Yes, I am obsessed with ZZ plants as they require so little care and are so stunning to look at. These plants are the best if you are not a pro gardener. They have a long life and grow very long.
But what do you do if your ZZ plants outgrow their pots and need to be repotted? How and when should you repot ZZ plants?
In the following article, I will guide you on how and when to repot your ZZ plant and help you to know everything about repotting your ZZ plant.
So, let us first know why you need to repot a ZZ plant, check it now below!
Why do you need to repot a ZZ plant?
ZZ plants are slow growers. So, they do not need to be repotted very often, but they should be repotted periodically, to keep your plant healthy. Also repotting helps in the cases of the overgrown ZZ plant because the roots overgrow and fill the soil and the pot. This may lead to the pot-bound roots or the roots may get tangled tightly and there is no space left between them. In this case, the roots grow over the surface of the soil and may also come out through the drainage holes.
Pot-bound or root-bound roots will absorb neither the water nor the nutrients. This may result in damaged foliage because roots are responsible for the growth of the entire plant. Also, it may cause root rot, mold growth, fungal infections, and other soil-related issues, which make your ZZ plant droopy. Delaying the process of repotting may finally lead to the plant’s death (if ignored). So, repot your ZZ plant whenever it is needed. Your plant may show some signs that it needs to be repotted, so, pay attention to it.
ZZ plants are slow-growing plants that may not need frequent repotting. These ZZ plants grow well in summer, so spring is the best time to repot your ZZ plants. Repotting improves the growth rate of the ZZ plants and makes space for the roots to grow wider and become strong.
Change the soil mix while repotting. This helps the plant to get more nutrients, because the old soil mix may have lost all the nutrients during the years. But, before repotting your ZZ plant, you should know how and when to repot your ZZ plant.
How do you know when to repot ZZ plants?
ZZ plants should be repotted once every two to three years for maintaining your plant health. They do not need frequent repotting, as they grow slowly. You can repot it within 2 years if you suspect diseases like root rot, other soil, or roots-related issues.
If you feel that your plant is happy and is not getting overgrown, you can let it stay in the same container for more than 2 years. These plants grow concerning the environmental conditions so the growth rate differs from place to place. They grow well in high light conditions. If they are placed in the corner of a room and it does not get much light, it grows slowly. So, repotting depends on the place it is living in.
ZZ plants show some signs if they need repotting, some of which I have mentioned below!
- You may observe that the roots of your ZZ plant grow out of the surface of the soil. It tells you that the pot is insufficient for root growth and it is time to repot.
- The roots of your ZZ plant may come out through the drainage holes.
- Your plant is gradually dropping its growth rate.
- Discoloration of the foliage.
- A droopy ZZ plant.
- Root rot and other root-related issues.
- Mold growth on the surface of the soil.
- Water is not getting out of the drainage holes, due to the formation of the root mat that stops the water flow.
When should you repot ZZ plants?
ZZ plants have rhizomes that are round and have bulb-like shapes in the soil. These ZZ plants store water and nutrients in the rhizomes, so they tend to grow larger and hold water and nutrients as much as they can. These rhizomes need larger pots to enlarge their size. If there is no space for the rhizomes to grow bigger or your plant has produced many rhizomes, then repotting is the only solution. If you neglect this situation, diseases like root rot may trouble your ZZ plant.
While talking about the best time for repotting the ZZ plants, it is better to repot your ZZ plant in the growing season. ZZ plants grow well in the spring and summer seasons. Because the plant is active and has the energy to tolerate the change. Also, it will adapt to the new pot easily. But make sure you are repotting your ZZ plant within 3 years.
Some factors to consider before repotting ZZ plants
I have mentioned below some factors that you should take care of before repotting your ZZ plants, let’s check it out!
1. Soil mix required for potting and repotting ZZ plants
ZZ plants do not need a special soil mix to grow. They can be planted in a normal household soil mix for planting, but you will need a well-drained soil mix for filling the pot. Some soil mixes, especially a cactus mix, help the plant to thrive as it does not hold the water for a long time.
Mix the normal household soil, perlite, and part sand in a 2:1:1 ratio respectively to prepare a perfect soil mix to fill the pot of your ZZ plant. The Soil mix should be slightly acidic and the pH of it must be between 6.0 to 7.0. Adding pine bark will help in maintaining the acidity of the soil mix. Using rainwater to water your ZZ plants also helps to maintain the pH.
2. Tools to use while repotting
Repotting your plant with great care helps to avoid diseases like fungal growth which are caused due to the wounds of the plant if you are careless and unplan repotting. Use sharp and sterilized repotting equipment for clean and clear repotting.
- Place a paper or a piece of cloth to cover the platform and then place your pot on it. This helps in avoiding the messy dirt staining your floor.
- Wear gardening gloves while repotting.
- Get a new pot that is 1-2 inches larger than the old pot. Gently sterilize it.
- Use sharp and clean scissors to trim the overgrown parts of the root system.
- Get the fresh and suitable soil mix to fill the new pot.
- Use gravel to place at the bottom of the pot to prevent clogging.
3. Select the best pot for repotting
Selecting a suitable pot for planting is also important when you decide to repot your pot. Because once you complete planting your ZZ plant in a pot, it will take years to repot it. During this time the plant should be observed daily and should be provided proper care if the pot is not the best for your plant.
