Raven ZZ Plant – Everything You Need to Know

Are you wondering about adding the raven ZZ plant to your houseplant collection? Let me tell you, you have made a wise choice to add this stunning plant. There’s no doubt this black gorgeous plant will stand out among all your other green plants.

Furthermore, it is easy to make new raven ZZ plants. All three propagation methods mentioned in this article are easy. 

Besides being a gorgeous plant, it has several benefits for you as well. A great benefit of this plant is that it requires little maintenance. That’s a benefit for any plant lovers. Aside from that, it requires less water, so if you occasionally forget to water it, it won’t matter. 

However, there are a lot more things to say about this purple glossy plant. Thus, let’s explore the world of the raven plant in depth! 

Raven ZZ plant: All about this stunning black plant!

Raven ZZ plant All about this stunning black plant!
Scientific name Zamioculcas Zamiifolia Raven
OriginKenya and South Africa
Plant TypeHouseplant
ColorBlack, purple
Size30 inches tall and wide
LightBright, indirect sunlight.
WaterLightly watering
SoilA porous and lightweight soil
FertilizerOrganic Fertilizer
Favorable climateTropic, Hot, Dry, Humid
Temperature 55-79 ℉
ToxicityToxic when ingested or nibbled.
Interesting factsThe raven ZZ plant is such a rare plant, that it is uncommon to see them in plant nurseries. In fact, in several countries, it is unlawful to sell a raven plant to avoid exploitation. Only registered nurseries that deal with the original breeders can sell it. 

How to propagate raven ZZ plants?

How to propagate raven ZZ plants

It is easy to propagate this rare plant, thanks to its unique root structure. You can propagate this plant by cutting stems, cutting leaves, or dividing it. Nevertheless, stem-cutting and leaf-cutting take a longer time than division. 

Furthermore, ZZ plants respond best to division propagation. Still, you should explore all the propagation methods so you can make a better choice. So let’s learn how to propagate Raven ZZ!

1. Propagating raven ZZ plant by stem cutting method

Let’s begin with the stem-cutting method. Here’s how to do it:

  • Using a sharp knife, cut off a stem at least 6 inches long. Next, put the stem in a jar of water. Every 3-4 days, change the water. 
  • Within 3 weeks, roots will appear at one end of the stem.
  • Once the roots are about an inch long, you can transplant the stem into a pot with well-draining soil.

2. Propagating raven ZZ plant by a single leaf method

Since you are starting from scratch, leaf propagation always takes a long time. Here’s how to propagate with the single leaf method:

  • To begin, cut a single leaf from your plant; hit it lightly on the stem without digging too deep.
  • Fill a shallow container with a potting mix. Next, place the single-leaf cut end in the potting mix. Also, make sure it’s deep enough so it stands on its own.
  • If the leaf is not standing up, water it and press the soil in around a bit. When the soil dries out, water it. 
  • To speed up the process, dip the cut-end of the leaf in rooting hormone powder before planting.

3. Propagating raven ZZ plant by division method

In this method, the rhizome of the plant is divided into two parts and repotted separately. For this method, follow these steps:

  • Take the plant out of its pot by gently pulling it out. Check that most of the roots are still attached to the plant.
  • Remove any soil still attached to the root.
  • Look for the line that divides the rhizome into two parts and divide it accordingly. If a line is not visible, divide the rhizome with a clean disinfected knife.
  • Put both rhizomes into a potting mix and water them.
  • In a bright indirect area, such as a window, place your plant.

Now after propagating plants the time has come to learn how to care for your raven plant. Below is an in-depth look at raven ZZ plant care.

How to care for a raven ZZ plant?

This houseplant is easy to grow and care for. As long as you follow the proper watering method, give the plant adequate sunlight, and observe proper soil drainage, there will be no problem. 

1. How much sunlight does a Raven ZZ plant need?

How much sunlight does a Raven ZZ plant need

Ravens thrive when exposed to bright, indirect sunlight. Additionally, it is often not a good idea to place them right up against a window. Because ZZ ravens can get sunburned from direct sunlight. So, get your Raven ZZ into a room that has plenty of bright, ambient light, but where the sun won’t directly hit it.

