OverviewThe objective of the mode is to acquire plants, either by random drops in any of the other game environments or by purchasing them from Crazy Dave. Once they are obtained, the player must care for them by watering them and meeting their other needs until they are fully grown. Once they are at full size, the player must water them every day and make them happy after which they will begin dropping coins every 30–60 seconds or so for up to a full calendar day. At midnight, they will again require water and bug spray or music (Tip: The plants’ "desires" will reset at midnight every day. This means that if you start at 23:55, then as you finish, your plants will want water, food, etc. again, effectively letting you make them grow twice in one go.)
Populating the Zen GardenThere are 32 available spaces for Zen Garden plants in the main Zen Garden, and eight slots in each of the other two gardens which can be purchased from Crazy Dave for $30,000 each: the Mushroom Garden for plants that sleep during the day and the Aquarium Garden for aquatic plants. Zen Garden plants can be obtained by random drops from killing zombies, or up to three Zen Garden Marigolds can be purchased per real calendar day from Crazy Dave's Twiddydinkies for $2500 but on some versions, it costs $5000. On the iOS and Android versions, the player may purchase sprouts in Crazy Dave's Twiddydinkies once per day. Mystery sprouts are 7500 coins, Bronze sprouts are 15,000 coins, Silver sprouts are 30,000 coins, and Gold sprouts are 50,000 coins.
Dropped Zen Garden plants will not contain normal Marigolds, any of the upgrades, or a Flower Pot. Marigolds, when fully grown, can be sold for $3000. Other day plants, including Grave Busters and Planterns, can be sold for $8000 when fully-grown. Mushrooms and aquatic plants can be sold for $10,000 when fully grown.
The best way to get Zen Garden plants is to play Survival: Endless, as all plants can be obtained in it and it is the level with the greatest number of zombies.
Another good way to get plants for the player's Zen Garden (this requires some hacking; see Hacking guide or I, Zombie hack for more details) would be to use the I, Zombie Hack with the Imitater, then apply the instant refill and unlimited sun hack, then just spawn as many "Imitaters" as the player can then switch it to any Survival Mode level, get out his or her Cherry Bombs and blast away (this method only works for the Game of the Year version of the game).
Keeping the plants happyMushrooms and aquatic plants will not mature past the first stage or allow themselves to be happy unless they are in the Mushroom Garden or Aquarium, respectively, and aquatic plants never need to be watered once they have grown past the seedling stage. Although they will not grow unless, in the proper environment, they will ask for bug spray or music, and can become happy in any environment if fully grown. Once fully grown and happy, mushrooms can then be moved to the main Zen Garden where they will remain awake and drop coins at intervals throughout the day (aquatic plants can be moved there as soon as they mature). Mushrooms must be moved back to the Mushroom Garden once a day to be watered and made happy again, after which they will remain awake in the main Zen Garden, or they can be left in their own garden and will drop coins there after a short while when happy. Other aquatic plants, once fully grown, no longer need to be in the Aquarium Garden to be made happy, and never need to be watered. They, too, can be left in their own garden to drop coins. Sea-shroom is not an exception, and will not grow if it is in the mushroom garden, despite it being a mushroom.
Moving Zen Garden plants
Plants can be moved around in the main Zen Garden by purchasing a Gardening Glove, which costs $1000. After purchasing one of the other Zen Gardens, the Wheel Barrow becomes available for $200 and can be used to move plants from one Zen Garden to another. It can be used as a replacement Gardening Glove, though it adds an extra step to moving each plant.
- Note that on the iPhone version, it is possible to buy the Wheel Barrow without first buying the Mushroom or Aquarium Garden.
Making moneyPurchased Marigolds start as small flower seedlings, but other dropped plants start as unidentified sprouts. In order for these plants to begin dropping coins, they must be cared for until they mature. As each plant grows, an icon will appear next to the plant indicating what it needs: water, fertilizer, bug spray or music. When the player gets the Zen Garden, he or she begins with a single-shot watering can that can be used over and over again - each use watering a single plant. The Golden Watering Can can be purchased for $10,000 and will water any plants in its area (shown by water circling it) and the player can typically water up to four plants at a time. Other items purchased at the store include Fertilizer ($750 for five uses), the phonograph ($15,000 for unlimited use), and bug spray ($1000 for five uses).
- Each time the player initially waters a plant that needs water, it will drop a silver coin.
- After three to five waterings, a seedling will ask for fertilizer. Once it has been given fertilizer, the seedling will then mature into a very small version of the full-grown plant and drop a gold coin.
- 30 minutes to one hour later, the small plant will again become thirsty and require another round of waterings, followed by a request for more fertilizer, at which time it will grow to a medium-sized plant and drop two gold coins.
- Later, the plant will need another round of waterings, and ask for more fertilizer. It will then give the player two diamonds (except for Marigolds, which give one).
- Finally, there will be one last round of waterings followed by another request for bug spray or the phonograph. If the plant is then provided the correct items asked for, it will glow with a gold aura (signifying that the plant is "happy") and reward the player with a gold coin (three if it's a mushroom or aquatic plant) and then drop coins for the rest of the day. The drop rate starts out relatively high and decreases as the day progresses. Also, the plants may cease to drop coins if the previous two coins they dropped are not picked up. The player can either pick them up manually or purchase Stinky the Snail to do this task.
