ZZ Plant Pot Size – Is A Smaller Pot Better?

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Last Updated on December 30, 2022 by Griselda M.

As a new owner, you probably wonder what’s the perfect ZZ plant pot size, so we crafted a guide to help you handle this popular houseplant. Plant lovers are aware of how an unfit pot size can destroy any effort put toward keeping the plant thriving.

ZZ plant or Zamioculcas zamiifolia is a foliage ornamental plant that originates in Africa. It’s also known as the Zanzibar gem, referring to its original habitat. It’s a very forgiving plant making it perfect for beginners, offices, and those who lack time to care for plants. To further add to its superiority, the ZZ plant is not an aggressive or fast grower. It doesn’t need frequent repotting, so you’ll be set with one pot for a long time.

What size should it be? Let’s find out.

Choosing The Pot Size For ZZ Plant

The ZZ plant is an ornamental houseplant that grows outside in tropical regions. On US territory, it’s an inside plant. Its size makes it suitable as a tabletop plant or floor plant.

The adult ZZ plant can reach up to 3 feet maximum both in height and width but keep in mind that it’s a slow grower. Typically the young ZZ plants sold in nurseries are 3 to 4 inches tall. But don’t go buy a bigger pot once you take the plant home. They do just fine in small pots.

Choosing The Pot Size For ZZ Plant

Spring to fall is the growing season for ZZ plants. This is when you might notice your plant needs slightly more space. However, the new pot needs to be no more than a few inches wider.

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Is Bigger Better?

Plant enthusiasts love to state how ZZ plants love to be abandoned. They can thrive in low and bright light, are highly drought-tolerant, and can live in the same pot forever. So a bigger pot is not really necessary!

There’s a slight risk of becoming root bound; otherwise, the pot size doesn’t affect the plant. ZZ plant is a succulent that grows from rhizomes that store enough water and nutrients for periods ahead. As the plant grows bigger above the soil, the rhizomes underneath expand too. More foliage means the rhizomes need to store more food for the plant to thrive.

What Size Pot For ZZ Plant You Just Purchased

New Zamioculcas zamiifolia plants come in small containers. If you do want to repot the new plant in a nicer pot, choose one in the same size. Bigger pots are not recommended as there’s more space for soil. The soil tends to keep moisture which can further lead to root rot. The rhizomes are hardy but won’t tolerate soggy soil for too long.

The top layer of the ZZ plant’s soil needs to dry completely before you need to water it again. When kept in small pots in a cool and low-light place, you should water it once a month. Big pots lead to overwatering, which can kill your plant.

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What Kind Of Pot Is Best

You have a wide choice of pot material: ceramic, fiberglass, wood, or plastic. Plastic pots are lightweight, don’t break easily, and you can effortlessly drill drainage holes in the bottom if there aren’t any.

Ceramic pots are healthier for the plant as they can absorb excess water. This cuts the chances of the plant developing root rot. Terracotta is a porous ceramic that’s the best option. However, it’s significantly heavier, and all it takes is one fall to break into tiny pieces. If you don’t plan on moving the ZZ plant often, a terracotta pot will be ideal.

Wood planting pots absorb a lot of water and dry quickly. They’re lightweight, sturdy, and beneficial for plants. However, they often come in bigger sizes.

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How To Repot A ZZ Plant

  • Repotting a ZZ plant is best done before its growing season every 2 years. Transfer it to a bigger pot at the beginning of spring for the best results.
  • Pick a pot that is no more than 2 inches wider in diameter than the previous pot. Use gloves to handle the plant.
  • Remove the ZZ plant from the previous pot, and shake out some of the soil from the roots.
  • Prune the roots around the rhizomes. This can help avoid root bounding.
  • Don’t water the repotted plant for a week. Then water thoroughly.
How To Repot A ZZ Plant

ZZ Plant Size: How Big Will It Grow?

The ZZ plant can grow 3 to 4 feet tall in its natural habitat. But potted it reaches a maximum of 3 feet. There are some undocumented claims about 5 feet tall Zamioculcas zamiifolia in the wild. However, since it’s native to East Africa, it’s relatively hard to confirm or bust this claim.

When grown by an experienced plant lover, the ZZ plant can astonish you with its progress. This slow grower can grow even 6 inches a month in perfect conditions.

