ZZ plants can easily last for 4 weeks indoors without water. They actually prefer less water as they are prone to overwatering. ZZ plant are the ultimate low care indoor plant and can last for up to 8 weeks without water if you forget. The best way to keep ZZ plants happy is to thoroughly water them every 4 weeks.
Move ZZ plants away from bright sunlight if you need to leave them for more than 4 weeks without water. The plants can start to droop if you leave them for more than 4 weeks without water but will quickly recover when they are watered again.
This article will explore all you need to know about how long ZZ plants can last without water and how to keep them alive when you are away on vacation.
How long indoor ZZ plants can go without water
Indoor ZZ plants growing in good quality soil are usually happy for 4 weeks without any water. In cooler weather the ZZ plants plant can last up to 5-6 weeks as they will stay moist for longer.
In summer ZZ plants can dry out quicker so it is ideal to deep water them every 4 weeks to keep them growing strong. While they can survive on less water their growth will slow.
How to keep ZZ plants alive with less water
Here are my 4 easy tips to keep ZZ plants alive with less water.
1. Choose good quality potting mix
Planting your ZZ plants in the best quality potting soil will keep ZZ plants moist for longer. A premium potting mix will contain a mix of composted bark mulch, soil wetters and other organic matter which will hold water for longer. You can even add some coconut coir which will also help to keep the soil moist.
2. Deep water your ZZ plant the day you leave for vacation
If you are planning a vacation and won’t have anyone visiting to water your ZZ plants you should aim to deep water on the day you leave. ZZ plants will be happy for 4-5 weeks if they are given a deep and thorough water before you go.
To do this, place the pot in your sink or outside and thoroughly water all areas of the soil surface. Do this until you see the water start to drip out the bottom. Add a dash of seaweed solution to you watering can to feed the soil and roots before you go.
Each month I will I take a few minutes make sure all areas of the soil surface are thoroughly moist. Another way to do this is to submerge the pot in a bucket of water for 5-10 minutes until it has thoroughly soaked through. Add some seaweed solution to the water to help to support root growth.
3. Place a pot tray underneath
After you have watered your ZZ plant it is important to place a pot tray underneath to catch any drips. I won’t fill the pot tray with water because your ZZ plant roots may rot before the water is absorbed. ZZ plants will draw the water from the soil into their rhizomes to keep them happy for 4 weeks.
4. Place the pot in an outer indoor pot
Another way to catch any water drips is to place your outer pot inside an inner pot. The outer pots don’t have drainage and will help to protect your furniture from drips.
For ZZ plants I don’t like to have any excess water sitting in the bottom. You can even put some small pebbles in the bottom to slightly raise the inner pot away from the base.
How often do ZZ plants need to be watered?
ZZ plants are hardy plants and like to be watered every 4 weeks. You can thoroughly water your ZZ plants in your sink using your tap to make sure all areas of the soil are moist. Allow the pot to drain thoroughly before placing it back on a pot tray or inside an outer pot.
Depending on the weather and the position of your ZZ plants it may dry out quicker. Check the soil with your finger and if it is dry 1-2 inches down, add more water.
In the winter you may even need to slow down your watering schedule to watering every 5 weeks. ZZ plants hate being overwatered so if you notice the plant is drooping, the soil is staying soggy or black marks on the stems reduce your watering schedule.
If the problem continues you may need to repot your plant. Soil can lose air and nitrogen if it is watered too often so it might be best to repot the plant to freshen up the soil.
What happens if you don’t water ZZ plants?
If you don’t water ZZ plants often enough they can dry out, the leaves can turn brown and crispy and the plant will eventually die. ZZ plants leaves will start to turn brown on the edges if they are drying out too much. Check the soil and if it looks dry and crumbly and feels dry 1-2 inches down it need more water.
Never give up on a ZZ plants and if they start to dry out you can save the. Soak the whole plant in a bucket of water with some seaweed solution. Sit it in the bucket for 5-10 minutes and then take it out. Allow the extra water to drain and then bring it back inside.
This process of soaking can fully hydrate the soil. This will be enough to keep your ZZ plant happy for another 4 weeks where you can repeat the process again. If the soil has become hydrophobic and won’t absorb water it is time to repot and give it some fresh potting soil.
I like to add some slow release indoor plant fertilizer after about 1 week. Trim off any damaged leaves and stems and your ZZ plants should show signs of recovering. New stems can start to grow from the rhizomes after 2-3 weeks.
How long ZZ plants can go without water? | Summary
ZZ plants can easily survive for 4 weeks without water if they are planted in good quality potting soil. Soaking them in water before you head off on vacation will help them to absorb the water they need to survive. Always place them away from a hot window during the warmer months to help them last longer without water.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.