Variegated Zz Plant

Variegated Zz plants are beautiful plants that will catch the eye of every person that enters your home. This plant is a fairly rare beauty, so you are a lucky person if you get your hands on one. But this plant does require a bit more care than the all-green Zz plants. So how do your care for a Variegated Zz plant?

Variegated Zz plants need to be kept in bright but indirect sunlight, and their temperature must never drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant needs well-draining but slightly water-retaining soil. Variegated Zz plants need to be fertilized once a month to help keep them stay healthy.

Variegated Zz plants come from Eastern Africa, where the plant has grown and become accustomed to tropical conditions, so this is what you need to recreate if you want this plant to thrive in your home. So, how can you make sure this plant stays healthy and happy in your care? Let us find out!

How To Know If Your Plant Is A Variegated Zz Plant

The Variegated Zamioculcas zamiifolia plant, or Variegated Zz plant for short, is a tropical perennial plant that has become popular over the years and is usually kept as a lovely ornamental houseplant due to its unique appearance.

These plants are popular, but they are not that easy to find in any local plant nurseries and garden stores, as they are a slightly rare Zz plant. So, unfortunately, you will not easily find one of these stunning plants to add to your collection unless you have a friend that owns one and can propagate it for you.

Characteristics Of The Variegated Zz Plant

Variegated Zz Plant

Variegated Zz plants are low-maintenance, and they are extremely easy to care for if you know their needs, so even beginners can easily keep this plant alive and healthy for years. These plants have naturally shiny and smooth leaves that are thicker than most other plants, making this plant semi-succulent.

The leaves of this plant go from a mixture of white or yellow and bright lime green when the plant is young to white or yellow and dark emerald green as the plant begins to mature. Variegated Zz plants are perfect houseplants that are steady and hardy.

Growth Rate And Size

Variegated Zz plants have a slow growth rate, so your plant may grow, but you may not notice the growth that slow. Variegated Zz plants only grow a few inches per year, so it may take a few years for you to notice any substantial growth from your plant, and it may take a few years before your plant is fully mature.

Variegated Zz plants will usually grow to between three and four feet in height when they are mature, and until then, they will vary in size. These plants rarely grow any taller than this. This plant’s flowers will bloom when it has fully matured, and the color of the flowers is yellowy-brown.

How To Care For The Variegated Zz Plant

To make sure your Variegated Zz plant is growing well and thriving in your care, you need to make sure that you keep the plant in the right living conditions that the plant requires and provide everything the plant needs to grow and stay healthy.

So, let us go through these living conditions and what you need to do to keep your Variegated Zz plant happy.

Related: ZZ Plant Problems

Temperature And Humidity Requirements

Variegated Zz plants thrive and stay happy in temperatures that humans are comfortable in, so if you are happy with the temperature in the room, then your Variegated Zz plant will be too. If the temperature starts to fall, this will begin to affect your plant’s health.

If the temperature drops below 55° F, the growth of your Variegated Zz plant will stop completely. If the temperature decreases further than this, then the humidity in the room will begin to fall too, which will also affect the health of your Variegated Zz plant as it is a tropical plant that needs humid conditions to survive.

So, in the winter months, your Variegated Zz plant will require more care from you to make sure it survives well through the colder months. You can use a humidifier to ensure the air stays moist and doesn’t dry out, and you should keep your plant away from heating systems to ensure the leaves do not burn.

Watering Guide

Variegated Zz plants can survive when they are slightly underwatered as they are drought-tolerant plants, but if you overwater them or underwater them for an extended period, several problems can occur.

If you underwater your Variegated Zz plant for an extended period, this begins to dehydrate your plant and cause the plant’s leaves to turn brown or yellow, which causes the plant to become stressed.

Variegated Zz plants cannot tolerate being overwatered; this will cause more problems for the plant than if it is underwatered.

Overwatering this plant will lead to the leaves turning yellow and the soil and roots being suffocated by the excess water that accumulates in the soil, which will affect the amount of nutrients that can flow through the plant.

To ensure you do not overwater your Variegated Zz plant, you need to let the soil dry out entirely before you water it again, and then when you do water your plant again, water it thoroughly.

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Light Guide

Variegated Zz plants prefer to be kept in bright and indirect sunlight while growing and establishing themselves in their pots. These plants are different from the all-green Variegated Zz plants as they need this bright light and cannot survive well in low light conditions.

The all-green Variegated Zz will grow perfectly fine in low light conditions, but the Variegated Zz plant has a genetic mutation that would not allow the plant to survive in this environment.

The white parts of this plant contain no chlorophyll, which is what the plant needs to photosynthesis correctly. As the plant has less Chlorophyll, they work harder to photosynthesis and need brighter light conditions to survive.

If you let your Variegated Zz plant receive direct sunlight for too long, this can scorch the plant’s leaves, with the light burning and discoloring the leaves. So, it is best to keep your Variegated Zz plant in a north or east-facing window to make sure it gets the bright sunlight it needs.

