raven zz plant

How to Grow and Care for Raven ZZ Plant

The Raven ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia ‘Raven’) is a fascinating and physically appealing houseplant that has grown in popularity in recent years. This distinctive cultivar of the ZZ plant family, known for its deep purple-black leaves, offers a touch of elegance and refinement to any interior setting. The Raven ZZ plant has become a favourite among plant lovers, both novices and expert gardeners, because of its low-maintenance nature and amazing durability.


The Raven ZZ plant’s main distinguishing feature is its dramatic dark purple-black leaves. In contrast to the usual green-leaved ZZ plant, the Raven ZZ has deep, glossy, almost velvet-like leaves. Because of its unusual hue, it is a highly sought-after plant that gives a sense of drama and refinement to any decor.
The Raven ZZ plant may grow to a mature height and spread of up to 2-3 feet (60-90 cm). It grows compactly and uprightly, making it perfect for a variety of interior areas such as shelves, desktops, and worktops. The leaves form an alternating pattern along thick, succulent-like stalks, making for an eye-catching show.
One of the major benefits of the Raven ZZ plant is its low-maintenance nature. It is a slow-growing plant that takes little maintenance, making it excellent for individuals with a busy lifestyle or little expertise with indoor plants. The Raven ZZ is well-known for its capacity to grow in a variety of lighting settings, including low-light environments where other plants may struggle. It can handle both direct and indirect light, making it appropriate for a variety of interior conditions.
Another feature that distinguishes the Raven ZZ plant is its capacity to tolerate periods of neglect and drought. It possesses rhizomes, which are underground stems that store water and help the plant to thrive in low-water environments. This feature makes it a good alternative for individuals who forget to water their plants or have a propensity to overwater them. However, it is critical to create a balance and prevent severe dryness or overwatering, since both may be harmful to the plant’s health.

Why is ZZ Raven Black

The ZZ Raven,’ also known as Zamioculcas zamiifolia ‘Raven,’ has blackish or deep purple foliage that set it apart from other ZZ plant variants. Several variables contribute to the dark colouring.
To begin, the distinctive hue is the product of genetic diversity within the ZZ plant species. Because of genetic variances, certain plants have deeper pigmentation in their leaves. This unique feature lends the ZZ Raven its intriguing look.
Second, the presence of particular pigments known as anthocyanins influences the blackish colour. These pigments are present in the leaves of the ZZ Raven and are responsible for the hues of red, purple, and blue in plants. Anthocyanins give the leaves their dark hue in this example, providing a startling black look.
Furthermore, the quantity of light that the ZZ Raven gets may influence its colour intensity. The black colour may grow more vivid when exposed to strong light. Under reduced light circumstances, the leaves may seem deeper purple or less vivid black.
Seasonal variations may also affect the colour of the ZZ Raven’s leaves. The black colour may be more brilliant during seasons of vigorous development, such as spring and summer. During the plant’s dormancy in the autumn and winter, the colour may look somewhat lighter or develop to a dark purple colour.
Furthermore, the ZZ Raven plant’s general health might impact the intensity of its black colour. A plant that is healthy and well-cared for is more likely to have brilliant and consistent hues in its leaves.
Finally, the age of the leaves may influence colour variance. Younger leaves may be more intensely black, whilst elder leaves may be somewhat lighter or develop to a deep purple colour.

Date of discovery:

The Zamioculcas zamiifolia ‘Raven’ plant, Zamioculcas zamiifolia ‘Raven,’ was found and introduced to the horticultural world very recently. Although the precise year of its discovery varies, it rose to popularity and became commercially accessible in the early 2000s. The rich purple-black leaves drew the attention of horticulturists and breeders, who used selective breeding and hybridization procedures to create this variety. Since then, the Raven ZZ plant has captivated the attention of plant aficionados all across the globe, demonstrating its beauty and durability in a variety of indoor situations.
Common Name Raven ZZ plant
Botanical Name Zamioculcas zamiifolia ‘Raven’
Family Araceae
Plant Type Perennial, tuber
Mature Size 30 in. tall, 30 in. wide
Sun Exposure Partial, shade
Soil Type Sandy, well-drained
Soil pH Acidic
Bloom Time Spring, summer
Flower Color Green
Hardiness Zones 9-10, USDA
Native Area Asia
Toxicity Toxic to pets, toxic to humans1

Raven ZZ Plant Maintenance:

Raven ZZ Plant, also known as Zamioculcas zamiifolia ‘Raven,’ is an eye-catching houseplant with dark green, nearly black, glossy leaves. Because of its minimal care and tolerance to varied indoor environments, it is a favourite option among plant aficionados. Here are some helpful hints for taking care of your Raven ZZ plant:
raven zz plant care


The Raven ZZ plant thrives in a wide range of lighting situations, making it appropriate for both low-light and moderately bright environments. While it can endure low-light conditions, it will develop at a lesser pace. Provide strong indirect light for maximum development and leaf colouring. Avoid putting the plant in direct sunlight, since this might cause the leaves to sear. A suitable site would be near a north or east-facing window, where it would get brilliant, filtered light all day.


