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Repotting ZZ Plant » Indoor Plant Consultant | New York, NY | (917) 887-8601

Repotting ZZ Plant

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Question:

I have had my ZZ plant for 7 years & it is in a pot & stands 4′ above pot.  Pot is 15″ tall & 57″ in diameter. My ZZ gets max light & was last repotted roughly 2 years ago. I have repotted it twice so far since 2007.  Both times no probs just upgrade pot one size.  Now she is so big that she dominates my retail space & is getting heavy to move (roughly 80 lbs.). I want to repot & break into several smaller plants.  Figured this was best bet since bigger pot is expensive & heavier yet. Not sure I can get her out of this pot without breaking the pot & damaging roots.  The root ball is tight & overflowing the pot now. The local nursery told me to cut root ball from the side into wedges & repot wedges.  I’ve got roughly 20 shoots ranging from 4″-6″ in diameter.  So this could get expensive as probably only one shoot would fit into a new pot. Should I attempt this or just trim bad pieces off of this plant & repot back into original pot (& not break up). This plant is now like family, so failure is not an option.  Thank you sir.

Answer:

There is no need to repot and attempting to divide the rootball is not only difficult to do, but it is risky to the individual divisions.

I suggest that you leave it as is. It is perfectly healthy and happy and will not ever need to be repotted. Trust me on that one. Any stems that are too tall or leaning too far to the side can be cut off at the base. This selective pruning will not affect the health of the plant but it will help you keep it at a manageable size it its existing pot. Simple.

I realize that your ZZ looks crowded, but this is a plant that does best when kept potbound, particularly if you are trying to control size.