ZZ Plant Winter Care For Beginners

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia also known as ZZ plant are tough low-maintenance plants that can last for all of the year. However, they do require a little extra attention in winter.

Since ZZ plants are tropical plants that originates from East Africa, they are well-adapted to warmer climates. They are a challenge during colder months of the year.

In winter, keep the ZZ plants the plant in a comfortable, well illuminated area. The humidity and temperature should be as steady as is possible and shouldn’t fall below 40 degrees F. ZZ plants go dormant during winter. The growth of ZZ plants slows down, which means they don’t need to be watered as frequently and don’t require fertilizer.

Understanding the way ZZ plants require changes through the year is essential to ensuring they are well.

This article we will discuss the most common issues that arise that are common to ZZ plant species during winter, and the best ways to solve these issues. Let’s take a look at the winter-wintering ZZ plants in more depth!

Problems With ZZ Plants In Winter

ZZ plants have been adapted to the conditions of East Africa. They naturally occur in the southern part of Kenya and all the way to the northeastern region of South Africa. The area is dry and hot with seasonal rain.

ZZ plants are a tough species that is drought-tolerant and can thrive in levels of light. This is what makes ZZ plants great houseplants. They are extremely easy to take care of and are tolerant of even a bit of carelessness.

Zanzibar Plant Single Stem

The winters aren’t particularly cold in the region where ZZ plants are from and therefore they aren’t very well-adapted to the cold winters of more temperate zones. ZZ plants are faced with a variety of issues during the colder seasons of the year:


One of the most frequent errors made by people with ZZ plant is overwatering the plants in the winter. ZZ plants go into in a state of dormancy during the winter. They conserve water in their huge potato-like roots as well as in their large leaves.

ZZ plants can thrive without watering during winter. If the ground is dried out completely the plant will continue alive by relying on the water that is in its leaves and roots.

If you water the ZZ plant in winter it is likely that the roots won’t absorb all the water and the soil will remain moist for a longer time. In conjunction with the reduced lighting levels in winter, this could cause fungal infections in the soil, such as root rot.

Over Fertilization

Since ZZ plants are inactive during winter, they don’t absorb nutrients from the soil as quickly as they do in their growing seasons. Over-fertilizing the ZZ plant in winter is a common error that many people make.

If feeding ZZ plants in winter, excess nutrients accumulate in the soil in the form of mineral salts. The salts pull water from ZZ plants the roots and dry it out.

This is known as fertilizer burn and could be fatal for ZZ plants in winter, when they depend on the underground water reserves.

Lack Of Light

In winter the angle of the sun shifts, and the sun sets earlier in the day, and sunsets later in evening. In general, there is less sunlight in the daytime.

Houseplants are often struggling with low levels of light during their winter months. Even if the location of your home is perfect for the ZZ plant in the summer and spring it could be dark in winter.

Leggy Growth

When ZZ plants don’t get enough sunlight the growth begins to appear stretched out. This is due to the fact that the plant is trying to gain more light.

A slim ZZ plant doesn’t offer the same appeal as an elongated, lush specimen. It is therefore important to relocate the ZZ plants to a more bright place in your home in the winter.

Slow Growth

The frigid winter temperatures can cause ZZ plants their metabolism to slow down. Even even though ZZ plants are growing relatively slow during the growing season, their rate of growth is slowed down further during winter.

Leaves Dropping Due To Cold Weather

ZZ plants thrive best when the temperature is between 65 and 75 degrees F. If the temperature drops to below 40degF, ZZ plants start to be affected.

Cold temperatures can cause ZZ plants their leaves to drop and, in some instances they may fall off the plant.

How To Take Care Of ZZ Plants In Winter

There are easy ways to tackle every challenge ZZ plants encounter during the winter months. Making a few minor changes to your normal maintenance routine can be all that is needed to improve the health of your ZZ plant in winter.

This is a simple guide for winterizing ZZ plants: ZZ plant:


It is crucial to get the ZZ plant’s watering schedule right in winter. Since ZZ plants are so drought-resistant, watering them underwater isn’t a major issue. The risk of overwatering is more of a danger in winter.

ZZ plants are not active during winter months, which means they require less water. It is important to adjust your watering schedule in the winter months to accommodate this.

If the air inside the house is moist, then you won’t need to feed your ZZ plant much in the winter months. If, however, the air is dry, you’ll have to water the ZZ plant.