AutomationThe Zen Garden will not produce or collect coins unless the Plants vs. Zombies window is open to the Zen Garden. This means the player may open another window and run other applications while continuing to collect coins from the Zen Garden (the game must not be in full screen, and if the game is minimized, the Zen Garden won't drop or collect coins for the PC version). However, timers, like Stinky the Snail's sleep timer, will continue to run. At midnight, by the player's computer's clock, the timer resets, and his or her plants will need to be watered or made happy once more. On the iOS and Android versions, the Zen Garden will produce and collect coins when the player isn't in the garden, even if the app isn't open.
Stinky the Snail can be purchased from Crazy Dave for $3000. At first, he will appear asleep at the bottom of the Zen Garden, if the player wakes him up by clicking on him, he will begin to slowly collect coins dropped by his or her plants. After a few minutes, he will become sleepy and fall asleep at the bottom of the screen again. Stinky does have a secret weakness for chocolate, and if the player feeds him a piece, he will become extremely hyper and continue to collect coins at a high speed (for a snail) for about an hour. However, he cannot be fed more than one piece of chocolate at a time. Also, giving Stinky chocolate wakes him up, although this may be due to the fact that giving him chocolate requires clicking on him. Strangely, on the PlayStation 3 version, pressing the triangle button feeds him the chocolate without waking him up.
Chocolate can also be used to increase the rate at which a plant drops coins and allows them to drop more before they stop dropping coins (if they are not picked up). As stated previously, plants drop more often right when they become happy; as a result, chocolate is best given at that time, when they give the maximum increase.
The Zen Garden can be a relaxing low-pressure click-for-rewards game, or can simply be left running as a musical and visual treat. Additionally, feeding Stinky chocolate will allow the player to continue collecting coins, even when they aren't at the computer, making the Zen Garden a popular way to earn money.
Making money faster through Marigolds
- Buy a Marigold Sprout (or more than one).
- Water the Marigold until it asks for a fertilizer.
- Fertilize the Marigold.
- Repeat step two and three until the Marigold grows up to maximum (two more times).
- Sell the grown Marigold.
By doing this, the player will get about an additional $1350 (the player's money, subtracting $2500 for purchasing the Marigold, adding $30 to $50 for watering the Marigold, subtracting $150 for purchasing fertilizer, adding $50 for fertilizing the Marigold, adding $30 to $50 for watering the Marigold, subtracting $150 for purchasing fertilizer, adding $100 for fertilizing the Marigold, adding $30 to $50 for watering the Marigold, subtracting $150 for purchasing fertilizer, adding $1000 for fertilizing the Marigold, and adding $3000 for selling the Marigold).
Exception: Zen Garden in Plants vs. Zombies FREE (Android)
Marigold sprouts cost $5000, yet full grown marigolds only sell for $3000. You are actually losing $1150 for every marigold that you buy from Twiddydinkies. This goes as follows: Buy sprout (-$5000). Water 5 times (1 silver coin for each of the 5 watering 5x$10 = +$50. Fertilize (-$150). Get 1 gold coin (+$50). Water 5 times (1 silver coin for each of the 5 watering 5x$10 = +$50. Fertilize (-$150). Get 2 cold coins 2x$50= +$100. Water 5 times (1 silver coin for each of the 5 watering 5x$10 = +$50. Fertilize (-$150). Get 1 blue diamond (+$1000). Sell full grown Marigold (+$3000). Total expenses = $5450. Total revenue = $4300. For a net loss of $1150 for each Marigold sprout purchased and grown. Don't buy Marigold sprouts for $5000 in Plants vs. Zombies FREE (Android).
Plants vs. Zombies Wiki has a gallery for Zen Garden (PvZ).
- Since Sea-shroom can be happy in the Aquarium Garden, it is presumed that the Aquarium Garden is a night or timeless setting.
- There is only one color of Marigold on the iOS, Android, and Windows Phone versions of the Zen Garden: the default (white), just like the other game modes in any version.
- The achievement Penny Pincher can be achieved through Zen Garden.
- A plant will not glow when it is happy in the Nintendo DS version of Plants vs. Zombies, unless it is moved with the Gardening Glove. When it does glow, the glow will be very faint.
- If the plant is in the Mushroom Garden or Aquarium Garden, it will 'glow' by giving off small sparks around it.
- The lack of purchasable plants available in the Zen Garden, similar to how upgrade plants can't be found on Conveyor Belts, may be due to the fact that it would not make sense to be able to obtain an upgrade plant in any way before its basic version has been obtained.
- Cherry Bomb and Jalapeno are the only plants that shake constantly in the Zen Garden.
- Once the Zen Garden is unlocked, plants from the Roof Adventure levels could be dropped by zombies before the plants were obtained.
- Even though the player can obtain a Marigold from Crazy Dave's Twiddydinkies, they will often not be white, but they will have a random color when half grew. Note that the color variety does not apply to the IOS or Android versions of the game, in which marigolds come only in white.
