Repotting your ZZ (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) plant is a suitable way to give it additional growing room and freshen the potting mix’s nutrients. Water is among the necessary conditions that determine your ZZ plant’s survival after repotting. Thus, getting the water requirement right can be the difference between a thriving ZZ plant and one that struggles to survive.
You should water your ZZ plant after repotting it for its survival. Since ZZ plants don’t require excessive water, overwatering will make the soil soggy and, eventually, kill the plant. A rule of thumb is to only water the plant when the top two soil inches (5.08 cm) are dry to the touch.
In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss when you should water your repotted ZZ plant. I’ll also cover how to water the plant after repotting to prevent over or underwatering. Let’s get started!
When To Water Your Repotted ZZ Plant
Watering your repotted ZZ plant is not all about waking up one day and deciding to give it some water. Knowing when and how often to water your ZZ plant after repotting is essential. Here are the general guidelines:
Water When the Plant Has Recovered
The repotting process applies some pressure to the plant. In some instances, the pressure may damage roots or disrupt their growth. Therefore, it’s essential to wait until the ZZ plant has recovered from the repotting before watering it again.
Generally, you can water your repotted ZZ plant after one week of repotting. The grace period ensures that the roots damaged during the repotting processes have healed.
Water When the Soil Is Dry
Plants need water for survival since they are 80 to 95 percent water. Water facilitates transpiration, photosynthesis, and nutrient transportation throughout the plant. However, ZZ plants don’t require too much water, and overwatering can lead to root rot.
Based on the above consideration, it can be challenging to know when exactly to water your ZZ plant after repotting it for its survival. However, a rule of thumb is to check if the soil is dry.
The top two inches (5.08 cm) of soil should be dry to the touch before watering your repotted ZZ plant. If the soil is still moist, wait until it has dried before watering the plant.
Alternatively, you can inspect the soil’s moisture content using a moisture meter to avoid over or underwatering the plant.
Here is a guide to using a moisture meter to get the correct moisture content reading:
- Insert the metal probe about ⅘ of the way into the potting mix. You must be careful to avoid breaking the probe since it’s a brittle device.
- Give the moisture meter about 30 to 60 seconds to determine the moisture content.
- Note the reading and remove the metal probe from the soil.
- Wipe the probe and transfer it to the next location within the pot and take the new reading.
- Repeat the process until you’ve gone around the entire pot.
- Get the average of the results to determine the soil’s moisture content.
Here is a video that demonstrates this process:
The result can be on the dry or moist sides of the scale. Based on the reading, you can determine if it’s time to water your ZZ plant or not.
Water When You Notice Shriveled Leaves
Shriveled leaves in most plants is a sign of inadequate water. Shriveling in the leaves may mean the plant is not receiving sufficient water to maintain its structure and growth.
When you notice that your ZZ plant’s leaves have started shriveling, it’s time to water it. However, don’t overwater the plant, as the soil may become soggy, leading to root rot and death.
According to the University of Georgia, the time at which plant leaves shrivel or wilt is crucial in determining if the problem is insufficient water. Wilting is common in many plants in the afternoon, and this is an adaptation mechanism to conserve water.
Wilted or shriveled leaves have less surface area exposed to the sun, which limits water loss.
So, you should always consider the time of the day when the leaves become shriveled before deciding to water the plant.
How Often Should You Water Your Reppoted ZZ Plant?
How often to water your repotted ZZ plant goes back to the above conditions. The main one is the soil’s moisture condition. It’s recommended to water these plants when the soil is dry.
It’s worth noting that soil becomes dry at different rates according to your location. For instance, the soil becomes drier much faster if you’re in an arid area with excessive sun. In this case, you’ll need to water the plant more frequently.
A point worth noting is that high soil temperatures impede nutrient and water uptake in plants. Therefore, watering the plant frequently also serves to lower the soil’s temperature and enhance your plant’s water and nutrient uptake.
If you live in a colder region where temperatures are below 18°C (64.4°F), the rate at which the soil becomes dry is low. Consequently, you don’t have to water the plant frequently. Doing so will make the soil soggy, exposing your ZZ plant’s roots to the risk of rot or creating holes in the leaves.
Furthermore, ZZ plants are low maintenance and can survive in dry conditions. So, you don’t have to worry about watering your repotted ZZ plant too frequently, provided you keep an eye on the soil’s condition and avoid overwatering.
How To Water Your Repotted ZZ Plant
The watering process for a repotted ZZ plant isn’t too different from how you would water any repotted houseplant. Here is a guide:
- Fill a watering can with room temperature tap water or filtered water and let it sit for about 24 hours to dechlorinate.
- Test the moisture content of the soil using a moisture meter or by sticking your finger in the potting mix. You should only proceed with the watering process if the soil is dry.
- Water the plant until you see excess water draining from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. This indicates the entire potting mix has enough water.
It’s advisable to avoid wetting the plant’s leaves to prevent fungal diseases and rotting.
Finally, allow the top two inches (5.08 cm) of soil to dry before watering again. This ensures that the plant’s roots have access to oxygen in between the watering sessions.
Tips for Watering Your Outdoor Repotted ZZ Plant
Repotting your ZZ plant outdoors exposes it to direct sun and wind, which might deplete the water quickly. Therefore, you must devise some mechanisms to prevent excessive water depletion through evaporation.
Some of the tips you can use include:
- Use glazed pots: Glazed pots have a glossy exterior that helps reduce evaporation and keep the water in the soil.
- Apply a layer of mulch: Cover the top layer of potting mix with organic mulch to prevent water loss through evaporation and maintain soil moisture.
- Water in the morning or evening: It’s advisable to water your plant early in the morning when the temperatures are still low. This allows the water enough time to seep into the soil before the sun becomes hot. On the other hand, watering in the late evening enables the water to seep through the soil and get absorbed by the plant throughout the night.
- Use a drip irrigation system: Drip irrigation delivers water slowly into the soil to ensure it reaches the plant’s roots. It also helps prevent water loss through evaporation and runoff.
Repotted ZZ Plant General Care Tips
Apart from water, a repotted ZZ plant needs nutrients and other provisions to thrive. Without these, your repotted ZZ plant is bound to fail.
Some general care tips for this plant are:
- Place the plant near a bright, indirect source of light. Although ZZ plants can tolerate low light conditions, they thrive in brighter, indirect sunlight.
- Avoid exposing the plant to drafts or sudden temperature changes. This might cause leaf damage.
- Fertilize during spring and summer. These are the seasons when these plants are actively growing. Therefore, fertilizing them helps encourage healthy growth.
- Be cautious when pruning ZZ plants, as they have a unique growing pattern. While you can cut off the yellow or brown leaves, you should leave the newly emerging ones, as they are integral to the plant’s growth.
- Maintain proper humidity levels by misting the plant or placing it on a pebble tray with water.
It’s essential to water your ZZ plant after repotting. However, you should give the plant approximately one week to heal from the repotting pressure before watering it. Moreover, you should always check to ensure the soil’s top two inches (5.08 cm) are dry before watering.