How to Propagate ZZ Plants, 3 Ways

A ZZ plant on the ground with soil and a pot.

Bogdan Kurylo / Getty Images

ZZ plants (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) are known for being low-maintenance and easy to care for, and propagating them is no different. There are three different ways to propagate a ZZ plant: stem cuttings, division, and leaf cuttings.

Whether you are looking to expand your houseplant collection or share the plant love with friends and family, propagating ZZ plants is a simple and rewarding process. However, you should be aware that propagating ZZ plants requires some patience and it can take several months before you end up with a completely new plant, depending on the method you use. Here’s everything you need to know about propagating ZZ plants.

When to Propagate ZZ Plants

When grown indoors, you can propagate ZZ plants at any time of the year. That being said, you’ll have the most success if you propagate when the plant is actively growing, which is usually in the spring and summer months.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

Propagating With Stem Cuttings

  • Pruning shears or scissors
  • Glass container

Propagating With Leaf Cuttings

  • Pruning shears or scissors
  • Shallow pot or tray

Propagating by Division

  • Pruning shears or scissors


For All Methods

  • Well-draining indoor potting soil
  • Plastic or terracotta pot


Propagating ZZ Plants With Stem Cuttings

Propagating ZZ plants using stem cuttings is a simple and reliable method. It’s great for plants of all sizes and yields fairly reliable results.

  1. Take Stem Cuttings

    Using a pair of sharp, sterilized pruning shears or scissors cut a stalk from your ZZ plant toward the base of the stem. 

  2. Place Cuttings in Water

    Fill a small glass container with enough water to cover the bottom of the cuttings and place the cuttings in the water. Put the container in a location that receives bright, indirect light (a windowsill is great for this), and change the water every few weeks.

  3. Repot When Roots Have Developed

    Once the cuttings have developed rhizomes and roots that are at least one inch long (usually around 3 to 4 months), it’s time to repot them in soil. Fill a small plastic or terracotta pot with well-draining potting soil and plant the rooted cuttings.

    Water the freshly planted cuttings well, allowing the excess water to drain from the pot. Place the new plant in a spot that receives bright, indirect light and water once the soil has thoroughly dried out.

Propagating ZZ Plants With Leaf Cuttings

Propagating ZZ plants with leaf cuttings is great for small plants that don’t have a lot of stems to spare. All that’s required to propagate ZZ plants by leaf cuttings is one healthy leaf, although it’s usually a good idea to start with multiple leaves at a time since this method is a little bit less reliable than using full stem cuttings. Be prepared to wait a while before you have a new plant when propagating from a single leaf—but watching the growth can be a fun part of the process!

  1. Take Leaf Cuttings

    Using a pair of sharp, sterilized pruning shears or scissors take leaf cuttings from your ZZ plant. Cut the leaves off as close to the stalk as you can and try to take a bit of the stem with each cutting. It’s best to start between 3 to 5 leaf cuttings at once since success rates can vary.

  2. Place the Cuttings in Soil

    Fill a shallow pot or dish with well-draining potting soil and place the leaves in the soil with the base of the leaf pushed down into the soil and the top sitting above the surface. Water the leaves carefully so that the soil is evenly moist, but not soaking. Place the potted leaves in a warm location that receives bright, indirect light, such as a windowsill.

  3. Water When the Soil Is Dry

    Continue to water the potted leaf cuttings once the soil dries out completely. After 3 to 4 months, the leaves should begin developing small rhizomes and roots at the base. Keep caring for the cuttings and eventually, you will see small shoots growing from the new rhizomes.

Propagating ZZ Plants by Division

Propagating ZZ plants by division is undoubtedly the easiest way to propagate a ZZ plant, although it requires a mature plant with multiple stems and rhizomes. This method is great if you have a large plant that you are looking to make a bit smaller. 

While it’s not absolutely necessary, it can be useful to wait until your plant is due for watering before dividing your ZZ plant. This is because it is a good idea to water your plants once you have repotted them after dividing, and if your plant has been recently watered, this could lead to overwatering.

  1. Remove the Plant From Its Pot

    Take your large ZZ plant and remove it from its pot. This can be done by lying it down on its side and wiggling the pot off the roots, or by carefully grabbing the stems towards the base and pulling the pot off. 

  2. Divide Clumps of Rhizomes

    Using your hands, begin to carefully divide the plant by separating rhizomes under the soil. Try to break as few roots as possible during the process.

  3. Repot New Plants

    Once you have divided your plant, repot your new plants in separate pots. Use soil that is well-draining, and either plastic or terracotta pots with drainage holes. Put your newly divided plants back in their original location and water thoroughly.