Zamioculcas zamiifolia or the ZZ plant is a tropical perennial Aroid, native to the African region. It has many common names including the Zanzibar gem, Zuzu plant, and the emerald palm. This medium-height plant with green leaves has easy-to-care nature. All you need is to provide indirect light, infrequent watering, warmth, and mild humidity. Howbeit, any disturbance in these basic requirements and you will be wondering “Why is my ZZ Plant drooping?”.
In this article, we are sharing a summarized guide about the basic reasons for a wilting ZZ. Keep reading to save your drooping Zamioculcas zamiifolia Plant!
Why is my ZZ Plant Drooping
The common reasons for a drooping ZZ Plant include unsuitability in the following essential requirements:
- Growing space
Other factors include:
- Physical Damage
- Stress or Transportation
Without any further discussion, we are moving to learn these reasons in detail:
ZZ plants are generally known to survive low light conditions. However, prolonged periods of unsuitable light can make the plant droopy. The reason behind this is that the foliage is naturally adapted to adjust itself for adequate light. So, this natural effort to achieve the desired light bends the stems towards or away from the sunlight.
When you see your plant leaning towards the light, the foremost factor to consider is the amount of light available. Ideally, the plant should stand in a place with bright to medium indirect light.
The basic solution to fix a leaning ZZ plant is to adjust and transfer it to some well-lit area. Howbeit, if you don’t find a suitable corner, consider using artificial light as a growing lamp.
On the other hand, a plant placed in an over-lit area starts drooping away from the light. If left untreated, the leaves not only get curly but also start turning brown, dry, or burnt out.
When you observe these signs, transfer the plant to some low-light area without wasting any time.
The ‘soak and dry watering technique’ fits pretty well here. Just soak the soil thoroughly and wait for the soil to become completely dry before watering again. Ideally, you should touch and check the soil for its complete dryness before watering.
According to an estimate, about once to twice a week is a good frequency for the warm days of spring and summer. On the other hand, the dormant plants of fall and winter have minimal water requirements. So, they should not be watered more than once every three to four weeks.
To differentiate between over and under-watering, you have to check the plant thoroughly. Dry, Curly, and brittle foliage with dry soil are the signs of inadequate watering. Alternatively, soggy soil and soft foliage depict an over-watered plant.
These plants belong to regions with infrequent rains. Also, their rhizomes tend to store water and nutrients. As a result, the plant shows a good tendency to face minor droughts. However, prolonged days of inadequate watering may lead the plant to look dry and droopy.
If your plant is getting dull with curled-up leaves and droopy stems, it’s time to reconsider the watering schedule. Just follow the proper watering strategy and water it right after the soil has dried out completely. Now, wait for your plant to get healthy again.
This is another common reason your Zenzi ZZ plant is getting droopy. Apart from leggy stems, ZZ plant leaves turning yellow is another sign of over-watering. If left untreated, the plant may get further issues like fungal attacks and root rots.
An over-watered plant can further face root rot. The solution is to take the plant out and cut the bad and mushy roots. Use a scissor and be gentle as you don’t want to destroy the healthy roots.
Now, plant it in some fresh and dry well-draining growing mixture. Wait for a week and start watering it mildly following the common soak and dry method, as mentioned above.
You are doing the right light and watering but still, the ZZ plant is getting leggy? The next possible reason to consider is improper nutrition and fertilization. To be precise, this plant needs a good quality houseplant fertilizer every three to six months in the growing season only. Any disturbance in the concentration, schedule, quantity, or quality of the fertilizer can disturb the plant.
The signs of an over and under-fed plant are pretty similar. In both cases, the leaves will turn yellow and droopy. You just need to understand and revise your current practice and amend it according to the rules of the plant.
Sometimes a newly fertilized plant immediately starts showing leggy and/or pale foliage. This is a possible sign of unsuitable quality or concentration of the fertilizer used.
An underfed plant can simply be treated by using a good quality fertilizer in mild concentration. However, provide this extra nutrition in spring and summer only and never otherwise.
On the other hand, an over-fertilized plant is a bit difficult to handle. It can not only burn the leaves but can also kill the plant. The only solution is to change the soil and don’t fertilize for about three upcoming months.
A temperature range of 60 to 85 °F is ideal for this plant. Any severe differences and abrupt changes can make your plant get droopy. Importantly, these plants have poor tolerance for cold and frost.
A temperature below 45 °F will result in brown stems with droopy and falling leaves. After this stage, letting it stay cold any further is equivalent to killing the plant.