Moreover, ravens can also handle much lower light levels. Thus, making them ideal for a dimly lit hallway or bedroom. Besides, it’s natural for growth to slow or stop if you place them in a darker spot. 

If you have an eastern-facing window, you can place your plant there. This will give your ZZ plant an early morning sun. Nevertheless, protect them from the scorching sun during the afternoon. For low-light areas, you can also use artificial light sources.

If you notice your plant getting leggy or sparse, then it’s time to relocate your raven ZZ plant to a brighter spot.

2. How often should you water the Raven ZZ Plant?

When you get a new, stunning-looking plant, you might want to keep it hydrated every few days to maintain its beauty. However, if you do that, you may end up smothering it to death out of too much love.

Usually, your too much love manifests as overwatering. Also, when it comes to accidentally killing your ZZ plant, overwatering tops the list. 

Your plant is native to dry climates. They have their methods for managing water. Also, they hate to live in soggy or waterlogged soil.

So, how often do you need to water raven ZZ plants to make them thrive?

It is best to water Raven ZZ plants only after the soil is completely dry. So, don’t forget to check the soil moisture before watering. Once or twice a month, you may need to water your plant.

In the growing months, watering can be done weekly depending on how fast the soil dries. Whereas, in the winter, reduce watering to a minimum because the plant will be dormant. 

3. What is the best suitable soil for a Raven ZZ plant?

What is the best suitable soil for a Raven ZZ plant

For raven ZZ Plants, you will want to choose lightweight and porous soil. Thus, your plant will be able to saturate, but won’t retain water for very long.

For this, you need to mix cactus or succulent mix with your potting soil at a 3:1 ratio. Cactus mix drains quickly, so it keeps your soil mixture airy. For the same ratio, you can substitute pumice or perlite for the cactus mix. 

4. What is the ideal temperature for the Raven ZZ plant?

To thrive, the Raven ZZ requires an environment with a temperature range of 55-79 ℉(13-26℃). 

However, do not expose the plant to temperatures below 10℃ as this might trigger dormancy.

Additionally, be careful not to expose the Raven ZZ to air conditioners or heaters. As long as your house is between 68 and 76°F, Your houseplant ZZ should be fine. 

A shady spot outside might be okay if you live in a temperate climate with mild winters. Just remember that your ZZ plants cannot survive below 40°F or 5°C.  So, if left outside, watch out for cold fronts since ZZ cannot survive any colder temperatures.

5. What is the humidity requirement for the Raven ZZ plant?

Fortunately, Raven ZZ can survive in environments with low humidity. So, no matter what the humidity level is in your home, they are happy.

6. What is the right time to fertilize the Raven ZZ plant?

It is recommended to fertilize the Raven ZZ once a month during the growing season. To keep a plant healthy, a good balanced organic potting mix is all that is needed. Additionally, if you want darker leaves, use an organic fertilizer diluted to half its strength twice a month.

Furthermore, avoid fertilizing the plant during the winter months. During this period, the ZZ plant’s roots are inactive as they go into dormancy. If you fertilize your plant during dormancy, it may suffer from root burn.

7. How can you prune your Raven ZZ plant?

How can you prune your Raven ZZ plant

Pruning the raven ZZ plant is important unless you want your black raven plant to take over the whole room. Just a little trimming can surely impress anyone who looks at it. Also, pruning is important because long dramatic branches can sometimes obscure your plant’s beauty. 

The easiest way to control these unruly branches is to cut them at the base. Beware! don’t touch the sap when pruning unwanted branches! For those with sensitive skin, it can be irritating. 

8. When is the best time to repot the Raven ZZ plant?

When is the best time to repot the Raven ZZ plant

If the conditions have been right for growth, you may wonder when you should re-pot your Raven to a bigger pot. Usually, in tighter pots, ZZs can live, but they tend to grow faster when given a little more room in the soil. Thus, by keeping your ZZ in an appropriate size pot, you can encourage it to thrive.

Check the rhizome (you may need to dig with your finger a bit) and see if any part of it is touching the pot side. If so, then probably it’s time to repot. In some cases, this can take several years, depending on how fast your Raven grows.

Ensure that you choose a pot that allows for 1-2 inches of clearance between the rhizome and the pot on all sides. Additionally, make sure it has a drainage hole on the bottom to assure proper drainage. Check out some of the steps below on how to repot your raven ZZ plant perfectly!

