ZZ plants. Let’s discuss a few.

Problem #1: Leaves Turning Yellow

If your Zanzibar gem plant’s leaves turn yellow, it could be a sign of overwatering.

Allow the soil to dry out completely between watering sessions, and make sure the pot has drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.

Problem #2: Wrinkled Stem

If the stem of your plant looks wrinkled or shriveled, it could be a sign of underwatering.

The dehydrated plant looks shrank when you fail to meet the water requirement. To avoid this, clean your plant regularly and check the soil before watering to ensure it is dry.

Problem #3: Pests

One of the most common problems affecting your Zanzibar gem is infestation by pests. These pests include aphids, fungus gnats, mealybugs, and scale.

While healthy plants are relatively resistant to disease, it is crucial to be vigilant to protect your plant from these potential problems.

Final Verdict

So, if you’re looking for a unique and beautiful addition to your home or garden, the Zanzibar gem is a great choice.

With its intricate leaves and delicate flowers, this plant is sure to add a touch of elegance to any space. And best of all, it’s relatively easy to grow!

With a bit of care and attention, you can have a thriving ZZ plant in no time.

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