5 Reasons Why ZZ Plants Thrive in Low Light Conditions

ZZ plants are known for their ability to thrive in low light conditions, making them a popular choice for indoor spaces with limited natural light. But what is it about these plants that allows them to tolerate low light conditions? Here are some factors that contribute to the ZZ plant’s ability to thrive in low light:


They’re adapted to survive in the understory of tropical forests.

ZZ plants are native to Africa, where they grow in the understory of tropical forests. In this environment, they’re shaded by the canopy of larger trees, and receive only dappled sunlight. As a result, they’ve evolved to be able to survive in low light conditions. They have adapted to be able to photosynthesize efficiently even in low light, and have developed mechanisms to cope with limited water availability.


They have thick, waxy leaves that help them retain moisture.

The leaves of ZZ plants are thick and waxy, which helps them retain moisture. This adaptation allows them to cope with low humidity levels and limited water availability, both of which are common in low light environments. The waxy coating on their leaves also protects them from damage caused by insects and other pests.


ZZ plant with exposed root system and rhizome

They store water in their rhizomes.

ZZ plants have a unique underground structure called a rhizome, which is a thick, fleshy stem that grows horizontally just below the soil surface. The rhizome serves as a water storage organ, allowing the plant to store water during periods of excess moisture, and then draw on those reserves during periods of drought. This adaptation helps the plant survive in low light environments where water may be less available.


They have a slow growth rate.

In low light conditions, ZZ plants grow more slowly than they would in brighter light. This is because photosynthesis is less efficient in low light, so the plant produces less energy to fuel its growth. However, this slow growth rate is actually an advantage in indoor environments, where plants that grow too quickly can quickly outgrow their containers and become difficult to manage.


They have a high tolerance for neglect.

Finally, ZZ plants are known for their ability to tolerate neglect. They can go for long periods of time without water, and can even survive if their leaves are occasionally damaged or trimmed. This resilience makes them an excellent choice for busy or forgetful plant owners who may not have the time or inclination to provide more intensive care.

In conclusion, the ZZ plant’s ability to tolerate low light conditions is due to a combination of factors, including their adaptation to survive in the understory of tropical forests, their thick, waxy leaves that help them retain moisture, their ability to store water in their rhizomes, their slow growth rate, and their high tolerance for neglect. All of these factors make ZZ plants an excellent choice for low light indoor environments, where they can thrive with minimal care and provide a touch of greenery to any space.

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Return Policy

Last Updated July 2, 2022

Thank you for your purchase. We hope you are happy with your products! However, if you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may be able to return it to us for a full refund or store credit. Please see below for more information on our return and exchange policy.


Plants: Plants are eligible for a full refund or exchange with returned within seven (7) days of the purchase date. All returned plants must be in their original nursery pots with tags intact and proof of purchase. Plants may be exchanged for another plant of equal or lesser value. We are not responsible for the death or damage of plants that have been removed from their original pots after purchase. 

Non-plant goods: Any non-plant goods (pottery, macrame, plant care products, etc.) can be returned in new, unused condition for a full refund or exchanged for another item of equal or lesser value within fourteen (14) days of purchase. Packaging may be opened, but the product must be unused and returned with all of its original, undamaged packaging. 

Return Process

To return an item, contact us by email at ashley@pollenplant.co

For Plant returns/exchanges:

  • Title email “Return/exchange [your order #]”
  • please provide a detailed description of why you wish to return or exchange the plant, including any damage/pests/etc. 
  • Include a picture of the plant in its original pot.

For non-plant returns/exchanges:

  • Title email “Return/exchange [your order #]”
  • A brief description of why you wish to return the item
  • A photo of the unused item in its original packaging

All return requests will be responded to within 1-2 business days. If the return is appropriate, a pickup date and time will be arranged free of charge.


After we receive your returned item and inspect its condition, we will process your refund or exchange. Refunds will be sent to your original method of payment. Refunds might take 1-2 billing cycles to post to your credit card statement, depending on your bank. We will notify you by email when your return has been processed.


Plants that have been removed from their original nursery pots are not eligible for return or exchange.

Non-plant items that have been used or damaged (including any packaging) are not eligible for return or exchange.

All sales are final on discounted items, and they cannot be returned or exchanged.


Questions or concerns about our return policy? Please contact us at ashley@pollenplants.co