Choosing wrong soil for ZZ plant often results in overwatered or underwatered plant. You can either make your own potting soil at home by mixing garden soil, sand, perlite and worm casting or purchase it from local store.
Zanzibar gem with its deep green foliage is an eye feast. Excellent thing about this house plant thrives even with minimal care.
Minimal care means, low light, low watering, low humidity and well drained soil.
That being said, when your ZZ plant outgrows the container, it must be repotted. In this process, it’s very important to choose the best soil for ZZ plant.
Where can you find the soil that suits this plant’s necessity?
ZZ plant is a hardy plant that can survive in any standard potting mix. Just make sure the potting soil mix is well-drained. If needed, you can mix some perlite or sand to improve drainage ability of the growing soil.
You can either prepare your own potting mix with one part of perlite and 3 parts of potting soil. You can replace perlite with cactus soil mix.
This plant has recently gained popularity due to the ease with which it can grow.
However, every plant has its own set of pros and cons and the ZZ plant is no exception.
While some find difficulties in adhering to the watering needs of the ZZ plant, most of the plant lovers have an issue in deciding the kind of potting soil that should be used while growing the ZZ plant.
ZZ Plant Soil Requirements – What is the Best Soil for Zanzibar Gem?
Any soil that drains well and pH range neutral to acidic.
Generally, the ZZ plant expects its owners to plant it in a well-draining and organic soil mix for best results.
Further, most experts suggest that a soil mix that contains appropriate amounts of perlite, charcoal, and bark, forms the best potting mix for the ZZ plant.
Why It’s Important to Choose Best Soil for Growing ZZ Plant?
We have discussed enough about the kind of soil mix that keeps the ZZ plant in the best of its health, but what happens when the ZZ plant is not grown in the best quality of soil?
Let us look at the importance of choosing the best soil for growing a ZZ plant.
- If you do not follow the criteria of choosing the best soil for growing your ZZ plant, it can result in the plant to sit in unhealthy and soggy soil for too long.
- This is not a healthy state for the plant as it leads to oxygen deprivation and gives impetus for the fungal root rot to develop as well.
What Type of Soil Do ZZ Plants Need?
A ZZ plant is very particular in the type of soil that it prefers to grow and thrive. Here are some of the most important recommendations to keep in mind if you want to get the maximum out of your ZZ plant:
- Ensure that the soil is rich in nutrients. Some of the basic macronutrients required for the ZZ plant include nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
- The soil mix should be well drained and porous enough for the excess water to drain off at any point of time.
- The soil should have proper aeration quality.
- If you find it difficult to deliver to this need of the soil, you can simply go and buy commercially available cactus soil to serve its needs of aeration.
Do not use a soggy or wet soil mix. If exposed to too much water for a longer duration, your ZZ plant can even die.
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Best Soil for ZZ Plant
Your plant grows and stays in the potting soil for most of the time. Under such circumstances, it becomes very essential to set the conditions to give the right growing medium to your ZZ plant.
Here are the most influential two recommendations to make the best potting soil for your ZZ plant:
Most of the commercially available garden soils are a good option for your ZZ plant to grow in.
However, you should consider the amount of moisture that these garden mixes have.
It is not appropriate to expose your soil to such level of water content. Therefore, you can add perlite and enhance the drainage of your soil.
You can add cactus mix to your soil mix and support it with organic soil material to make the best soil for growing your ZZ plant.
Also Read: Best Potting Soil for Jade Plants
Prepare your Own Potting Mix for ZZ Plant at Home
Don’t complicate things if you’re new to gardening.
Start with store bough potting mix soil to grow ZZ plant.
Most potting mix has similar properties and this houseplant is capable of thriving in varied soil types.
However, if you want to make your own potting mix for different types of houseplants, then there are many ways.
But I recommend you to stick for two prominent mixes.
- Add two parts of potting soil with one part of cactus soil. Cactus includes different materials like sand, gravel, grit, perlite and soil that help to improve the drainage ability of your growing medium.
- Second option is to mix one part of perlite with two parts of potting soil. Perlite is a natural mineral made from mined from volcanic glass. It is non-organic material that improves soil aeration.
Does ZZ Plant Like Acidic Soil?
The ZZ plant usually prefers a soil that has a pH level of 6 to 7. That is, it does not like to grow in extremely acidic soil, but thrives in slightly acidic soil.
Shifting the bar a little too low or a little too high might disrupt the balance of the soil, harming the plant.
Some signs that show that your soil is too acidic for the ZZ plant include frequent leaf burns, without the exposure to sunlight, and stunted growth of the plant, despite taking all the necessary measures.
Signs Your Potting Soil Mixture is Unhealthy
Are you doing everything right for your ZZ plant, including the right quality of soil, and seeing no results?
If the situation has been static for more than 2 weeks, then it is time to check your soil for possible signs of being unhealthy.
When we administer an unhealthy soil mixture to our ZZ plant, it can do more harm than any good. That being said, it is not an easy task to determine if the soil has gone bad.
There are a number of signs that you should look for before coming to a conclusion.
#1 Yellow leaves
If the green plants of your ZZ plant start to fall off, or become yellow and discolored, it means that your soil mixture essentially lacks a good quantity of nitrogen.
Nitrogen is a very important macronutrient for your ZZ plant. If you find that the ratio of nitrogen is comparatively lower than potassium and phosphorus, you can fix this issue by adding some organic compost.
