Zamioculcas zamiifolia, simply known as the ZZ plant, is a unique flowering plant known for its glossy dark green leaves, low maintenance, and resilience. It’s also a popular air purifier that can be used as an ornamental plant indoors.
Besides these properties, the plant is also known for being quite costly, which brings me to today’s question: Why are ZZ plants expensive?
In this guide, I’ll dive into the main reasons behind the plant’s costly price tag and how much you might pay for them.
Ideally, you should expect the average ZZ plant to cost you anywhere between $20 to $50. In some places, the price might even go as high as $100 or more.
This is considered relatively expensive, compared to other indoor plants, such as Pothos and spider plants, which are typically capped at $15 to $25 in most places.
That being said, the exact price of the ZZ plant depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the plant and where you’re buying it from.
For example, a small 6 to 12-inch pot may cost around $20 to $40 while a large 20-inch pot usually starts from $35 to $50.
As you can see, ZZ plants can be quite pricey, and in fact, this comes down to a variety of reasons rather than one. So, let’s have a quick look at each one of them:
The first and main reason why ZZ plants are always on the pricier end of the scale is that they’re naturally slow growers.
In fact, it can take several years for the plant to reach a “marketable” size, even in ideal growing conditions.
For that reason, growers will add a premium to the plant’s price tag to cover their costs. Of course, the larger the plant, the longer it took to grow, and the more expensive it will be.
As a slow grower, the supply of ZZ plants is usually fairly limited, especially when you compare them to other readily available plants.
However, the demand for the ZZ plant remains pretty high, not only because they’re beneficial air purifiers and excellent indoor plants, but also because of their rare status that gives their owners bragging rights!
As you know, “higher demand means higher price” is a long-established economical concept almost anywhere.
This is why the plant is more expensive in some places where there are fewer places to buy ZZ plants.
The ZZ plant also comes in a range of varieties. Some of these varieties have a unique color like the dark ZZ Raven variety, while others have special variegation or markings like the ZZ white Variegata.
These varieties are produced with extra care or due to extra-rare gene mutations, which makes the plant an even harder commodity to find. The rarer the variety, the higher the price.
Many indoor plants are native to tropical countries, and so they cost higher to import directly from their native habitat.
In the case of the ZZ plant, it’s actually native to Eastern Africa, which adds an extra premium to the cost of importing them into far locations like North America.
Many growers rely on propagation to divide the plant and sell them separately. But unfortunately, propagating the ZZ plant isn’t a walk in the park either!
This is not because the process is difficult. In fact, it’s remarkably easy, as you only need a single leaf cutting to get a new plant.
However, the challenging part here is that this process takes a remarkably long time to give rise to a new plant, and requires special conditions to succeed, which also adds to the final costs.
ZZ plants can be quite pricey plants to grow and sell commercially because it’s a slow grower with limited supply and high demand.
The plant also comes in a unique variety and special growing conditions that can add a remarkable markup to its final price.
For that reason, you should be extra careful while choosing a ZZ plant and always deal with a reputable grower to get a healthy specimen for a good return on your investment.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.