  • Whenever you are ready to repot your Raven ZZ, tip it upside down and hold the stems tightly with one hand. Remove the root ball from the pot by sliding it out. 
  • Place your Raven in the new container an inch below the lip of the pot and cover the rhizome with porous potting soil. To support the plant, fill the root ball with soil.
  • Ensure the central stems and rhizomes are not buried in the soil. It won’t hurt the plant if the top of the rhizome sticks out slightly, and it will prevent rotting at the base of the stems.
  • Let the Raven soak up the new soil, allowing any excess to run from the drainage hole. As soon as the Raven has finished draining, you can place it back where it belongs.

However, ZZ plants can still encounter some common problems despite their ease of maintenance. So, in the next section, let’s take a look at how to fix raven ZZ plant problems!

Raven ZZ plant’s common problems and solutions!

Raven ZZ plant’s common problems and solutions!

There is no doubt that the ZZ family is one of the easiest houseplants to grow. They are drought-resistant and have a high tolerance to temperature, humidity, light, and soil. Despite of this, the main two problems with the ZZ raven plant are as follows:

1. Raven ZZ plant root rot

Overwatering causes root rot in ZZ plants. A tuber-like root can develop root rot when the soil cannot dry between waterings. 

The plant will display yellow, mushy leaves when it has root rot. If this symptom appears, stop watering for 6 weeks to give the soil and roots time to dry out. 

Additionally, check your pot for working drainage holes, choose a well-draining soil mixture, and refresh your knowledge about watering.

You can lose your beloved Raven ZZ to root rot if you do not address it immediately.

2. Scale Insects on Raven ZZ plant 

Plants of the ZZ family are tough and virtually pest-free. It is very unlikely that insects will choose this tough plant over any other greenery. 

Yet, if you find any scale insects (such as mealybugs) on your plant, wipe them off with alcohol or neem oil and dish detergent solutions.  

Moreover, raven ZZ plants suffer problems such as root rot if overwatered, yellow spots if exposed to too much sunlight, and slow or stunted growth if grown in low light conditions for an extended period.

In addition to scales, mealybugs, spider mites, blights, and aphids, Raven ZZ plants are often attacked by pests. You can keep these bugs away by scrubbing the leaves with insecticidal soaps or Neem oil.

Raven ZZ Plant Care – Quick Guide!

Raven ZZ Plant Care - Quick Guide!

Here are some quick care guidelines for growing and thriving with your Raven: 

  • Make sure your plant receives bright indirect light.
  • To prevent root rot, wait until the soil dries out before watering again.
  • It’s okay to use any soil type, as long as it’s rich, healthy, and drainable. You can make your raven ZZ plants healthy by adding perlite sand or vermiculite.
  • Avoid fertilizing the plant during the winter months.
  • Use good balanced organic fertilizer for raven plants.
  • For the raven plant, maintain the temperature between 68 and 76°F.
  • The best way to encourage new growth is to re-pot every two or three years. 

Raven ZZ plant’s important benefits that you must know!

Raven ZZ plant’s important benefits that you must know!

It’s not just the beauty of ZZ plants that makes them so attractive, but they also have numerous benefits. There are many benefits to using them, such as health benefits, enhanced home appearance, and more.

1. It is a low-maintenance house plant

ZZ plants have many benefits, but their forgiving nature makes them a favorite. Plants like these do not need excessive pruning, can tolerate dry soil, and low light, and are straightforward to care for.

Also,  they are drought-tolerant, thanks to their sturdy rhizomes and thick, succulent foliage. So, sometimes getting off your watering schedule will not harm your plant.

Since they grow slowly, they don’t need to be reported too often. Also, they don’t need much fertilizer. It’s enough to apply diluted, standard houseplant fertilizer two or three times per growing season (spring and summer) to fix droopy or slow-growing ZZ plants.

The ZZ plant is also temperature and humidity tolerant. They do well in average indoor conditions (but do not like temperatures below 45 degrees F) and do not require special humidity.

Moreover, ZZ plants are rarely affected by common pests and diseases.

2. Raven ZZ plant has Ornamental value

In addition to being low maintenance, ZZ plants also offer ornamental value. An upright stem with glossy, dark leaves gives any room a tropical feel.