The proper soil is essential for the healthy development of your Raven ZZ plant. Choose a well-draining soil mix that enables excess water to readily move through. A good potting mix should include equal parts of normal potting soil, peat moss, and perlite or pumice for drainage. This combination encourages healthy root growth while preventing waterlogging, which may lead to root rot.


The Raven ZZ plant’s watering requirements are “moderate to low.” It possesses rhizomes that store water, allowing it to survive times of drought. Allow the soil’s top inch (2.5 cm) to dry between waterings. When watering, soak the soil completely until water drains from the bottom of the container. To prevent waterlogging, remove any surplus water from the saucer or tray. Reduce watering frequently throughout the winter or colder months when the plant’s growth slows.

Humidity and temperature:

The Raven ZZ plant loves temperatures ranging from 60°F (15°C) to 75°F (24°C). It can withstand somewhat colder temperatures, but keep it away from drafts and avoid exposing it to temps below 45°F (7°C), since this might cause harm. In terms of humidity, the plant can tolerate typical indoor humidity levels, although it thrives at slightly higher humidity levels. If the air in your house is dry, try using a humidifier or spraying the plant regularly to provide moisture.


When compared to other houseplants, the Raven ZZ plant is not a heavy feeder and needs less regular fertilizer. You may fertilize the plant once a month throughout the active growth season, which normally lasts from spring until early October. Select a balanced houseplant fertilizer and dilute it to half the level suggested. Diluting fertilizer helps avoid overfertilization, which may cause salt accumulation in the soil. Fertilize less throughout the winter months when the plant’s development slows.
It’s crucial to remember that each plant is unique, and variables like pot size, ambient conditions, and the plant’s general health may all influence care needs. Monitor your Raven ZZ plant regularly, notice its development, and alter care procedures as needed to ensure it flourishes in its location.

Planting and Repotting the Raven ZZ:

Planting and Repotting the Raven ZZ is a important step for it s proper care and growth.

Potting the Raven ZZ Plant:

  • When potting a Raven ZZ plant, it’s critical to choose the correct container and growth media. For effective potting, follow these steps:
  • Container: To avoid waterlogging, use a pot with drainage holes. It is best to choose a pot that is somewhat bigger than the existing root ball. Using a container with adequate drainage allows excess water to leave, lowering the danger of root rot.
  • Drainage Layer: At the bottom of the pot, add a layer of small stones or broken ceramic pieces. This layer improves drainage by allowing water to gather without soaking the soil.
  • Soil Mix: Make a well-draining soil mixture. Regular potting soil, peat moss, and perlite or pumice work nicely together. This mixture promotes adequate aeration and keeps water away from the roots. Avoid using thick garden soil or dense potting mixes that hold a lot of water.
  • Plant Transfer: Carefully remove the Raven ZZ plant from its existing container, taking care not to harm the roots. Place the plant in the middle of the new pot, at the same level it was in the prior container.
  • Filling with Soil: Gently push the prepared soil mix into the remaining area surrounding the plant to hold it in place. Allow some room at the top to allow for overflow while watering.
  • Watering: After potting, water the plant vigorously until the water drains out of the bottom. This helps to settle the soil and keeps the roots hydrated.

Repotting the Raven ZZ Plant:

When the plant outgrows its existing container or the soil gets compacted, repotting is usually needed. Here’s how to repot your Raven ZZ plant successfully:
  • Timing: Repotting a Raven ZZ plant is best done in the spring or early summer when it is in vigorous growth. Repotting should be avoided throughout the dormant winter season.
  • Examining the Root System: Gently shake off extra dirt after carefully removing the plant from its present container. Examine the roots for indications of injury, decay, or crowding. Healthy roots should be solid, white, and equally distributed.
  • Choosing a Larger Pot: Select a new pot that is 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) larger in diameter than the previous one. To avoid waterlogging, make sure the new pot has drainage holes.
  • Soil Refresh: Prepare new potting soil using the previously specified well-draining mix. If the previous soil has become compacted or holds too much moisture, it should be discarded.
  • Repotting Procedure: In the new pot, add a drainage layer, a layer of fresh soil, and gently put the plant in the middle. Fill the remaining area with the prepared soil mix, firming it carefully around the roots. Avoid over-compacting the dirt.
  • Watering and Aftercare: After repotting, properly water the plant to settle the soil and hydrate the roots. Place the repotted plant in its customary place and continue to provide regular care, keeping an eye out for symptoms of stress or adjustment.
  • Remember that repotting may be stressful for plants, so handle them with caution and as little disruption to the roots as possible. Only repot when required, usually every 1-2 years or when the plant noticeably outgrows its present container.