- In the Chinese version of the game, there is a one out of one hundred chance that the player may randomly receive a different plant when he or she purchases Marigolds from Crazy Dave. It is unknown if this glitch occurs in the English version of the game.
- Daytime plants sell for $8000, while Mushroom and Aquatic plants sell for $10,000. This is because it is less likely to find a Mushroom or Aquatic plant, and also the player needs to grow them in special gardens instead of the normal Zen Garden.
- When a plant needs water, the dirt in the pot gets lighter, and when the player waters it, it gets darker. This does not happen in the mushroom garden.
- Day levels drop day-obtained plants, (in other words, the first row of plants in the Suburban Almanac), Night levels drop night-obtained plants (in other words, the second row of plants in the Almanac), and so on. However, this does not apply to Puzzles and Survival: Endless, where any kind of Zen Garden plants can be dropped.
- When the player is on his or her Aquarium Garden, right-click "taps" the glass on the aquarium. This also happens in Zombiquarium. The Tree of Wisdom says that the player's pets will be deafened if you do this.
- The player can grow day plants in the Mushroom Garden. However, you cannot grow day or night plants in the Aquarium Garden.
- If the player skips the computer´s time, it also affects Zen Garden's time. This will make any plants within thirsty again and can be used to gain more money in a shorter amount of time.
- An application called Zen Garden Editor will allow the player to trade plants with another one (for example, a Marigold for an Explode-o-nut).
- Sea-shroom will shine if it is fully grown and in the Mushroom Garden.
- The maximum number of plants in all the Zen Gardens is 48, 32 to the normal Zen Garden and eight to both Aquatic and Mushroom Garden.
- Plants can face left or right in the Zen Garden.
- After the player's plant is happy, they can give it chocolate, resulting in it dropping more money than usual, as well as having its animations sped up.
- When a mushroom is happy, it will stay awake in the regular Zen Garden.
- While Marigolds are the only Zen Garden plants that start as a small flower with three leaves, all Zen Garden plants will start that way on the Nintendo DS version of Plants vs. Zombies. This may be because the Nintendo DS screen is too small to show plants as shoots.
- In the PC version of Plants vs. Zombies, upon idling for a while, the toolbar and the words "Zen Garden" at the bottom right corner will disappear. To let them reappear, one must go back to the game and move the cursor.
- In the Nintendo DS version of Plants vs. Zombies, the bubble icons for the plants in the top row are covered by the toolbar. Occasionally, the player will be able to see part of the icon at the very edge of the toolbar. When these plants no longer need water, there are two ways to know what they want. The first is to wait until the toolbar disappears. The second is to first use the Phonograph on all of them. Since the Phonograph has unlimited use, there is no penalty if the player gives it the plant when the plant wants Bug Spray instead.
- In the Nintendo DSiWare version of Plants vs. Zombies, there is no Zen Garden, so at some point the only thing the player would be able to buy is the Garden Rake.
- In the Nintendo DS version of Plants vs. Zombies, the player can buy more than three Marigolds per day. It is unknown if this is a glitch or not.
- In the iOS, Android, and Nintendo DS versions of Plants vs. Zombies, there is no icon on the main menu indicating that the plants need water.
- Aquatic plants need to be watered when still being sprouts.
- Money in the Zen Garden will disappear in one minute, longer than normal levels.
- On the Nintendo DS version of Plants vs. Zombies, it is possible for a Tall-nut to cover up the bubble of another plant, making it difficult to determine what the other plant wants. Because of this, it is recommended to move Tall-nuts to the top row of plants.
- When watering his or her plants on the Nintendo DS version of Plants vs. Zombies, if the player closes the lid after watering and wait long enough, their plants will be ready for more upon resuming.
- In the Nintendo DS version of Plants vs. Zombies, once any aquatic plant grows to full size, it will not require either the phonograph or bug spray at any point.
- There was an update for the iPad version of Plants vs. Zombies on October 2nd to fix some bugs. It has caused major buggy graphics in the Zen Garden.
- There are two Stinkys, and none of them look right.
- When the player uses the Phonograph, it looks all broken.
- If the player has the Golden Watering Can, it turns green when the player waters a plant with it.
- When the player uses Bug Spray, a Fertilizer also appears.
- So, it is not needed to buy the Fertilizer.
- In the Android version of Plants vs. Zombies, the music is different than on other versions. When in the main and Aquarium gardens, the Day music plays. When in the Mushroom Garden, the Night music plays.
- On the iPad version, Gold sprouts can no longer be bought after getting all possible plants in the Zen Garden.
- When placed inside the Aquarium garden, Sea-shroom's roots can be visibly seen.
- On Kindle, if one were to change the time zone to different zones, the Zen Garden Marigold sprouts from the store will also be affected, meaning one could get as many Marigolds as wanted, just by changing time zones repeatedly.
- It is possible to put non-mushroom plants in the Mushroom Garden.
- When moving a Potato Mine, the red light will light up.
†: That mini-game is not shown in Limbo page.
*: That mini-game is playable without third party software.