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Raven ZZ Plant Guide: How to Grow & Take Care of your Plant + 5 Decoration ideas!


Gardening has always been a popular hobby amongst people, but millennials have taken it to the next level. Millennials love plants, and for them, “plants are the new pets”. Plant parenting has become the new trend, with millions of people investing in houseplants. Raven ZZ is your next pick, if you too, want to add a super easy houseplant to your collection. Why? Well, keep reading to find out! 

Zamioculcas zamiifolia is an exotic houseplant with unique tropical ornamental foliage. It belongs to the family named “Araceae”. It is commonly known as Raven ZZ due to its black foliage, resembling the bird raven, while the abbreviation of ZZ stands for Zamioculcas Zamiifolia. It has a Tanzanian origin and grows across central Africa and the east coast. 

Raven ZZ generally grows to 3-4 feet tall. Research shows it can grow 1 cm per day depending on the environmental conditions and water intake. It is a seasonal bloomer and produces white spadix with green spathes. However, flowering is age-dependent and only occurs in mature plants.

As an easy to grow plant, Zamioculcas zamiifolia benefits its owner in more than one way. Raven ZZ boasts a dark green-purple shade that portrays an aesthetic look. The foliage is so dark and glossy that it appears black. It is one of the trendiest plants because of its environment-friendly qualities and low maintenance. Apart from that, Raven ZZ has many health benefits that you will learn later in this article. 

Raven zz plant in a pot

Features of Raven ZZ Plant:

Here is an overview of the prominent features of the Raven ZZ plant:

Origin Central and Eastern Africa (Tanzania and Kenya)
Scientific Name Zamioculcas zamiifolia
Common NamesRaven ZZ, Aroid Palm, Zanzibar Gem, Eternity Plant, 
Temperature60  to 80 degrees Fahrenheit
WateringOnce every 2-3 weeks to wet the soil 
Lightlow Indirect light, partial shade 
ToxicityMildly Toxic 
PropagationPropagation through leaf-cutting and division
Floweringwhite spathe-type flowers near the base of the stalk
Maximum Size3-4 feet tall and width 20-40 inches 

How to Care for The Raven ZZ Plant? 

A houseplant is not just another decoration piece; it is a living being. And, like all living beings, you have to nurture and care for them to grow. Plants also need water, nutrition, and regular grooming. Here are some important factors affecting the growth of Raven ZZ plants that you must pay attention to:

Providing the Right Amount of Light to Raven ZZ

Raven ZZ thrives in medium to low indirect sunlight. It can tolerate bright indirect light, but it is best suited to shaded conditions, making it an excellent choice for indoors. They will even grow in bright fluorescent light!  Here you can find How Much Light Does Your Plant Need?

How much Water does Raven ZZ Need?

The Raven ZZ plant needs water every 2 to 3 weeks. For better nourishment, allow the soil to dry out between watering. However, it will need more water in brighter lights. Do not over-water the plant as it will cause stem rot and rhizome rot. 

Finding Perfect Humidity for Raven ZZ Plant

Raven ZZ grows well in low-moderate humidity levels. However, spray the plant to increase moisture in winters when the indoors are dry due to artificial heating.  If you want to know more about Humidity, here is a complete guide on What is High Humidity and How to Increase Humidity for Your Houseplants

Temperature Needs for Raven ZZ

Being a tropical plant, Raven ZZ loves moderate temperatures. The best-suited temperature range for Raven ZZ is 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It prefers normal ambient conditions, so it grows well at home temperature. 

The Perfect Soil for Raven ZZ

Raven ZZ is not very picky about soil. Just make sure it is well-draining and does not hold too much water. 

What Kind of Fertilizer ZZ Plant needs?

Raven ZZ develops during the summers (From April-August), so it only needs diluted liquid fertilizer once a month during peak growth. 

Grooming Tips for Raven ZZ

It is easy to prune Raven ZZ as it shapes itself as it grows. It seldom needs aesthetic pruning. 

Ideas to Decorate Your Home with Raven ZZ

Houseplants are the best way to make your home look more appealing. However, you cannot just throw them around. Place them strategically to match your interior. Here are some clever ideas to lift up your indoors with Raven ZZ:

Natural Look in the Living Room

Give your living room a natural look with the Raven ZZ plant. It grows in low-light conditions and requires minimum maintenance, making it the perfect indoor plant. Moreover, having plants in the living room purifies the air, enhances the room’s aesthetic, and creates a relaxing mood. 

