Zamioculcas Zamiifolia or ZZ plants are quite possibly some of the best household plants you can care for. This is because these plants are really easy to care for! Unlike many other house plants that need the perfect pH, optimal temperatures, and constant affection to grow, the ZZ plant will even grow in conditions of minor distress.
However, just like other plants, the ZZ plant does need care and affection to be able to grow to its full potential. Sometimes, you will notice that the ZZ plant is drooping. It is one of the more common problems that ZZ plants face, but it would naturally worry you. However, you can easily correct the droopiness if you get to the bottom of it immediately and take the appropriate corrective measures. So, here are some of the most common reasons why you see your ZZ plant drooping:
Why Is My ZZ Plant Drooping?
There is a myriad of reasons why you could notice your ZZ plant drooping. Remember that the ZZ plant is not exactly a stick-straight plant; the taller it grows, the higher the chance that you see some degree of curvature in the stem of the plant. However, if the droopiness is so much that you could potentially see the plant falling over, it might be time to start worrying and figure out what you could do better. Here are some of the most common causes why you would see a ZZ plant drooping:
The most common reason you could see a ZZ plant drooping is that it is being overwatered. The reason why the ZZ plant is so resilient is that it does not require too much water to thrive. In fact, the plant is native to almost desert regions in East Africa, where it thrives in dry and hot periods where the area only receives random showers here and there.
The ZZ plant is a rhizome, and this is why it can hold on to more water than can help the plant thrive in dry periods. Ideally, you should only water the ZZ plant about once every two weeks, or even three weeks if the plant is in a cold and humid environment. It is important to ensure that the soil the plant is potted in is completely dry before the next watering. So if you are watering the plant too often, you could check the moisture levels of the plant. You can do this with the help of moisture sticks. If the soil seems waterlogged, it is possible that the roots have begun to rot, and this could be a major reason why the plant is drooping.
How to fix it: To fix a waterlogged and drooping ZZ plant, you will need to repot it. You might even be too late to save the plant since the problems above the root level often appear long after the root rot has become too severe.
However, if overwatering does seem to be the cause, you should remove the plant from the soil and observe the roots. You might see that some of the roots seem soft, slimy, and mushy. Gently remove these roots to prevent them from affecting the healthy ones.
Other than that, make sure that the pot you repot the plant in has appropriate drainage to prevent waterlogging and that the soil is also well-draining. Replace the plant with the well-draining soil and pot, and only water it once you are sure that all the moisture has left the soil.
Similar to overwatering, underwatering can also be the culprit behind a drooping ZZ plant. As we have already mentioned, ZZ plants are very resilient and do not need constant affection and attention to thrive. Therefore, it is highly likely that the ZZ plant’s parent simply forgets to water the plant for weeks on end. The situation would be even worse if the plant is potted in well-draining soil in a pot with drainage holes since the plant will slowly begin to dry out and dehydrate. You would even notice the leaves begin to curl up and look crunchy.
How to fix it: Unlike overwatering, if you catch an underwatered ZZ plant, you can remedy the situation as quickly as possible. If the plant is drooping and the soil looks dry, along with the leaves of the plant, you should start to water your plant adequately. Water the plant thoroughly the first time to ensure it has enough water to return to its normal, healthy state. But make sure that you water the plant regularly afterward. Slowly, you will notice the plant beginning to rejuvenate and return to its previous splendor.
Make sure you are adding adequate fertilizer to the ZZ plant as often as you should. Fertilizers contain soil-boosters and nutrients that can help the plants grow to their maximum potential, and the lack of these nutrients could be the reason why they are drooping. Similarly, an over-abundance of these nutrients could also be the reason why the plant is drooping. In fact, if the overwatering or underwatering of the plants does not seem like likely reasons, it just might be the fertilizer.
How to fix it: You should make it a point to add appropriate fertilizer to the ZZ plant at least once every 4-6 months. ZZ plants do well with most types of fertilizers, so you do not have to be very specific either. However, make sure that you do not use too much fertilizer, as that could also cause the stem of the plant to fall over.
