Did you recently buy a ZZ plant and want to know how often you need to water it? If so, then you found the right article!
Many factors affect how much water your plant needs. There’s no one-size-fits-all quantity, which is why you should be aware of the signs of a thirsty plant.
In this ZZ plant watering guide, we’ll teach you to gauge water quantity and help you identify when to soak your plant. We even have tips on what to do in case of overwatering.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
The Zamioculcas zamiifolia, or ZZ plant, is one of the most popular houseplants in the United States. It has unique foliage and hardiness against temperature and water changes.
This semi-succulent originates from Eastern Africa. It’s an area that experiences long periods of drought.
Because of this, ZZ plants don’t need a lot of watering.
An interesting fact is ZZ plant roots have rhizomes that look like tiny potatoes! They’re not edible, but they do help the plant store water.
These rhizomes are why it’s not a problem if the soil in your ZZ plant’s pot is dry. To add to this, it’s best to look out for signs that you may be over-watering your plant.
You may water your ZZ plant once every two to three weeks.
Before you water your plant, you should first check if the soil is dry. To do this, you can poke your finger into the top three to four inches of the soil.
It shouldn’t be damp, and the soil must be crumbly. You may check for moistness through the bottom drainage hole of your pot as well!
Remember that it’s best to underwater a ZZ plant instead of overwatering. If you’re unsure if the soil is dry enough, you can wait a few more days before watering.
These factors will affect how often you have to water your ZZ plants.
Studies show that humidity affects soil moisture. If you live in an area with high humidity, the soil in your plant pots may take a while to dry out.
The ideal humidity for ZZ plants is 40% to 50%. Be careful with watering if you’re in an area with a humid climate.
During summer, you can water your ZZ plant once every two to three weeks. However, you should cut back to once a month during the winter months.
ZZ plants need less water in the cold. Moreover, excess liquid in the soil could freeze and damage the rhizomes, leading to root rot.
Strong lighting can cause soil to dry more quickly.
People who keep ZZ plants in bright conditions may have to water more often than those with low lighting.
Do you always have your window open? Air circulation in your room can cause moisture in the soil to evaporate faster.
You may have to water your ZZ plant more often if it’s exposed to a strong airflow.
The amount of water you use depends on how big your ZZ plant is. You should have enough water to thoroughly soak the whole potting mix.
It’s okay to use plenty of water so long as your plant pot has a large drainage hole at the bottom.
These are two of the best ways to water your ZZ plants.
Bottom watering is ideal for small plants with pots that you can lift. To do it, you take a large water container and place the ZZ plant pot inside.
Make sure that the water level is lower than the plant pot.
Allow the soil to absorb water for a few minutes, then immediately take the pot out. After this, let the excess water drain through the bottom hole.
Never let your ZZ plant sit in water for too long!
By following the steps, you can enjoy these advantages:
- Bottom watering ensures that the whole potting mix gets soaked.
- It supports root growth as it mimics how plants absorb water from underground.
- You can avoid wetting the stems and leaves of your ZZ plant, which is ideal.
- It’s less messy than top watering.
Top watering means that you’ll pour water on the surface of the plant pot. You may do this method if you have a large ZZ plant, or if your plant is outdoors.
To begin, use a watering can to slowly pour liquid onto the soil. Keep pouring until you see water coming out through the bottom hole of your pot.
This indicates that the soil is wet all the way through and can’t absorb more liquid.
Here are some advantages to top watering:
- It washes away excess salt buildup in the soil.
- There’s little chance of over soaking your ZZ plants in water.
- You don’t have to lift your plants or carry huge water containers, which is convenient.
Sometimes, you may feel the water you pour into the pot isn’t flowing as it should. In this case, you may have to change your soil!
ZZ plants need quick-draining soil. You can make it by mixing a 1:1 ratio of potting soil and succulent blend.
Ensure that there’s perlite or pumice in your soil mix. These are tiny pebbles that promote aeration and drainage in the soil.
A moisture meter is an invaluable tool that allows you to check the dampness of your soil. It’s a handheld device that can even determine soil pH in a few seconds!
Most moisture meters have a red zone that tells you when it’s time to water your plant. You may also make a moisture meter table with the data you gathered.
Having this may help you track when to water your ZZ plant!
Overwatering is a serious issue when it comes to ZZ plants. Waterlogged soil can prevent your plant from absorbing nutrients from the ground.
How can you tell if you’re overwatering your ZZ plant? Here are a few telltale signs!
- Yellowing or pale leaves
- Droopy stems
- Browning stems
- Slimy stems and roots
- Molds developing on the stems and roots
- Leaf and root rot
- Fast and large-scale leaf shedding
If you suspect that your ZZ plant is being overwatered, stop dousing it immediately. Let the plant rest for up to a month, and prune the rotten parts.
You may take the plant out of the wet soil as well. Don’t yank it out of the pot. Instead, flip it to take it out.
You should be careful with cleaning the plant roots during this process.
Cut off any rhizomes that are brown and slimy. After this, re-pot your ZZ plant in dry soil.
You should avoid using fertilizer during this period. Chemicals may damage pruned roots!
Some people wait for signs that their ZZ plant is under-watered before they soak it again.
However, some of these indicators aren’t visually appealing. This is why it’s best to stay on top of your watering schedule.
Here are the signals that you should water your ZZ plant.
- Slow shedding of leaves
- Leaf tips are dry and browning
- Soft leaves with a lack of turgidity
- Wrinkles leaves
- Shriveled stems
Don’t panic! Underwatering a ZZ plant is better than overwatering it.
All you have to do is follow any of the watering methods we discussed. Try to control some of the factors that affect the drying time of your soil.
You may also trim off any dead leaves to allow for new growth.
No, ZZ plants don’t like high humidity, and you shouldn’t mist them with water. Excess moisture can cause their leaves to rot.
If your plant’s leaves are collecting dust, it’s best to wipe it off with a dry cloth. Don’t wash it off with water.
A ZZ plant can last up to three weeks without water. In cases where you oversaturate the soil, it may even go a month without watering.
This type of plant has rhizomes that serve as reserves for moisture. Moreover, as semi-succulent, ZZ plants can also store water in their fleshy leaves.
You have to be careful when you’re watering ZZ plants. Overwatering could lead to root rot and kill your plant.
Be aware of the signs that tell you when you should water your plants. Some of these indicators include dry soil and wilting leaves.
The good news is you can keep your plants healthy and happy with proper care. All you have to do is follow the methods in this ZZ plant watering guide!
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.