Why Is The ZZ Plant Not Growing Straight? (How To Fix It Effectively)

The ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is one of the trees native to the rainforests of Africa. It is widely grown in homes and offices around the world.

People love the ZZ plant because it is easy to grow, easy to care for, and has a strong vitality in harsh environments like the jungle. This plant is one of the few plants that can grow long in low light conditions.

However, one of the most common problems that many people have is the phenomenon of ZZ plants not growing straight.

The stems are weak and they grow in different directions. This affects the landscape and the long-term growth of the tree.

Why is the ZZ plant not growing straight? How to keep ZZ plants healthy and straight. Join us to learn and discuss more in this article.

Why is the ZZ plant stem falling over?

The cause of the ZZ plant not growing upright is stem problems. The trunk will be easily bent or weak due to improper care. So, here are some reasons why ZZ plants don’t grow straight.

1. Watering too much

Over-watering is the leading cause of the ZZ plant’s stem bending and not growing straight. If you water too much, causing the soil to become waterlogged and poorly drained, the roots will transfer more water to the stem.

Why is the ZZ plant not growing straight?

When roots and stems are sucked in too much water, they become weak, floppy, and bent. Roots and stems are also at risk of rot and lead to curling and inactivity.

Signs of overwatering are brown and black spots appearing on leaves, stems, or near the base. This damage will cause the trunk to bend and not be able to grow straight.

To solve this situation, you need to check the moisture in the soil before watering. Also change to dry soil to avoid waterlogging. Don’t put ZZ plants out in the sun to dry them because they will wilt and die.

ZZ plants do not like direct sunlight. They prefer indirect sunlight and open, dry areas.

2. Watering too little

Too little watering is also the cause of the ZZ plant’s stem being damaged and unable to grow straight.

ZZ plants cannot tolerate drought and lack of water for 4 weeks. So if it doesn’t get water for too long, the stem will weaken and fall down.

Yellow, brown leaves, smaller and thinner stems, and falling down are all signs that the ZZ plant is suffering from severe water shortage. The small stems will be deformed first, and the leaf edges will turn yellow and burn.

To solve this situation, you just need to water them, they will respawn very quickly. However, if you don’t water it for a long time, the ZZ plant will probably die.

Therefore, you need to check the moisture in the soil regularly to provide the right amount of water.

3. Direct light

As you know, ZZ plants do not like direct sunlight. It is native to the tropical forests of Africa. Therefore, it receives very little direct light due to the cover of large trees.

If you place this plant in direct sunlight, its stem will be bent to avoid sunlight. This is also how they protect their lives in extreme weather conditions.

In addition, if ZZ plants are placed in a place that is too dark and lacks light, they will not grow straight but will bend to find a light source.

Perfect conditions for this plant are indirect light and avoidance of direct sunlight. If you find that the plant is not growing straight due to lack of light, move in the opposite direction of the pot to make it grow straight again. 

Then, you should place the pot in a better position when the balance is achieved. The ideal location to place the ZZ plant pot is 1 meter away from the window to absorb indirect sunlight.

4. Plants with sudden habitat change

Changing habitat from pot to pot or planting in the ground will cause temporary damage to the trunk. This is because roots are affected leading to unstable water and nutrient transport.

From there, the trunk has problems with sudden changes that will cause it to bend and not grow straight.

If you are having this problem, give the tree time to recover. Fully water the plant, then 4 weeks later you should water again.

5. Nutritional imbalance

Too much fertilizer or lack of nutrition is also the cause of ZZ plants not growing straight. If the leaves are yellow and green veins appear, it is a sign of iron deficiency. Plants can also bend due to nitrogen deficiency.

Although, the ZZ plant is not a plant that needs a lot of nutrients. However, to keep them healthy and strong, you need to provide them with adequate nutrients during the growing season like spring and summer.

How to help ZZ plants grow back straight

The above causes cause the ZZ stem to bend and not grow straight. Therefore, you need to overcome the above conditions to provide an ideal living environment.

However, if your ZZ plant is not growing straight and needs to be fixed in time, you can use the method below.

Tie the branches with a soft cloth: A simple way to make the branches grow straight is to tie them together. You can tie the branches together into segments to fix in a vertical direction.

After that, you can remove the tie for 2-3 weeks to monitor the results and continue to adjust until the plant grows straight.

One note is that you should not tie it too tightly because it will hurt the trunk of the plant.

Use a vertical stick to fix: Another simple way is to use an upright stick and stick it to the ground.

Then you tie back the bent branches and sticks to help them grow straight again. This will help the bent branches to be fixed and have a fulcrum to grow.


There are many reasons for the ZZ plant not to grow straight. Some of the underlying causes include too much or too little water, direct sunlight, nutritional imbalance, or sudden changes in habitat.

To overcome this situation, you need to improve the care process to create the most ideal living environment for ZZ plants.

Alternatively, you can use a stick to fix the bent branches for 2-3 weeks. This will give the curved branches a fulcrum to grow and straighten again.

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