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In Plants vs Zombies, are there strategies that make it more probable to have certain plants (for your Zen Garden)?

How does the game decide which plant is given?

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I'll assume you are talking about plants that you find for your zen garden (the only other option is the plants unlocked while playing the game's adventure mode, and those have a set order which never changes).

There is no way to increase the probability of receiving a certain kind of plant for your zen garden. The type of plant received is completely random.

Looking around the internet, it is said that while there is an equal chance to get all types of plants on Survival: Endless, other minigames have a higher tendency to produce plants you first unlock in the area where the minigame is played (night levels will produce more night-time plants, for example). This is not backed up by any hard evidence, however, and I can't really say I've noticed this during the countless hours my wife strived to acquire every possible plant for her garden.

  • 1
    Since the game version isn't specified, it would be good to note that on the iOS versions (Maybe Android too, but I haven't had a chance to check), you can buy more expensive presents that have an increased chance of giving you a plant you don't already have, maxing at 100% chance of a new plant. While it's still random, this could help improve things, at least. – ZAD-Man Sep 4 '13 at 21:29
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I believe the game hints mention that certain types of plants only appear in certain types of boards or levels.

For aquatic plants, you need to be playing an aquatic level.

For plants for your fungus garden, you need to be playing a night level.

  • This is correct. While there is no way to increase the odds of a single zen garden plant drop, certain classes only drop on some levels. – KatieK Jul 11 '11 at 16:09
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After doing some testing, it seem to be quite random. Either random between all the plant (Survival endless) or random between a row (in the adventure).

What worked best was to play the adventure however and ever. In the level that correspond to row of the plant I am going, there is reasonable probability that I will have it after getting a few. Not sure, but improve the odd over playing survival endless.

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Based on the comment from Guillaume Coté, going to add a clear answer

Short answer: NO, you can't pick an specific plant. But there are someways to get a specific type of plant (aquatic, mushrooms ...)


I once read that: (lost link)

  • Aquatic levels (pool) increase your chances to get aquatic plants.
  • Night levels (night) increase your chances to get mushroom plants.

But 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.

  • The question is about getting a specific plant, not the best way to get a random plant. – Guillaume Coté Sep 4 '13 at 17:12
  • Hope it's clear what I answered now. – Michel Sep 4 '13 at 19:09
  • I still don't understand why i got 2 down-votes in this answer... o.o – Michel Sep 18 '13 at 11:39
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According to the tips given by the Zen tree, yes playing certain areas increases your chances of getting certain plants. Play the pool levels to get the plants for the Zen garden aquarium plants. It increases your chances but is no guarantee you will still get the other Zen garden plants too.

  • could you add a source? that would be perfect – Nitro.de Jul 9 '15 at 9:16
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At least on the PC version of the game, if you play Hard Survival levels, you can improve your chances of getting specific plants. If you get a Zen Garden plant, it will be from a specific set plants, a list of 8 plants on most levels or 6 on Roof level. No other plant for your Zen Garden will show up on that level. The list of plants that can show up on each Hard Survival level is shown below.

  • Day Hard Survival: Peashooter, Sunflower, Cherry bomb, Wall-nut, Potato mine, Snow pea, Chomper, or Repeater

  • Night Hard Survival: Puff-shroom, Sun-shroom, Fume-shroom, Grave Buster, Hypno-shroom, Ice-shroom, or Doom-shroom

  • Pool Hard Survival: Lily pad, Squash, Threepeater, Tangle kelp, Jalepeno, Spikeweed, Torchwood, or Tall-nut

  • Fog Hard Survival: Sea-shroom, Plantern, Cactus, Blover, Split pea, Starfruit, Pumpkin, or Magnet-shroom

  • Roof Hard Level: Cabbage-pult, Kernel-pult, Coffee bean, Garlic, Umbrella leaf, or Melon-pult

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as said before water plants are in pool levels and shrooms are in night levels.you get normal plants on your lawn.in i zombie levels(in the puzzle option) when you eat the brains it might give you a plant but it gives all kinds of plants also replay whack a zombie and bust up as many graves you can and at the end other than collecting the money bag destroy all graves,its also a good way to money too :)

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