However, if the pot is troubling your plant, you can repot your plant at any time. But, planting in a suitable pot helps the plant to grow well and makes you feel carefree. Below are some aspects you need to know before selecting a pot.
a) Size of the new pot
The size of the new pot should be slightly greater than the old pot. ZZ plants do not like to stay in waterlogged soil for a long time. It needs dry conditions to stay, as some species of the ZZ plant are considered to be succulents and semi-succulents.
Larger pots hold a lot of water and take much time to dry. This can affect the plant’s health. So, do not use large containers. If your ZZ plant has produced more rhizomes. They prefer to divide them and plant them in different pots. The difference between the diameters of the pots must be 1 or 2 inches.
b) Type of the new pot
ZZ plants like to stay in dry hot climates. They hate being in wet soil, so the plastic pots and others with the same characteristics do not work well. Clay pots, ceramic pots, or unfinished terra cotta pots suit well. Because they allow the water in the soil to dry out quickly and air can pass through the walls of these types of pots. So, they help in preventing soil and root-related issues.
However, you should think of the material of the pot before buying the pot, if you have already bought one, then it is okay, you can grow them in any pot. The only thing that makes it thrive is caring. So, provide enough care and attention to them.
Steps to consider for repotting your plants
I have mentioned some steps below which you should consider for repotting your plants!
- Firstly place a piece of paper or a piece of cloth on the floor, before you place your pot.
- Sterilize your hand and wear gloves, since these plants are toxic. Collect all the required things to start the process.
- Take some soil from the top layers to make some way for the plant to come out of the old pot. Then, gently drag the plant out of the pot.
- Remove all the clumped soil that is in contact with roots.
- Use sterilized cutters for sniping the root-bound or pot-bound roots.
- If your ZZ plant has produced more rhizomes, then gently divide them with a sterilized shape knife and plant them in different pots. Remember some species of the ZZ plants are patented so avoid this process for those species. (If you divide the rhizomes, plant your ZZ in a smaller pot; or you can use a larger one. If you repot your ZZ plant regularly your plant might not produce many rhizomes).
- Now take the new pot, sterilize it and fill the bottom layer with gravel and the next level with some soil mix. Make sure that the soil is enough for placing the plant on top of it.
- Place your ZZ plant in the pot and hold it until you fill the remaining part of the pot with the soil.
- Now gently press the soil with your hands on the top to firm it. Make sure that the plant has stability.
- You can water it lightly to wet the soil.
- Place your plant in its old place.
- Clean the floor and wash your hands thoroughly as these plants are toxic.
Thus, the process of repotting a ZZ plant is now completed. But, it is not the time for you to relax, you need to observe the plant and provide certain care to let it adapt to the new pot.
Steps to take care after repotting the ZZ plant
Your ZZ plant may get shocked by the transplantation. It is planted in a large container with a fresh soil mix that is full of nutrients, so it will take some time for the plant to adjust to the new changes. ZZ plants are hard plants, so they may not take a long time to adapt to the new environment.
Place your plant back in the same position to minimize the effect of transplantation. Also, it helps to recover from the shock. If you want to replace your ZZ plant, maybe it is not the suitable time but if you are gifting it to someone or in such cases, make sure that the temperature and humidity levels are the same. Do not fertilize it for the next following weeks. Water the plant when the soil has become dry and maintains your watering schedule thereafter.
How to take care of ZZ plants in winters?
Do not repot it during winters, because winter is the dormant period of the ZZ plants. It is preferred to leave it untouched and wait for the spring to come for repotting. You need to take care of it during winter. It stops or slows down the growth. So, they do not tolerate watering much during this period. Over-watering may lead to root-related issues. In case your plant is facing the problem of root rot, you can try repotting it. But, you should follow certain precautions while repotting.
Make sure you have to maintain the same climatic conditions before and after repotting. It is better not to change the pot size and the soil type to ensure your ZZ plant is in the same environment. Do not water much after repotting. Do not fertilize it either. This helps your plant to recover fast from the damage. But, repotting your ZZ plant in winter, for no proper reason is not recommended.
Q1. Do ZZ plants need large pots?
Ans. No, they do not need large pots to grow. The pot should be 1-2 inches larger than the root system. If you are going to repot your plant then take a 1-2 inch larger pot for transplanting.
Q2. When should I water my ZZ plant after repotting?
Ans. Your ZZ plant should be watered soon after repotting. Water helps the roots to adapt to the new soil mix and pot. Also, the soil settles down in the pot. But do not water it much.
Q3. When should I fertilize my ZZ plant after repotting?
Ans. Leave your plant unfertilized for a few weeks after repotting. As the fresh soil mix is full of nutrients, let the plant adapt to the new soil.
Q4. How often should I repot my ZZ plant?
Ans. ZZ plants are slow growers, so they do not need frequent repotting. Repot it every 2-3 years to maintain its health.
Q5. Why is my ZZ plant not growing well after repotting?
Ans. Repotting will shock the plant, resulting in slow growth. If your plant is not growing even after a long time, then you can suspect root rot. Staying in wet soil for a long time makes the roots rot and thus the supply of oxygen to the other parts of the plants stops. Which makes your plant weak. So, check the roots to recover the damage, otherwise, it leads to the plant’s death.
ZZ plants are popular for their low maintenance and beautiful look. Their glossy leaves and strong stems make them ornamental plants. After a little care and attention, ZZ plants thrive well and healthily in a way showing gratitude to you.
I hope you like this article and follow all the steps I have mentioned above to get a perfect healthy ZZ plant after repotting. Also, if you have any doubts regarding this topic about ZZ plants, please mention them in the comments down below, and don’t forget with share this article to your friends and family!