Firstly, make sure you transfer the ZZ plant to some warm spot before the temperature falls in the autumn. This is very important for people living in colder regions. Secondly, cut the dead and brown foliage of the plant. This will help to reduce the stress on the plant body.
Air with 40% of the moisture is ideal to keep your ZZ plant happy. So, humidity is not a common cause of droopy foliage. However, in regions where the fall and winter get too dry, the indoor plant may face occasional wilting.
In case of low humidity and low watering, the plant tends to get moisture from the rhizomes. This gives an overall exhausted and droopy look to the plant.
To combat this dryness, you can simply follow any of the popular measures to ensure adequate moisture. These methods include using a humidifier or a pebble-water tray under the pot.
You can also mist the plant mildly. Howbeit, make sure it does not stay wet for long. Otherwise, it can attract fungus and pest attacks.
Unsuitable Growing Space
Insufficient growing space can also make your plant get droopy. An overgrown ZZ plant in a smaller pot will suffocate the roots. Also, the soil will be unable to provide the necessary nutrients to the plant and its roots. Resultantly, the foliage will start losing its vigor.
You can easily identify an over-grown plant. Just select a pot one size larger than the current one and fill it with a fresh well-draining potting mixture. Gently take the plant out without damaging its roots and replant it in the new pot.
Middle of the spring until the middle of the summer is the ideal and only time to repot the plant. Disturbing a dormant plant in fall and winter will only result in a damaged one. So, be aware!
You may also face a ZZ Plant drooping after repotting. Even if you provide the same amount of water, the plant may still droop. The reason behind this is the damage in fine roots, which is very common in repotting. This decreases the water absorption of the plant.
The only solution here is to keep watering thoroughly according to the schedule. Wait for the plant to absorb the required water and it will start getting fresh again.
Sometimes it is nothing complicated and all that is causing a droopy ZZ plant is some physical pressure. It can either be your kids, pets, or some damage during transportation or moving.
The only solution here is removing the damaged foliage by pruning. A little wait and new leaves will be sprouting out to give a healthy look to your plant.
Strong winds and air can also damage the plant. Thus, the indoor plants must be placed away from the air-conditioners, fans, and heaters.
Stress or Transportation
Zenzi ZZ plant is a delicate one and likes to stand rooted. Repotting and transportation can disturb the plant. Moreover, it shows signs of stress more often and earlier than a majority of other plants. So, relax and don’t worry if you are wondering why is my ZZ plant drooping in a new environment.
Once you get a new plant at your end, you must give it ample time to settle in the new environment. This will be its Acclimation Period.
Another important fact here is that the roots can get affected and dry during repotting. The only solution is to wait and follow the common ZZ plant Care. Moreover, never repot your plant in fall and winter. Failing to follow this will result in disturbing or even killing your dormant ZZ plant.
Zamioculcas zamiifolia or the ZZ plant is a flowering Aroid. This beautiful medium-sized plant with green leaves is famous for both indoor and outdoor plantations. However, this delicate peep droops often, making you wonder ‘Why is my ZZ plant drooping?’.
These plants need indirect light, mild humidity, and watering after the soil gets dry. Any disturbance in these or other basic factors like growing space and temperature can cause the plant to droop. Other possible reasons for a wilting ZZ plant include physical damage, unsuitable pot, and transformational stress.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are my ZZ plant stalks falling over?
The most common reason behind the stems of the ZZ plant drooping is over-watering. The standing water makes the soil get soggy which results in root rot.
To fix this, gently take the plant out and cut the mushy roots. Now, repot the plant in fresh well-draining soil. Once done with repotting, decrease the watering frequency and don’t water unless the soil gets dry.
How to prune a leggy ZZ plant?
It is as simple as grabbing a mature or yellow leaf and pulling it off the plant. Furthermore, if the stem looks long, you can simply nip it back with the help of sharp sterilized shears. On the other hand, old and leggy stems can be pruned by cutting them out from the base of the plant.
How do you fix a yellow ZZ plant?
This discoloration is a possible symptom of over-watering. You can fix it by repotting. Just take the plant out gently then shake the excess soil from the root ball. Make sure you discard the soil as it is possibly infected by fungus.
Place the plant on a clean sheet of newspaper and use sterilized shears to cut the soft mushy and black roots. Also, have a close look and cut the yellow leaves or even yellow stem if any. You don’t have to worry about the stem, as the new stems will grow out of tubers.
Now, use a new pot and fill it with cactus potting mix and perlite in equal ratios. Plant the tuber in it and place it in some warm low-light room. Avoid watering for the initial week, giving it some time to rest. After that, you can follow the common routine and return the plant to its old place.