The Best Temperature and Humidity Range for ZZ Plants to Thrive Indoors  

The ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) offers all sorts of beneficial properties and symbolic value and is one of the easiest indoor plants to grow – and its low-maintenance, unfussy nature extends to temperature and humidity. A native of Africa, the ZZ plant (also known as the Zanzibar gem, raven ZZ plant, emerald palm, or Zuzu plant) thrives in a range of growing conditions. It tolerates a range of humidity and temperature ranges but fortunately can grow happily in average indoor temperate, between 65 and 85 degrees F, and average indoor humidity from 40 to 50 percent.


ZZ Plant Temperature and Humidity Tolerances – The Essentials

ZZ plants thrive in a range of temperature and humidity conditions. They prefer average indoor temperatures that range from 65 to 85 degrees F. They prefer drier conditions and grow well in a humidity range between 40 and 50 percent, which is typical for many households.


Typical Temperature and Humidity Ranges ZZ Plants Receive in Their Native Habitats

Typical Temperature and Humidity Ranges ZZ Plants Receive in Their Native Habitats

Z. zamifolia is indigenous to eastern Africa, in a large region that reaches thousands of miles, from East Africa, South Africa through Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi, and Zimbabwe to Kenya. In its native habitat, the ZZ plant grows in conditions that include grasslands, dry forests, humid evergreen forests, riverbanks, rocky areas, and bushy thickets.

The ZZ plant’s varied native habitat means that it has evolved to tolerate a broad and diverse range of growing conditions. For instance, the plant’s thick, tuberous rhizomes help store water, which means the plants are well-adapted to dry conditions and periods of drought.

Fortunately, the plant’s preference falls easily within average indoor plant conditions. For instance, average humidity of 40 to 50 percent works well for ZZ plants. If you live in an extremely arid climate, your ZZ plant may benefit from some additional humidity in the air.

ZZ plants also grow well in average indoor temperatures, ranging from 65 to 85 degrees F. However, don’t let the plants stay too long in temperatures below 45 degrees, as this is simply too cold for them.

Signs Your ZZ Plant is Exposed to the Wrong Temperature and Humidity

Signs Your ZZ Plant is Exposed to the Wrong Temperature and Humidity

If your ZZ plant is exposed to cold temperatures – below 45 degrees F – for extended periods, the plant’s health may suffer. You may notice wilted or shriveled foliage or yellow leaves. Eventually, the plant will fail. It’s also prudent to trim and prune ZZ plants of any past-prime or decaying foliage.

ZZ plants tend to prefer drier rather than wetter conditions. In fact, most ZZ plant problems stem from over-watering. But if your ZZ plant grows in intense light exposure, near a heat source, or in arid conditions, you may notice browning on leaf tips. This can signify that the plant would appreciate higher humidity or that temperatures are too high.

On the flip side, if conditions are extremely humid, you may notice problems such as mold growing on the soil. In high humidity mixed with poor drainage and overwatering, your ZZ plant may suffer from root rot.

For more, see our in-depth guide to watering ZZ plants and the best soil mix for ZZ plants.

Ideal Temperature and Humidity Considerations for ZZ Plants

Ideal Temperature and Humidity Considerations for ZZ Plants

With due care and attention, ZZ plants can live for years. ZZ plants are pretty forgiving and tolerate a range of indoor temperatures. However, they’ll do best in temperatures that stay consistently between 65 and 85 degrees F.

Keep your ZZ plant comfortable by placing it away from intense, direct light exposure areas, such as south- or west-facing windows. Instead, place the ZZ plants near an east-facing or in a north-facing window, or near a source of bright indirect light, i.e. a south- or west-facing window that’s always covered with a sheer curtain.

Avoid placing your ZZ plants near vents, heaters, radiators, or air conditioning units. Constantly fluctuating temperatures below 60 degrees and above 85 degrees F may keep your ZZ plant from reaching optimal growth. Never let your ZZ plant stay too long in temperatures below 45 degrees F.

As for humidity, an indoor humidity range between 40 and 50 percent is ideal. However, ZZ plants tolerate a wide range of conditions. Lower humidity won’t necessarily harm your ZZ plant, but you may need to water a bit more often or take steps to increase humidity.

Like many other houseplants, excessive humidity may invite pests and other problems. If humidity is very high for prolonged periods, you may notice mold or root rot.

