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How to care for a Raven ZZ plant

Intrigued by the Raven ZZ plant? Here is everything you need to know about Raven ZZ Plant care including watering, light, and soil needs!

I was once walking up and down the houseplant section at Home Depot when I stopped in my tracks. An unusual looking plant caught my eye.

It had tall stalks and thick, shiny leaves. But, most notably, it was completely black.

I was so intrigued by this plant I had to bring one home. I have now owned my Raven ZZ plant for a year and have grown to really love it!


What is a Raven ZZ Plant?

Raven ZZ Plant is the common name for the black ZZ plant – Zamioculcas zamiifolia. These plants have thick stems and black 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!

Are Raven ZZ Plants rare?

These plants might have been rare at some point, but now they are easy to find at garden centers and are sold by Costa Farms. I got mine at the Home Depot!

Want more ZZ plant topics?

Free printable ZZ plant care guide

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ZZ plant care guide
potted raven zz plant on a dresser

ZZ Raven Plant Care Guide

How much light do Raven ZZ plants need?

Raven ZZ is advertised as being a low light plant that can do well even in a dark room. It will survive without light, but it does it’s best growing in bright indirect light.

How do you water a raven ZZ?

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.

stalk of raven zz plant

Should I mist my Raven 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!

What is the best Raven ZZ plant soil?

Raven 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.

Read our guide on how to drill drainage holes in ceramic pots here!

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.

Do Raven ZZ plants flower?

It is possible for Raven ZZ plants to flower, but it is rare.

close up of raven ZZ plant

How do you make Raven ZZ darker?

One thing that’s kind of surprising when you first get a Raven ZZ plant is that new growth is not black but actually bright green! It fades from a green color to a purple black color as it matures.

The best way for green growth to turn black is with time. The green leaves will slowly fade to a purply black color as they grow!

lime green new growth on a raven zz plant

Why is my Raven ZZ turning brown?

If your plant is turning brown and crispy, that indicates too much light. Swap the light conditions – a less direct light spot might work better.

Luckily, you can remove the dead leaves and, assuming you find a new better spot, it will continue to grow and thrive.

Why are my Raven ZZ plants leaves yellow and mushy?

Yellow mushy leaves indicate overwatering! Let the soil dry out. Make sure your pot has drainage holes. If it’s really wet, consider removing it from the soggy soil and planting in fresh soil.

Read my complete guide to troubleshooting yellow ZZ plant leaves!

close up of black folliage on raven zz plant

What temperature can Raven ZZ tolerate?

This tropical plant doesn’t like going below 50 degrees. So, be sure to keep them away from cold breezes, the air conditioning vent, or other cold spots.

Can you keep Raven ZZ plant outdoors?

You can keep Raven ZZ outdoors in warmer months when the temperature does not drop below 50 degrees. Remember to keep them out of direct sun as they can get sunburned on their leaves!

Is the ZZ Raven 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 raven zz plant with dirty leaves

What are some Raven ZZ plant benefits?

ZZ Plants are said to boost air quality by absorbing pollutants in the air. They also are beautiful to look at and can be a great hobby!

How do you propagate Raven ZZ plant?

Fun fact: Raven ZZ plant is a patented plant. That means that it is illegal to propagate and sell these! Pretty wild.

You can reproduce them for yourself. When re-potting, use a clean knife to separate one branch from the rhizome. Replant in a new pot!

How do you clean ZZ plant leaves?

These shiny black leaves can really show dust over time! Clean them with a damp cloth as needed.

Any more questions about Raven ZZ Plant Care?

Thanks for reading!

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