Build a Small Indoor Garden 

Create your own little indoor garden in a nice corner, under the stairwell, or on the windowsill. Add various houseplants that complement each other. The dark blackish-green leaves on Raven ZZ will stand out and make your little jungle look rich. 

Get some Decor Inspo from Plantfluencers

Follow the top trending plantfluencers on social media for inspiration. They are a great source to get a variety of knowledge on all things plants. From care tips to the best fertilizers and online pot stores, plantfluencers will share it all! 

follow Plantfluencers

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Finding a Place at the Entrance

Plants are the best solution to fill up an empty spot. Make your entrance more welcoming and appealing with a mature Raven ZZ. You can add a vertical dark Raven ZZ on its own or 2to 3 small plants in matching planters.

Create a Goth Vibe

If you want a dark, goth chic vibe or an all ger-white industrial look, get a Raven ZZ to set the mood. It is the perfect solution to bring nature to space without going too vibrant.

Goth Vibe

Potting and Repotting Your Raven ZZ Plant

If you have just gotten your hands on Raven ZZ plant and don’t know much about repotting it then we will guide you through. Repotting is extremely important if you do not want your plant to grow in limited space or fall over from excessive foliage. Make sure you repot your plant before the roots grow too dense for you to repot it. 

The first step is looking for signs if your plant needs a new pot. Here are a few signs to look for:

  • The plant is growing much slower than it normally does. This is exclusive to winter dormancy.
  • The roots are visible and growing through the drainage holes.
  • The roots are pushing the plant out of the planter.
  • Noticeable salt and mineral build up on the plant or the planter.

If you notice any of the above things happening, your zz plant needs repotting. If you do not timely repot your plant the roots may become too dense which makes it difficult to pot the plant in the future. 

Raven ZZ plant can grow up to 1cm a day in summers when the condition is ideal, however, this may be followed by no growth for a long period. With a long dormant period and high growth in ideal conditions, the raven ZZ might need repotting after every 2 to 3 years.

As you repot it, the plant will continue to grow. However, if you do not want your plant to grow anymore then you may stop repotting.

Tips for Propagation of Raven ZZ Plant

Something to keep in mind is that Raven ZZ has a plant patent on it. This means no one in the US apart from the breeder or nurseries that have a deal with a breeder are allowed to multiply the plant and sell it. But, what if you need to make a backup Raven ZZ plant? Do not worry you can simply grow a new Raven ZZ plant from the previous one right at your home. 

The method of using the previous plant to grow a new one through asexual reproduction is called propagation. So, without further ado, let us see how you can multiply your Raven ZZ plant at home.

Propagation of Raven ZZ by Division 

he Division method is not really propagation but the fastest way to get your raven ZZ plant. Simply split the plant into two halves and pot them separately. However, there is a technique for splitting the Raven ZZ plant. Even though the plant is extremely easy to split, you need to find areas where you can gently split the ribosomes apart.

Take the plant out of the pot and split it evenly, taking a good portion of roots in both halves. Make sure you do not break off any stems along the way as they would die unless you regrow them. Lastly, plant each half in a different pot and let them grow.

Propagation by Leaves

Propagation using leaves can be time taking compared to the rest of the propagation methods however it is equally effective.

You can start by cutting a single leaf from the Raven ZZ. Make sure there is a little bit of stem attached to it. Then take a shallow jar and add some potting mix to it. Now, place the cut-out stem side into the soil from the potting mix and see if the leaf stands on its own. You can press the soil around the leaf to make sure the leaf is able to stand. 

Those who want to grow their Raven ZZ faster may also dip the cut stem side into rooting hormone powder before dipping it in potting mix. However, this step is optional. The Raven ZZ will grow fine without it as well.

Once the leaf is standing in the soil, keep the plant well-watered for a few months. After a few months, you will notice that the leaf stem has grown roots and is now attached to the soil. Let the plant grow or move it to a proper pot once it has grown roots.

Propagation by Stem

You might want a little Raven ZZ plant in every room to take advantage of all the Raven ZZ plant benefits at home. You can easily create multiple copies of your Raven ZZ plant using the stem propagation method. 