Soil And Potting Requirements

Soil and fertlizer

The soil conditions for the Variegated Zz plant are extremely important as this plant will need to absorb a good amount of its nutrients from the soil as it has a genetic mutation that affects photosynthesis.

You need to ensure that your Variegated Zz plant is in well-draining soil, as they prefer drier soil conditions, so the soil needs to drain any excess water quickly and retain just enough water for the plant to survive.

If the soil drains poorly or lacks good nutrients, your plant may not grow correctly. The recommended soil to use for your Variegated Zz plants is ¾ organic potting soils, ¼ succulent potting soil, with a handful of fertilizer or compost for added nutrients.

As the Variegated Zz plant requires well-draining soil, their pot needs to be well-draining, too, as this will help prevent any problems from arising. You need to ensure that the pot has plenty of drainage holes so that excess water does not sit by the plant’s roots, as this can cause root rot.

Fertilizer Requirements

Variegated Zz plants need to be fertilized because they use a large amount of nutrients to survive. Variegated Zz plants need all the help they can get from you, as these plants are not as self-sufficient as the normal all-green Zz plants, which is due to their lack of Chlorophyll in their leaves.

To ensure your Variegated Zz plant and its soil are in perfect health, you can fertilize it with a well-balanced indoor plant liquid fertilizer diluted to half its strength.

You should fertilize your Variegated Zz plant once a month during its active growing season in the spring and summer. To fertilize this plant correctly, dilute half of the recommended amount of fertilizer into one gallon of water. Then, pour this mixture into the plant’s soil until you see the water run out the drainage holes.

You will do this fertilizing method in place of watering your plant. Do not pour the excess diluted fertilizer that runs through the soil back into the soil, as the plant already has what it needs to survive, and the excess could burn the plant’s roots, so instead, throw the excess away.

Do not fertilize your Variegated Zz in winter or fall, as the plant will not require the extra nutrients from the fertilizer because it’s not actively growing.

Quick Care Tips For The Variegated Zz Plant

Knowing how to take care of your Variegated Zz plant’s daily or weekly needs is one thing, but you should also know how to take care of the plant’s yearly care requirements that are less frequent but still crucial to keep the plant growing healthy and happy in your care.

These additional care requirements are still pretty simple and generally do not take long to complete. So, let us look at the less frequent care requirements of the Variegated Zz plant.

Pruning Guide

There is no need to prune your Variegated Zz plant regularly as the plant has a slow growth rate. However, Variegated Zz plants will require more pruning than the all-green varieties.

If your plant grows an all-white leaf, this leaf has no chlorophyll in it and will die quickly. When they begin to die, you should prune them off to avoid the leaf damaging the plant.

If your Variegated Zz produces an all-green leaf, you should also prune this off to help discourage all-green growth. Apart from these additional pruning requirements, you can prune your Variegated Zz like a regular Zz plant.

Potting And Repotting

zz plant repotting

Variegated Zz plants need well-draining pots with plenty of draining holes at the bottom to help make sure the water does not sit in the pot and around the plant’s roots, as this can cause problems for the plant.

Variegated Zz plants do not need to be repotted regularly as they are slow-growing plants. You will only need to repot your Variegated Zz plant when it has outgrown its current pot, or if there are more of the plant’s roots in the pot than there is soil, and only go one pot size bigger when repotting.

When you repot your Variegated Zz plant, you need to repot it in the early spring as this is at the end of the plant’s dormant period, right before it starts to grow actively.

Propagation Facts

The two approaches you can use to propagate your Variegated Zz plant are: Plant division or leaf cuttings. The best season to propagate your Variegated Zz plant is in the middle of spring, when the plant is actively growing and will easily grow new roots from cuttings.

Here are the two propagation methods:

  • Plant division: with this method, you will take the plant out of its pot, physically split up the plant clumps, and plant them separately in well-draining soil.
  • Leaf cuttings: with this method, you will need to cut off a leave from the plant at the base, then you can use water or soil to root the leave and make a new little plant.

Pests And Diseases

Variegated Zz plants are generally hardy to pests; however, there are occasions where aphids and root rot can attack them. Aphids are the most prevalent pests for this plant. These pests will eat the sap out of your plant, dehydrating it and causing the plant’s growth to slow down.

Take your Variegated Zz plant outside and spray it with a strong garden hose to eliminate the pests. Prevent the pests from returning with a neem oil spray.

If your Variegated Zz plant root rot, then your plant’s health will be negatively affected. To treat root rot, you need to repot your Variegated Zz plant, and while the plant is being transplanted, examine the plant’s roots.

If you see any diseased roots, gently trim them off with a sharp pair of garden shears or scissors to prevent the disease from spreading. Then place your Variegated Zz plant in its new pot and make sure you stick to a watering schedule for the plant to prevent this from occurring again.


Variegated Zz plants require a bit more of your time than the regular all-green varieties, but if you keep your Variegated Zz plant in the right conditions, the plant will be perfectly happy being left alone, only being watered once every week or two. These plants are extremely low maintenance, making them perfect for beginners, busy people, or people who like to travel. Good luck with your Variegated Zz plant!