5 Causes of ZZ Plant Stems Drooping [Easy Solutions]

Zanzibar Gem, familiar as the ZZ plant is also a familiar indoor plant of decorative value. You might have noticed them in offices as desk plants or houses as floor plants. With shiny, wide, oval, dark-green, fleshy leaves shooting upwards, ZZ plants seem artificial!

This African plant got fame after the 90s in the west. Nowadays they are very well seen. ZZ plants demand low maintenance and are drought tolerant.

Moreover, they have the air-purifying ability! So, they are environment-friendly. This is the reason why the ZZ plant has soon become a great choice as an indoor plant. And might also be the reason behind you choosing it to be your homie.

What are the Reasons Behind ZZ plant stems Fall Over?

Watering problems, especially overwatering and transplantation stress are the common culprits behind the stem drooping of ZZ plants. Among the others are lighting problems, temperature problems, fertilization problems. So we find five issues such as watering problem, transplantation stress, lighting problem, temperature problem, and fertilization problem as the main reasons behind ZZ plant stem drooping.

How do You Keep a ZZ Plant Upright?

There is no doubt you love your plant friends a lot. Seeing them drooping sure has hurt you a lot. Don’t worry. You are here for a solution and I am gonna provide that. Just stay with me.

Let’s discuss this in detail to get the solution. 

1. Overwatering

The ZZ plant is a succulent plant. It is very well habituated in the arid African region. So normally they can tolerate the dryness of the soil. Moreover, excess water causes harm. Drooping of stems is a common manifestation of overwatering.

Cause & Symptom

Overwatering causes root rot. As a result, the stems fall. You may not notice the rotting before the stems droop. That’s why you have to remain cautious about watering. 

Control measure

If you find a stem falling, check for root rot. If root rot is the cause, then immediately go for repotting. Repot the plant with a bit of dry soil. Take time and observe it. May your luck favor.

Preventive measure

Never water your ZZ plants until the soil is dry. You can feel the soil with your fingers. The upper 2 inches of soil needs to remain dry. For a better assessment of the moisture level of the soil, you should keep a good moisture meter (Our pick: Atree Soil Soil Tester Kits with Moisture, Light, and PH Test for Garden).

2. Underwatering

Not only overwatering but also underwatering can turn to be the culprit. You should not water your plants before the soil dries up. But if you wait for too long, underwatering may show its existence by drooping stems.

Cause & Symptom

Underwatering causes dehydration of the plants. Dehydrated stems become weak and fall. You will also notice the leaves curling, drying, and dying. You must not tolerate that. 

Control measure

Whenever you notice that your beloved plants are dehydrated, water them. Watering your ZZ plants every weekend or every other week would do the job for you. Overall stay alert. The remedy shouldn’t turn out to be detrimental. 

Preventive measure

To prevent underwatering, I wish to suggest well-draining potting soil (our pick: Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix). Keep an eye on your plants and get the bounty. 

3. Transplantation Stress

Repotting is a commonly practiced technique for better plant growth. But, it has to be in the proper method. Plants usually go through a bit of stress after repotting. But the stress sometimes surpasses the plants’ adaptive capacity. The ZZ plant is a hardy plant. Still, it may face transplantation stress. 

Cause & symptom

The reasons that are detected causing stem drooping are water stress and root damage. Inefficiently repotting and bad potting soil may end up causing slumping of stems.

Control measure

What you can do in favor of a stressed ZZ plant after repotting is to give it time to cope up with the new normal surroundings. You should also keep an eye on the potting soil to avoid water stress. Hope your beloved plants soon grow straight upright. 

Preventive measure

You should not repot a ZZ plant on your caprice. You can repot your plant once a year for the early years. Early spring should be the time to choose for repotting. As the plants get reanimated during the spring season.

4. Lighting Problem

ZZ plants are very adaptive and can tolerate a wide range of light. But excess of anything is bad as tolerance has a limit.

Excessive light

ZZ plants tolerate direct sunlight but day-long direct sunlight becomes harmful. Plants show stem bending.

Cause & symptom

To avoid excessive light stems show opposite locomotion from the sunny side. This is to avoid sunburn. In such a condition the plants will look odd.

Control measure

Immediately remove your plants from such a bright position and relocate them to a less sunshine area.

Preventive measure

Bright to moderately bright indirect sunlight is ideal for ZZ plants. So be cautious about choosing the spot to put your beloved plant friends.

Low light

Even low light does harm. You might not readily understand the reason behind stem falling if such happens.

Cause and symptom 

In low-light conditions, the plants face growth retardation. Weak stems tend to fall down.

Control measure

Place your plants near a window. Let it have indirect sunlight. You may use a curtain if the window faces to the west side to avoid direct sunshine.

Preventive measure

If your place is devoid of getting natural light don’t be depressed and leave planting. Even artificial lighting can help grow ZZ plants. You could try fluorescent or LED grow lights.

5. Temperature Problem

The ideal temperature for the ZZ plant is (15-25)°C. ZZ plants tolerate high temperatures. But low temperature becomes harmful.

Cause & symptom

When the temperature gets below 8°C the growth of the plants becomes stunted. Later on, the leaves wilted and stems may fall. The stems turn brown and eventually break down.

Control measure

Replace your plants in a warmer place. Let it have bright indirect sunlight. You may cut down the damaged stalks. Then give some time to your plant friends to stand up strongly again.

Preventive measure

Do not keep your plants in a cold low lighted spot. Have knowledge about your plants. Otherwise, your care might become a curse.

6. Fertilization Problem

If the above-narrated topics are not responsible for the drooping problem you should look for the fertilizer problem. ZZ plants don’t require much fertilizer. But if your plants are having nutritional deficiency you need to add some. 

Cause & symptom 

Nutritional deficiency weakens plants. Weakness manifests through stem drooping. 

Control measure

The one and only step you can take to check nutritional deficiency are to choose a fertilizer for your plant friends. Here I am with a suggestion so that you can be benefited (our pick: Aquatic Arts Indoor Plant Food).

Preventive measure

ZZ plants will need to have fertilizer every 3 to 6 months. April to August is the growing time of the plants. During this time you might use fertilizer a bit more frequently. Stay alert for overuse. Overnutrition may cause burning leaves, stunted growth, etc. If such happens, repotting is the solution. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

# How do I know if my ZZ plant is overwatered?

Overwatering turns the leaves brown or yellow. Stems droop or fall due to overwatering. To avoid overwatering, drainage should be good. For better understanding, you may check this guide on watering the ZZ plants.

# How do you know when your ZZ plant needs repotting? 

When you will find the roots of your plants are peeping through the pot’s drainage hole, you need to repot. In such a situation, stunted growth, wilting, and yellowing of leaves occur. Normally you will need to repot your ZZ plants once a year.

#Is that your ZZ plant stems are drooping after repotting?

ZZ plants are slow-growing sustainable ones. You need not repot them often. But if you do it wrong, drooping might be the result. Spring and summer are the time for repotting as the plants go through an active growth phase during that time. But if the stems are drooping you have to take immediate steps.


ZZ plants look so animated as they enrich indoor decor quality to a great extent. Though they are recently acquainted with, they have been studied well & their air-purifying capacity has made them a smart choice as decorative indoor plants.

I hope now you are well informed about how to fix a droopy ZZ plant. Do such things carefully and get the desired result. If there is anything you wanna share with me, just put it in the comment box. Stay connected with us and enjoy planting.

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