Why are the stems of my ZZ plant falling off? – A PUZZLE

ZZ plants are hardy and an excellent choice for first-time parents. These houseplants require a minimal care regimen and can tolerate months of neglect without becoming picky.

Hanging the ZZ plant is an unavoidable problem. Every indoor plant lover will have to face the problem once in their life.

So why are my ZZ rods falling off? The stems of ZZ plants sag or droop due to improper watering, over-fertilization, lighting problems, transplant shock, and cold drafts.

The general rule is to identify the exact cause to prevent the stems of ZZ plants from falling. There are several ideal solutions to solve the problem.

Keep reading this article to learn how to keep your ZZ plant’s stems from falling off. The information also helps you identify underlying issues.

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Reasons Why ZZ Plant Stems Drop (And How To Fix It)

There are several reasons why the stems of ZZ plants droop. Below are the most common reasons why the ZZ plant does not grow straight (Source: University of Illinois

ZZ plant with excess water

ZZ plants are types of succulents native to East Africa (Kenya and Rwanda). These plants have semi-dry properties that allow them to withstand months of neglect without dying.

The root system of the rhizome also allows the plant to withstand an occasional downpour and retain enough water to survive.

But too much water can cause the rhizomes to rot and rot. Between waterings, you need to allow more time for the soil to dry out.

ZZ plant not growing straight is a sign of overwatering. Soggy soil makes it difficult for the rhizomes to take up oxygen. This ultimately leads to unhealthy root systems.

The soggy state also creates an environment for bacteria and fungi to grow. These microbes then attack the roots to cause rotting and rotting.

Severe root rot usually results in unhealthy plants in the long run. Other signs of root rot include ZZ plant leaves turning yellow and falling off.

If you suspect the root rot problem, consider repotting the houseplant. Uproot the plant and cut off the affected roots with sterilized scissors.

Use well-drained potting soil and a container with drainage holes in the bottom. These holes help remove excess water and allow the plant to thrive.

Underwater ZZ Factory

Underwatering is the least common cause of stunted ZZ plants. The houseplant can tolerate a long dry spell without becoming picky.

But extreme withdrawal from the watering routine can harm your plant. Due to slow dehydration, the leaves dry up, curl up and fall off.

Also, the stems of ZZ plants will eventually bend and fall. If the condition persists, the plant is likely to wilt and eventually die.

Solving the water problem is very easy. You should check the moisture level of the soil before watering. This will help reduce the chances of overwatering.

I generally recommend watering the plant two or three times a month in spring and summer. In winter, be sure to check soil moisture before watering.

direct sun exposure

ZZ plants like medium to bright indirect sunlight. But this houseplant can still adapt to a variety of conditions without compromising health too much.

Sunlight is essential for any houseplant. It helps plants to perform photosynthesis and other vital physiological processes.

But extreme lighting conditions can damage your houseplant. Direct exposure to too much sun will cause the stems of your ZZ plant to drop. It will also cause the leaves to curl and drop.

Consider moving your plant’s current location to an area with moderate indirect sunlight. Use blinds to reduce the intensity of sunlight.

Low light is also not ideal for your indoor plants. The ZZ plant will experience stunted growth and the stems will become long as the plant tries to stretch for more light.

I generally recommend installing LED grow lights in case the current location does not receive natural light. The technique prevents the stems of the ZZ plant from bending.

Excessive fertilization is harmful

Over-fertilizing can cause the stems of the ZZ plant to drop. Excessive salt buildup around the rhizomes inhibits the uptake of water and other vital minerals.

Excess salt in the soil often leads to dehydration. The ZZ plant responds by drooping and rolling the leaves to reduce water loss.

I recommend using an organic fertilizer instead of its artificial counterpart. Compost promotes healthy growth and the development of beautiful leaves.

The good news is that ZZ plants are not picky about the type of fertilizer. But consider applying fertilizer only in fall and summer.

Use a well-balanced water-soluble fertilizer. Nutrients help reduce the risk associated with stem drop or leaves turning yellow and brown.

Extreme temperatures

ZZ plants prefer a temperature range of 65-75OF. This favorable temperature allows the houseplant to thrive and make a bold statement in the home.

Any temperature below 45OF can be detrimental to the plant. The ZZ plant becomes vulnerable to stem drop, leaf curling and wilting.

Also, the stems of the ZZ plant will turn brown and eventually break off. But cold stress can be solved by providing the required final temperature.

A high temperature above 75OF is also not suitable for your ZZ plant. Excessive heat will cause the plant to droop and curl the leaves due to dehydration.

Keep the houseplant away from cold drafts and heaters. Helps prevent ZZ plant stems from falling off.

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transplant shock

ZZ plants are more vulnerable to root problems. You are expected to relocate the plant after a few years to avoid root problems.

But the transplanting process can put a little strain on your houseplant. The ZZ plant will suffer from drooping stems and leaves.

ZZ stems dropping from the stress of transplanting shouldn’t scare you. The fallen stem recovers after a few days.

Water the plant and provide the best ZZ plant care routine. Recovering the roots will brighten up the stems.

ZZ Plant Stress Trauma

A falling ZZ stem is a sign of physical damage to the plant. The problem is more common in homes with children and pets.

Rough handling can also cause stems to break. Damaged stems cannot be salvaged and should be cut from the plant with sterilized scissors. †Source: University of Florida

frequently asked Questions

How do I keep my ZZ plant straight?

Move the plant to an area that receives medium to bright indirect sunlight. Due to lighting conditions, the stems will stand erect.

How do you fix an asymmetrical ZZ factory?

Rotate the jar more often to ensure each part receives the same amount of sunlight. The tactic will help prevent the ZZ plant from having an unbalanced appearance and crisscrossing stems.

How often should the ZZ plant be watered?

Every 2-3 weeks to allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Be sure to check the moisture level of the soil before watering. Keep in mind that the plant needs more water in summer than in winter.

How long can ZZ Plant go without water?

The ZZ plant is super hardy and can survive a few months in harsh conditions. The houseplant can go up to four months without water.

You might also like: Why are the leaves of my ZZ plant curling?

At last

The ZZ plant is hardy and can withstand several months of neglect. But drooping ZZ stems are a sign of an unlucky houseplant.

Try to examine the plant and identify the exact problem. Learn how often to water the ZZ plant to avoid watering problems.

ZZ plants not growing straight are due to improper watering, heat stress, over-fertilization, physical damage, and transplant shock.

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