It’s easy to monitor ambient humidity throughout your home. Simply use a hygrometer. This portable, inexpensive tool is simple to use and measures temperature, too.

How to Boost Humidity in Your Home

How to Boost Humidity in Your Home

It’s not usually necessary to boost humidity for ZZ plants. But if you live in an arid region or your ZZ plants are consistently too dry, you may choose to increase humidity levels.

There are a few simple ways to boost humidity. One of the easiest is to group several plants together. When plants are placed close to each other, they create a microclimate. As the plants transpire, humidity levels in the air around them increase naturally.

You may also set your ZZ plant containers on trays or dishes filled with pebbles. Add water to the dish and place the container on top. As the water evaporates, the air around the ZZ plant grows more humid.

Additionally, you may mist your ZZ plant. Just be sure not to overwater.

Finally, you can place a humidifier in the room with your ZZ plants. In most cases, though, ZZ plants don’t require much extra humidity to thrive and actually prefer dry conditions.

Caring for ZZ Plants in Spring and Summer

In the growing season, typically warm spring and summer months, don’t let your ZZ plant get overheated. Avoid placing it near heat vents or radiators.

Don’t put a ZZ plant in or near south– or west-facing windows or other spots with intense sun exposure. Instead, place your ZZ plant in indirect light or near a low light north- or east-facing window.

If you use air conditioning in your home, you’ll also need to watch for too-cool temperatures. During the summer, keep ZZ plants away from air conditioning units and HVAC vents, as blasts of conditioned air may lower the temperature abruptly.

Now’s also the best season to consider repotting, pruning, or propagating your ZZ plant.

Wear gloves when handling your ZZ plant and the pot. The plant’s sap contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause skin and eye irritation.

ZZ Plant Care Over Winter

During the winter months, continue to keep ZZ plants away from heat registers, radiators, and vents. Avoid cold drafts from windows or doors. If you notice leaf drop, your plant may be too cold. ZZ plants do not grow well when the temperature dips under 45 degrees F.

While ZZ plants prefer drier conditions, watch that your plant doesn’t get too dry. If you notice browning leaf tips, up the humidity. Also – it’s best to lay off fertilizing your ZZ plant during this time of year.


ZZ Plant Temperature and Humidity Tolerances FAQs:

What temperature is too cold for ZZ Plants? 

Temperatures lower than 45 degrees F are too cold for ZZ plants. They prefer indoor temperatures ranging from 65 to 85 degrees F.

What temperature is too hot for ZZ Plants? 

ZZ plants can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. Try not to let them get above 85 degrees F for any long period of time.

Are ZZ Plants heat-sensitive? 

ZZ plants aren’t particularly heat-sensitive, but they do prefer an upper range of temperatures around 85 degrees F. Avoid placing them in south- or west-facing windows, near radiators, and near heat registers.

Can I leave my ZZ Plant outside? 

You can place your ZZ plant outdoors if the temperature is between 65 and 85 degrees. Don’t leave a ZZ plant in direct, strong direct sunlight.

How do I know if my ZZ Plant is healthy? 

A healthy ZZ plant has glossy, deep leaves and thick, upright stems. If you notice wilting or browning, check the growing conditions.


Wrapping Up

ZZ plants make a beautiful addition to any room. They’re low maintenance nature means they tolerate a range of growing conditions, including temperature and humidity. In most cases, just do your best to keep your ZZ plants between 65 and 85 degrees F and 40 to 50 percent humidity, and they’ll thrive.

If you’re looking for your next ZZ plant, see our in-depth guide to the best plant shops delivering ZZ plants nationwide.


Full Bio | + posts

Linsay is an American copywriter based in the Pacific Northwest with a background in academic writing and research. Linsay holds Master's degree in both Anthropology and Library and Information Sciences and has written for numerous national and international publications including USA Today, SFGATE, Hunker, and The Bump across an array of topics in the gardening, green living, and travel sectors. When she's not writing, you'll usually find Linsay reading, kayaking, sailing, snowboarding, or working in her garden.

Author

Linsay is an American copywriter based in the Pacific Northwest with a background in academic writing and research. Linsay holds Master's degree in both Anthropology and Library and Information Sciences and has written for numerous national and international publications including USA Today, SFGATE, Hunker, and The Bump across an array of topics in the gardening, green living, and travel sectors. When she's not writing, you'll usually find Linsay reading, kayaking, sailing, snowboarding, or working in her garden.

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