3. It is quite easy to propagate the Raven ZZ plant

It’s not difficult to propagate them. Dividing a ZZ plant is the simplest way to propagate it. Just divide the rhizomes of your ZZ plant when repotting and replant them in new pots.

Taking stem cuttings is another way to propagate. The process takes about six to nine months, but it isn’t complicated.

4. Raven ZZ plants can easily adapt to various lighting conditions

They are renowned for their ability to adapt to a variety of light conditions. These plants mostly prefer indirect light.

The plants tolerate low light conditions, so they make good choices for shady areas. However, if they don’t get enough light, they may appear leggy. Additionally, it is never safe to place a ZZ plant in direct sunlight, as this may cause leaf scorch.

5. The Raven ZZ plant consumes little water

The natural habitats of ZZ plants are drought-tolerant. They hold moisture well because of their thick rhizomes and leaves. As a result, the plants go weeks without water.

It is only necessary to water a ZZ plant once its soil has dried out. Additionally, underwatering ZZ plants is better than overwatering them.

6. Raven ZZ plant is an air purifier

It has long been known that houseplants can purify the air.

There is evidence that plants can filter and clean indoor air, from contaminants in cigarette smoke to solvents, chemicals, and volatile organic compounds such as benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and trichloroethylene.

Research shows that plants are effective at purifying the air, with ZZ plants being particularly effective. Moreover, ZZ plants are the most effective at removing xylene from contaminated air.

A few questions on the Raven ZZ plant

Q1. Can I divide Raven ZZ Plants?

Ans. Yes, of course. It is easy to divide the raven ZZ plants into two, or even three, separate plants. It is possible to separate and repot plants of all sizes as they have unique root systems.

Q.2 How often should I water my ZZ raven plant?

Ans. It is recommended to water your ZZ Plant every 2-3 weeks, allowing the soil to dry between waterings. In brighter light, water more frequently, and in lower light, less frequently. Wilting leaves, wrinkled leaves, and dry potting mix are signs of underwatering, whereas yellow leaves and yellowing potting mix indicate overwatering.

Q.3 Why does my Raven ZZ plant change color?

Ans. As the Raven ZZ matures, its leaves will become an almost black shade of purplish purple. The first color change will occur six weeks after new growth begins, but the final color will take two months to appear. According to experiments, light has a negligible influence on this color change. Moreover, only time will be able to change the colors of these colorful varieties, not the sun.

Q.4 Are Raven ZZ Plants Toxic?

Ans. Unfortunately, yes. If directly ingested, the ZZ plant is mildly poisonous to cats, dogs, and humans. Additionally, the plant can cause minor skin and eye irritations.


That’s all you need to know about raven ZZ plants. This plant has many reasons to be welcomed into your home. 

Furthermore, you can grow new raven plants from your current ones. There are several methods, including stem cutting, leaf cutting, and division. However, I recommend using the division method, as it is comparatively easy, and sprouting new plants won’t take a long time compared to other methods.

As far as care goes, these houseplants require only basic maintenance to survive. If you give them bright, indirect light and well-drained soil, they will do great anywhere. Additionally, you only need to water when the top two inches of topsoil are dry. 

Plus, it has lots of benefits. Some of them are air purifiers, low-maintenance plants, easy-to-grow, etc. All I can say is the raven plant is beautiful and has tons of benefits. So, what are you waiting for? Add this plant to your collection now. Today’s the day to get your lush purplish black plant.

Before you go, I would like to hear your thoughts on the raven plant in the comments section below. Also, don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family!

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  • Prachi Parate

    Prachi Parate is an enthusiast writer. She is a native of a science background, where botanical science was one of her favorite subjects. It was always Prachi's dream to combine her passion with a career. Hence, her fascination with plants led to a career as a writer. Also, she believes that taking good care of yourself is key to happiness. Time spent in nature is one of her favorite self-care practices. It is her goal to transform her learning into content that helps readers.

  • Vinni Balyan

    11 years ago when we left NY and started living in the suburbs, I developed the passion for gardening. I'm a mom of two, and a big time gardener here helping you pick you right battle in gardening. 🙂 Stay tuned.

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