Many ZZ plant owners, especially new ones, face the problem of choosing the right pot for their plants. Most of the time, it’s either too big or too small. In both cases, you’ll be limiting your plant’s ability to grow and thrive.
If you’re wondering what pot size you need for your ZZ plant, this guide is here to help you. But before we dive into the details, let’s go over how important it is to choose the right ZZ plant pot size.
The size of your plant’s pot is a crucial element of how well your plant will grow. Although ZZ plants are known to be forgiving, you’ll still need to adjust their pot size occasionally.
If your pot size is too small, it won’t allow your plant to grow to its fullest potential. A smaller pot means less soil. Less soil means that your plant will get fewer nutrients and water than it’s supposed to, which will slow down your plant’s growth.
Additionally, a smaller pot leaves little room for your plant’s roots to spread out. That way, your roots will be packed together, and they won’t be able to absorb nutrients from the soil efficiently.
Many people believe that the bigger the pot, the bigger your plant will grow. While that may be true with some plants, bigger isn’t always better with ZZ plants, especially if it’s too big.
Although big pots allow your plants to spread their wings — or, in this case, roots — and grow to their fullest potential, the roots may spread a little too much. When a ZZ plant’s root system is scattered, it won’t be able to anchor itself firmly into the soil.
That way, the roots won’t be able to absorb the nutrients from the soil, and the plant will grow much slower than its regular growth rate.
Another problem with big pot sizes is that all that extra soil will hold extra water and it would take forever to dry out. So, it’s easy to overwater your ZZ plant if you place it in a bigger pot. Overwatering will then lead you to mold growth and root diseases that could kill your plant.
As a rule of thumb, place your ZZ plant in a pot that’s about 2 inches larger than the size of the plant. Since ZZ plants don’t grow quickly, you won’t need to change your plant’s original pot for a while after buying it.
If you want to replace your new plant’s pot, then make sure that the new pot is the same size as the original one.
Once you begin to notice your plant’s rhizomes popping above the surface of the soil, or if the pot drains water too quickly, then your roots have outgrown the pot, and it’s time for an upgrade.
Your new pot should be big enough for the soil to cover your plant’s roots and rhizomes.
Young ZZ plants at shops and nurseries usually come in small sizes of about 3 to 4 inches. Every year between spring and autumn, which is considered the growing season, ZZ plants grow a little taller.
ZZ plants can keep growing every year until they reach three to four feet as fully grown adult plants. As long as you keep an eye on your plant, nurture it constantly, and provide it with the right pot and soil, you’ll be able to grow your plant to its fullest potential.
If your adult ZZ plant isn’t growing regularly or it seems too small compared to other ZZ plants, check whether your plant is getting enough nutrition and has just enough space to grow.
Plant pots come in a huge variety of materials. There’s ceramic, wood, plastic, and much more. The easiest and most affordable option is plastic pots. They’re lightweight, hard to break, cost-effective, and they’re available in all sizes.
Additionally, you could quickly drill in a few holes if there aren’t any. Their only drawback is that they aren’t the healthiest option for your plant.
As for ceramic pots, such as those made from terracotta, they’re considered the healthiest option for your plant. Their porous nature helps absorb excess water and reduces the risk of root rot. The only problem with ceramic pots is that they’re heavy and hard to relocate.
Then there are wood pots, which combine the best qualities of plastic and ceramic. Wood pots are light weighted, porous, and sturdy, which is perfect for growing healthy plants. However, they usually come in big sizes.
Repotting your plant is fairly easy and won’t take much of your time, but it makes all the difference for your plant. Here’s how to do it.
- Repot your plant at the beginning of spring — before the growing season — once every 2 years.
- Your new pot should be one to two inches wider than the old pot. Don’t go larger than that.
- Wear gloves to remove the plant from the old pot and shake the dirt off its roots.
- Now that the roots are visible, prune the roots around the rhizomes to limit root bounding and remove any dead roots.
- Place your plant in the new pot and cover it with soil.
- Don’t water the repotted plant for the first week. After that, water your plant thoroughly.
Choosing a pot size that’s proportionate with the size of your plant is one of the main factors in growing a healthy plant. Potting your plant in a huge pot or leaving it to grow in a small pot can hinder its growth, and in some cases, kill your plant.
So even though ZZ plants don’t require much attention or grow at a fast rate, you’ll still need to put in minimal effort to allow your plant to thrive.
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.