How to Grow & Take Care of Raven ZZ Plant – The Ultimate Guide

That stunning and rare plant that allures us – that’s the Raven ZZ Plant! Its black and sheeny leaves are something that catches our eyes, fascinates us, and makes it a great addition to the home aesthetic. It’s an unusual combination of classy and trendy as it never goes out of style and can always be the focal point of attraction.

But what exactly is this uniquely named plant? How to grow and take care of this beautiful plant? What is the best way to make them your happy houseplants, so they make you happy by looking all gorgeous? Stay with us to find answers to all questions!

Raven ZZ Plant

Raven ZZ Plant is a type of indoor plant which can also survive outdoors. It has black and lustrous leaves and is mainly categorized as one of the low-maintenance plants. It is a drought-tolerant plant and belongs to the genus Zamioculcas, family Araceae, and cultivar ‘Dowon.’

Well, this is just a sneak peek at what this Zuzu plant is. Let’s take a detailed look at the plant care and maintenance of Black ZZ Raven!

History and Habitat

Zamioculcas zamiifolia or ZZ Raven Plant

Raven ZZ Plant is native to Eastern Africa in parts of Kenya and South Africa. The ‘ZZ’ in ZZ Raven Plant is the short form of its botanical name Zamioculcas zamiifolia, and Raven is used to describe its black color.

However, no one likes a lengthy name, so people decided to make it cool, and that’s how we got ZZ Raven!

It is an ornamental plant with resistance to drought. And the cherry on the top is that it is an air-purifying plant. It is believed to be a good-luck plant as it is considered so in Feng shui.

You will be surprised to know that being in a world where almost everyone likes attention, this Zuzu thrives more when neglected.

Botanical NameZamioculcas zamiifolia
Common NameZZ Raven, Zuzu Plant, Jet-Black Raven, Raven ZZ
Life CyclePerennial
Plant TypeHouseplant, succulent
ColorPurple, black
Plant HeightAround 30 inches
Growth RateSlow
Flowering (Rare)Inflorescence: Spadix
Mature Size1½ – 3 feet (45-90 cm)
ClimateTropic, Dry
SunlightBoth well-lit and low light settings, but no direct sun
SoilWell-drained soil mix
Soil pH6-7
WateringOnce in 15 days
FertilizerNPK (1:1:1)
PropagationLeaf-cutting, stem cutting, crown division
ToxicityToxic (Severity: Medium)

Well, you must have got a crisp idea about the ZZ Raven plant. Let’s go through the blow-by-blow account of its plant care and maintenance.

How to Take Care of the Raven ZZ Plant?

The best thing about planting Raven ZZ is that it is very low maintenance and is effortlessly gorgeous. Just a little attention every once in a while will do the work for you and will make the plants content and satisfied.

1. Soil Requirements

Perlite with Soil

The Black Zanzibar Gem can survive anywhere but thrives in well-drained soil. These have rhizomes that store water, which requires porous soil that doesn’t retain moisture for too long.

For non-soggy and well-drained soil, add 50% potting soil and 50% perlite, or 2-3 parts potting soil and 1 part pumice. Alternatively, you can also add sand to improve the structure as per its requirements.

Note: Don’t add cocopeat to the soil as it retains moisture.

2. Light Requirements

The Jet-Black ZZ Raven survives in low light conditions but thrives in bright light conditions. However, avoid direct sunlight. Place it near the window facing the sun. Consider setting up a thin curtain to allow indirect sunlight on the plant.

If outdoors, only allow sun exposure and direct light in the early morning or late afternoon.

Note: Avoid direct sunlight as this may burn the leaves. Only allow bright indirect light.

3. Water Requirements

Tolerating drought is ZZ Raven’s forte. They don’t require a lot of water due to the presence of rhizomes, which act as the water-storing organ. Only a tiny amount of water or even inconsistent watering is good enough for them.

For summers, watering once every fortnight, and for winters, once a month is enough since the plant becomes dormant during winters. But remember to water the soil a little as soon as it’s completely dried.

Note: Don’t overwater the plant as it will lead to root rot disease. 

4. Temperature and Humidity Requirements

The Black Raven ZZ plant thrives best in moderate temperatures, i.e., 60℉ to 75℉. Temperatures below 40℉ are not suitable and might kill the plant.

Quick Tip: The key to remembering the temperature requirement is that whatever is comfortable to you pleases your ZZ Raven Plant. It develops well at room temperature.

Furthermore, these plants don’t have a special humidity requirement. They can survive in low humidity as well as high humidity. However, 40% humidity is best for the Zuzu plant.

Quick Tip: If you think the humidity is too low, you can try misting the plant or place it along with other plants, which will naturally increase the humidity.

