Introduction: Propagating a ZZ Plant: Rooting Stem Cuttings in Water

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A few long stems broke off my ZZ Plant while dividing it into 3. This is all about propagating a ZZ Plant by rooting the stem cuttings in water. It takes some time but it works! These tips will help you out.

Step 1: The Root Growth on the Short Stems After a Few Weeks. Once It Appeared, the Roots Developed Fast.

I divided my humungous ZZ Plant into 3 separate plants several months backs quite successfully, thank you very much. I’d never done this before so I was a bit apprehensive to have at it with the pruning saw and cut some of those big tubers in half. All of the plants are doing great which is a salute to how tough the ZZ really is. 5 or 6 long stems broke off in the process so I decided to get on with propagating my ZZ Plant by rooting these stem cuttings in water.

I’d never propagated long stems of a ZZ Plant in water before so I was curious as to how it would go. The stems are soft and fleshy leading me to believe they might rot out. Oh not so! It’s definitely not a fast process and the majority of the stems aren’t showing roots after 7 months. That doesn’t bother me because they look great in the urn vase and aren’t showing a brown tip or a bit of discoloration.

Step 2: ​Things Which Are Good to Know:

I took these stem cuttings (except the 1 with the string) in late May. It’s now mid-January as I write this. It’s not a quick process with these long ones, that’s for sure. I let the fleshy stem cuttings heal over for about an hour before putting them in water.

Just be sure to keep them out of the direct sun & hot conditions while doing this. Don’t fill the vase up with water. I kept around 3″ of water in the vase at all times.

Step 3: Don't Let Your Cuttings Dry Out!

Use room temperature water. I changed it every 2 weeks or so – you want to keep the water fresh.

To the best of my understanding, you can’t root a ZZ Plant by a single leaf cutting. You need to get at least 2-3″ of stem & a couple of leaves for successful propagation.

Step 4: Here’s a Close-up on the 1 With the Most Roots. to My Surprise, Little Tubers Are Appearing at the Base. That’s Why I Didn’t Want to Wait Too Long to Get It Planted.

You can also propagate shorter cuttings in a light mix. This takes time also; about 6-9 months to show a decent amount of roots.

ZZ Plants have small spadix type flowers which appear at the base. It makes sense you could propagate them by seed but I don’t know anyone who has done that. Except for vegetables & annual flowers, propagating by seed takes way too long in my book. I divided my ZZ plant last year & won’t do it again for at least 2 or 3 years.

Step 5:

I planted the well rooted cutting in with my smaller ZZ Plant. The cutting is tall & has a bit of weight to it. I used a short bamboo stake to hold it up while those roots settle in & provide support.

The stem cutting with the string broke off the plant in the bedroom. You’ll find that ZZ Plants will do that every now & then – the big long stems just bend & break. Now you know you can grow & root them in water!

Have you ever propagated a long ZZ Plant stem in water? How long did it take? Inquiring horticultural minds want to know! You can buy a ZZ Plant online if you can’t find 1 locally. They’re glossy & gorgeous & super easy to care for.

Happy gardening,

Nell Foster