Common Plant Pests and Diseases in Raven ZZ Plants:

Raven ZZ plants are typically durable and pest and disease resistant. They are, nevertheless, prone to a few typical difficulties under specific settings. Understanding these pests and diseases, as well as being proactive in prevention and control, will aid in the health of your Raven ZZ plant. The following are some of the most frequent pests and plant diseases that may harm Raven ZZ plants:
1. Pseudococcidae (Mealybugs): Pseudococcidae is little, soft-bodied insects that infest plant leaves, stems and leaf axils. They look like white, cottony lumps and may harm the plant by sucking sap, causing stunted development and fading leaves. To manage mealybugs, separate plants that are at risk and dab and remove the insects with a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol. In severe infestations, try applying insecticidal soap or neem oil as directed by the manufacturer.
2. Spider Mites (Tetranychidae): Spider mites are small pests that feed on the undersides of leaves, producing stippling or yellowing. They often flourish in dry climates. To control spider mites, spray the plant or place it near a humidifier to enhance humidity. In addition, examine the undersides of leaves regularly and gently clean them with a moist cloth to eradicate bugs. In extreme situations, use insecticidal soap or neem oil liberally in afflicted areas.
3. Fungal Leaf Spot: A frequent illness that causes circular, dark patches on the leaves is fungal leaf spot. It is caused by a variety of fungi. Leaf spots might develop as a result of overwatering or insufficient air circulation. To minimize fungal leaf spots, avoid overhead watering and maintain proper plant space for optimal ventilation. To avoid the spread of the illness, remove and destroy contaminated leaves as soon as possible. In extreme situations, fungicidal sprays may be required if the directions are followed.
4. Root Rot: Root rot is a fungal disease produced by excessively damp soil that causes the plant’s roots to deteriorate. Yellowing leaves, withering, and a bad stench from the soil are all symptoms of root rot. Ensure good drainage by using a well-draining soil mix and a container with drainage holes to avoid root rot. Avoid overwatering by allowing the soil to partly dry between waterings. If you suspect root rot, gently take the plant from the container, clip away the problematic roots, and repot in new, well-draining soil.
5. Anthracnose (Colletotrichum spp.): Anthracnose is a fungal disease that causes black, sunken lesions on leaves, stems, or flowers. It is often found in humid conditions and may be transmitted by water splashing or infected instruments. Provide enough circulation and avoid overhead watering to prevent anthracnose. To prevent the spread of the illness, remove and dispose of affected plant debris. In extreme circumstances, fungicidal treatments may be required if the manufacturer’s recommendations are not followed.
6. Bacterial Blight: Bacterial blight is a bacterial disease that creates water-soaked lesions on leaves and stems, sometimes with yellow halos. It may be transmitted by infected instruments or by water splashing. To handle bacterial blight, remove and destroy diseased plant portions and practice good plant handling hygiene. Although copper-based bactericides may help prevent further spread, early diagnosis and removal of infected material is critical.
Inspecting your Raven ZZ plant for indications of pests or illnesses regularly, following excellent sanitation, providing adequate growth conditions, and swiftly resolving any concerns may all help to lessen the probability of problems. Furthermore, maintaining your plant healthy by giving appropriate light, adequate hydration, and balanced nourishment helps boost its natural resilience to pests and illnesses.

Common Problems with Raven ZZ Plant: Yellow Leaves and Mushy Stems

While Raven ZZ plants are typically resilient and low-maintenance, they may suffer from a variety of problems, including yellow leaves and squishy stems. Understanding the underlying causes of these issues is critical for successful troubleshooting. Here are some frequent problems and possible solutions:

1. Overwatering:

One of the most common causes of yellow leaves and mushy stems in Raven ZZ plants is overwatering. When the plant is subjected to excessive wetness regularly, the roots may get waterlogged and develop root rot. This might result in browning leaves, wilting, and mushy stems.
Solution: Adjust your watering methods to enable the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil to dry between waterings. Make sure the pot has enough drainage and never leave the plant in standing water. When watering, soak the soil completely and allow excess water to drain. Overwatering may suffocate the roots and encourage root rot. If root rot has already developed, gently take the plant from the container, clip away problematic roots, and repot in new, well-draining soil.