#2 Foliage turning purple
If your ZZ plant leaves have started to turn purple that means your soil mix lacks phosphorus. As is true of nitrogen, the same is for phosphorus.
You can try spraying your plant with fertilizer that has a higher ratio of phosphorus than other two macronutrients.
Also Read: How to Use Coffee Grounds for ZZ plants?
#3 Excess nitrogen
If you are having trouble seeing a fruit or flower in your ZZ plant, then the villain might be the presence of too much nitrogen.
This happens when your leaves are green, but suffer from an absence of fruit. Try mulching to neutralize the level of nitrogen in your soil.
#3 Moss growing on potting soil
If your soil has grown moss, it certainly means that it has gone bad. The materials and composition of the soil mix does not matter as long as it has grown moss.
Under these circumstances, your ZZ plant will not get any benefit from your freshly created soil mix.
#4 Dry cracks on the growing soil
If your soil bed sees some cracks, then it means that your soil lacks moisture. As mentioned earlier, ZZ plants love to stay in a well-drained, but hydrating soil mix.
If your soil mix lacks water then it also lacks the ability to transport nutrients to different parts of your plant.
#5 Overwatered Soil
Too much moisture is also not good for your soil. A good way to look at it is that your ZZ plant roots have in fact turned into clubroots and your soil has become extremely wet and soggy.
It does not promote any growth of the plant and leads to root rot that leads the plant to die. However, if you follow our tip of having a well drained soil, then this obstacle should not trouble you.
#6 No soil aeration
Another reason is that your soil mix has turned into compacted soil. This happens when there is too much soil mix and too little space to grow it into.
If the soil particles are pressed too tightly, the pore space reduces and gives no space for the plant roots to breathe, thus preserving good plant growth.
Also Read: How Long Does a Peace Lily Plant Live?
When to Repot ZZ plant?
Taking proper care of your ZZ plant is very important. However, in the process we sometimes tend to miss the basic points required to keep the plant healthy.
In addition to providing excellent quality of soil for the ZZ plants to grow, you should also constantly look out for signs that tell you to repot your plant.
The primary thing to remember about repotting ZZ plants is that it should once in every spring season. This should be practiced irrespective of the tips that you follow to keep your ZZ plant healthy.
Another mandatory sign of repotting ZZ plants is when you witness the plant forming a root-bound. Some symptoms of root bound include leaves turning yellow or brown, the pot water draining quickly, abnormal growth of the roots of the plant, and the like.
Yet another situation under which repotting your ZZ plant becomes necessary is when you see root rot in your plant.
If you find it difficult to decide whether or not your ZZ plant has a root rot, you can take the plant very carefully out of the pot and check the odor and texture to be sure.
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If the amount of sunlight that your ZZ plant is exposed to is inappropriate, then it is time to repot your ZZ plant.
You can select a place that receives adequate amount of direct sunlight with also an easy provision for shade, and safely relocate your plant there.
Check your soil for any signs of being damaged or unhealthy. You can take the help of the aforementioned signs.
If you witness any of these signs, then it is time to repot your plant to another fresh bed of soil.
An alternative is to change the soil mix, but this is not very successful under most circumstances.
Repotting the ZZ plant is not an easy task. To do so, you need to lay a bed of potting mixture with the right nutrient composition and materials. After doing so, you should expose the pot with the soil bed to some sunlight.
-Post this, place the plant in your pot with uptight roots completely immersed in the soil. If the soil is wet and soggy, do not water it. However, if it seems cracked and dry, water it till the brim and keep under sunlight for maximum yield.
Best Soil for Repotting ZZ Plant
As mentioned earlier, ZZ plant doesn’t need very specific potting soil. All it needs is well-drained potting soil.
While repotting you must ensure well-drained soil and also ensure the pot size is slightly larger than the present container.
Can I Use Cactus Soil for ZZ Plant?
Yes, you can use cactus soil and garden soil to grow ZZ plant indoors or outdoors.
This potting mix improves drainage ability of the plant.
Not just that it avoids overwatering or water logging, cactus soil mix helps to retains the moisture to keep the plant healthy.
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Tips to Grow ZZ Plant Indoors
While most people prefer to grow ZZ plants outside, others like to keep these beautiful additions inside to enhance the indoor beauty. However, in the process, they sometimes forget the right procedure to take care of the ZZ plant indoors.
If you are a part of the latter section of people, read below to find out how to grow ZZ plants inside your house:
ZZ plants are fans of sunlight, but they do not like being exposed to it directly. That is, you should take special measures to not expose your plant to direct sunlight for long hours. When keeping it indoors, make sure to choose a point that receives bright and indirect sunlight for most parts of the day.
- Make sure that the container in which you plant your ZZ yield has enough drainage holes so that you do not have to struggle with the problem of too high moisture content in the soil mix.
- You can water your plants as and when you want, but always make sure that you dry the plants and the soil properly before watering it again. Do not keep adding water to an already soggy soil.
- A liquid fertilizer works best when you are planting your ZZ plants indoors. Make sure to look for a fertiliser that has the equal NPK ratio.
- The ideal temperature to grow ZZ plants is between 65 to 72 degrees fahrenheit. If the values go above or below it, your plant can suffer. Make sure to maintain these levels irrespective of the season.
Now that you know which type of soil mix is the best for your ZZ plant, get ready to bring home these beautiful plants right now!
A farewell tip is to always keep extra perlite stocked. They come in handy when you run out of your regular well-drained and organic potting mixture.
If you have any more questions about how to grow the ZZ plants, check out our other articles and get answers to all your questions.