How do you propagate a leggy ZZ plant?

Answered by Robert Flynn

To propagate a leggy ZZ plant, you will need to take a cutting from the plant and encourage it to develop new roots. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you with the process:

1. Prepare the cutting: Start by selecting a healthy stalk on your ZZ plant that has become leggy. Look for a section of the stem that is at least 4-6 inches long and has several leaves. Using a sanitized knife or pruning shears, make a clean, straight cut at the base of the stalk.

2. Place the cutting in water: Fill a clean container with room temperature water and place the cut end of the ZZ plant cutting into the water. Make sure that at least half of the stem is submerged in the water. It’s important to use room temperature water as extreme temperatures can shock the cutting.

3. Change the water regularly: It’s essential to change the water every 3-4 weeks to prevent the growth of mold or bacteria. Simply pour out the old water and refill the container with fresh, room temperature water. This helps to provide a clean and oxygen-rich environment for the cutting.

4. Provide proper lighting: Place the container with the cutting near a window where it can receive bright, indirect light. ZZ plants thrive in bright light but can be sensitive to direct sunlight. Avoid exposing the cutting to direct sunlight as it may scorch the leaves.

5. Be patient: Root development can take several weeks to a couple of months, so be patient with the process. Keep an eye on the water level and ensure that the cutting remains submerged. You may notice small white nodules forming along the stem, which are the early signs of root development.

6. Plant the rooted cutting: Once the ZZ plant cutting has developed a sufficient root system (at least a few inches long), it is ready to be planted. Choose a well-draining potting mix and plant the cutting, ensuring that the roots are covered but the leaves are above the soil surface. Water the newly planted cutting thoroughly and place it in its desired location.

Remember that not all cuttings will successfully root, so it’s a good idea to take multiple cuttings to increase your chances of success. With proper care, you can propagate a leggy ZZ plant and enjoy new, healthy plants in your collection.