Reduce the amount of frequently it is necessary to are watering your ZZ plant in late autumn. Make sure to water your ZZ plant once the soil is completely dried out.

Each two weeks you should check every two weeks, check your ZZ plants soil to ensure water. Do not just check at the soil to determine if its surfaces are dry. Place your finger several inches deep and observe how moist the soil feels.

An easier method to determine soil moisture is by using the moisture meter. They are cheap and can be purchased online. they can make a big difference in the care of plants.

Another method to determine whether the soil has been drained is to lift your pot. If the pot is thin, in comparison to the moment you watered your plant, it could be time to water it.


ZZ plants don’t develop much, if any, in winter. So, it is not advisable to fertilize ZZ plants during this time of year.

Do not fertilize your ZZ plant in the winter months, even with organic fertilizers. The only thing fertilizers accomplish is drying your ZZ plant’s soil out.


In winter, it is essential to ensure you ensure that the ZZ plant is getting enough sun. ZZ plants thrive in indirect, bright sunlight. ZZ plants require about six hours of sunshine each day.

Transfer the ZZ plants to a more bright location as winter draws near. A window is the best option. Make sure to shield the plant from direct sunlight.

Clean your ZZ leaves using a damp, clean cloth regularly. Cleaning off dust accumulation from the leaves can help your plant absorb the most amount of sunlight to produce photosynthesis.

Make sure to wash your windows in winter, too to ensure you can ensure that the ZZ plant will be able to take in more sunlight.

If your home has enough sunlight to your ZZ plant in the winter months, you can make use of artificial lighting. Fluorescent bulbs will give ZZ plants with adequate lighting levels. They are energy efficient, which means you don’t have to worry about leaving them on all day long.

Install a lamp in the vicinity of your ZZ plant and switch it on throughout the daytime. The bulb should be kept at least 10 inches of the ZZ plant.

Ensure the ZZ plant is getting enough sunlight in winter will prevent it from becoming sagging.


Transfer the ZZ plants to a warmer space in your home to get it ready for winter. Make sure to keep the temperature within the ZZ plants’ optimal range (65 to 75 degF).

Don’t expose the ZZ Plant to temperature that are below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to keep them out of cold air drafts.

ZZ plants that grow on windowsills must be removed away from windows in the evening. They could suffer damage to the glass due to frost.

ZZ plants are not fond of extreme heat as much as they do cold. Make sure to keep ZZ plants away from fireplaces, furnaces and heaters.

Maintaining the ZZ plant at the correct temperatures will guarantee that your leaves don’t drop or fall off.


Colder air isn’t able to retain the exact amount of humidity as warm air, this is the reason why the humidity levels drop during winter. Although ZZ plants can tolerate low humidity throughout the rest all year long, during colder months, it may become a little dry for ZZ plants.

When ZZ plants suffer stress due to the low levels of humidity, they’ll see their leaves drop and their tips become brown. Ideally, ZZ plants like the humidity to be at or above 50%.

There are many ways to increase the humidity of your ZZ plant in winter:

  • If your bathroom is well-lit and has adequate lighting, you can ensure that you keep your ZZ plant in the bathroom. Every time you take an icy shower the steam will supply the ZZ plants with the moisture it requires.
  • The leaves should be misted by your ZZ plant several times a week. This will prevent your leaves from drying out completely.
  • Put a shallow pot filled with pebbles and water under the ZZ plants’ pot. This will boost the amount of humidity in the root zone.
  • Install a humidifier close to the ZZ plant. Humidifiers are great to boost the amount of moisture in the air within your home.


It’s normal to expect ZZ plant lower leaves to change color as they age. In order to keep the ZZ plant looking nice it is recommended to trim the leaves and any stems that are old.

ZZ plants are able to manage pruning well, and bounce back fast and can be pruned in winter, which is not the case with most other plants. Pruning the long, stretched-out stems keeps the ZZ plant in good shape.

It is essential to make use of sharp, sterilized pruning shears. If you use a blunt, dirty pair of shears to trim your ZZ plant could result in cut wounds that are infected.

ZZ plants are contaminated with the toxin calcium oxalate and are poisonous if consumed. It is therefore essential to clean your hands thoroughly after pruning the ZZ plant.


In the best of circumstances, ZZ plants do not do well with repotting. It is not recommended to repot your ZZ plant in the winter months. It is best to plant and repot ZZ plants in spring or summer.

Repotting can be stressful for the plant since roots are disturbed and the plant may dry out. If the plant is expanding, it is more in coping with the trauma of repotted than when it is in a state of dormancy.

