ZZ plant

What to do with the new ZZ plant that you bring home (Do’s & Don’ts)

Did you just buy a new ZZ Plant? Wondering what to do the new ZZ Plant that you bring home? Do you need to repot your new ZZ plant immediately? Should you water your new ZZ Plant right away? What is the best placement for your ZZ Plant? Below, I’ll go over everything you need to do with your newly purchased ZZ Plant. 

ZZ plant
ZZ plant

ZZ Plant Care Video

Below is a video showing what to do with you ZZ plant when you bring it home.

What to do with New ZZ Plant when you bring it home video

1: Do you need to water your new ZZ Plant?

ZZ plants don’t need a lot of water. The potato-like tubers that you see at the base of your ZZ plant store water. Don’t assume that your new ZZ Plant needs to be watered right away.

Check the soil first to see if it needs to be watered. Stick your finger in the soil 2 inches deep. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water your ZZ Plant. If the soil feels moist, don’t water your ZZ Plant. If it’s kept at low light, allow the soil to dry all the way to the bottom before watering. ZZ plants don’t need to be watered frequently. I water my ZZ plant once every 2 weeks or so. When it comes to ZZ plants, it’s better to underwater than to overwater your ZZ plant.

Watering ZZ Plant
Watering ZZ Plant

2: Do you need to repot your new ZZ Plant?

There are 2 things to check for as you decide whether or not to repot your new ZZ Plant. The first is to check for drainage holes and the second is to check for signs that your new ZZ Plant has outgrown its pot.

Check for Drainage Holes

First, check and see if there are drainage holes at the bottom of the pot of your new ZZ Plant. If there are no drainage holes, then you need to repot your ZZ plant immediately because you don’t want your new ZZ Plant to sit in soggy soil. It might suffer from root rot which is fatal for houseplants. 

Check for signs that your ZZ Plant has outgrown its current pot

Check to see if your plant is outgrowing its pot. If you see the roots coming out of the drainage holes that is a sign that your ZZ plant is outgrowing its current pot.

Another sign that your ZZ plant is outgrowing its current pot is if it looks like it’s bursting out of the pot. If your ZZ plant is in a plastic pot, you will see the plastic pot being stretched out and warped from the overgrown ZZ plant. If you have a ceramic pot, you might start to see cracks. These are signs that it’s time to repot your ZZ plant. 

Removing ZZ Plant from its pot
Removing ZZ Plant from its pot

How to Repot your ZZ Plant?

If you need to repot your new ZZ Plant because there are no drainage holes or it has outgrown its current pot, use a well-draining, organic, cactus potting mix. If you don’t have a cactus potting mix, an all-purpose organic potting mix will also work. 

Dividing ZZ plant
Repotting ZZ plant

If your ZZ plant is outgrowing its current pot, you may also want to divide your ZZ plant. Check out my post on How to Divide ZZ plants. I divided my newly purchased ZZ plant into 3 plants. 

3: Where is the best place for your new ZZ Plant?

There are several factors to consider when deciding where to place your new ZZ Plant- light, whether or not you have pets, whether or not you have small children, temperature, humidity, and draft. 


ZZ Plant is a tough plant and can tolerate low light conditions. You can place it in front of a North facing window but it will grow better in bright filtered light. Avoid direct sunlight since the direct sun will burn the leaves of your ZZ plant. 


Your ZZ Plant is toxic to humans and pets. Keep it away from children and pets. Don’t let children or pets chew on the leaves of the ZZ Plant plant because it contains calcium oxalate crystals. The crystals can cause vomiting and difficulty breathing. It can also result in swelling of lips, tongue and mouth and excessive drooling. Wear gloves when you are handling your ZZ plant.


You should also consider the temperature of your interior space. Your ZZ Plant likes a daytime temperature of 70 to 80 F (21-26C) and a nighttime temperature of 60 to 70 F (15-21C). 


ZZ plant can tolerate dry indoor air well. You don’t need to run the humidifier or mist your ZZ plant.

ZZ plant
ZZ plants


Make sure your ZZ Plant is positioned away from heating and air conditioning vents. Also, keep it away from draft. If you have a drafty window, make sure your ZZ Plant is located away from it. 


Don’t be too quick in introducing your new ZZ Plant to your existing houseplants. It’s a good idea to quarantine your new ZZ Plant and keep it away from your existing plants. This is to make sure the new ZZ Plant is not bringing in pests and diseases to your old plants. 

4: Wipe down the leaves of your ZZ Plant

Your new ZZ Plant might have fertilizer residue, dust, and dirt on its leaves, so it’s a good idea to wipe the leaves of your new ZZ Plant. Wiping the leaves of your new ZZ Plant will help improve its photosynthesis. Get a damp cloth and wipe down the leaves.

I like to use a microfiber cloth, but you can use any type of cloth as long as it’s clean. A damp paper towel will also work. Don’t use leaf shine to wipe your ZZ Plant. The chemicals will clog up the leaves. If your new ZZ Plant is particularly dusty, you can also use a duster to dust off the layer of dust on the leaves.

5: Do you need to fertilize your new ZZ Plant?

I generally don’t recommend fertilizing your new ZZ Plant right away. You don’t want to overfertilize your ZZ Plant since you don’t know if it was just fertilized by the grower. Wait three months before you fertilize your ZZ Plant. When you do fertilize, use organic fertilizers with a higher ratio of nitrogen content.  Fertilize your ZZ plant once every 3 months at half strength.  

6: What should you do with Damaged leaves?

I suggest removing any damaged or torn leaves on your new ZZ Plant. Simply cut it off with clean scissors. Your ZZ Plant will look nicer without the damaged leaves. Damaged and torn leaves will not turn green and healthy again so you might as well just cut them off. 

You need to observe your ZZ Plant in the next few weeks to see if your ZZ Plant is happy. Signs of an unhappy plant are yellowing leaves, which could be a sign that you are overwatering your ZZ plant. ZZ plants are easy-to-grow, low-maintenance houseplants. It’s one of those houseplants that does not need fussing over. Leave it alone, don’t overwater it and it will grow beautifully!

Check out my other ZZ Plant Guides

How to Repot ZZ Plant and How to When It’s Time to Repot?

How to Divide ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia video)

How to Take Care of Your ZZ Plant (Zanzibar Gem)- Infographic