The Raven ZZ plant is gorgeous with leaves that are shiny, dark, and nearly black. Learn how to care for the Raven ZZ, and find my best tips for a healthy plant.
The Raven ZZ plant is an easy going and all-around perfect houseplant. I love it a lot. So much, in fact, that we have four Raven ZZ plants in our home. It's one of those plants that looks great everywhere. So, I just keep buying them.
Besides looking fantastic, the Raven ZZ is incredibly easy to take care of. For those two reasons alone, I think you'll love this plant.
Appearance of a Raven ZZ Plant
The most unique feature of the Raven ZZ is the leaves. The leaves are shiny and dark, a nearly black color. The color is really interesting to look at because it's a rare shade of green black.
The leaves are also high gloss. They remind me of shiny just manicured nails.
The plant is made up of long stalks with leaves growing about every inch or so. The leaves aren't huge; they are each about three inches long. After unfurling, the leaves will continue to grow larger.
The Raven ZZ has firm stalks that mostly grow upright. However, the stalks also grow outwards a bit. This occurs most often in low light conditions. But even in well lit spots, the branches will grow outwards a bit.
Raven ZZ Plant Care General
Raven ZZ plant care is super simple. Two basic requirements:
- Light: Bright, indirect light for best growth.
- Water: Water infrequently, only when the soil is dry.
As easy as that sounds, there are a few special considerations for the Raven ZZ that I'll discuss below.
Raven ZZ Light Requirements
Raven ZZ plants grow best in bright indirect light. That means, it will happily produce new stems and get taller in a room with a bright window.
It's often sold as a low light plant. That's because ZZ plants can tolerate low lighting levels. It doesn't necessarily mean the plant is happy though.
In a low light situation, the plant may or may not put out new growth. In addition, the stems might get leggy and spread out, as they search for light.
In my experience, it's possible to rotate a single plant between a bright and low light space. Just move it around frequently enough for it to survive. If you have two of the same plants, you can rotate them back and forth.
Location of our ZZ Plants
As I mentioned earlier, we have four different Raven ZZ plants. I'll give the details of how much light each one receives, as well as how they have grown over the past couple of years.
First Large 10" Plant - This Raven ZZ sits in a corner between a south and a west facing window. It doesn't get direct light, but it is in a bright spot in the house. This plant is the largest one, and it grows very well. It's the plant you see in the photos with the stone color pot.
Second Large 10" Plant - This Raven ZZ is in a room with a big north facing sliding door. This room gets no direct sunlight at all. The plant is happy and not leggy. But it has only put out one new stem in the past year.
8" Plant - This Raven ZZ sits right below a medium sized north facing window. The room gets no direct light, and I would consider this a low light room. The plant is looking a little leggy and it has not put out new growth. But it is still surviving after nearly a year in the location.
6" Plant - This Raven ZZ has been in a corner between a small west facing window and a large north facing sliding door. It receives no direct sunlight, but is close to the west facing window for afternoon sun rays. In the year and a half I have had the plant, it has put out about three new stems. This is the plant in the photo in the pink pot. I recently moved it to a brighter spot in the house.
Raven ZZ Water Requirements
Raven ZZ plants do not require a lot of water, and it is very easy to overwater it. If you aren't sure if your plant needs water, err on the side of waiting.
The Raven ZZ has bulbous roots which store a lot of water. The stalks also store water. Therefore, make sure the soil is dry before watering.
In the summer, I water my Raven ZZ plants about every 10-20 days. In the winter, I find my plants need water about every 4-6 weeks.
If you overwater the Raven ZZ, the stalks will get brown spots and die off pretty quickly. The roots also easily rot.
I bottom water my Raven ZZ plants through the drainage holes in the pots. I let the water come up just to the bottom ⅓ of the plant pot. Then I let the plant soak for about 5-10 minutes only.
Don't Forget to Dust the Leaves
Raven ZZ plants have spectacular shiny leaves. It's gorgeous the way light reflects off of the leaves.
Since this is such a low maintenance plant, it's easy to set and forget it. The leaves do require regular dusting to keep the sheen though.
Dust free leaves also to absorb light better. If a plant is already in a low light situation, regular dusting will help the plant get as much sunlight as it can from its environment.
Where to Buy Raven ZZ Plants
The Raven ZZ Plant is a rare houseplant. It's not easy to find at plant shops, but it is possible. Compared to 2 years ago, the Raven ZZ is a lot more accessible now in terms of both availability and pricing.
As a houseplant, the Raven ZZ can be pricey. I once saw an 8" plant at a local plant shop for $200! I've also seen people sell a single baby cutting for $30. However, I've noticed that the price has dropped significantly in the past year.
I have had great luck buying the Raven ZZ online. It's a hardy plant, so it ships well.
Reasons to Love a Raven ZZ Plant
As you can tell, I love my plants! Raven ZZ plants are:
- Super low maintenance
- A gorgeous moody dark color
- Easy to buy on Amazon
Lastly, the leaves have a gorgeous sheen that really catch the sun's gleam.
Any questions? Feel free to ask below. I'd love to hear about your experience with Raven ZZ plants too.