Learn the secret tips on Black Raven ZZ Plant Care and How to Keep it Jet Black to flaunt its deeply hued foliage with other colorful plants!
After making its presence felt in the year 2019, this dark beauty has become quite popular since then! Check out our complete guide on Raven ZZ Plant Care and How to Keep it Jet Black!
Here are the best ZZ plants you can grow
What’s a Raven ZZ Plant?
Raven ZZ plant is an easy-to-grow tropical succulent from Araceae (aroid) family. It was first introduced in 2019 and garnered a lot of attention–thanks to its amazingly black leaves. It borrows half of its name from the ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia), which is also known as ‘eternity plant‘ or ‘answer tree‘ and ‘raven‘ to identify its dark foliage.
This low-maintenance plant can survive even in dark conditions and doesn’t require frequent watering as it can store water in its thick petiole and tuber-like rhizome. It can reach up to 2 to 4 feet tall and wide.
How to Keep Raven ZZ Plant Jet Black?
Before you start to grow this plant, you need to know the fact that the new leaves emerge as lime or light green, and as they mature, they take a deep purple or black hue.
1. Buy a Mature Plant with Dark Foliage
Go for a not-so-young plant when you’re buying one. This will ensure that you get black leaves right from the start before you bring the plant home!
2. Don’t Prune Every Now and Then
If you want the plant with dark foliage, avoid pruning it every now and then. Because young leaves are green, and pruning them often will encourage the growth of new leaves, making the plant look more green than black.
3. Make Sure it Gets Bright and Indirect Light
Though the plant can survive well in the shade, keeping it at a constant low-light location can make its growth slow while impacting the dark color of its leaves.
The best way to ensure it stays black is to expose it to bright and indirect light with 2-3 hours of exposure to filtered or mild sunlight.
4. Keep the Foliage Clean
Being a glossy houseplant, its leaves are prone to accumulating dust and hard water spots, which can put a dent in its dark and shiny appearance, which of course, makes it one of the best black houseplants.
To ensure it continues to look at its best and black, clean the foliage using a damp cotton cloth once in 2 weeks. It will also aid in the photosynthesis of the plant.
5. Keep it Slightly Rootbound
Keeping the plant slightly rootbound will ensure that you see more black leaves than green ones, as the plant will then not actively grow, which will produce less new green growth. The raven then will focus its energy on keeping the black leaves intact and growing more rhizomes!
Don’t be disappointed if you notice the plant starting off as green, as it can take up to two months for the leaves and stems to go entirely black. Generally, it turns dark after six to eight weeks, so wait.
Have a look at the advantages of growing a ZZ plant here
Requirements for Growing Raven ZZ Plant and Keeping it Black
Raven ZZ plant can be grown in low, medium, or bright light. But if planted in a low-light area, it will have pale green and fewer black leaves. While growing indoors, make sure it gets as much daylight as possible.
Keep the plant safe from direct sun exposure for prolonged periods, especially afternoon, as it can burn the foliage.
Note: If you are not able to keep the plant on a bright window indoors, then keep it under grow light or turn on your room’s LED or fluorescent lights.
Use a well-draining growing medium. Opt for a blend of succulent potting mix and perlite with a wee bit of organic matter for the best growth. Avoid using compact or garden soil if you want the leaves to be dark.
Water the plant when the top one or two inches of the growing medium feels dry to the touch. This plant stores moisture in its potato-like, thick rhizomes that make it withstand several weeks without water. This means you don’t need to water it very often.
Keep in mind that this plant dislikes wet feet, and waterlogging can cause root rot, which will make the dark foliage appear pale and dull. You should also avoid using hard water to saturate this houseplant.
This plant doesn’t need high humidity like some common houseplants like pothos and philodendron, but you can grow it in humid conditions beside other houseplants.
The plant will perform best in a stable room temperature between 60 to 85 F (15-30 C), which makes it one of the best plants to grow indoors without any worries. Ensure it is not exposed to a temperature below 50 F (10 C).
Raven ZZ Plant Care
If you have used a good-quality potting mix with organic matter, then don’t worry much about feeding the plant. To boost its black growth, use a balanced liquid fertilizer, diluted to one-fourth or half of its strength, once in 6-8 weeks, spring and summer, and up to mid-fall (if you live in a cold climate). Do refer to the label for instructions.
Pests and Diseases
This ZZ plant cultivar may be susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites, thrips, and scales. They can be removed by a strong burst of water or a spray of insecticidal soap.
To keep most of the potential diseases at bay, avoid stressing and overwatering the plant at all costs.
The plant has calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation to the mouth and skin. So it’d be a good idea to keep it away from curious children and pets.
Is the ZZ plant toxic to cats and pets? Find out here
Propagating Raven ZZ Plant
Raven ZZ plant is a variety of Zamioculcas zamiifolia, which means you can propagate it in a similar way—from leaf-cutting, stem cutting, and division (which works the best). Use a well-draining potting or succulent mix for good growth.