zz propagatings not thriving

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    fjm2323fjm2323
    Greenhorn
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    what can i do to improve the odds of my zz plant propagates staying alive? help!

    thanks all!

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    Nate from N&GNate from N&G
    Expert gardener (moderator)
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    Hi there, it’s a hard plant to kill so you should be fine, but it takes a long time because the plant is slow to grow, especially when small/propagating. How are you trying to propagate it? Would you care to share a few pictures?

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    luis_prluis_pr
    Expert gardener
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    All they need to thrive is adequate light, and a good watering every couple of weeks. However, don’t worry too much about forgetting to water once established as they grow from rhizomes which help them to store water under the soil, making them a ‘drought-tolerant’ plant. they do best in bright indirect light but avoid direct sunlight. Keep them away from drafty locations. I do not fertilize during winter. A warm spot with temps well above 50F should be fine. Here are some tips to propagate depending on how you decide to do it:

    How to propagate a ZZ plant | 3 different ways!

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    fjm2323fjm2323
    Greenhorn
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    hello,
    thx!
    i sent many pics to nate, of your team too. i am send the same bunch to you too.

    ZZ propagates dying

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    Nate from N&GNate from N&G
    Expert gardener (moderator)
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    Hi @fjm2323

    I posted your pictures here in your stead (I can do that as moderator) – just so you know, answering the notification email won’t add to this conversation. Hopefully we can make it clearer in the future!

    Your ZZ plant propagatings show some healthy leaves and some that look yellow and sick. Are these the stems you originally rooted to make new plants? Or did you pick leaves from them to propagate the leaves in other pots? Either way, there is a fact that might explain things:

    • for a ZZ plant, once a stalk has grown and set out leaves, it won’t “recover” or “regrow” if leaves are removed or damaged. The plant prefers to grow new stalks to the side instead of repairing old stems.
    • when a stalk has lost most of its leaves, it becomes less “profitable” for the plant to maintain. That’s why a stalk with only a few leaves left will die off, the plant prefers to put effort into fresh new stalks instead of healing the older one.
    • Your ZZ plant seems to have lots of nice lush stems on the side, so you’re taking good care of it.

    I’m trying to link this with the fact that you mentioned propagation. If the older, yellow stems were the original ones you separated from a mother plant to grow this new plant, it’s normal for them to die off as new stems appear from underground.

    Is that what may have happened for you?

    Note: here’s a whole page on succeeding zz propagatings.

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    fjm2323fjm2323
    Greenhorn
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    Hi, thx for continuing to respond!
    it seems the stems i separated from mother stems are having trouble. It makes sense the way you put it that the separated stems were damaged and won’t recover. The one I pulled out of the soil to throw away had a small bud on the side of it under the surface. I must have damaged the mother stems too.
    I separated the big plant at a bad time too. So, As much as there are no drafts and the temperature is kept above 72 degrees. Here, I ask , how do I cover the plants in plastic? Just put a clear garbage bag over them, then punch a few holes in the bag?  Do I water them first, or let them dry out for the winter?
    Two side questions. 1: for cleaning the leaves to let the sun in, is a very light solution of dish soap and water a possibility? Heard that online?! What’s a better idea?
    2: I don’t see bugs, but the marks on some leaves, and the striations on the stems at the stalk, seem to indicate there is disease or bugs.

    im desperate to keep these alive, thanks for your help,

    Jay morrissey

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    Nate from N&GNate from N&G
    Expert gardener (moderator)
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    Sure thing! For the plastic, yes what you’re describing is perfect. For Winter, best let them sit on the dry side, they’ll stay dormant until Spring. When daylight starts increasing you can start watering more again.

    For sure that stem with a bud forming on the side is what you’re actually aiming for when propagating. It’s a good thing you now know what you’re looking for! Even with a single leaf it works, see the picture of the raven ZZ leaf propagation towards the middle of the article – notice the bulge forming.

    I think the striations resemble wounds that result from bending the leaf or stem. Are they spreading with time? Normally you’d see tiny critters running around if there were any.

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