Does your ZZ plant have long stems?
This type of plant can display such characteristics when it’s not doing well in the pot.
The long stems that you see might be because of some issues in the plant’s growth.
So, how do you tackle this issue?
Is there any way you can make it grow properly in your home garden?
The answer is yes, and you will get to know more about it in the following guide.
Why Does My ZZ Plant Have Long Stems?
Here are some of the reasons for this issue in your ZZ plant –
1. You Are Growing Your Plant In Insufficient Light
Even though this plant is known to grow in low light conditions, it still needs enough light to maintain its growth.
When you keep this plant in an absolutely dark room or room where there is not enough natural light, this plant will have issues with the long stems.
But why does the ZZ plant grow long stems?
Well, when the plant doesn’t receive adequate light, it does try to reach the direction of the light source.
It’s a natural phenomenon, and there isn’t much you can do about it.
If you continue to grow this plant in such conditions, the plant will keep on producing long stems in its entire lifetime.
Also, this is the primary reason for long stems in the ZZ plant, so you need to address it immediately.
Do not look for any other causes, as it’s the only thing that will make a difference to the plant’s growth in this type of issue.
2. You Haven’t Been Following A Proper Watering Schedule
Whether it’s overwatering or underwatering, both these situations can result in several issues in your ZZ plant.
That said, you won’t see the plant growing long stems due to overwatering.
However, there is a slight possibility that it may exhibit such growth because of underwatering issue.
If you haven’t been watering the plant for a while, your plant might come under stress and grow long stems in the process.
Apart from that, infrequent watering can also lead to a similar problem in this plant.
So, you should definitely consider fixing the watering schedule for this plant in your home garden.
3. You Have Overfertilized This Plant Earlier In The Season
This is one of the most common mistakes I’ve seen people make when they start fertilizing in the garden.
When the growing season begins, the beginners often get enthusiastic and add more fertilizers to each plant.
And that’s the wrong approach to go about this process.
If you overfertilize your ZZ plant or any other plant for that matter, you will see exponential growth in a short period.
So, the long stems you get to see in your ZZ plant could be the result of overfertilization.
Therefore, if you have been fertilizing this plant regularly, you might need to think twice about it.
4. You Have Been Growing This Plant In A Small Pot
The ZZ plant is a slow-growing plant, which means it won’t depict exuberant growth in a short period.
Still, the plant needs a good amount of space to spread its root system.
When you grow this plant in a small pot for a long time, it becomes difficult for it to receive nutrients from the soil.
As a result, the new shoots and stems that arise from the plant become lengthy.
This type of growth will have longer stems and very few leaves.
It also happens when there are multiple plants in the pot.
The old ones might have a standard plant structure, but the new stems will look different from the rest.
And this is also linked to the lack of sunlight issue, as I’ve already discussed above.
Overall, it could be a combination of overgrowth and insufficient sunlight in the plant.
Once you fix these issues, I’m sure your plant will get back to its previous avatar.
These are the most important reasons for the long stems in your ZZ plant.
So, if you are interested in knowing more about the fixes, do check out the next section of this guide.
4 Tips To Fix ZZ Plant’s Long Stems
Have a look at these tips and suggestions for your plant’s long stems issue –
1. Move Your ZZ Plant To Slightly Brighter Place
As you know, the lack of sunlight or natural light can have a significant impact on this plant.
If it doesn’t get sufficient light during the day, the stems will simply grow straight, trying to reach the source of the light.
To fix this problem, you can move the plant where it can receive partial sunlight throughout the day.
It doesn’t have to be direct light because it doesn’t do well in such light conditions.
Now, it might be difficult for you to know the right light conditions for this plant.
But you need to experiment a bit until you find the correct place for your plant.
It may take a few months to search for the right place, but it will be worth it.
Try keeping this plant in one place for a few weeks and see how it responds to relocation.
This is the only way through which you will find a place where it can thrive and grow at a decent rate.
2. Provide Enough Space For Your Plant
Now, the above process is a bit time-consuming, and you will need to experiment a lot before you can find a perfect spot for the plant.
But this doesn’t mean you cannot try some other solutions for this issue.
Well, one of those things is repotting!
You should repot this plant to a new pot.
When you repot the plant, you should also separate the new shoots and put them into new pots.
This way, each plant will get ample space and nutrients in their new growing mediums.
3. Fix The Watering Schedule
It’d be an understatement if I say this plant is sensitive to watering.
It might be an easy-to-grow plant for indoor places, but it’s quite fuzzy when it comes to water requirements.
The plant needs very less water for its daily activities.
As for the frequency, you can water this plant every 10-15 days or so.
The frequency of watering will depend on the place where you live in.
If you stay in a place where the summers are really hot, you will need to increase its watering frequency to once a week or so.
Similarly, you will have to change the frequency during the cold season.
So, make these adjustments, and I’m sure you will see things getting back to normal in a few months.
4. Do Not Overfertilize Your ZZ Plant
Lastly, you shouldn’t overfertilize the plant.
Each plant reacts differently to how you fertilize it.
Some indoor plants like a regular supply of fertilizers, and other plants are quite different when it comes to their nutrient needs.
Since the ZZ plant belongs to desert regions, it stores its resources under the soil in a bulb-like root system.
This helps the plant survive for a long duration without much supply of resources from the growing medium.
Hence, it would be best if you tried to mimic the same situation in the pot.
Once you have fertilized the plant at the beginning of the season, do not fertilize again every month.
It’s not going to make this plant produce new shoots if you keep on fertilizing it frequently.
Now, go ahead and try to implement the suggestions I have shared in this guide.
In the next section, you can read the FAQs related to this topic, which should help clear some of the doubts in your mind.
You can make use of the pruning technique to make the ZZ plant bushier.
Once you cut off the overgrown stems, it will help encourage the plant to produce new shoots in a few weeks.
Having said that, you shouldn’t prune the new and fresh stems from the plant.
You cannot grow this plant up straight all the time.
Once it reaches a certain height, it will lean in the direction of natural light.
In case you feel there is something wrong with the plant, you should probably try watering it.
Sometimes, the lack of water content can also make plants fall over.
You can prune the overgrown stems to manage the growth in your plant.
I have written a detailed guide on this topic, which you can read here.
Yes, you can cut off yellow leaves from your ZZ plant.
ZZ plants do well in available spaces.
So, they won’t mind if you put them in relatively smaller pots.
But if you are looking for growth and new shoots, you should move this plant to a medium-sized pot.
Over To You
The long stems in your ZZ plant are an indication of an existing issue in your plant.
Fortunately, though, it’s not something you should worry about.
You can always refer to the suggestions shared in this guide and fix the issue instantly.
Besides, if you are stuck somewhere in this process or need more help, do let me know in the comments.
If you liked this guide, please share it with your friends and family.