Overwatered and Underwatered Zanzibar Plant

Nature never fails to fascinate one’s mind, as it is full of versatility and the source of thousands of different plants, trees, and flowers in this world. Each plant is unique and tends to stand out from others, and each has to be cared for differently.

ZZ plant, or the Zanzibar plant, is a vibrant and eye-catching plant that can be a perfect addition to your indoor aesthetic. Known for its environmentally friendly characteristics, the Zanzibar plant is quite popular for offices and gyms to create a warm environment.

Zanzibar Gem, an indoor plant, needs subtle or medium-light for its growth. It can even survive cold and damp temperatures where sunlight is an issue. However, it cannot survive direct exposure to light since its glossy foliage leaves are ultra-sensitive and will burn immediately.

Watering The Zanzibar Plants

When it comes to watering, this particular type of plant needs a limited quantity of water since its leaves are specially designed in such a way as to avoid excessive evaporation and water loss and ensure maximum water retention. The Zanzibar plant’s root pathway system means the roots and leaves directly connect to the water supply to every part of the plant. That’s the secret to the longevity of Zanzibar Gem.

However, there are certain situations where a slight misunderstanding and miscalculation in the watering timetable might jeopardize this plant. Plant owners can encounter two major setbacks when watering the plants, i.e., overwatering and underwatering.

In this blog, we will discuss the concept of overwatering and underwatering the Zanzibar plant.

Overwatering is The Death of All

When it comes to the Zanzibar Gem, less is always more. While underwatering might not be a problem, overwatering can cause long-term damage to the plant, and the chances of survival become less. The Zanzibar plant is famous for surviving the extreme weather of deserts and temperatures as low as around 10°C. This plant prefers warm and humid environments, so watering should be done carefully.

Alongside watering, plenty of things must be taken care of when it comes to maintaining this plant. Light, moisture, placement, nature of the soil, and the surrounding environment all play a very important role in the health and growth of the plant. When it comes to light, the Zanzibar Gem requires low light. Hence it is perfectly suitable for indoor placement. When putting this plant in your home, you should keep it away from rooms such as the kitchen and your room chiller.

Before watering the plant, it is always said to check the soil’s moisture level to calculate the plant’s water needs. Due to its thick leaves and strong absorbing roots, it is advised to water the Zanzibar plant only once every three to four weeks. Soil aeration is very important before watering since it helps check the moisture level, plus it also allows air circulation inside the soil to let the roots breathe freely.

Zanzibar plants are very sensitive. Hence the best technique for healthy growth is to let the potting soil dry out completely before watering. In this way, the water retention mechanism can go on smoothly.

How Do You Know When Your Zanzibar Plant is Overwatered?

Overwatering, this plant can lead to potential damage resulting in weakness and eventually death. There are several signs which can indicate if you are overwatering your plant, which are; 

  • Overwatering usually results in the yellowing of the leaves from their tips, which is the first sign of plant damage and can be easily noticed. 
  • The yellowing starts from the tips or edges and slowly spreads to the entire leaf. It results in leaf weakness and breakage, and leaves fall eventually.
  • With more water in the soil, there will be less room for air to pass through freely, especially to the roots. With less air to breathe and spread, the roots will only absorb unrequired extra water and start rotting.
  • With excess water and no air, there is a high chance of developing plant fungus, which will start eating up the roots, then the stem, and gradually the whole plant.
  • With badly affected roots, the plant would be unable to get proper nutrition and energy to grow and stay healthy. The mechanism of photosynthesis will also get affected by this.
  • The plant stalks turn brown and mushy due to excess water. The plant’s greenery will also start fading because the stalks fail to produce chlorophyll pigment for the leaves.
  • The soil has a bad odor due to rotting roots and fungal pathogens.
  • The leaves will start falling since there won’t be any strong roots to provide the support and strength to stay put.
  • Excessive water might leave a gooey mess since it would damage the plant tissue.

Tips to Save Your Overwatered Zanzibar Plant

If you have overdone the watering and confused your watering schedule, there are plenty of ways to save and revive your plant.  


If you sense that you have overwatered the plant, place the pot immediately in direct sunlight. It will allow the soil to dry up faster, avoiding excess water from being absorbed by the roots, encouraging photosynthesis, and processing that water into food and nutrition.

Leaf Pruning

It is advised to prune your leaves once or twice every month to avoid the yellowing from spreading to the entire plant. Pruning allows the growth of new and healthy leaves when the old ones are removed.

Consider Repotting

Repotting your plant is also necessary since it helps point out and remove any dead or damaged roots to ensure healthy growth.

Airy environment

Soil aeration is necessary to give your plant the air it needs to survive.

Pick a Draining Pot

Choose a pot with good drainage in case you overwater your plant someday. The bottom hole in the pot will most likely aid in creating an outlet for letting out the excess water.

Sprinkle Some Magic Once a Week

Treat your plant with extra care by spraying or putting drops of organic fungicide in the soil. It will lessen the risk of growth of any harmful or dangerous fungus on the roots.

