Water is essential for the plant’s food production process. We all knew it.
However, how long can a plant survive without watering will allow gardeners to plan their vacation.
With shiny oval shaped leaves, ZZ plant is one among the low-maintenance houseplant.
ZZ plant grows from rhizomes, which allows this houseplant to store water. You can forget about watering ZZ plant for weeks.
ZZ plant can go without water for 4 weeks. These are drought-tolerant plants. Also, this houseplant is prone to overwatering. Gardening experts recommend allowing the soil medium to dry between watering cycles.
Secrete to grow healthy ZZ plant is to avoid excess watering.
However, you must consider following few essential things before leaving ZZ plant without water for more than 4 weeks.
Before that, learn water needs of this plant.
When to Water Your ZZ Plant?
Watering requirements of ZZ plant may change depending on climatic conditions in your region.
Water your ZZ plant once after every couple of weeks. This houseplant would like to dry between watering.
When you notice the potting soil is dry by 1 inch, then you can water the plant generously.
With low lightning conditions and low water, ZZ plant demand little maintenance.
Neglecting plants often results in poor yield and discolored foliage. But, in case of ZZ plant, it often does well for the plant when you neglect.
However, to have a thriving ZZ plant indoors you must pay attention to small signs of underwatering and act.
How Long Can ZZ Plant Go Without Water?
Your ZZ plant is capable of growing in low lightening conditions and is drought tolerant.
As mentioned, ZZ plant can survive up-to 4 weeks without watering under certain conditions.
You must initially provide essential elements like well-drained, water retentive potting soil, indirect light and mulching.
ZZ plants are rhizomes that store water to be used when needed.
Apart from this, growing medium you choose to grow ZZ plant and location of container plays vital role to determine how many days this houseplant can go without water.
But, what happens after 4 weeks?
Will your ZZ plant be in a position to revive and bounce back?
Without any major issues, ZZ plant does grow even if you don’t water for 3-4 weeks.
However, after 4 weeks you must water the plant.
As mentioned quality of soil and plant location are to be considered. Also, you must prepare your ZZ plant to be able to withstand drought like condition.
Also Read: Can ZZ Plant Live Outside?
How to Prep Your ZZ Plant Before Vacation?
Below mentioned are simple and basic steps that ensure your house plant can withstand tough conditions.
Step: 1 Watering ZZ plant on the day you leave for vacation
Deep watering on the day you’re leaving will allow your ZZ plant to survive for 4-5 weeks.
You can try bottom watering, which will avoid overwatering your plant.
Place ZZ plant in a tub filled with water. Also, the container should have holes through which roots uptake water.
Else, go with the traditional method of watering.
Ensure the potting soil is moisturized thoroughly.
You can also add some liquid fertilizer, so that plant will get enough nutrients until you complete your vacation.
Signs of Overwatering
Most gardeners kill their houseplants due to overwatering.
Yellowing of leaves, stunted growth, dropping of leaves and root rot are major signs of overwatering ZZ plant.
Compared to outdoor, indoor plants don’t need to be watered frequently. Moreover, succulents like dry soil.
Excess water often results in root rotting and eventually killing the plant.
You can revive overwatered plant, if it’s not too late.
Stop watering and place the container under sunlight so the excess moisture is evaporated to atmosphere.
Underwatered ZZ Plant – Signs & How to Revive
If you’re underwatering your plant and leave on vacation neglecting it, then your plant will eventually die.
Yellow foliage, dropping leaves, stunted growth and brown leaves are signs of underwatered ZZ plant.
To revive you must deep water and allow the excess water to drain.
Step: 2 Choose best potting soil mix for ZZ plant
Growing soil with mixture of garden soil, perlite, mulching material and compost will drain the excess water, but retain required moisture.
You can add perlite and coconut coir to improve moisture holding ability of your growing soil.
Choosing wrong potting soil will leave your plant either overwatered or underwatered.
Note: Adding old compost to potting soil will give initial boost for your plant to grow.
Step: 3 Move your ZZ plant to better location
ZZ plant needs indirect sunlight to thrive. However, it can grow in partial shade.
Place your ZZ plant pot beside window sill where it gets enough light and shade.
Exposing the potting soil mix to sunlight will evaporate the moisture quickly.
Note: Protect your plant from extreme cold and hot environments.
Also Read: Do ZZ Plants Like Coffee Grounds?
Step: 4 Mulching
Ensure your ZZ plant is surrounded by organic mulch. This will help to lock moisture for longer time.
You don’t need mulching, if you’re leaving in colder region.
Step: 4 Place pot in outer container
Placing a tray underneath the container is to save your furnish from water droplets.
Similarly, when leaving for vacation, put your ZZ plant pot in a bigger container with drainage hole.
How do I know my ZZ plant needs water?
Insert your index finger in the growing soil and check for dry soil.
Water when you notice it is dry.
As mentioned, this houseplant wants to be dry between watering.
Once you notice dry soil, water thoroughly by taking the container to sink. Once you water the plant thoroughly, you don’t have to worry about it for 2 weeks.
In winter, you should reduce watering cycles. If you water frequently in winter as you did in summer, then ZZ plant can be overwatered.
Does ZZ plant like to dry out (dry soil)?
Yes, ZZ plant stores water to be used when needed.
It hates overwatering and will be killed if you water in excess.
Water only when the potting soil is dry by at-least 1 inch.
Check this out: How much light does ZZ plant need?
Few important points while growing ZZ plant
Plants need water for its food production process. It turns sunlight, water and carbon-dioxide to sugar.
Plants need water to keep its tissue upright. Lack of water results in drooping and wilting of leaves.
Water is also used to uptake nutrients from the soil. Loss of nutrients will eventually affect the plant growth.
Having said that, you don’t have to worry much in case of ZZ plant.
Remember this: ZZ plant likes to be dry before watering.
You shouldn’t water this houseplant if you notice the soil is moist.
- Well-drained soil, as it is responsible for anchoring the plant and supply nutrients to boost plant growth.
- Choose a container with a drainage hole. So, that excess water is drained out.
- Deep water your plant on the day you’re leaving for vacation.
- Add some liquid fertilizer to enrich the soil till you get back.
- Ensure the plant gets enough light to grow. However, excess exposure to sunlight can quickly evaporate the moisture.
- Mulching will hold the moisture for longer time and save your plant from underwatering.
- Avoid overwatering is all possible ways.
ZZ plant can survive without water for 3-4 weeks.
Depending on the climatic conditions in your area, you must prepare your plant for vacation.
Growing soil that retains moisture and deep watering before leaving for vacation will help the plant to survive for 4 weeks.