Growing your own houseplant is a dream come true for plant lovers. If you are one such plant lover who is looking to grow variety in your house garden, then you should definitely consider the ZZ plant.
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.
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.
What Type of Soil Does a ZZ Plant Need?
A ZZ plant is very particular in the type of soil that it prefers to grow and thrive. Here are some the 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.
Best Potting 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 Soil for String of Pearls
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.
Also Read: Best Potting Soil for Jade Plants
Signs Your 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.
- Here are some quick, yet helpful signs that indicate your soil mixture is unhealthy and you should immediately change it to the kind of soil mentioned above for seeing a good yield of ZZ plants.
- If the green plants of your zz plant start to fall off, or become yellow and discoloured, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- There is no pollination helping in your soil mix. Try attracting some bees or birds that will help your plant to pollinate and bear fruit. For starters, you can add substances in your soil mix that attract these insects, thus helping you pollinate.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
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. The pH level of 6 to 7 is the ideal level of acidity that it expects from the 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 includes frequent leaf burns, without the exposure to sunlight, and stunted growth of the plant, despite taking all the necessary measures.
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 odour 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.
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.