ZZ Plant ‘Akebono’ Care: A Beginner’s Guide

Introduction to ZZ Plant ‘Akebono’

The ZZ Plant ‘Akebono’, a cultivar of Zamioculcas zamiifolia, is a remarkable plant that has gained popularity for its hardiness and aesthetic appeal. With its waxy, green leaves and upright growth habit, it presents a modern touch to interior spaces. Originating from Eastern Africa, this variety has adapted to survive with minimal care, making it an excellent choice for beginners in the world of houseplants. Furthermore, the ‘Akebono’ stands out with its unique lighter green coloration and slightly broader leaves compared to the classic ZZ Plant. Caring for this plant is relatively straightforward, and the following guide will provide you with the essential knowledge to ensure it thrives in your home.

Optimal Lighting and Placement

Light Requirements

The ZZ Plant ‘Akebono’ is adaptable to a range of light conditions, from low to bright indirect light. However, it thrives best when placed in moderate, indirect light which mimics the dappled sunlight of its natural habitat. Direct sun exposure can scorch the leaves, so it’s best to avoid placing your Akebono in southern windows without any shade. If you only have low-light conditions available, your Akebono will still grow, albeit at a slower rate. For balanced growth, rotate your plant occasionally to ensure all sides receive adequate light.

Best Placement in the Home

When choosing a spot for your ZZ Plant ‘Akebono’, consider areas with steady temperature and away from drafts. Avoid placing it near heating vents or air conditioners, as sudden temperature changes can stress the plant. A north-facing windowsill or a shelf with indirect light from a nearby east- or west-facing window are ideal. Keep in mind, the ‘Akebono’ can make a striking statement as a floor plant in corners or beside furniture where its glossy leaves can add a touch of elegance.

Watering and Humidity

Watering Schedule

One of the incredible traits of the ZZ Plant ‘Akebono’ is its drought tolerance, courtesy of its rhizomatous roots that store water. Overwatering is a common pitfall, leading to root rot. To prevent this, allow the top few inches of soil to dry out completely before watering thoroughly. During the growing season (spring and summer), this might mean watering every couple of weeks, whereas in fall and winter, the plant will require even less. Always check the soil moisture before watering to ensure it’s necessary.

Humidity Preferences

The ZZ Plant ‘Akebono’ is not demanding when it comes to humidity and can thrive in the average humidity levels found in most homes. However, if the air in your home is particularly dry, especially during winter months, you can occasionally mist your plant or use a humidifier. That said, high humidity is not essential for the ‘Akebono’, and this adaptability to varying environmental conditions further solidifies its status as an excellent beginner plant.

Soil and Fertilization Needs

Soil Mix

A well-draining soil mix is crucial for the health of your ZZ Plant ‘Akebono’. A mix of potting soil, perlite, and coarse sand is a good starting point to ensure proper drainage and prevent water-logging. The use of pots with drainage holes at the bottom also supports the plant’s health by allowing excess water to escape.


ZZ Plants are light feeders and the ‘Akebono’ is no exception. Fertilizing with a balanced, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer diluted to half-strength can be done once every month during the growing season. Refrain from fertilizing in the dormant winter months, as the plant is not actively growing and can accumulate minerals that may harm its growth.

Potting and Repotting

ZZ Plants grow relatively slowly and do not require frequent repotting. You should only consider repotting your ‘Akebono’ when it becomes root-bound or every 18-24 months. Choosing a pot only one size larger than its current one is advisable, to avoid over potting which can lead to excess soil moisture. Ensure the new pot has adequate drainage holes and use fresh potting mix to give your plant a nourishing home to continue thriving.

Common Pests and Problems

The ZZ Plant ‘Akebono’ is resistant to most pests and diseases, although it can occasionally be affected by mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids. Overwatering is the most common issue, leading to root rot. Paying attention to the signs such as yellowing leaves will help you take remedial actions promptly. Prevent pest issues by keeping your plant clean and inspecting it regularly. If pests are detected, treat them with insecticidal soap or neem oil, following the instructions carefully.

Conclusion: The Ease of ZZ Plant ‘Akebono’ Care

Caring for a ZZ Plant ‘Akebono’ is a rewarding experience for any plant enthusiast, especially beginners. Its tolerance for a range of conditions and low maintenance needs make it a robust and forgiving houseplant. With the basic care guidelines outlined above, you can enjoy the lush beauty of the ‘Akebono’ ZZ Plant and bring a refreshing touch of green to your indoor space with minimal effort.

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