The ZZ plant, or Zanzibar Gem (Zamioculcas zamiifolia), is a popular houseplant known for its low maintenance and attractive, glossy leaves. Propagating a ZZ plant from leaves in water is an easy and rewarding way to expand your collection. Follow this straightforward guide to successfully grow a ZZ plant from leaf cuttings.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you start, make sure you have the following items:

  • A healthy ZZ plant
  • Clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears
  • A clear glass or jar
  • Clean, room-temperature water

Step 2: Select and Prepare the Leaf Cuttings

  1. Choose Healthy Leaves: Select mature, healthy leaves from your ZZ plant. Look for leaves that are free from damage or disease.
  2. Make the Cut: Using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears, cut the leaves close to the base. Ensure you make a clean cut to prevent damage.

Step 3: Place the Leaf Cuttings in Water

  1. Prepare the Glass or Jar: Fill a clear glass or jar with clean, room-temperature water. Filtered or distilled water is ideal, as it avoids chemicals that might hinder root growth.
  2. Insert the Cuttings: Place the cut end of the leaves into the water. Submerge at least a quarter of the leaf.
  3. Position the Glass: Place the glass or jar in a bright spot with indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can heat the water and damage the cuttings.

Step 4: Monitor and Maintain the Cuttings

  1. Change the Water: Refresh the water every few days to keep it clean and oxygenated. This helps prevent bacterial growth and supports healthy root development.
  2. Check for Root Growth: Be patient, as ZZ plants can take several weeks or even months to develop roots. Look for small white roots emerging from the cut end.

Step 5: Transplanting the Rooted Cuttings

Once your cuttings have developed a healthy root system, they can be transplanted into soil.

  1. Prepare a Pot: Fill a small pot with a well-draining potting mix. A mix designed for cacti or succulents works well for ZZ plants. Create a hole in the center for the cutting.
  2. Plant the Cutting: Carefully remove the cutting from the water, avoiding damage to the delicate roots. Place the cutting into the hole and gently firm the soil around it.
  3. Watering: Water the newly potted cutting thoroughly to help it settle. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

Step 6: Care for Your New ZZ Plant

  1. Light: Place the potted cutting in a bright location with indirect sunlight. While ZZ plants can tolerate low light, they thrive in bright, indirect light.
  2. Watering: ZZ plants prefer to dry out between waterings. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry. Avoid overwatering, as ZZ plants are susceptible to root rot.
  3. Fertilizing: Feed your ZZ plant with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 2-3 months during the growing season to encourage healthy growth.


Propagating a ZZ plant from leaves in water is an easy and effective method to grow new plants. With minimal supplies and a bit of patience, you can watch your ZZ plant cuttings develop roots and thrive. Follow these simple steps, and soon you’ll have a beautiful addition to your home or office. Enjoy the satisfaction of growing your own ZZ plant and the natural beauty it brings to your space.