ZZ plants are very nice houseplants that many people love keeping in their homes. They aren’t overly difficult to care for, and this helps to make them popular options that most people can enjoy to the fullest.
You can encounter some issues when caring for these plants that will throw you off, though. For instance, you might notice that your ZZ plant appears to be drooping one day, and determining what is going on might be tough if you’re inexperienced.
What would cause a ZZ plant to start drooping suddenly? Do you need to be worried that the plant is going to die?
Take a deep breath and know that you can figure out what is going on to fix the problem. Read on to examine the common causes of drooping so that you can take action.
1 – Lack of Light
The most common reason why ZZ plants will start to droop is that they are not getting enough light. It’s interesting because ZZ plants can actually survive in low light situations, but they aren’t going to grow very well in low light.
When there isn’t a lot of light around for the plant to utilize, it isn’t going to stand up straight. In the presence of bright indirect light, the ZZ plant that you’re raising will become much straighter, and the drooping will cease.
Therefore, you can fix the drooping issue by just changing the light situation for the plant. If you haven’t been giving your ZZ plant much light at all, giving it more light could be just what is needed to get good results.
Of course, you do need to be careful about the type of light that you’re giving your plant. ZZ plants will do well getting more sunlight, but they aren’t going to do well if you put them in harsh direct sunlight.
Direct sunlight has the potential to burn the leaves of the ZZ plant, and it can even cause them to fade over time. You don’t want this to happen, and that’s why indirect sunlight is the way to go.
ZZ plant experts state that the best lighting condition for growing them is indirect sunlight that is also bright. If you can find an appropriate spot in your home for your plant, you should be able to alleviate the drooping issue very fast.
Sometimes it might be tough to find the perfect spot in your home for sunlight, but you should see what you can do. You might be able to rearrange some things in your house, and you can also try to find windows where the sunlight isn’t too harsh.
The effort is worth it, and you’re going to have a ZZ plant that will grow a lot faster if it gets more sunlight. If you want your plant to thrive and look its best, it makes sense to do this.
2 – Incredibly Dry Soil
Incredibly dry soil is something that could cause your ZZ plant to start drooping. It isn’t a secret that plants need water so that they can keep on living, but you likely also know that these plants have a reputation for being very hardy.
Sometimes people neglect ZZ plants because of how easy they are to take care of. You start to think of these plants as being invincible, and this leads to going way too long without giving the plant water.
If you wind up letting the soil become way too dry, this could cause the plant to start drooping. In this situation, the plant is drooping because it needs some water.
Luckily, the hardy nature of the ZZ plant is going to allow it to survive so long as you give it some water. The drooping can just be seen as the plant telling you that it’s time to pay attention to it again.
Moving forward, it might be better to pay more attention to the state of the soil so that your plant won’t start drooping again. You don’t want to let the soil get bone dry because this is what can put the ZZ plant in a drooping state.
It’s basically just about getting into the habit of checking your plant a little more frequently. ZZ plants don’t need to be watered incredibly often, and it is best to let them dry out between watering sessions.
3 – Overwatering Can Kill ZZ Plants
One of the only ways that you can truly kill a ZZ plant is by watering it way too much. Some people make the mistake of watering ZZ plants more often than they should, and this can cause significant issues.
When a ZZ plant gets what some refer to as “wet feet,” it’s going to run the risk of killing the plant. Luckily, this isn’t going to happen if you just water the plant too much once or twice.
This is still a very forgiving and easy plant to care for, and you shouldn’t have an issue correcting your mistakes. If you continue to water these plants too much for an extended period of time, you’ll notice signs that they’re not doing too well.
If you see the plant drooping and the leaves turning yellow, this is a sign that it’s being watered too much. Conversely, this can happen when you don’t water the plant at all, and you’ll just have to be mindful of what actions you have been taking as of late.
Remember to let the soil dry out before you water your ZZ plant again. Always take the time to check the soil with your fingers before you decide to give it some water just to be safe.
It doesn’t take long to determine how the soil is doing, and this little extra step will keep you from making mistakes. You don’t want to let the soil get bone dry, but you should never water a ZZ plant when the soil is still moist.
