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ZZ Plant Zamioculcas zamiifolia

Can anyone tell me where I'm going wrong - is it under or over watering?!? P.S. the fire is never on its disconnected.


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,287
    Just a thought, but could there be a draught coming from the fireplace?
    It's not a plant I've had so hope someone can offer advice

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Balgay.HillBalgay.Hill Posts: 1,085
    Does the pot have drain holes in the bottom?
    I would think lack of humidity might also be the cause. When it comes to watering, let the top inch of compost get dry, then water until it runs out the bottom of the pot.

    Sunny Dundee
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,423
    I think overwatering is the most likely cause. It's a succulent and doesn't like to be kept wet. Make sure the inner pot has drainage holes and let the water drain through when you water it, and don't water until it's dry down to half a finger's depth (not just dry on the surface).
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 3,458
    As well as carrying out @JennyJ's advice you could consider repotting your plant with fresh, free draining houseplant compost.  Is your plant in an inner pot as well as the decorative pot?  If not, it really needs to be in a separate inner pot to help you control watering and draining.

    You could also tidy the plant up by removing all the discoloured leaves at the base, making it easier for the plant to adapt to fresh compost and a new pot. It will look better too. 

    Once you establish a good watering regime, your plant will be fine - they were once described in a Gardeners' World article as "virtually impossible to kill".  My advice would be not to take up the challenge!!
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • Thanks everyone, I think overwatering has been the problem.  Everyone's help has been gratefully received. 
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,620
    @Plantminded As you may remember I have recently become the owner of a ZZ plant. I just wonder how you know when it needs repotting please? I have been watering it about every 4 to 5 weeks. It is doing well as is the Sansevaria.I am on the look out for S cylindrica but yet to find one. Sadly the market that @Loxley mentioned is not somewhere I can get to at present but no great hurry. I like to have a list of plants to hunt out!
     Retired Gardener, new build garden, clay soil, South Notts.

    The more I garden the less I know but the more pleasure I get from it. Monty Don 
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 3,458
    Hi @GardenerSuze, yes, I remember.  When the pot starts to bulge, it's time to repot!  When I bought mine last year it was ready for repotting and promptly sent up two new leaves within a couple of weeks after repotting.  I've read that they don't mind a confined root space but I wasn't happy with the bulging pot!  I feed mine once a month over the summer months - no new leaves this year yet though!  Has yours put on any growth?
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,620
    @Plantminded Thank you for your advice, I plan to get some houseplant compost when I do need to repot. Yes I have two new leaves and the leaves have all grown. I have also fed it so all good.
     Retired Gardener, new build garden, clay soil, South Notts.

    The more I garden the less I know but the more pleasure I get from it. Monty Don 
  • dappledshadedappledshade Posts: 1,017
    A very knowledgable lady at my local GC, who is something of an expert in ZZ plants, told me (when I bought my first, a few years ago) to let the compost totally dry out between watering and to water very sparingly, once a month at the very most.
    They can live in sun or shade, but will produce more leaves in the sun.
    She told me that each one of those long stems that emerges from the soil is technically one leaf.
    Also, she advised me to repot mine only once the plastic pot it is in, has split!
    They love being overcrowded, apparently.
    I’ll split and repot, when the time comes, into more plastic pots, just so as I can keep an eye on the whole splitting thing.
    Re compost, she said to use ordinary houseplant compost, with a thin layer of dried moss on top.
    So far, I’ve followed her advice to the letter and all is well with my ZZ.
  • Thank you 
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