How To Fix Leggy ZZ Plant

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia which is also called ZZ plant is famous for its ability to become overweight. The main reason for the ZZ plant being prone to lethargy is the lack of sunlight , which makes the plant focus on catching the sun, instead of being healthy. The most effective way to combat this is to relocate it to a brighter spot that has indirect light.

After I moved into a new home I noticed that the ZZ plants was sagging and I was unable to determine the cause for my life.

Luckily, there are people I know who’ve taken care of plants for longer than I have , and they helped me resolve the issue. If it wasn’t due to my friends and the generosity of some experts, I wouldn’t have had the knowledge to know how to proceed.

What Is a Leggy Plant?

A plant that is “leggy” refers to when the plant is spending more time and energy growing and lengthening its stems in order to reach the light source or other resources they require to live.

It is possible to distinguish leggy plants by the length of their stems or branches that aren’t covered in foliage or have less leaves than normal since the their energy isn’t focused on forming more leaves.

zz plant single stem

It’s also possible that plants that are leggy begin to bend or lean towards one side, as the stems are focused on growing longer, instead of getting stronger. The extra weight of the new stem growth can cause the plant to bend or lean due to the lack of power to hold it up.

Why the ZZ Plant Grows Leggy

The general rule is that ZZ plant can become in a sloppy state because of the stress of being under light or fertilizer improperly added, or issues in watering your plants.

In the event that you’re ZZ plants is an indoor plant the main reason for it to get leggy is because it needs more light. The plant will seek the nearest light source and consequently develop long stems and smaller leaves.

It’s also possible that the ZZ plant is becoming sluggish because of other stressors. The stress factors are excessive or incorrect fertilizer, or even altering the space it is sitting in.

If you’ve recently moved the plant could be growing sluggish because of a change in humidity or light, which can cause it to become stressed.

What is the reason my ZZ plant growing so slow?

As mentioned above the most frequent reason for the ZZ plant to get sagging is due to the absence of sunlight.

Because plants require light to grow, photosynthesize and remain healthy Insufficient sunlight could cause your plant to expand towards the closest light source, causing it to become lean.

Leggy plants are usually ones with stems that are long, which are smaller and have less leaves. When ZZ plants grow leggy, it’s like stretching or reaching for something the plant requires.

The plant may be prone to a decline due to stress, poor fertilizer usage or watering issues.

What is the cause of the lethargy ZZ Plant?

As mentioned earlier there are several reasons that your ZZ plant might become sloppy. Here is an overview of the most likely reasons for your plant to become leggy.

In the following list I will try to provide each explanation of the plant gets sagging to help you understand the cause and prevent this issue in the future.


The overwatering of the ZZ plant could cause it to be unbalanced due to the negative effects that too much water could cause to the plant.

In the event that your ZZ plant is not in enough drainage soil or is placed in a container which does not contain drainage channels, then giving excessive water to it is an issue due to root rot.

Root rot is triggered when your plant is exposed to excessive amounts of water. Eventually, decay begins to take over root systems of the ZZ plant.

Root rot could result in the ZZ plant to grow soft and drooping stems as in comparison to an established, healthy plant. If your roots are straining for support to the branch of your ZZ plant and the stems may be even more sloppy in search of sunlight.


When your ZZ plant is beginning to look sagging and you observe that there are many leaves falling off of your plant, it could be because you are feeding the ZZ plant too much water.

Although your plant may not be growing or getting unbalanced, the stems will appear bare and slender if you have less leaves.

Because bare and thin stems indicate an overgrown ZZ plant, it’s possible to confuse between the two. The primary distinction between a leggy plant and an underwatered one is the growth rate and the amount that fall leaves.

When your ZZ plant is growing quickly, but has fewer leaves, it’s more likely that it is sagging than one that has been underwatered, because the underwatered ZZ plants aren’t able to grow properly as they shed leaves more than allowing the stem to grow and develop with less leaves on it.

Inappropriate fertilization

If your plant is receiving inadequate fertilizer in the growing season this could result in the ZZ’s leaf to drop or turn yellow.

Insufficient fertilization could also result in a thin, slender foliage which could be mistaken for your ZZ plant. It can also cause your plant to become leggy.

