How Often To Water ZZ Plant In Winter: Important Planting Tips

The ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is one of the best low-maintenance houseplant choices on the market. It can spruce up the overall interior of your house all year round. In addition, watering a ZZ plant is not that difficult – it is overwatering it.

A ZZ plant only needs water once a month in winter. Therefore, the best guide to watering your ZZ plant is to watch how the plant is doing rather than following a strict schedule. In addition, since ZZ plants come from a tropical atmosphere, moist air will also influence how often you water it in winter.

ZZ plants are very forgiving when it comes to looking after them. The only ‘maintenance’ related issue it might have would be that you are too keen on looking after it.  They almost do best when you slightly forget to water them. They also have this unique ability to survive well with little light and water.

How Often Should You Water ZZ Plants In The Winter?

ZZ plants have some of the same characteristics as succulents. They have the ability to survive by storing water and releasing it as needed. Unlike succulents storing their water in the leaves, ZZ plants keep water in bulb-like structures called rhizomes.

The rhizomes grow above the roots but below the topsoil and stores water, only releasing it, on a slow-release principle, as needed. Because of their fantastic ability to ‘self-water’ and survive with little water and light, your ZZ plant will only need water once a month or every three to four weeks in winter.

Read more: Are ZZ Plants Toxic To Cats

How To Determine If Your ZZ Plant Needs Watering In Winter

As said above, the best guide to watering your ZZ plant is to watch your plant for its needs. You can quickly tell by the moisture in the soil or the condition of its foliage to see if your ZZ plant needs water or not.

Below we have outlined several ways on how you can determine if your ZZ plant needs water in winter. Following this guide, you will quickly become a pro on watering your ZZ plant in winter and throughout the rest of the year.

Check The Soil Of Your ZZ Plant By Hand Or Skewer

If you poke your finger about 2 inches into the pot’s soil and feel moisture, the ZZ plant does not need water. However, if the soil does feel dry, you can water it.

You can also check the soil’s moisture by poking a chopstick or skewer into the soil until you reach the bottom of the pot. If it comes out and there’s some soil and dampness to the stick, then the plant does not need more water.

If it comes out dry, you can happily water your ZZ plant.

Another method to try is to lift the pot in which you have planted yout ZZ plant, that is, only if you can lift the pot. If you poke the soil through the drainage hole and the soil feels dry, it is time to water the plant.

Lift The Pot Before And After Watering

Another helpful tip to know is that dry soil is lighter than wet soil. So, if you are watering your ZZ plant and again if you are able to lift the pot, it is in. Lift the pot before and after watering it to feel the weight of the pot. Before long, you will know how the weight of the pot should feel when it needs water.

Getting A Moisture Reader

Moisture Meter Tester in Soil

You can get a moisture meter if you feel unsure whether you have inherited your grandmother’s green fingers. They are relatively cheap, and it only takes a few minutes to get accurate moisture reading. Having a moisture meter is advantageous for measuring the soil moisture of ZZ plants and the soil of your other indoor plants.

The Condition Of A ZZ Plant’s Foliage

One of the biggest tells of any house plant is its foliage’s condition and that ZZ plants are no different. Always watch your plant for drooping leaves with brown or dry edges. This is a clear tell whether you are watering your ZZ plant enough. A healthy plant will have beautiful green foliage.

How To Water A ZZ Plant In Winter

Since a ZZ plant originally comes from tropical conditions misting it with water is extremely helpful for it to thrive. You can mist your ZZ plant as much as you like in summer and a bit less in winter using rainwater. If you don’t have access to rainwater, distilled or soft water works well too.

Besides only watering your ZZ plant in winter every three to four weeks or once a month, you should water it the same way as in summer. By flooding it with water. You can either fully submerge the ZZ plant, pot, and all, in water or flood it with water until the water flows out the drainage holes.

However, the watering method may wash out some of its nutrients, so it is wise to compensate for that by adding decomposing plant materials or fertilizing the water to the dunking barrel or rainwater container you use to water the plant.

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Can ZZ Plants Survive Winter Outside?

ZZ plants thrive in indirect light, but they will survive in low light too. If you plan to plant your ZZ plant outdoors, ensure to do so in the shade. Although the tuber roots and rhizomes are great for self-watering, placing your ZZ plant in direct sunlight will dry it out very quickly, and the plant won’t reach its full potential.

Depending on your area, a well-established ZZ plant will also only need water once a month if there isn’t any rain. It shouldn’t need any water in winter because it rains during winter in many areas. ZZ plants can also become dormant in winter and would thus not need any water either.

Your ZZ plant will also do well outdoors if it does not get colder than 40-50°F. However, if it gets colder than that, it’s best to plant it in a pot indoors to ensure a long and happy life.

If you have no choice but to give it an outdoor life, simply don’t give it water if temperatures get below 40°F, as the one thing that is a true enemy of a ZZ plant is cold water.  

How To Make Your Indoor ZZ Plant Thrive In Winter

Indoor ZZ plants can live long and happy lives indoors.

  • They love good drainage so ensure that the pot has a relatively sized drainage hole at the bottom.
  • The soil mixture should also have good drainage, with about one-fourth compost and one-fourth compost for nutrients.
  • It is also good to rotate your ZZ plant from room to room. For example, you can let it lounge the summers away in a warm and moist, well-lit room, keeping it out of direct sunlight.
  • You can make it feel cozy in your office, kitchen, or bathroom in the winter. In addition, it is believed that a ZZ plant will enhance your home and its growth by frequently moving it around.
  • Misting your ZZ plant will also help it thrive, especially if you are trying to replicate its tropical conditions.

How To Know If You Have Overwatered Your ZZ Plant

Watering zz plant

As we have said above ZZ plants are rather forgiving if you forget about them, but over eagerness can be destructive to the plant.

You will know that you have overwatered your ZZ plant if the leaves turn yellow and become droopy and the soil will become over saturated.

The best way to rectify an overwatered ZZ plant is by:

  • Immediately removing it from the pot.
  • Carefully separating the roots from the soil.
  • Removing rotten roots with a clean pair of pruners or scissors.
  • If there are any healthy roots left repot your ZZ plant in an unglazed clay pot with lots of drainage holes.
  • You should also use new potting soil mix that is well aerated.

Conclusion: How Often To Water ZZ Plant In Winter

ZZ Plants are one of the most fantastic house plants that you can think of. They look great, are owner-friendly, and take little upkeeping to stay alive. There are also various benefits to having a ZZ plant in your house as they have been classified as air-purifying houseplants.

Watering a ZZ plant in winter is not hard work, and you do not need to do it as often as in summer. Rather underwater than over water in winter, as they become dormant to survive the winter.