The Zen Garden is a virtual garden where you keep Plants that you have collected, usually obtained from Presents. They are the same Plants you use in the game. It is an alternative, non-competitive environment obtained by completing the Adventure Mode level 5-4. If you really want presents just keep playing or try to get certain numbers of streaks in I, Zombie Endless, Vasebreaker Endless or Survival: Endless. All Zen Garden plants have to be watered, sprayed, fertilized and either bugsprayed or played music to periodically, but nothing negative will happen if you ignore their needs.
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 / music (Tip: If you are planning to open the Zen garden at 11:55 PM or so, wait until midnight. This will avoid having to tend to your plants a second time).
Populating the Zen Garden
There are 32 available spaces for Zen Garden plants in the main Zen Garden, and 8 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 $2,500. On the iPod, iPad and iPhone versions, you may purchase random plants in Crazy Dave's Twiddydinkies for $7,500 once per day. Bronze sprouts are $15,000, silver are $30,000 and gold are $50,000.
Dropped Zen Garden plants will not contain normal Marigolds, any of the upgrades (meaning that you will never get a Gloom-shroom or Gold Magnet, for example), or a Flower Pot. Marigolds, when fully grown, can be sold for $3,000. Other day plants, including Grave Busters and Planterns, can be sold for $8,000 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 your Zen Garden (this requires some hacking; see Hacking guide and/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 you can, then switch it to any Survival mode level, get out your Cherry Bombs and blast away, enjoy! (This method only works for the GOTY 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 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.
The Sea-shroom is not an exception, and will not grow if it is in the mushroom garden, despite it being a mushroom.
Moving your Zen Garden plants
Plants can be moved around in the main Zen Garden by purchasing a Gardening Glove, which costs $1,000. 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, if you wish, though it adds an extra step to moving each plant.
Making MoneyPurchased Marigolds start as small flower seedlings, but other dropped plants start as unidentified sprouts. In order to 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 you get the Zen Garden, you begin 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 you can typically water up to four plants at a time. Other items purchased at the store include Fertilizer ($750 for 5 uses), the Phonograph ($15,000 for unlimited use), and Bug Spray ($1,000 for 5 uses).
- Each time you initially water a plant that needs water, it will drop a silver coin.
- After 3-5 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 1 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 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 you 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 your computer's clock, the timer resets, and your plants will need to be watered or made happy once more. In the iOS versions, the Zen Garden WILL produce and collect coins when you aren't in the garden, even if the app isn't even 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 you wake him up by clicking on him, he will begin to (slowly) collect coins dropped by your 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 you feed 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 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 you to continue collecting coins, even when you aren't at the computer, making the Zen Garden a popular way to earn money.
You can also add your own!
- Since the Sea-shroom can be happy in the Aquarium Garden, it is presumed that the Aquarium Garden is a night setting.
- The Zen Garden doesn't contain any Zombies.
- This is also one of two parts of the game without Zombies. The other is Ice Level.
- There is only one color of Marigold on the iPod, iPad, iPhone and Windows Phone versions of the Zen Garden: the default (white), just like adventure mode in any version.
- A plant will not glow when it is happy in the DS version 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 shooting small specs up around it.
- Using external hacks, all plants can be obtained for the Zen Garden, even the Flower Pot, the Upgrade plants, the Imitater, and Explode-o-nuts. They cannot be obtained for the Zen Garden however unless you have an external program like the Zen Garden Editor, which can be downloaded here.
- The lack of purchaseable 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.
- Technically, once the Zen Garden is unlocked, plants from the Roof Adventure levels could be dropped by zombies before the plants were obtained.
- Even though you can obtain a Marigold from Crazy Dave's Twiddydinkies they will often not be white but they will have a random color when half grown.
- The Zen Garden music plays on the screens where it says you got a seed packet, item, or trophy. This might be because the Zen Garden music is the item explanation screen.
- 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 you purchase Marigolds from Crazy Dave. It is unknown if this glitch occurs in the English version of the game.
- Daytime Plants sell for $8,000, while Mushroom and Aquatic Plants sell for $10,000. This may be because it is less likely to find a Mushroom or Aquatic plant, and also you need to grow them in special gardens instead of the normal Zen Garden.
- Once you have finished Adventure Mode once, the second time through you will get a plant or two every ten levels.
- When a plant needs water, the dirt in the pot gets lighter, and when you water it, it gets darker.
- Unofficial observations indicate that Day levels drop day-obtained plants, i.e. the first row of plants in the Suburban Almanac, Night levels drop night-obtained plants i.e. 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 you are on your Aquarium Garden, you can right click to "tap" the glass on the aquarium. This also happens in Zombiquarium.
- The Tree of Wisdom says that your pets will be deafened if you do this.
- You can grow day plants in the Mushroom Garden. However, you cannot grow day or night plants in the Aquarium Garden.
- An application called Zen Garden Editor will allow you to trade you plants with another plants (e.g, you trade a Marigold for an Explode-o-nut).
- The 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 the normal Zen Garden and 8 to both Aquatic and Mushroom Garden.
- Plants can face left or right in the Zen Garden.
- After your plant is happy, you can give it chocolate and it will move very fast and its pot will glitter.
- 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 DS version. This may be because the DS screen is too small to show plants as shoots.
- On the DS version, the bubble icons for the plants in the top row are covered by the toolbar. Occasionally, you 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 disappear. The second is to first use the Phonograph on all of them. Since the Phonograph has unlimited use, there is no penalty if you give it the plant when the plant wants Bug Spray instead.
- In the DSi version, there is no Zen Garden, so at some point the only thing you would be able to buy is the Garden Rake.
- On the DS version, you can buy more than 3 Marigolds per day. It is unknown if this is a glitch or not.
- You can water your plants in one day by changing the time in your computer.
- In the iPhone and iPod Touch version, there isn't an icon indicating that the plants need water.
- The DS version also doesn't show the icon before entering the mode, but it does show they need water once in the Game Mode.
- Zen Garden is now added to iPad versions.
- In the PC version, if you want to quickly grow your plants, you can change the calendar's date anytime you want and if its changed, the plants need to get watered again to make them happy.
- It is odd why Aquatic plants need to be watered when still being sprouts.
- When you leave the Zen Garden it automatically picks up all coins left on the screen (NB: This does not apply to the PC Game Of The Year version. In this version, any coins not yet picked up when leaving the Zen Garden will be lost).
- You also can't get Money from Stinky the Snail in the DS Version either.
- Money in the Zen Garden will disappear in 1 minute, longer than normal levels.
- On the DS version, 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 your plants on the DS version, if you close the lid after watering and wait long enough, your plants will be ready for more upon resume.
- On the DS version, once any aquatic plant grows to full size, it will not require either the phonograph or bug spray at any point.
- The DS Zen Garden icon in the main menu will not show thew water bubble next to it.