Another impact that insufficient fertilizer can cause to the ZZ plant is the slow growth. When your ZZ plant isn’t growing in the way it should and isn’t healthy enough it may be mistaken for the plant becoming leggy. It could even make it unbalanced if it is not addressed.

There’s also a risk when you feed your ZZ plant excessive fertilizer because it could cause issues with the roots , which can cause the stems to shrink and cause your plants to grow weak as they fight to keep their heads up and seek sunlight.

To ensure that you do not use too much or not enough fertilizer, I suggest fertilizing your ZZ plant two times during the growing season.

Certain fertilizers can also impact the health of your ZZ plant. I suggest making use of a compost mix or a nutritious liquid fertilizer to ensure that your ZZ plant healthy and happy.

Transplant Shock

Transplant shock can occur to any plant when the plant is split or repotted. If the roots are damaged during splitting or repotting the plant, the possibility of transplant shock increases to happen.

The most frequently seen symptoms of transplant shock is when plants lose their elasticity or begin to lean, which is also one of the methods to identify a plant that is leggy.

If you’ve recently repotted or transplanted the ZZ plants and noticed that the leaves and stems appear to be droopy, it could be due to shock from transplantation.

Although transplant shock can exhibit similar symptoms as a leggy plant, they aren’t identical. But, if you’re ZZ plant is suffering from transplant shock and is removed from its normal lightsource, it could turn leggy.


Stress from temperature can trigger many problems for the ZZ plant. When your ZZ plant isn’t receiving sufficient heat, it could attempt to find more energy from the nearest source of light, which could cause it to become unsteady.

The optimal temperatures to use for ZZ plant is 55 to 85°F. This temperature ensures that your plant is healthy and happy, and also ensures constant growth.

In the event that the ZZ plants is overheated, they could be prone to yellowing or drooping foliage If it’s not cold enough, the plant may be swollen to get sufficient heat. There’s also the possibility that a temperature shock can cause permanent damage to your plant.

How do you fix a weak ZZ plant?

Most of the time the majority of the time, the fact that you have a weak ZZ plant doesn’t mean the plant can’t be saved. There are many ways to assist your ZZ plant grow back normally.

Below are a few ways you can assist your ZZ plant to become less sagging and make it healthier and happier.


The most straightforward and likely method to help or repair a leggy ZZ plants is to give it to receive more sunlight. To provide your plant with more light, you could buy a grow lamp in case your home isn’t getting enough sunlight or relocate the ZZ plants closer to windows, if it is possible.

The most frequent cause to cause ZZ plants to get weak is due to the absence of sunlight If you could provide the plant sunlight it will naturally get healthier and the stems will develop more robust and have more leaves.

If your plant is growing unsteady for a long time it is possible to make other adjustments and let it get more sunlight to prevent repeating the same issue.

It is also important to note that it is possible for ZZ plants reacting badly to exposure to more light. So, be certain to expose your plant slowly to light.

When you subject the ZZ plant to too much light or when the light intensity is too high it could cause damages, such as burned leaves or temperatures shock , to a certain extent.


Another method to assist your ZZ plant to grow stronger is to shape, prune or even break the plant. Some people believe that you can make use of leggy stems of the ZZ plant to create smaller and new ZZ plants.

To trim your ZZ plant properly You should aim to eliminate as many of the stems that have little leaves as you can.

Because branches that have grown in a sloppy manner for a long time are not likely to be recovering and developing additional foliage. I suggest cutting off stems such as those to allow your plant to concentrate on forming new stems that are strong.


Making sure that you don’t provide your ZZ plant excessive or insufficient water is an effective method to aid in to fix your ailing ZZ plant.

As mentioned above the excess water could result in weak roots that allow the plant’s stems to droop and result in them becoming leggy.

I suggest researching the most suitable kind of soil for your ZZ plant, to ensure that it drains properly enough to prevent root rot.

Another method to prevent root rot and the appearance of a leggy ZZ plants is to choose pots with drainage holes. If the pot is able to drain water effectively enough that the chance of overwatering your plant is much lower.

To ensure that your ZZ plant healthy and happy I recommend that you water your plant every 2 to 3 weeks if it receives lots of indirect light. If your plant is receiving little indirect lighting, then I suggest providing it with water every 3 to 4 weeks.