The ZZ plant is at its best when kept between 45 and 65°F. Temperatures that are lower than 45°F can prevent the plant from growing as healthily as it should and might even cause the stalk to fall over and the leaves to wilt and fall as well. Similarly, if you expose the plant to scorching heat, the leaves might get burned, and the plant may not be able to thrive and you might notice it falling over as well. Therefore, it is essential to keep your ZZ plant in optimal temperatures that are warm but not excessively so.
How to fix it: If your ZZ plant is drooping due to extreme temperature exposure, you should return it to a warm area with adequate lighting immediately. If you notice any signs of distress on the plant, which could include brown spots, yellowing leaves, or scorched or damaged parts of the stem, you should carefully remove those parts with your tools. This is to allow healthy growth of the plant, which the damaged areas can prevent.
ZZ plants need bright but indirect light to grow to their greatest potential. In fact, even in moderate or slightly dull lighting, you will notice that the plant grows quite well. It is not very picky about the lighting that it needs, which makes it easy to care for. However, the droopiness of the plant could still be caused because of the lighting.
If the plant is receiving excessive bright light directly from the sun or another bright light source, you might notice that the stalks of the plant are bending away from the light. This bending of the stalks could make it appear as if the plant is drooping. It could also make it so that the leaves of the plant begin to turn yellow and maybe even curl up. If the plant is kept under this bright light in hot and dry conditions, the leaves might also show signs of dehydration.
On the other hand, if you have placed the plant in a dark area or in a place with very dull light, you might see some droopiness in the ZZ plant then as well. The stalks of the plant could grow long and in all sorts of directions in search of light. As the stalks grow longer, they will be arched and often appear droopy. While the plant can still grow pretty well in low light conditions, there is a chance that it will not be quite as aesthetically pleasing as it would be under proper conditions.
How to fix it: Make sure the ZZ plant receives as much light as it should. If you have placed the plant under bright, direct light and the plant is drooping, it might be time to bring the plant inside and give it some neutral and indirect lighting. You will notice that the plant begins to look better within a few days of changing the lighting.
If the plant is kept in low light and the stems are long and droopy, you might want to give the plant a neutral light source to direct its stems better. You could keep it near a window or a place that receives sunlight but not directly. Other than that, you can even try a source of LED light to let the plant grow to its maximum potential but only do this if you are unable to find adequate natural light to let your plants thrive.
So your ZZ plant has grown big and strong and no longer fits its baby pot. Naturally, you would want to remove it from the baby pot and plant it into a larger pot that will be able to contain the plant and let it grow further. However, showing signs of distress after being repotted is fairly common, and a drooping plant could absolutely be a result of repotting distress.
It is possible that the roots were exposed for longer than they should have been during the repotting and now have dried out a little more; therefore, the plant is drooping. Maybe the new soil is too wet or too dry for the plant. And if nothing else, maybe the new environment just requires a little more adjustment from the ZZ plant to not droop.
How to fix it: First of all, you need to ensure that you repot your ZZ plant during the cooler months and when the weather is not too dry. So when the roots are exposed to the air, there is no threat of them drying out too much.
Other than that, make sure that the new environment of the plant closely matches the previous environment so that the plant does not have a very hard time adjusting.
Lastly, if the new soil is too dry, you should water it adequately. Similarly, if the new soil is too wet, you should wait for it to dry and then notice how your plant grows. In any case, you should give it a day or two at least to ensure that the plant is growing to the best of its capabilities.
Damaged Stems And Leaves
Another common reason why your ZZ plant is showing signs of falling over or beginning to droop could be the damage sustained by its stems and leaves. Make sure the plant is safe from pets and small children since they could unknowingly damage the plant. Other than that, pests like birds and mice can also leave droppings on the plant or even attempt to eat it, which could be another reason why the plant is in distress and seems to be drooping.
How to fix it: Keep the plant safe from any creatures that can damage it, including pets, small children, birds, and mice. If your ZZ plant is in a greenhouse or similar area with other plants, make sure no one destructive has access to that area.
If you see damaged leaves and stems, make sure you remove those parts of the plant with appropriate tools to ensure the healthy and proper growth of the plant.
The ZZ plant is a very interesting plant and it is very easy to take care of it. There are only a handful of reasons why you would notice it starting to droop, the most common amongst them being overwatering, but we are happy to inform you that most of these conditions are easily reversible with the appropriate care.
To learn more about ZZ plants and other interesting plants, visit us at MoPlants!