Is your ZZ plant’s root bulb exposed?
As you know, this plant has a different root system.
It often contains a rhizome, which allows the plant to store resources in the form of food and water.
Since the size of the rhizome can be reasonably bigger, it sometimes pops out of the pot.
So, if you see something similar in your ZZ plant pot, the following guide will help in fixing this issue.
Why Does ZZ Plant Root Bulb Get Exposed?
Now, there are a few reasons why the root bulb of this plant might get exposed.
Let’s try and understand more about them in this section.
1. You Have Overwatered The Plant
I know most of us have the habit of watering our indoor plants quite regularly.
But it’s not an ideal thing to do when it comes to watering the ZZ plant.
ZZ plant has adapted itself to desert conditions, so it doesn’t require too much water.
Also, if you water the plant quite often, most of the soil will eventually drain out from the planter’s holes and expose the root ball.
2. You Use Garden Hose To Water Your ZZ Plant
Do you water your plants using a garden hose?
Many gardeners prefer this method to water their indoor and outdoor plants.
Although the method might be useful for outdoor plants, you will face some issues with indoor plants like the ZZ plant.
When you water this plant using a hose, it can release water at high speed.
And if you water the plant this way, the topsoil will move out of the pot over the period.
Ultimately, the ZZ plant root bulb will get exposed, as there won’t be enough soil to cover it.
3. The Pot Size Is Small
Pot size also plays a big role in this issue.
If you have planted your ZZ plant in a small pot, there will always be the possibility of a lack of soil in the pot.
The indoor pots do look beautiful in small sizes, but they are not very efficient for the growth of plants.
You should only use these pots for plants with a fibrous root system.
For a ZZ plant, you should consider using a moderate to large-sized pot.
4. Root Bound Plant
Have you been growing your ZZ plant in the same pot for a long period?
This is one mistake that is pretty common in the gardening world.
When we get the plant from a local nursery or garden center, we often grow it in the same pot for a very long time.
This generally leads to the root bound issue in many plants, including the ZZ plant.
ZZ plant can also get root bound if there isn’t much space left for the plant to grow at a standard rate.
Due to this situation, the roots will spread underneath the soil, and the bulb will push itself in the upward direction.
This is why you might be seeing its root bulb on top of the soil.
So, how do you deal with this issue?
In the next section, I have shared a couple of useful techniques that might help address this issue for you.
Things To Do When ZZ Plant Root Bulb Is Exposed
You can fix this issue by using a couple of useful methods i.e. dividing the plant and transplanting or repotting the ZZ plant.
Both these methods will help fix the issue and prevent the ZZ plant root bulb from getting exposed entirely.
So, let’s learn more about them in the following sections.
1. Divide The Plant
Do you see multiple ZZ plants in the pot?
If you have got this plant from a garden center, you might have received a few extra plants in the pot.
These plants look great together, but you need to consider dividing them at some point.
Otherwise, their roots and bulbs will take up the available space and become root bound.
Now, here’s how you can divide the ZZ plant –
- Remove the plants from the pot.
- Rinse them thoroughly so that the excess dirt gets off easily.
- Separate the bulbs gently. If the root bulbs are attached to each other, you can also use a knife to cut them into two parts. Of course, you don’t want to damage the plants or their root systems during this process.
- Let the exposed parts dry out for a few hours.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pots with fresh soil mix.
- Once the exposed parts dry out considerably, you should put them back in the pots.
- Water these plants and keep track of their progress over a few weeks.
Note: After dividing the plants, you might see some of the leaves turning yellow in their respective pots.
It happens because of the plant separation shock.
The plants, however, will recover from this shock in a few weeks.
2. Transplant The Plant
The next idea is to transplant the plant.
This is more useful for the plant that has turned root bound and needs a bigger pot in general.
As I mentioned earlier, the root-bound process can also lead to this issue in your ZZ plant.
Of course, it’s something you can’t avoid in your plant because it happens naturally.
Therefore, the only thing you can do here is provide a better and wider place for the plant.
So, here’s how you can achieve this thing with the help of transplanting the plant –
- Remove the plant from the pot.
- Try to remove the dirt attached to the rhizome and roots.
- If you see any new root bulbs in the soil, you should also get rid of them at this stage. You can plant these bulbs later in a new pot.
- You may also perform root pruning at this point, though it’s entirely optional.
- Now, get a new pot that is at least 2-4 inches wider than the previous one. Put the fresh soil mix into this pot.
- Place the plant into the pot and water it well.
So, these are the steps you need to follow if you want to fix this problem in your ZZ plant.
Overall, it’s an easy process, but you should do it skillfully.
But what if you want to avoid all this hassle and still want to grow the plant in the same pot?
Then, you can simply top up the soil in the pot.
This should help in hiding the bulb for some time.
However, it’s just a temporary solution to this problem.
If you continue to water the plant or the root bulb grows even bigger, you will have to resort to the aforementioned methods.
These methods do require time and effort, but it will be worth it.
Once you perform these tasks, you will not have to do them again for at least a year or so.
Since the ZZ plant doesn’t grow fast, you can continue to grow it in the new pots for a long period.
Now, let’s check out the FAQs related to this topic.
It’d be difficult to say whether the plant is root bound or not.
For confirmation, you can remove the plant from the pot and inspect the root system.
The other sign is the lack of growth in the plant.
When you see no new leaves or shoots coming out from the plant, it indicates that it might be root bound and needs to be transplanted soon.
Yes, it can grow from the tuber.
You should plant the tuber in a pot and water it well.
In a few weeks, the tuber will have new shoots that will transform into new plants.
Alternatively, you can also cut the nodes on the tuber and plant them individually in the pot.
This method works great as well.
It can take 3-4 weeks to see any roots grow underneath the soil.
So, you will have to be patient if it’s taking too long for the rooting process.
Sometimes, the weather conditions can impact this process.
It could be a sign of several issues in the ZZ plant.
In general, though, you need to look at the overwatering and underwatering situation in the pot.
Both these issues can hamper the growth of the plant and make the leaves droop in the process.
Apart from that, you should also check the placement of the plant.
If placed in direct sunlight, the leaves will show similar behavior.
No, you don’t have to mist this plant.
The plant doesn’t like too much water, either.
So, be careful when you think of misting the ZZ plant.
Over To You
Is your ZZ plant’s root bulb exposed?
Well, it’s most likely due to the overgrowth in the pot.
Thankfully, it’s not a major concern, and the above tips should help keep this plant growing in your garden.
Do you have any more questions related to this topic?
Please let me know in the comments below.
If you liked this guide, do share it with your friends and family.