It is crucial to examine the soil the ZZ plant is growing in to determine whether watering is required.

If you insert a chopstick into the ground, it will be dry and almost completely dry prior to you water again. It is also possible to make use of a finder to determine how dry the soil is.

If you use your finger to measure the amount of moisture the soil must be dryer than wet.


Making sure the ZZ plant is fertilized enough is an excellent method to ensure that it doesn’t get sloppy.

If your plant doesn’t receive sufficient nutrients, this could cause the stems to drop and result in the plant getting overweight.

I suggest giving your ZZ plant an organic or healthy fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season , but not throughout the other months all year.

It is recommended to add the first fertilizer round in the beginning of your growing season, and then apply the second round about two months later or in mid-season in order to stimulate new and vigorous growth of the ZZ plant.

I would also recommend to not over fertilize your plant and stick to lower doses or dilute fertilizer if you’re not sure. The most effective method to fertilize the ZZ plant is to use organic compost fertilizer mix that will keep your plant healthy and not harm the plant.

Correct Pot Size

If you’d like the ZZ plant to grow back from the sagging growth, you may think about moving the pot around or cutting off your plant is too large.

Maintaining the ZZ plant in a properly size pot will enable your plant to grow sturdy and strong roots that will help maintain the ZZ plant’s original form.

It is necessary to increase the size of the pot that the ZZ plants is in at minimum every two years to get the best results.

I suggest that you plant your plants in the spring or early summertime in order to prevent shock. This is also the ideal time to divide the plant if it’s growing too large.

In the event that your ZZ plant isn’t big enough it is recommended to raise the size of your pot by 1 to 2 inches in order for it to develop properly. If you own a larger ZZ plants, then I recommend expanding your pot by two and four inches to get the most effective results.

In the event that your ZZ plant doesn’t have enough space to develop more or more roots, it could not develop and could be unhealthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although I’ve discussed many ways to help leggy ZZ plants but there are always new concerns to ask. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions frequently about leggy ZZ plants.

What is the reason my ZZ plant sagging?

In the event that your ZZ plant isn’t getting enough sunlight and is excessively tall the stems of your plant may start to bend towards the closest light source.

In extreme instances, branches may grow to the point that the support provided is not enough in a standard pot or the roots may fail to hold your plant in a straight line.

There are other causes that you’re stems from your ZZ plant may be falling and falling down. The main reasons behind this have been explained in greater detail earlier such as overwatering, insufficient water, improper use of fertilizers, or stress.

How do you ensure that ZZ plant standing

There are ways to make sure the ZZ plant is standing straight, and some of them have been discussed previously to aid in the case of the sagging ZZ plant.

The most frequent reason for weak ZZ plants is the absence of sunlight, the initial step is to provide your plant some more light by gradually shifting it towards a light or window source.

It is important to note the fact that moving the plant towards the sun is likely not to be enough to solve the problem on its own You may need cut off stems that are leaning or leggy to aid your ZZ plant to grow more straight.

A few people have suggested that you could use strings or pieces of bamboo to help keep the stems of your plants straight and even.

In addition to these steps, you must be sure to determine if there are other reasons that your ZZ plant is being droopy or leaning.

Making sure your plant doesn’t get enough or not enough water will ensure that the roots remain straight. Moreover, giving the ZZ plants some nutrients could aid in the growth of the stems. It and prevent the stems from leaning.

How do you stake the ZZ plant?

If you want for a stake to secure a plant that has multiple stems , such as ZZ, or a ZZ plant, just one stake is not sufficient to sustain the entire plant.

There are several ways to stake plants, which includes using stakes to surround the plant, connecting them using twine or a wire mesh to create an enclosure to ensure your plant stays standing up.

The best option of both, and the best way to support larger plants is to utilize the wire cage mesh.

There will be stakes to hold the wire for this. After cutting a piece metal or chicken wire that is long enough to cover the potted plant, you’ll need to tie a stake through the mesh at certain points to help support the cage.

After the stakes are set, you are able to place the wire into the pot and then use stakes to hold the cage in position. So, you’ll be able to be able to see the growth of your plant while also supporting it, and keep it standing.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)