When you underwater a ZZ plant, its stem can get wrinkly. This is because the plant has been underwatered for too long and lacks hydration.
Similarly, overwatering can cause wrinkles on the stem of your ZZ plant. If the soil is too moist and saturated, it can cause stem rot that leads to wrinkling. To prevent this situation, you will have to either water the plant well or cut back on watering entirely.
So, how do you tackle this issue? Let's find out!
Why Is My ZZ Plant Stem Wrinkled?
As you know, the ZZ plant's stem can form wrinkles for two main reasons, i.e., underwatering and overwatering.
There is one more reason, though. That is too much sunlight! However, if you have placed this plant at home, you can easily rule out this possibility.
The same is also true for underwatering. Since the ZZ plant comes from Africa, it will not have much of an issue with less water. It can withstand a lack of water for weeks, if not more. So, you can rule out this possibility as well.
Now, the only thing that remains is the overwatering situation! This is most likely the reason for the wrinkled stem on your plant.
How To Fix Wrinkled Stem On ZZ Plant
Here's what you should do to fix this problem -
1. Stop Watering The Plant
As you know, the ZZ plant doesn't like the overwatered situation in the pot. So, if your plant is already showing wrinkled stem signs, you should stop watering it immediately.
It can survive periods of drought, but will perform better with moderate watering every week or two. However, do not let the roots sit in water or else the plant may rot.University of Florida on ZZ plant requirements and care
So, this should help fix the problem if it's just at an initial stage. You can prevent this issue from spreading to the entire stem in the primary stages. If the issue is widespread, you should check out the below steps.
2. Check The Condition Of The Stem
Once you realize that the plant's stem is wrinkled, you need to examine it thoroughly. Check for the color and softness on the surface of the stem.
If the color of the stem is dark brown or black, you may have difficulties reviving the plant. However, if it's just the beginning of stem or root rot, you will have a high chance of returning the plant to life. Try to understand the situation of your plant with this simple examination process, as it will help in deciding the path of revival.
If the plant has less chance of survival, you should go for the propagation methods instead of relying on other methods.
3. Remove The Plant From The Pot
Done with the inspection? Do you still want to go ahead and fix the problem?
Remove the plant from the pot. If the soil is wet, hold the plant at the bottom and flip the pot. This should help quickly remove the plant, though you should only perform this step in an open space or garden. Otherwise, it might create a lot of mess in your room.
4. Check The Rhizome
Now, get rid of the rhizome's excess dirt and look at it carefully.
Again, this will give you an idea of how you should go about the whole process. If there is root rot in the plant, the rhizome will lose its texture and turn soft due to excess water.
5. Repot The Plant With Dry Soil
This is an ideal thing to do when your plant is overwatered and suffering from root rot.
When you replenish the soil, it gives a new and dry environment to the plant. These are the perfect conditions for an affected ZZ plant. Therefore, you should consider repotting the plant with a fresh batch of soil.
As for used soil, you shouldn't use this soil for any other purpose in your garden. You should discard it.
Note: You should also remove severely damaged branches from the plant while repotting.
6. Spray Fungicide On The Affected Plant
Next thing, spray the fungicide! When the conditions turn wet in the soil, it often invites fungus issues. So, to avoid further damage, you should use a fungicide to spray on the plant.
While using the fungicide, make sure you prepare a dilute solution. You don't want to use a strong solution if there isn't fungus damage on the plant.
7. Keep The Plant In a Moderately Bright Location
ZZ plant doesn't like direct sun.
If you place it in direct sunlight, it will harm the plant. The leaves and stems will start shriveling when you keep the plant in such conditions. The ideal condition for this plant is indirect or partial sunlight.
Put it in a place where it will get enough sunlight throughout the day. Besides the photosynthesis process, sunlight keeps the plant and soil dry. This is essential when dealing with the wrinkled stem and overwatering issue.
8. Examine The Plant After A Week Or So
When you are done with all the above steps, you should just wait and see how the plant reacts.
If needed, you can spray the plant again after a week. This should help prevent any possible fungal growth on the plant.
These are the few things you can do to revive your plant from the wrinkled stem issue. But yes, don't forget to propagate the cuttings. It will at least give you hope of having a few new ZZ plants in the garden.
3 Tips To Avoid The Wrinkled Stem Issue In ZZ Plants
Here's how you can prevent this issue entirely -
1. Fix The Watering Schedule
As you know, the ZZ plant doesn't like too much water. It won't mind if you don't water it for 10-15 days.
Ideally, the plant should be watered every 15 days or so. Therefore, prepare a watering schedule for this plant, which can help prevent such issues.
2. Provide Some Natural Light To The Plant
The other thing is the natural light!
When you keep the plant in such light, it helps boost its growth of the plant. It will also prevent any fungal issues that might pop up due to excess watering.
3. Keep The Soil Dry All Time
Finally, the soil needs to be dry for this plant. Keep this plant in an airy and bright location so that you can easily maintain the moisture in the soil.
Now, follow these three things, and I'm sure you will have a thriving ZZ plant in your home garden.
You can keep it where it can receive sunlight from the top angle.
If you are using a grow light for this plant, you should also position it right at the top of the plant. Both these techniques will help grow your plant in a straight upward direction.
When the ZZ plant suffers from root rot, its leaves will turn dull and lose their shine. The stem may also showcase wrinkles and soft texture on the surface.
As for the roots, they will also turn mush and attain dark brown color. The rhizome will probably show similar signs of root rot.
Yes, the plant is averse to direct sunlight conditions. If you keep it in such situations, the leaves will shrivel and turn yellow or brown over time.
Yes, the ZZ plant can recover from overwatering, provided you take care of the plant. It should also be addressed quickly, as it often leads to several other issues in the plant.
Yes, you can get rid of the yellow leaves from the plant. However, do not perform hard pruning on the plant. The plant will require leaves for the photosynthesis process.
Over To You
The wrinkled stem on the ZZ plant can be a concerning factor in your garden. But thankfully, you can fix it entirely by taking some quick actions.
If you still have any concerns about the plant or wrinkled stem, please let me know in the comments below. I will definitely try to answer your queries. If you liked this guide, share it with your friends and family.