5. Fertilizer Requirements

These succulents don’t necessarily need fertilizers to grow. However, if you still wish to feed them with nutrients to accelerate growth, you can add NPK liquid fertilizer with a ratio of 1:1:1 and apply it only a few times a year. Dilute the fertilizer in water before applying it to the plants.

6. Pruning Requirements

Since this plant doesn’t usually get attacked by pests and diseases, the only reason for dead and decaying plant leaves is overwatering or underwatering.

You can gently pull out the dead leaves or clip off yellow leaves with the help of a secateur.

You can also nip the stem using a shear if you notice abnormal growth. This will help maintain the appearance of the Zuzu plant.

Note: Clean the pruning equipment before using it and wear gloves to avoid skin irritation.

How to Grow and Propagate Raven ZZ Plant

ZZ Raven Plant Propagation

Once you plant a Zanzibar Gem, you’ll never get enough of them. These gorgeous plants are a treat to the eyes, and you’ll wish to have more of them. But instead of buying a new one, you can propagate from an existing one.

You can propagate ZZ Raven Plant by the following methods:

  • Leaf Cutting
  • Stem Cutting
  • Crown Division

Propagation by Leaf Cutting:

  • Step 1: Cut off a single leaf with a small part of the stem at the end.
  • Step 2: Take a small or shallow container with a potting mix in it.
  • Step 3: Stick the leaf in the potting mix so that it stands erect on its own.
  • Step 4: Water the leaf as the soil dries out.
  • Step 5: After some time, try tugging out the leaf. If it is resistant, then the process is successful. 

Quick Tip: Dip the tip of the cut-end of the leaf in a rooting hormone before planting to facilitate growth.

Propagation by Stem Cutting:

  • Step 1: Cut off a stem (at least 6 inches long) with the help of a secateur.
  • Step 2: Place it in a jar or container of water.
  • Step 3: Change the water after every 3-4 days.
  • Step 4: After some time, roots will develop.
  • Step 5: Transplant the stem with roots into well-drained soil.

Propagation by Crown Division:

  • Step 1: Take the plant out of the soil.
  • Step 2: Identify the area where you can split the plant into two separate plants with the proviso that there is no damage to roots or rhizomes.
  • Step 3: Finally, break the rhizomes apart and split.
  • Step 4: Plant the separated plants individually in 2 pots.

This is the propagation process, and you can have as many ZZ Raven Plants as you want by following the proper method.

Repotting of Raven ZZ Plant

Being in the category of low maintenance, the Black Raven ZZ plants don’t require repotting often. Their growth is slow and can thrive in the same pot for a long time. And if you still repot the plant, you can split them into two if it becomes too large.

You know how ZZ Raven is an excellent plant. Let’s shed some light on the diseases this plant might catch so you can take precautions and save this wonderful plant from falling ill.

Pests and Diseases

Fortunately, the Zuzu plant doesn’t attract a lot of pests, just the usual ones like mealy bugs and flies, but they are not really looking forward to quenching their thirst by ZZ Raven. These insects will happily transfer to other plants and let you Raven ZZ grow!

And as for diseases, the Black ZZ is only prone to root rot disease, and you can also avoid that if the water requirement is monitored. Over-watering this plant is the primary cause of this disease. Therefore, prevent over-watering to avoid root rot.

Thus, we are through with the Raven ZZ plant care and can conclude that ZZ Raven is the quintessential plant. It is a form of timeless aesthetic and can give your home a dash of classiness.

Why is my Raven ZZ plant falling on one side?

Plants are phototropic, and thus, your ZZ Raven plant is leaning towards the light. You can give a quarter turn every once in a while.

Can Raven ZZ cause cancer?

No, ZZ Raven cannot cause cancer. It doesn’t have carcinogenic compounds. The only toxins it has are calcium oxalate crystals, which can be harmful if ingested. Thus, you should wear gloves while handling the plant.

Is the ZZ plant safe for pets?

No, ZZ Raven is not safe for pets as it can cause digestive issues if ingested.

Why are some leaves of my ZZ Raven plant not black?

The newly formed baby leaves of the ZZ Raven plant are green in color, and the new growth gradually becomes purplish-black.

Can we water our ZZ houseplant every day?

No, you should not water your ZZ Raven plant daily, as overwatering can result in root rot disease and eventually kill the plant.

Therefore, you now completely know about the Black Raven ZZ plant care. So why not give that black beauty a stage in your home? And if you wish to enhance it with another aesthetically pleasing plant, you should go for Japanese Snowball. Hop on to our complete care guide to have these stunners around!

  1. Zamioculcas Zamiifolia ‘Raven’ – Missouri Botanical Garden
  2. Zamioculcas zamiifolia Raven (‘Dowon) – The Royal Horticultural Society