A balanced soil mix is essential to have a healthy plant in the long run. Each plant has different soil requirements, which sometimes becomes a question for planters. What potting soil is suitable for your ZZ plant? Let’s find out!
The ZZ plant grows best in the nutrient-rich and porous soil mix. Get regular potting soil and mix perlite or cactus soil to improve aeration in the soil. Avoid using garden soil as the ZZ plant does not like to sit on wet soil for a longer duration.
The growing medium of your plant plays an essential role in any plant’s growth. ZZ plants are not too picky in their soil mix, but the right soil mix will boost their growth to a large extent.
Let us go through the major factors you need to consider for choosing the right soil mix. The secret to the right soil mix is taking proper care of your plant at all levels, and the rest we will learn below.
Table Of Contents
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What type of soil does a ZZ plant need?
It can be daunting for a new plant parent to understand all the soil mix elements and choose the perfect soil mix for your ZZ plant.
There are a few factors that we recommend you should consider before picking that soil mix for your ZZ plant. These include:
- How nutrient-rich is the soil?
- Does the soil drain well?
- Does the soil hold some moisture?
- How is the aeration in the soil?
These questions need to be checked when looking for making the soil mix for your ZZ plant.
ZZ plants grow from rhizomes through which roots come out, and then stem and leaves grow out from the top.
They need a nutrient-rich potting medium to grow and thrive. If the soil lacks enough nutrients, it will wilt or not have proper growth.
Secondly, we need to make sure the potting mix is well-draining to allow easy water and nutrient flow in the plant for better growth.
The garden soil is heavy and will block water and airflow, whereas sand is too light and will not hold any water at all.
We need a soil mix that is well-draining and well-aerated, but at the same time, it must hold enough water and nutrients for the plant’s growth.
ZZ plants prefer their soil to be dry or moist but not soggy. The soil should retain moisture for some time but not for a longer period as it can create an environment perfect for fungal growth.
The soil mix should have moisture retention capacity in moderation apt for your ZZ plant.
Your ZZ plant’s soil should be well aerated; if it is compact, the oxygen flow will block and keep the soil soggy leading to fungal and bacterial growth and root rot situations.
Don’t be confused after reading the above list for the perfect soil mix for your ZZ plant. You can easily make your soil mix that fulfills your ZZ plant’s needs.
And if you are still not sure what you should do, just follow the mix I have tried and tested. So, let’s get right into it.
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Best soil mix for ZZ plant
Your ZZ plant is luckily not very picky about their growing medium as they are one of the most resilient plants available in the market.
But we need our ZZ plant to flourish and not just survive, for which we may need to help them mature quickly.
ZZ plants are not fussy. They are sturdy plants that can flourish with proper care and a touch of wellness by planting them in the appropriate soil mix.
In my opinion, most of the potting mix will do well. The potting mix available in the market have a blend of perlite, peat moss, and even sand (sometimes) to ensure proper drainage for the plant.
However, If you wish to make your soil mix for your ZZ plant, mix regular potting soil with the cactus mix to ensure proper drainage and quick nutrition absorption.
Cactus mix contains perlite, limestone, and sand, making it a porous and well-draining mix. It will ensure proper root growth as well.
So, with all those basics out of the way, let us look at my recipe that works like a charm with all of my ZZ plants.
- 3/4 part of organic potting soil (Recommended: Miracle Grow Indoor potting mix)
- 1/4 part of the succulent mix (Recommended: cactus soil)
- A handful of compost (For Nutrients)
- 1/4 part potting soil (Recommended Miracle Grow Indoor potting mix)
- 1/4 part peat moss
- 1/2 part of perlite/coarse sand
Blend three parts of potting soil into one part of the cactus mix to start with. Cactus mix will help increase the soil’s air space and draining capacity.
Another way you can improve the soil’s draining capacity is by adding perlite to the mix. Perlite makes the soil structure light and helps in better absorption of the nutrients and water.
Add 1/2 part of perlite to 1/4 part of the potting mix. You can also add 1/4 part of peat moss.
The above options will yield positive results and protect your ZZ plant from getting soaked up in the water for too long.
Can I use cactus soil for ZZ plant?
It will be ideal if the ZZ plant’s soil is dried out in-between watering. Cactus soil is a good option for your ZZ plant as they soak water fast, drain fast.
Though cactus soil will work great for the ZZ plant, it can keep the plant on the dry side for a longer period leading to droopy leaves and brown leaves in the longer run.
We recommend mixing something that retains moisture to some level and will be perfectly mixed for your ZZ plant for sure.
Blend a quality potting mix with the cactus mix to add moisture retention along with good drainage and coarse matter to the mix. It will also provide nutrition to the plant and promote root growth.
An ideal mix will be 1/2 part cactus soil with 1/4th part potting mix and 1/4 part peat moss.
Do ZZ plants like acidic soil?
ZZ plant prefers slightly acidic soil. The ideal pH range for the ZZ plant will be in-between 6.0-7.0. Ensure the soil is not too acidic as it may result in leaf burn and stunted growth in your ZZ plant.
Anything around 6.5 would be ideal pH range for your ZZ plant.
When should I repot my ZZ plant?
ZZ plants have a good growth rate, and their roots are rhizomatous. You need to understand your ZZ plant to identify when the plant needs repotting.
The roots grow vigorously, and when the roots come out from the holes, it indicates the need for the plant to be repotted. Other signs of your ZZ plant that tell you that they need repotting are:
- Outgrown roots
- Wilting leaves
- Browning leaves
- Stunted growth
- Pots start breaking down
These signs need to register immediately, and you need to repot your ZZ plant.
It is recommended to repot during summer and spring because winter being the dormant season, can affect the plant’s growth due to repotting.
Do not fertilize them after repotting them immediately and let them adjust.
Repot your ZZ plant ideally in 2-3 years as it will not harm to restructure them when required. It is a boost for their overall health and growth.
Also read: Do ZZ plant like to be root bound? When to repot?
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What kind of pot to use for the ZZ plant?
ZZ plants are low key, and you do not need to worry about the pot you need to use for them. Since they thrive in almost all environmental conditions, they will thrive in all types of pots too.
There are varieties of pots available such as terracotta, plastic, metal, clay, concrete, fiber, coir, etc.
You can pick any of your choices without too much stress. Each pot has different properties, which will not make much difference when planting ZZ plants.
Porous pots like terracotta, ceramic, coir planters will absorb the moisture away from the soil, whereas plastic will retain the moisture.
When choosing the pot size, you need to consider some factors. The ZZ plant’s roots shouldn’t be root-bound, and they need a little space to grow.
Thus, the root ball should be more than one inch away from the pot’s wall.
This calls for a bigger pot for your ZZ plant. The next pot should be 2″ bigger than the previous pot.
When planting cuttings or divisions, take the pot without much extra space; otherwise, extra space will make it harder for planters to manage water levels.
Also read: Why you shouldn’t plant your ZZ plant in a pot too big?
- ZZ plants are hardy plants with minimal needs. They like their soil mix to be porous but are not too picky for the same.
- For the right soil mix, check the soil mix portion of the article above in case you have skipped it.
- They grow in all environments and thrive in different soil mixes.
- Soil mix for the ZZ plant should have essential nutrients to support a fast growth rate. If you don’t choose the right soil mix, the plant will still survive but may not grow that fast.
- The main factor you need to check in the soil is that it should be well-draining and nutrient-rich. This will keep the soil dry and support plants’ growth and health.
- Proper care is also required to maintain proper soil and plant health.
Sources: ZZ plant study, College of agricultural studies, University of Vermont, National science foundation.
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