Does ZZ Plant Like to Be Root Bound?

The ZZ plant, which is short for Zamioculcas zamiifolia, has been around for hundreds of years. It originated in drought-prone Africa, where it would thrive outdoors. A few decades ago, Dutch nurseries from South Africa saw the ZZ plants’ propagating potential, distributing it worldwide in 1996.

Ever since then, many gardeners have grown ZZ plants in their homes and offices. They are quite the plant, as they are easy to maintain, tolerate neglect and are drought-tolerant, and accept low-light conditions. Plus, they look attractive and are a great plant to place in any home or office, brightening rooms.

But you may have been wondering about their growth, with gardeners asking, “does ZZ plant like to be root bound?” Read on as I answer this question!

does zz plant like to be root bound

Does ZZ Plant Like to Be Root Bound?

To e root bound means that the roots have become larger than what its current pot or container can accommodate. You know that your plant requires more space if the roots grow out of the drainage holes or large roots spiral below the container, creating dense coils. The plants would end up becoming hard, sliding out of the containers, and retain the shape of your pot but not have access to nutrients it needs, thus stopping its growth.

Basically, too small of a container can cause your plants to be rootbound, and it won’t have enough room for plants to grow.

ZZ plants do NOT like to be root bound. They would grow large underground rhizomes, taking up lots of space in planters. If too many rhizomes are forced to live in small containers and pots, then the chances of fungus and root rot will increase.

The rhizomes are what have the ZZ plants differ from any other houseplant. ZZ rhizomes are round and white, growing under the soil, storing all water and nutrients required. These rhizomes will spread out underground, requiring room to grow when the plant grows and expands in time.

When new growth appears, like an upshoot stem, there would be a rhizome under the soil, located at the base of the new growth. And if there are too many rhizomes in a small area, then the ZZ plant would be susceptible to root rot. Rhizomes need more room so it spreads out, having airy soil to prevent rot.

And because ZZ plants would take up a lot of room, they require proper space. But not to worry about space too quickly, since these plants are slow growers. They will require repotting, but only after every two years or so, specifically during the spring or early summer times.

If ever you believe your ZZ plant is root bound or shows signs that it will be soon, repot them to a bigger pot immediately. This will help them grow taller and healthier.

Read more: Are Zz Plants Toxic To Cats? The Scary Truth about This Houseplant

Wrapping It Up

For those who want to grow ZZ plants or already grow them, be sure to prevent them from getting root bound by following the right steps. Don’t force them to stay cramped in small pots and containers for them to bloom or grow quicker but give them the open space and time to thrive! This doesn’t just go for the ZZ plant, but for most plants as well!

I hope that this article answered your question, “does ZZ plant like to be root bound?” If you plan to grow ZZ plants, do make sure that you monitor them well to avoid being root bound so they can grow freely and more successfully.

2 thoughts on “Does ZZ Plant Like to Be Root Bound?”

  1. ZZ plants (Zamioculcas zamifolia), also known as Zanzibar gems, are quite popular, especially for beginners, as they are pretty easy to care for. So, do ZZ plants like to be root bound? The simple answer is no. ZZ plants, or any plant for that matter, do not like being root-bound.


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