ZZ Plant Not Growing: Common Causes

ZZ plant not growing is definitely a cause for concern. However, the good news is that there’s always something you can do to kickstart foliage and stem production of your Zanzibar Gem and get it back to a normal and healthy state.

Here are 5 reasons why your ZZ plant is not growing, and helpful tips to get your Zamioculcas Zamiifolia on track.

Your ZZ Plant is Not Getting Sufficient Light

zz plant not growing

One of the most common reasons why zz plants do not grow according to expectations is the lack of light.

While it’s true that zz plants can survive in low-light conditions, the ideal light for them is in a place that gets bright indirect sun. This could be beside a window, on a shaded porch, or in your shade garden. Remember, light is an important requirement for plant growth, and the zz plant will need lots if you want noticeable production of stems and leaves.

Take care that you don’t expose your zz plant directly, or the sun’s rays will scorch the leaves.

The Environment is Too Cold and Dry

zz plant not growing

Zamioculcas zamiifolia is technically a perennial tropical plant that thrives in zones 9 and 10. It’s a warm-loving plant species that doesn’t mind hot days as long as it sits in the shade.

The best temperature range for a ZZ plant is somewhere between 60 to 75 degrees F, or 15 to 24 degrees C. The tough plant species can tolerate several degrees of heat, but unfortunately, it won’t do as well in climates or indoor spaces that dip below 59 degrees F.

That said, try to avoid drafty places that experience constant cold winds. Don’t put your zz plant near heat sources such as furnaces, heaters, and AC units. Bring your plant inside during the winter season and keep it in a warm location to reduce the chances of stunted growth.

Watering Issues Can Stall ZZ Plant Growth

Aside from sufficient light, a zz plant needs water in order to grow into a healthy specimen. Too much or too little irrigation can affect a Zanzibar Gem’s growth, so you’ll need to correct your watering habits to encourage your plant to grow.

A quick soil inspection can tell you if you’ve been overwatering or underwatering your zz plant. If the top inch of the soil is overly soggy and wet then chances are that you need to reduce watering to about once a week or so. On the other hand, if the soil looks completely dry then your plant can do with a long drink.

As a general rule, you should water more in the growing season and on hot days. Make it a habit to tap the surface of the soil before reaching for the watering can.

Your ZZ Plant Pot is Too Small or Rootbound

Do you have a zz plant that has stopped growing over the last few months or so? If you’ve had the plant for several years and haven’t changed the pot or container, then chances are that it is root bound.

This becomes more obvious if you take a step back and notice that the plant appears too big for its current container. In this case, you should prepare to repot your zz plant to allow it to grow further.

Gather all the things you need, including a pot or container that’s one size bigger than the one your zz plant is on. Carefully take the plant out, then loosen the soil and the roots. Transplant into the bigger pot and add fresh, nutrient-rich soil. Lastly, water the plant deeply to reduce transplant shock.

Your ZZ Plant is in a Dormant Phase

Last but not least, your ZZ plant might just be resting ahead of the cold season and thus experiences slower growth.

Zamioculcas zamiifolia is notorious for being a slow grower, only adding several inches to its length per growing season. While some may say that their Zanzibar Gems have boosted a foot or more in a year, this is a special exception and not considered the norm.

If the weather is cold and it’s approaching winter, then you won’t have to do anything to your zz plant. Just let it sit and enjoy dormancy so the plant can store energy for the next season.