If you transplant your ZZ plant in the winter months, it will be subject to shock and stress that may not be able to recover from.

FAQs About ZZ Plant Winter Care

We will answer all your questions regarding ZZ maintenance during winter.

Can ZZ Plants Survive Winter?

Although ZZ plants are tropical plants that have that is adapted to a warm and humid climate, ZZ plants are able to endure winter with the proper treatment.

The most serious dangers to ZZ plants in winter is excessive watering, overfertilizing, and not receiving enough sunlight and low levels of humidity and temperatures that are below 40 degrees F.

If you provide the ZZ plant the proper treatment in the winter months, it will get through the winter season.

Can ZZ Plants Survive Outside In Winter?

ZZ plants are only planted as perennials within USDA zones 10-11, and 12. In areas with cold winters it is better to plant the ZZ plants in a pot. This way, you will be able to move it inside during the winter.

Can ZZ Plants Get Too Cold?

ZZ plants are able to get too cold. They’re not tolerant of frost, and their leaves start to droop when temperatures drop lower than 40 degrees. It is essential to maintain ZZ plants within a temperature range of 65-75degF all the time all year.

How Often To Water ZZ Plants In The Winter?

It’s hard to establish an absolute rule of thumb for the frequency at which ZZ plants should be watered in winter, as it is contingent on the conditions of the environment (temperature and humidity, as well as light).

If you don’t want to water your ZZ plant according to a predetermined schedule, say once each 3-4 weeks it is best to water it when it truly requires it.

The most important thing to avoid overwatering the ZZ plant in winter is to examine the soil’s moisture prior to applying water. Water a ZZ plant after the soil has dried nearly completely.

Can You Propagate ZZ Plants During Winter?

Propagating the ZZ plant using leaf and stem cuttings is best when temperatures are warm. ZZ cuttings of plants grow fastest when they are kept at temperatures of around 80 degrees F. Therefore, winter is not the ideal time to start propagating ZZ plants.

What Is The Best Fertilizer For ZZ Plants?

ZZ plants go dormant during winter, which is why it’s essential not to feed them during this time of the year. To increase the growth of your ZZ plant’s growth in the spring and summer months you can give it organic liquid fertilizer every month.

Organic fertilizers are much better than chemical fertilizers since it is less likely that they will cause burning of ZZ plants root systems. Find a fertilizer for your houseplant that is balanced (20-20-20 is the ideal choice).

Where Is The Best Place To Grow A ZZ Plant During Winter?

The best place to put the perfect spot for a ZZ plant in winter months is in your home where it’s warm and humid as well as brightly illuminated. Try to keep temperatures between 65- 75 degrees. It is not recommended to allow it to drop below 40degF.

A bathroom that is well lit is ideal for the ZZ plant in the winter. It is also possible to place your ZZ plant next to an open window in winter, to ensure it receives direct, bright sunlight (just ensure that your ZZ plant is not exposed to direct, intense sunlight).

Make sure to keep your ZZ plant from heating sources like furnaces, fireplaces, and heaters. Also, shield it from cold drafts.

Can You Repot A ZZ Plant In Winter?

It’s not a good decision to transfer your ZZ plant to a different pot in the winter months. It is likely for the plant to suffer from the trauma of repotting in the winter months. This is due to the fact that ZZ plants go dormant in winter , and are incapable of healing.

The best time to repotte the ZZ plant is in the summer or spring months, as it is growing more active and can recover from the strain of the repotting.

What Is The Ideal Soil For ZZ Plants?

As with most houseplants ZZ plants thrive in the soil with good drainage. In addition they aren’t so fussy about the soil’s parameters.

The ideal soil to plant ZZ plant is a 50-50 mix of perlite and potting soil. Perlite helps to aerate the soil, permitting water to flow through it swiftly. ZZ plants can also thrive in growing mediums that are not soilless, such as LECA balls.

Caring For ZZ Plants in Winter Conclusion

With a bit of extra care You can achieve the most out of your ZZ plants through harsh winter months. Be sure to ensure whether the soil has dried out prior to watering. Don’t fertilize or repot your ZZ plant in winter.

Make sure to keep the ZZ plants in a well illuminated area to ensure it receives enough sun in winter. Be sure that the temperature of the space the ZZ plant is growing in is maintained between 65 and 75 degrees. Find methods to boost the humidity of the ZZ plant.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)