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Easy To Grow Raven ZZ Plant

Raven ZZ plant is popular for its very dark glossy purple-colored foliage that can be mistaken for black in a low-lit environment.

They are of the same species as the survival plant (zamioculcas Zamiifolia) except for their dark purple leaves which is their outstanding feature. Its name is made up of two groups of words, zamioculcas Zamiifolia. They represent the “eternity plant” or “answer tree” and the Raven which represents its dark purple color.

The ZZ Raven  Plant
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Raven ZZ is loved by both experienced and new cultivators because of their arching height and dark foliages. Raven ZZ is an easy-to-grow tropical succulent houseplant that requires little care and maintenance. They are drought-resistant plants that stores water in their thick petiole and tuber-like rhizomes therefore can survive for a long time without water. They also perform well under low-light and humid environments.

The Raven ZZ can reach an astonishing size of over 30 inches tall and wide after several years of growth. They are part of the Araceae family also called Aroids and share similar characteristics and care routines with other Aroids. They are a single stem plant and rarely require pruning. Their new growth starts with bright lime-green colored leaves. After a few weeks, the leaves spread and start to change their color to the dark purple shade the ZZ Raven is popular for.

The Raven ZZ just like other Zamioculcas Zamiifolia tropical houseplants is native to Eastern Africa and found in parts of Kenya and South Africa. The Raven ZZ used to be a rare plant until it made its debut appearance in 2019 after it was patented by Costa Farms and brought to North America. Now the Raven ZZ can be bought for less than 50 USD on Amazon, Walmart, garden centers, and even some grocery stores.

Plant Overview

Scientific nameZamioculcas Zamiifolia Raven.
Common nameRaven ZZ.
OriginEastern Africa in parts of Kenya and South Africa.
Size30 inches tall and wide.
LightingBright indirect sunlight. Can also survive under low light.
SoilMoist but also well-draining potting mix.
Temperature55 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit ( 13 to 26 degrees Celsius). 
FertilizerBalanced Diluted organic fertilizer to be applied during watering.
ToxicityToxic if ingested.
PropagationPropagation by division.

Raven ZZ Care

Light Requirements

Raven ZZ just like any zamioculcas Zamiifolia plant requires bright indirect sunlight to grow. They are tolerant and can withstand almost all types of light. They perform well under low light making them suitable for use in homes, offices, and windowless spaces. Continuous exposure to low light can cause the plant to experience slow growth and also produce leaves with lighter shades.

Avoid placing the plant under direct sunlight as this can lead to leaf burn and yellowing of leaves. An eastern-facing window is good as it provides access to early morning sunlight and provides shade against the afternoon scorching sun. An artificial source of light can also be used in areas with low light.

Soil Requirements

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia Raven.

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia Raven is a succulent plant and therefore holds enough water within its stem and roots. They require their soil to be moist but also well-draining to prevent root rot. Potting mix with a bad drainage system can cause the soil to be soggy and become waterlogged leading to soil compaction. Soil compaction reduces aeration within the soil thereby limiting air and water movement.

A potting mix that includes perlite and orchid is good because they help add porosity to the soil mixture. Multiple little drainage holes should be made underneath the pot to provide an avenue for excess water to leave the pot.

Water Requirements

Watering should be carried out sparsely and soil should be allowed to dry out completely before the next watering session. Most Succulent plants such as the Raven ZZ plant are drought resistant meaning they can survive for long without watering them as they store water in their stems, leaves, and petiole. Overwatering them can cause root rot.

Watering in the growing months can be done weekly depending on how fast the soil dries. During the winter season, the frequency of watering should be reduced to the minimum as the plant will be in a dormant state. Use a moisture meter to measure the moisture level of the soil before watering.

Fertilizer Requirements

Fertilization of the Raven ZZ can be done once a month during the growing season. A good balanced organic potting mix should be enough for the plant to grow. For darker leaves, apply a well-balanced organic fertilizer diluted to half its strength once a month.

Fertilizer Requirements

During the winter season, avoid fertilizing the plant. Their roots are inactive during this period as they go into dormancy. Fertilizing the plant during dormancy can lead to root burn.

Temperature And Humidity

The Raven ZZ needs a warm and humid environment of around 55 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit ( 13 to 26 degrees Celsius) to thrive without issues. Avoid exposing the plant to temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius as this might trigger the plant into dormancy.

The Raven ZZ plant can survive in an environment with low humidity. 

Raven ZZ Plant Propagation

Propagation of the Raven ZZ plant is best done through division. Other methods of propagation include stem cutting and leaf-cutting, which takes a longer time to grow when compared with the division method.

Propagation Through Division

This method involves dividing the rhizome of the plant into two parts and repotting them separately. To do this:

  1. Gently pull out the plant from its original pot. Ensure the majority of the root system is still attached to the plant.
  2. Shake off any bit of soil still attached to the root.
  3. Look for the line dividing the rhizome and divide it into two parts. If there is no visible line, use a clean disinfected knife to divide the rhizome into two parts.
  4. Put both rhizomes into an already prepared potting mix and water.
  5. Place in an area such as an open window where it can gain access to bright indirect sunlight.

Common Health Problems/Pests And Diseases

Common Health Problems/Pests And Diseases
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Some health challenges facing the Raven ZZ include but are not limited to root rot which is caused by overwatering, yellow spotted leaves which can be caused by excessive exposure to direct sunlight, and slow and stunted growth as a result of growing under low light conditions for long.

Common pests that attack the Raven ZZ include scales, mealybugs, spider mites, blight, aphids, etc. Using insecticidal soaps or Neem oil to scrub the surface of the leaves should help keep these bugs away.


Is zamioculcas Zamiifolia toxic to pets and children?

Yes. The Raven ZZ is classified as toxic to pets and children as they contain calcium oxalate crystals in their leaves that can cause irritation externally to the skin, lips, mouth, and internally to the digestive system if ingested. 
Keep away from pets and children and also wear protective hand covering and handle the plant with care if you have sensitive skin.

How often should I water my zamioculcas Zamiifolia?

The Raven ZZ plants require little to no water to survive. Only water the plant when the soil is almost or completely dry. Use a moisture meter to determine the moisture level of the soil.
During the winter season, only water the plant when it is completely dry. If the environment is humid enough, you can skip Watering the plant.

How often should I fertilize my zamioculcas Zamiifolia?

During the growing months, apply a well-balanced organic fertilizer diluted to half of its strength once a month. Do not fertilize during the winter season as this can cause the inactive root to burn.

What is the difference between zamioculcas Zamiifolia and zamioculcas Zamiifolia Raven?

The zamioculcas Zamiifolia Raven is a variety of the zamioculcas Zamiifolia. They are of the same species. Their major difference lies in the color of the leaves. The ZZ plant has a lime green colored lead while that of the Raven ZZ plant is dark purple.

What is the fastest way to propagate Raven ZZ?

The fastest way to propagate the Raven ZZ plant is through division. The rhizome is divided into two and potted separately. Other methods include stem and leaf-cutting methods. These methods require the stem and leaf to grow a new rhizome which can take a lot of time, unlike the cutting method which makes use of an already developed rhizome.