Maze Plant (Hydnophytum papuanum)

Maze Plant Plant Features

Maze plant is an uncommon and under-appreciated tropical houseplant from Southeast Asia. It features an impressive swollen base, called a caudex, that gives it a bonsai-like appearance. Stems that sprout from the caudex sport fleshy, mid-green leaves that feel like a succulent. 

Maze plant makes for an interesting addition to a well-lit desk or tabletop where you can enjoy its unique look. It is a slow-growing plant, and over time and with good conditions, it can reach 2 feet or more. 

Commonly grown potted, you can also grow maze plant as an epiphyte, and mount it on a wood slab or other structure (the same way you can air plants and some types of orchids). 

Maze plant is also sometimes called ant plant because, in its native environment, certain species of ants will nest in chambers inside its caudex. But don't worry -- maze plant will not attract ants to your home, nor are the ant species found in many homes in North America likely to want to nest in this exotic plant. 

Note: Maze plant was discontinued in 2021.

Maze Plant Growing Instructions

Maze plant tolerates low and medium light, but grows best in bright, indirect light. As such, you can grow it in just about any room of your home or office. It doesn't require natural light -- it can be as happy under fluorescent or LED lights as it would be on a window sill. 

Maze plant is able to store water in its caudex, giving it the ability to survive several weeks without water if necessary. That said, it grows best if watered regularly as the potting mix dries to the touch. Take care not to overwater. It is rather susceptible to rot, especially if overwatered and grown in low light. 

It prefers average to above-average relative humidity levels, so it should thrive in the typical home or office. In situations where the air is particularly dry (such as homes with forced-air heat in the winter), growing it over a pebble tray, under a cloche, or grouped with other houseplants can provide more moisture in the air to help it thrive. 

You can fertilize your maze plant in the spring and summer months if you wish it to produce more or faster growth. Any general-purpose fertilizer labeled for use on houseplants will work. Just be sure not to exceed the directions on the product's packaging.

Pruning usually isn't necessary. 

Maze plant is grown as an ornamental variety and is not intended for human or animal consumption. 
  • Water

    Low water needs

  • Light

    Indoors: High light

    Indoors: Low light

    Indoors: Medium light

  • Colors


  • Special Features

    Purifies the air

    Super-easy to grow

Complement your Maze Plant

Raven® ZZ Plant
Both varieties enjoy similar conditions. The rich purple-black foliage of Raven® ZZ helps set off maze plant's lush green leaves.