ZZ (also known as Zamioculcas Zamiifolia or Zanzibar Gem) is a tropical plant in the aroid (Araceae) family native to Eastern Africa. It’s characterized by its dark emerald green leaves, distinctive feathered appearance, and unique potato-like root system known as rhizomes.
These rhizomes can store water, making the plant a drought-tolerant houseplant that doesn’t require frequent watering.
However, even though ZZ is a perfect choice for an indoor plant due to its easy-to-care routine and low maintenance, some houseplant enthusiasts are concerned about its droopy stems.
So, if the question: “Why is my ZZ plant drooping?” is still lingering on your mind, don’t miss this article for valuable information and tips to take care of your plant.
- 1. Lighting problems
- 2. Inappropriate watering
- 3. Extreme temperatures
- 4. Transplant stress
- 5. Fertilizer problems
- 6. Physical damage
Why Is My ZZ Plant Drooping – 6 Reasons
Generally, ZZ plant stalks droop or fall over due to several causes, including lighting problems, inappropriate watering, extreme temperatures, fertilizer problems, transplant stress, and physical damage.
1. Lighting problems
This is the most common reason why the ZZ plant droops. Although the plant is able to tolerate various lighting conditions, it thrives best in moderate to bright indirect light.
Hence, when exposed to low light conditions, it may not stand up straight and makes the stems droopy and arched, thus affecting the natural aesthetics of the ZZ plant.
Meanwhile, excessively direct bright conditions also cause the plant stems to look droopy and the leaves to curl, turn yellow, or fall off.
2. Inappropriate watering
Overwatering is a significant cause of ZZ plant stems falling over. The potential reason is that the plant’s habitat is adaptable to thrive in dryness and the rhizome root system holds adequate water for survival. As a result, the plant can suffer from an adverse reaction to excess watering.
When overwatering, the soggy soil makes it challenging for rhizomes to uptake nourishment appropriately, which causes root rot. When root rot strikes, the plant starts falling over and drooping.
On the other hand, underwatering may make the plant stalks droop from dehydration, and the leaves dry up, curl, and fall off.
3. Extreme temperatures
ZZ plant thrives in a temperature range of 65-75°F. Any temperature that dips below 65°F can lead to stunted growth, making the plant stalks fall over, turn brown, or ultimately break off.
High temperatures above 75°F can also be harmful to the plant. The excess heat makes the plant vulnerable to stems falling over, leaves curling, and wilting due to dehydration.
4. Transplant stress
After a couple of years, the ZZ plant is expected to repot into a larger container to prevent root-bound problems. However, while most plants can tolerate the transplant process effectively, some can begin to express the sign of stress by drooping stems and leaves.
5. Fertilizer problems
Both over and under-fertilizing the plant can cause many problems, such as the leaves yellowing or the stalks falling.
6. Physical damage
ZZ plant stalks drooping over also indicate that the plant is suffering from physical damage. The issue could be more severe in homes with pets or children.
The rough treatment also leads to damage to the stalks, causing them to break off and fall. However, the damaged stalks are often unlikely to recover and need to be cut off using sterile pruning shears.
How To Treat Droopy ZZ Plants?
Although ZZ is an easy-to-care plant, it’s susceptible to droop or fall off for several factors mentioned above. Therefore, let’s follow some foolproof tips to treat droopy plants with ease.
1. Appropriate watering
Start by checking the top two inches of the soil with your fingers before determining if the ZZ plant needs water. If the soil is scorched and the leaves are crisp and curled, the plant is ready to be watered.
Bear in mind that you should only water the plant every seven to ten days in summer and 2-3 weeks during winter to allow the soil to dry out between watering sessions.
2. Lighting conditions
The best way to ensure ZZ plant stalks grow upright is to place the plant in an area that receives medium indirect sunlight.
Under certain circumstances, use curtains or blinds on the window to regulate the light intensity or supplement a light source with a LED grow light if the current place does not receive natural light.
Since over and under-fertilizing can lead to various issues, appropriate fertilizing is necessary to ensure the plant absorbs adequate water and other vital minerals.
It’s advisable that you use organic fertilizer over the artificial counterpart because the compost will boost the plant’s health and the development of green and healthy foliages.
Also, use water-soluble organic type to provide the extra nutrients for the plant to thrive and reduce potential risks of stalks falling over.
Note that the ZZ plant should be fertilized every 6-8 weeks during the growing seasons. Avoid fertilizing the plant during the fall and winter months because these are its dormant stage.
If the plant has suffered from low temperatures below 45°F, relocate the plant to a warm area in your house with access to bright and indirect sunlight.
Depending on the extent, get rid of any damaged stalks within the plant. After a couple of weeks of recovery, the ZZ plant’s new growth is likely to begin, with the plant growing straight and standing tall.
5. Root rot treatment
If you notice the root rot starts to develop, you should immediately remove the ZZ plant from the pot or container. Roots that are mushy and fragile also need to be cut off with sterile pruning shears.
Next, repot the plant into a clean pot with well-draining soil and various drainage holes. Again, ensure the pot is large enough but not excessively big-sized so that the stems won’t droop.
When the plant has successfully repotted, water the soil and make sure to dry off any excess water, then wait until the potting mix is almost dry for the next watering.
- How to tell if my ZZ plant is healthy?
A healthy ZZ plant should maintain its color and texture. The color is deep emerald green for matured foliages, and the texture is highly glossy and fleshy.
Hence, any signs of brown, yellow, burned, or droopy, curled leaves could indicate that the ZZ plant is undergoing severe damage or improper care.
- How do I keep my ZZ plant upright?
Since the ZZ plant prefers medium to bright indirect sunlight, simply rotate the plant a quarter shift, giving each side equal sun exposure. Besides, this also avoids the lopsided look to make it stand upright flawlessly.
- How long can ZZ plants survive without water?
Since this hardy tropical plant is native to drought-prone areas, it has a tremendous ability to survive for months without water. Notably, the plant can live up to four months in challenging conditions.
The Bottom Line
You’ve reached the end of the article. Hopefully, you can now leverage your knowledge about the ZZ houseplant and some valuable tips to treat your droopy plant.
Although drooping plants are an unpleasant experience for most plant enthusiasts, they can now be effectively tackled by several home remedies above. Note that if you have any concerns relating to the topic, feel free to contact us or leave us a message.