2. Underwatering:

While overwatering is a typical issue, underwatering may also cause yellowing of Raven ZZ leaves. If the plant does not get enough water, it may exhibit drought stress symptoms such as withering and yellowing leaves.
Solution: Regularly check the soil moisture level and water the plant when the top inch (2.5 cm) feels dry. Water thoroughly, enabling the water to reach the roots. However, do not allow the plant to remain in standing water or excess water, since this might cause root rot.

3. Inadequate Light: 

In Raven ZZ plants, insufficient light may cause fading leaves and lanky growth. While some plants can endure low light levels, they still need some light to maintain good foliage.
Solution: Place your Raven ZZ plant in an area with plenty of indirect light. Direct sunlight should be avoided since it might burn the foliage. Consider positioning the plant near a north or east-facing window, where it will be exposed to strong, filtered light throughout the day. If you detect lanky growth or extremely pale leaves, it might be due to a lack of light, and you may need to supplement with artificial illumination, such as a grow lamp.

4. Nutritional Deficiencies: 

Yellowing leaves may also be caused by a deficiency in vital nutrients such as nitrogen, iron, or magnesium. Nutrient deficiencies may arise if the plant does not get enough fertilizer or if the soil does not have enough nutrients.
Solution: Fertilize your Raven ZZ plant using a balanced houseplant fertilizer throughout the growth season. Follow the fertilizer container directions, diluting it to half the suggested strength. Apply the fertilizer once a month, spreading it evenly. This will provide the plant with the nutrients it needs for healthy development and leaf colours. If the issue continues, try using a specific fertilizer designed for foliage plants or seek advice from a local horticulturist.

5. Environmental Stress: 

Extreme temperatures, drafts, or rapid temperature swings may all stress Raven ZZ plants, resulting in yellowing leaves and weaker stems. Furthermore, exposure to cold winds or temperatures below 45°F (7°C) may result in stem damage and mushiness.
Solution: Maintain a consistent temperature range of 60°F (15°C) to 75°F (24°C) for your Raven ZZ plant. Keep it away from chilly breezes and air conditioning vents or heaters. Avoid subjecting the plant to abrupt temperature fluctuations, as this may create stress and result in yellowing leaves and mushy stems.
By treating these frequent Raven ZZ plant issues, you may assist keep the plant’s health and brilliant foliage. Monitor your plant regularly, administer proper care, and make modifications as required to achieve ideal growth conditions for a robust Raven ZZ plant.


How do you keep a Raven ZZ plant black?

Provide a Raven ZZ plant with intense indirect light to maintain its foliage black. Direct sunlight should be avoided as it might cause the leaves to fade or burn. Maintain correct watering techniques as well, allowing the soil to partly dry between waterings to avoid overwatering, which may cause yellowing leaves.

Do Raven ZZ plants like to be misted?

While Raven ZZ plants may survive ordinary indoor humidity levels, they prefer somewhat higher humidity levels. Misting the leaves or using a humidifier regularly may offer additional moisture and help the plant, particularly in drier locations or during dry seasons. However, excessive misting might raise the risk of fungal illnesses.

Do Raven ZZ plants need more light than green ZZ plants?

The light needs of Raven ZZ plants and Green ZZ plants are comparable. Both can survive low-light settings, but strong indirect light is necessary for maximum development and leaf colouring. While Raven ZZ plants have dramatic black leaves, the colour is due to natural pigmentation and does not need extra light like green ZZ plants do.

How often should I fertilize my Raven ZZ plant?

Raven ZZ plants are not heavy feeders and should only be fertilized in moderation. You may fertilize the plant once a month throughout the active growth season, which is normally from spring to early October. Apply a balanced houseplant fertilizer diluted to half the recommended concentration during watering sessions. Fertilizing should be avoided during the winter months when the plant’s development slows.

Can Raven ZZ plants tolerate low temperatures?

Raven ZZ plants are indigenous to Eastern Africa and survive in temperatures ranging from 60°F (15°C) to 75°F (24°C). While they can handle somewhat colder temperatures, it is critical to keep them out of drafts and away from temperatures below 45°F (7°C). Cold temperatures may harm the plant, causing fading leaves and mushy stems.

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