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Interesting Facts About ZZ Plant

The sap and roots of the Zamioculcas zamiifolia can contain calcium oxalate. This substance is not deadly, but it can cause skin irritation. Avoid repotting the plant without gloves, and don’t touch your face. Place the plant away from pets and children. Don’t panic if a pet ingests some parts of the ZZ plant. It can lead to vomiting or severe diarrhea, but not death.

The ZZ plant can flower. Once it flowers, new plants can grow from the fallen leaves of the flower. This is a unique reproducing system that’s not common for this plant family.

The similarity between ancient cycads and the ZZ plant can’t go unnoticed. Although much smaller, the ZZ plant foliage resembles some kinds of cycads.

Does Zanzibar Gem Grow in Water?

A lot of people ask, does Zanzibar Gem grow in water? Yes, the ZZ plant can be successfully propagated in water if you know how to go about it. This is because there are a few steps that need to be carefully followed to aid your plant when growing it in water. Zanzibar Gems are amongst the best-grown plants as it offers exceptional air purification properties. These glorious plants are also quite hardy and can grow exceptionally well in low-light conditions.

You would also be glad to know that you can choose from a few different methods to grow ZZ plants in water. The first method is simple and requires you to place the plant leaves in a jar of water. Thereafter, you can sit back and watch as your plant starts developing. The second way would be to cut off the bottom of leaves about a quarter way up and place the plant in water. This method is great for encouraging growth. Remember to change the water that your ZZ plant is growing in, every couple of weeks. This will avoid the growth of mold and keep your Zanzibar Gem thriving. 

How to Cut Back a ZZ Plant?

If you want to know how to cut back a ZZ plant, then we have a quick and easy way for you to do so. Firstly, to prune your plant, you would need a sharpened pair of scissors or garden shears to get the job done without any hassles. Ensure that the scissors have been properly sterilized before you start trimming your plant. A word of advise when pruning your ZZ plant would be to cut the stem right down to the soil level. This is because the idea is to remove them completely.

You would also need to check the cut stems at this stage and if they are healthy, you can propagate them to begin growing a new ZZ plant. Also, look for flaws when pruning your plant as yellow leaves and damaged stems should be eliminated to encourage new healthier growth. This is because flawed foliage will not be able to recover once it has discolored severely. Additionally, pruning dead or damaged stems and leaves will allow the plant to distribute energy and nutrients more freely as there will be no blockages caused by decay along the way.

Where Can You Buy a ZZ Plant?

So, you’re in search of a Zanzibar Gem and want to know where can you buy a ZZ plant. Well, you have several options to acquire these gorgeous plants as they are sold at some local garden centers and nurseries and several online stores. However, not all garden centers keep them so you would have to make inquiries in your area to find out if they do.

These sculptured houseplants display shiny glossy foliage and are quite stylish, making them a great addition to any setting. They are easy to care for and are a great investment if you’re looking to enhance your indoor environment. I acquired my ZZ plant from Costa Farms on Amazon as my local nursery didn’t stock these ornamentals. You can check them out if you can’t find them in your region.

Why is My ZZ Plant Not Dark Green?

Why is my ZZ plant not dark green? This is a question that I hear quite often. I would have you know that there are several reasons for this. These include over or under-watering, a lack of nitrogen and other nutrients, or exposure to direct sunlight which can fade the green coloring of your Zanzibar plant leaves. However, the main cause of ZZ plant leaves turning pale is usually a severe lack of nitrogen which plays an important factor in their health and growth.

This is because these plants rely on nitrogen to develop chlorophyll which is responsible for the dark green foliage color. Without it, this process will be done at a minimal rate resulting in highly colored leaves. To increase the green shade, you should avoid regular pruning and do it only when there is a need. This will encourage young leaves to develop chlorophyll and darken as they grow. Also, keep your plant away from direct sunlight and ensure that you are following a consistent watering schedule. 

Bottom Line: Why is ZZ Plant Pot Size Important

The Zamioculcas zamiifolia, known as the ZZ plant, is a low-maintenance plant susceptible to root-bound. This is the reason many opt to repot the plant. Once you purchase it from a nursery, it comes in the correct size pot.

But as the plant grows, the rhizomes grow bigger and might outgrow the pot. If the rhizomes are an inch away from the pot’s walls, it’s time for repotting. Repot the ZZ plant in a 2 inches wider pot.

Pick a terracotta or wooden pot that can control the moisture in the soil. The ZZ plant is succulent and doesn’t tolerate wet soil. Unfortunately, it can also lead to root rot.

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