Adequate Watering

Make a proper watering schedule for your plant and follow it carefully and responsibly.

Hire a Gardener

You can also hire a professional gardener to take care of sensitive plants that require extra care and commitment.


Facts About Zanzibar Plant

  • The Zanzibar plant can survive several months without being watered. However, it will greatly alter its growth tendency.
  • An underwatered Zanzibar plant has a higher chance of surviving than an overwatered one. Because if we keep overwatering the plant, it will not be able to survive due to the rotting of roots.
  • Zanzibar plants have thick rhizomes, which act as a natural guardian while tolerating drought and improper watering. 

Underwatering of Plants

Underwatering usually occurs when one is careless in watering the plant, the watering schedule is inappropriate, conditions in which the plant is kept are inadequate, etc. Underwatered plants lose their freshness, their color starts to fade, and leaf texture becomes different, curled-up wilted leaves, discolored or brown tips.

How Do You Know When Your Zanzibar Plant is UnderWatered?

Underwatering plants is a common mistake. We believe that the plant is upright, and the color looks fine. Therefore, we ignore its need to be watered. As a result, it starts to show symptoms of wilting, drying, loss of color, spotting, and in some cases, the plant might also die. Let’s take a look at how one can identify that their plant is underwatered by observation of its physical features:

The First Red Signal

If you observe brown, wilted, and downward-facing leaves on your plant, it is the first red signal that the water it is getting is not fulfilling the total requirement. Hence, the brown color and dried-out leaves are an indication for you to take notice. 

Bye-Bye Green Color

The discoloration is the most common sign in every plant when it indicates insufficient water requirement. The Zanzibar plant is drought-resistant, but to an extent, an extremely dehydrated plant will start to show symptoms of discoloration. The eye-catching green color of the leaf soon shifts to a pale and then bright yellow before it loses all strength and falls off.

Fall Before Fall Season

Shedding leaves during the autumn or fall season is a natural process, but if your plant’s leaves are shedding way before their time or even after it, it is something to be noticed. The leaves start to fall off, quickly changing their colors from bright to pale to yellow to brown.

Soil Tampering

Another common cause of underwatered plants is the soil. When the soil absorbs more water and does not let the plant have some, it will make the plant die. Usually occurs when the soil is dead or lacks proper nutrients, or simply put, the soil gets eroded.


Tips to Save Your Underwatered Zanzibar Plant

There are a few tricks that can help increase the life of your Zanzibar plant; all you need to do is figure out the type of problem your plant is facing. Let’s take a look at some tips to save your underwatered plant:

Consider Repotting

You can always take a shortcut by repotting the plant. It is a common plant behavior to inhibit their growth if they don’t like the environment they are being grown in. You can avoid this situation by simply changing your plant potter and shifting the Zanzibar plant to a new location.

Change The External Factors

External factors such as temperature, moisture in the environment, light present in the room or sunlight, humidity, etc., greatly impact the speed and quality of growth in plants. To save your underwatered dying Zanzibar plant, consider shifting it to a place where the room temperature is slightly higher than normal or where there is no direct sunlight.

Zero Watering Policy – Let the Plant Fast

Let your plant fast for a week once you have shifted it into another pot or changed the external factors. It will help in gaining back the strength required to grow and expand.

Adequate Watering

Once you observe that your plant is recovering, start watering it once every two weeks. As the plant is highly drought-tolerant, you can take advantage of watering it adequately after a gap of almost ten days.

Give Neighbors to Zanzibar Plant

Another hack to rescue your precious little plant is to plant it with another cacti and perlite to give it a chance to start its life again. You will observe that the plant starts growing back soon after setting up its neighbors.

Hire a Gardener

If you are still unable to save your plant from dying, consider calling the plant professionals. Sensitive plants require extra care; therefore, if you are getting such plants for your home, ensure you take good care of them.

If somehow you cannot keep them restored or conserved, you can hire a gardener who will love to put some thought into saving your wilting plant.

The Bottom Line

Gardening is a beautiful form of catharsis, which one can do to let their problems unravel. It is said that the soil has some unique properties of providing instant relief when touched. You can also let your soul be free by doing this interesting activity.

However, what needs to be understood is that one should know properly about the plants they are getting. Every plant has a different need, just like humans; some plants require extra care, whereas others are rough and tough fighters who can survive any situation they are put in. Providing your plant with the extra care it requires also gives you a sense of accomplishment and achievement.

We hope this blog will be of good guidance regarding the knowledge about Zanzibar plants being under and overwatered. The tips and tricks discussed in this blog will surely retain your plant’s freshness and life as it used to be.

Interests vary, and so do priorities; make sure to have a piece of proper background knowledge about the plant you are interested in buying or the one you already have in your plant collection. This knowledge will help in unforeseen conditions, retain the plant’s color, growth, and quality, and increase its life.