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Chameleon ZZ Plant: a complete care guide

Want to add a Chameleon ZZ Plant to your houseplant collection? They are beautiful and easy to care for! Here’s my complete Chameleon ZZ Plant care guide!

I’ve had a Raven ZZ plant for a long time. When I needed a new plant for the top shelf in our guest bedroom, I wanted something that would do OK with infrequent waterings and medium to low light.

I immediately thought of my ZZ plant. When I headed to Home Depot to grab another, I was excited to see the new Chameleon variety.

chameleon zz plant in a white pot

What is Chameleon ZZ Plant?

ZZ plant is a beautiful house plant with thick stems and green and yellow foliage. The leaves are very shiny and almost waxy looking.

These plants are really popular and are marketed as very hard to kill. They are marketed as low light “indestructible” plants. Because of that, these plants are great for beginner houseplant owners!

Other names for Chameleon ZZ Plant include:

  • Zamioculcas zamifolia ‘Chameleon’ PPAF
close up of chameleon zz plant in a white pot

Chameleon ZZ Plant origins

Chameleon is a variety of the ZZ plant bred to have bright green and yellow variegation.

The plant breeders found a few examples of ZZ plants with this specific coloring and reproduced them to create a whole new sub-type of ZZ plant.

The leaves come in yellow or light green and mature to a more medium, bright green color with a bit of variegation to them. It’s really pretty!

Is Chameleon ZZ Plant rare?

ZZ plants are commonly found at big box stores and not rare. However, the Chameleon ZZ plant is distributed exclusively by Costa Farms. So, it’s rare in the way that you can only buy it from them.

Costa sells plants at many places including Home Depot, Lowes, and Walmart.

Is Chameleon ZZ Plant toxic?

Yes, this plant can be toxic if ingested. Also, the sap can cause irritation of the skin. Keep away from kids and pets.

close up of chameleon zz plant in a white pot

Want more ZZ plant topics?

Free printable ZZ plant care guide

Join the (free!) KeepYourPlantsAlive+ community to access this exclusive printable plant care guide! Once you sign up, you can right click & save the JPG care guide. Or keep scrolling for more!

ZZ plant care guide
chameleon ZZ plant care guide

Chameleon ZZ Plant care guide

I love ZZ plants because they are – in my opinion – the easiest plant to keep alive. They do fine even when neglected!

Chameleon ZZ Plant watering

One thing that is really cool about ZZ plants is that they have rhizomes under the soil – almost like a bulb. These rhizomes hold water, which is why they are able to survive without being watered too often.

You only need to water your ZZ plant when the soil is completely dry – every 2 weeks in the summer and even less in the cooler months.

Be sure your pot has drainage holes as the rhizome could rot if it sits in pooling water.

Read my guide on drilling drainage holes in pots!

How often should I water my Chameleon ZZ Plant?

Water your plant every other week or so, when the soil feels completely dry.

Should I mist my Chameleon ZZ Plant?

ZZ Plants do not have high humidity needs and don’t need to be misted. Misting them could lead to rot on the leaves so it’s best to avoid it!

chameleon zz plant in a white pot

Chameleon ZZ Plant lighting needs

ZZ plants generally need medium to low light. It’s worth noting, however, that these variegated versions need a bit more light.

In low light, it will lose it’s yellow and lighter green. It will also grow a lot slower compared to in bright, indirect light.

Can I keep Chameleon ZZ Plant outdoors?

You can keep these plants outdoors, just keep them out of direct light which can burn their leaves. Bring them indoors when temperatures drop below 50 degrees.

close up of chameleon zz plant in a white pot

Chameleon ZZ Plant soil + potting

ZZ plants grow well in most soils and potting mixes – you can use any bagged soil for potted plants. However, be sure that your pot has drainage holes. This will keep the plant from getting soggy, which can lead to root rot.

Does Chameleon ZZ Plant like to be root bound?

No. ZZ plants will have a hard time absorbing water if they get root bound. Instead, move them to a pot 1-2 inches bigger in diameter and add some fresh soil.

When should I repot my ZZ plant?

This plant does most of it’s growing in warm months and then goes a bit dormant with no new growth. So, re-pot it in the spring, right before the growth starts.

Does Chameleon ZZ Plant need a moss pole?

These plants don’t grow on a moss pole but if they are flopping over you could definitely stake them up using a simple bamboo stake!

close up of chameleon zz plant in a white pot

Chameleon ZZ Plant fertilization

Fertilizing with a balanced 10-10-10 basic houseplant fertilizer once a month in warm months will help to encourage your ZZ plant to grow as healthy as possible!

Always follow the instructions on your fertilizer and NEVER over fertilize.

close up of chameleon zz plant in a white pot

Chameleon ZZ Plant propagation

The easiest way to propagate ZZ plants is via division. Pull the plant out of the pot and divide the rhizome into separate branches. Then, repot in separate pots!

Why is Chameleon ZZ Plant propagation prohibited?

Tags that say “PROPAGATION PROHIBITED” on Costa Farms plants usually indicate that the plant has a patent. Either that or Costa has the exclusive right to distribute from the company that owns the patent.

This means you could be fined or get in trouble for selling propagated versions of these plants. However, my understanding is that you can still propagate cuttings for yourself and personal use. I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice 🙂 I definitely would not try to sell these!

Thanks for reading!

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