Multiplying the Raven ZZ plant with stem propagation is probably the easiest technique available. Start off by cutting at least a six-inch-long stem of Raven ZZ. Now place the stem in a jar full of water. Make sure you change the water every 3 to 4 days. After a few weeks, you will see roots emerge at the end of the stem. 

When the roots have gotten an inch long, you can now transfer the stem to a pot with soil that drains well.

In case, this method is not successful, you can try the other two.

Common Diseases of Raven ZZ Plant

Here are some diseases and pests that can affect Raven ZZ:

Major Diseases Faced by Raven ZZ

Root rot is the most common disease Raven ZZ plants can face. Root rot occurs due to consistent over-watering and turns the leaves yellow and mushy. To prevent root rot, make sure you only water the plant when necessary and drain all the excess water.

Insects and Pests

Raven ZZ is generally invulnerable to pests and insects, but it can be susceptible to mealybugs and scale insects. 

Risks Associated with Raven ZZ Plant 

Risks For Humans

Raven ZZ is generally harmless to human exposure, but it is mildly toxic as it contains non-lethal calcium oxalate crystals. This chemical compound can cause irritation and discomfort in children. However, an increase in consumption will lead to fatality. Tiny crystals in the sap may also cause skin itching or rashes. 

For Pets 

Raven ZZ is poisonous to pets. When ingested by animals, it can upset their digestive system. And research also shows it can be toxic in certain animals. 

How to Avoid These Risks?

Here are some ways you can prevent the risks associated with Raven ZZ plant:

  • Wearing gloves is a good way of handling the plant to avoid skin exposure to irritation and other issues. 
  • Place the plant away from the reach of children and pets.
  • Satisfy your pet’s green cravings with plants like parlor pam or nepeta, so they do not consume indoor plants. 

If, for any reason, children or pets swallow the leaves, immediately concern a doctor. 

Since the plant requires low maintenance, it is better to place it in a soft corner of the living room. It is advisable to hang the plant at a sufficient height. 

Raven ZZ Plants Benefits at Home

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia benefits everyone around them. From a large range of health advantages, the ZZ plant is also extremely easy to take care of. Here are some black zz plant benefits you should know about :

Raven ZZ acts as an Air Purifier

Black ZZ plant benefits include cleaning the air by absorbing pollutants such as toluene, xylene, and carbon dioxide, improving the air quality. 

A Low Maintenance Plant You will Love

Raven ZZ requires minimum care and watering, making it super easy to keep.

Perfect for Indoors 

The plant receives low sunlight which makes it ideal for indoor use. 

Improves Cognitive Functions

Raven ZZ plant is also known to have magical properties. However, most of it is linked back to science.

There is a reason why you see Raven ZZ in so many offices. This plant improves the air quality and creates a peaceful environment which results in better cognitive function. 

Raven ZZ Adapts to all Environments

Raven ZZ is a tough plant that can adapt to any environment. Its ability to grow in different conditions has made it increasingly popular over time. 

Raven ZZ Plant Medicinal Uses

This is a medicinal plant. It is rich in antioxidants and has many healing properties. Central African regions use it to cure earache and Mshipa (inflammatory diseases among the locals). Shamans also use Raven ZZ to cure stomach diseases. 


Is the Raven ZZ plant rare?

No, it is not rare. Raven is a trendy, newer variety of ZZ plant that used to be rare and expensive, but now it’s widely available at affordable prices. It enjoys a soft, dark purple color and long, glossy leaves. It’s pretty easy to care for and makes a great addition to any indoor or outdoor space.

Why is my Raven ZZ turning green?

It’s very common for new growth to emerge from a flower in a vibrant shade of green. The new growth will darken over time as it matures.

How do you make Raven ZZ more black?

ZZ’s can be blackened via Sunburn, a process of exposing the plant to intense light using artificial sources of light with or without reflective materials or techniques as well as placing it in direct light that is too bright and hot. Another is by Natural Aging, which is an unforced process of exposure to a strong light that causes gradual changes in plant color and shape.


Raven ZZ gives an exotic look to the space and increases its aesthetic charm. The best thing about this plant is that it offers numerous benefits and requires minimum effort. Being super-low maintenance, safe and versatile, Raven ZZ is one of the best houseplants out there. However, it does bear a few risks so make sure you have all the safety precautions in place – especially if you have kids and pets. With that being said, Raven ZZ is mostly a safe plant and rarely causes any trouble! 

Written by Chris Buckland

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