Learning how often to water a ZZ plant can take a bit of time, but it isn’t too hard overall. The watering schedule is likely going to change along with the season, and you’ll need to water a bit more often during the summer as you’d expect.
During the summer months, you might need to water every seven to ten days, but you should always check the soil first as mentioned above. In the winter, it’s more common for ZZ plants to go multiple weeks between watering sessions because it can take weeks for the soil to completely dry out.
Good drainage is also a must for these plants so that you can avoid problems. If you’re noticing drooping and yellowing, it could be that you don’t have the plant potted in soil that drains well.
A ZZ plant needs to have a pot that has proper drainage as well as soil that will drain at a reasonable pace. Never allow one of these plants to sit in water for too long since that can harm them.
What’s the Main Danger Caused by Watering Too Much?
Watering too much can cause your ZZ plant to experience root rot. Root rot is a serious issue that can be hard to bring your plant back from, and you’re always going to want to avoid this.
Luckily, you aren’t going to cause root rot by just watering your plant too much once or twice. It would require you to continually water the plant too much for a fairly long period of time, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be careful.
The top two inches of the soil should be dry before you choose to water your ZZ plant again. ZZ plants might not need to be watered as much as your other houseplants, and it might need to be on their own watering schedule to be safe.
People often wonder whether or not disease could be the issue when plants start to droop for seemingly no reason. This is typically not going to be the case when you are caring for ZZ plants due to how hardy they are.
ZZ plants are well-known to be resistant to the vast majority of plant diseases, and they also seem to be resistant to pests. This means that it isn’t too likely that you are going to encounter problems with plant disease while caring for a ZZ plant, but you still need to look out for one issue.
Your plant could have problems if you have very high humidity levels in your home. Excess moisture is something that can cause these plants to experience rotting issues, and this is certainly something that you want to avoid.
To keep things safe for your plant, it’s just going to be best to maintain normal humidity levels in your home. Most people won’t have to worry much about having such high humidity levels that ZZ plans will be in danger, but it’s still worth mentioning.
You might not be able to raise ZZ plants in the same environment that you’re raising tropical plants that require extremely high humidity levels. If you’re artificially increasing humidity levels somewhere in your house to raise specific plants, you might want to keep that separate from your ZZ plant.
It’s also unlikely that nutrient issues are going to be to blame for your ZZ plant drooping. The only common causes that you should concern yourself with are light issues and watering issues.
However, it is good to note that these plants can thrive if you give them some fertilizer at certain intervals. Sometimes a nutrient boost can help your ZZ plant get back to being healthy if you have done something wrong.
When you this plant fertilizer, it can help to give it the nutrients that it needs to grow strong, but you can’t do this often at all. Most ZZ plant enthusiasts will choose to give the plants fertilizer on a quarterly basis.
You don’t even necessarily need to do this either because ZZ plants are more than hardy enough to survive without fertilizer. The main reason to give a ZZ plant fertilizer would be if you’re repotting it, you want to help it bounce back from some type of trauma, or you’re just trying to encourage it to grow large.
When you choose to give a ZZ plant fertilizer, it’s going to be best to use a standard type of liquid houseplant fertilizer that you buy from the store. Dilute the fertilizer by around 50% to use it safely on your ZZ plant and get good results.
Fertilizer shouldn’t be poured on the foliage because it could cause harm to the plant. Fertilize at the base by the soil so that you can have a good experience.
You know everything that there is to know about ZZ plants and why they might start drooping now. Don’t let what is happening with your plant scare you too much because you can certainly turn things around.
These plants are so durable that they will be able to spring back pretty easily when you take the right steps. All it takes is usually making one or two changes to get them to start looking better again.
Sometimes you might need to adjust how you’re watering your ZZ plants, but you might also need to consider the lighting situation. It’s unlikely that plant disease is the culprit, but you could be mindful of the humidity levels in your home just to be safe.
Once you’ve determined where you’ve gone wrong, it’ll be simple to get your plant back to normal. Taking care of these plants will always be very satisfying, and you won’t have to worry too much at all about accidentally killing them.
As your ZZ plant stops drooping, it’ll help you to feel more confident in yourself. Knowing the potential issues that you need to avoid will help you to keep it from happening again in the future.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.