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How Big Does a ZZ Plant Get? 1, 2 , or 3 Feet?

ZZ plants are ideal for all plant owners, whether they’re newbies or experienced gardeners.

This is down to the ZZ plants’ low-maintenance care and the fact that they can handle some neglect.

But when you’re deciding on a new houseplant, one of the questions you’ll wonder is how much room it will end up taking up.

Even if you’re lucky enough to live in a mansion, making sure you have enough space for the plant is important. 

So how big do ZZ plants end up getting?

 

How Big Does a ZZ Plant Get?

A ZZ plant can grow to around 2-3 feet in both height and width grown as a houseplant (60-90cm), depending on the care it receives. In the wild, ZZ plants can reach heights of 5 feet (150cm).

 

How Big Does a ZZ Plant Get

How Big Does a ZZ Plant Get

 

How Big Does a ZZ Plant Get

 

How Fast ZZ Plants Grow

ZZ plants have a slow growth rate.

Typically, they’ll probably only grow a couple of inches in one growing season; and sometimes, they don’t grow at all.

If you’re lucky, you could see your plant grow by 12 inches in one season but this is extremely rare.

ZZ plants can grow about 12 inches in a season, but it's extremely rare as they're slow growers

ZZ plants can grow about 12 inches in a season, but it’s extremely rare as they’re slow growers

 

Growth Rate Manipulation in ZZ Plants

At first glance, manipulating the growth rate of a ZZ plant sounds like magic.

But in reality, it’s really simple and you get to decide whether to make your plant grow faster or slower.

You can manipulate several factors when it comes to your ZZ plant‘s growth.

 

Water

This is the simplest factor to manipulate. The hardest part of watering a ZZ plant is finding the sweet spot as they can be overwatered very easily.

But if you want it to grow, water it when it needs it. If you’d rather it stayed small, leave a little longer between waterings.

 

Light

Even though ZZ plants can handle being placed in a dark corner, giving them more light will promote quicker growth.

Place your ZZ plant in an area receiving more light to make it grow faster

Place your ZZ plant in an area receiving more light to make it grow faster

Be careful though, too much light will cause the leaves to burn and could kill the plant.

 

Fertilizer

You have two choices when talking about the fertilization of your ZZ plant.

You can either add some slow-release fertilizer to the potting soil every 3-6 months or feed your plant monthly using liquid fertilizer during the spring and summer.

Excess fertilizer can have a negative effect on the roots though so don’t overfeed the plant. Liquid fertilizer should be diluted to half its strenght.

 

Temperature

The ZZ plant is native to East Africa so warmer temperatures will encourage faster growth.

The University of Michigan recommends high temperatures between 76-90 degrees Fahrenheit day and night for optimal growth (24-32).

It can be difficult to replicate these temperatures in our homes so a greenhouse is ideal if you want to use this factor in growing your plant.

Since it's difficult to replicate the temperatures your ZZ plant favors, it's best to place it in a greenhouse

Since it’s difficult to replicate the temperatures your ZZ plant favors, it’s best to place it in a greenhouse

 

How Long Do ZZ Plants Grow

Typically, with standard plant care, a ZZ plant will take between 3 and 5 years to grow from a stem into an established plant.

With standard care, ZZ plants take 3 to 5 years to grow from a stem to a fully-grown plant

With standard care, ZZ plants take 3 to 5 years to grow from a stem to a fully-grown plant

As discussed above, this can be sped up under the right conditions but don’t expect a miracle! They’re slow growers and it takes some patience to nurture a ZZ.

 

ZZ Plants and Their Maintenance Level

There’s a reason why ZZ plants are recommended for people who are new to houseplants or who are notorious for killing anything green.

They’re very hardy and they can withstand more neglect than most houseplants. 

Thanks to their forgiving nature, they are easy plants to grow. You can almost put your ZZ plants in a corner, forget them, and they’ll still manage to grow.

This doesn’t mean though that ZZ plants don’t need care because they do. They just don’t need as much in order to flourish.

 

Do ZZ Plants Flower

Seeing flowers appear on a plant is a good indicator that the plant is happy and growing well.

The ZZ plant does flower but they’re not impressive and it doesn’t happen very often.

If it does happen on your plant, keep doing what you’re doing because it’s obviously enjoying it.

 

What Stops ZZ Plants from Growing

If you’re not trying to slow down the plant growth, it can be concerning if your ZZ plant suddenly stops growing. You can check for a few things and hopefully find the culprit.

The obvious things to check first are whether your plant is getting enough light and water.

ZZ plants need indirect light and watering thoroughly when their soil’s first 2 inches are dry. 

Also, check if your ZZ plant is rootbound.

This means that there are more roots in the pot than soil and this can stop the plant from getting the nutrients it needs from the soil.

The reduction in nutrients will stunt the growth of a plant.

Extreme temperature changes can also have a negative impact on a plant. Any cold draughts or high temperatures will result in an unhappy plant that doesn’t want to grow.

The sweet spot for ZZ plants is anywhere between 55-85 degrees Fahrenheit so as long as you nail this, your plant will happily grow.

Regularly check your ZZ plants for pest infestation. Whether that’s pinprick marks in the leaves or you spy the actual bugs on your plant, any infestation will cause it distress.

Figure out which pest is feasting on the plant and treat it accordingly.

 

Growing Bushy ZZ Plants — A Possibility?

When you’re looking at a ZZ plant, it appears to be a very “straight” plant, in the sense that all of its growth appears to be upwards and not outwards. 

In order for the plant to achieve a bushier appearance, it needs to produce more stems which is easy to do if you meet the light and water requirements.

ZZ plants grow upward, not outward, hence, it needs to produce more stems to make it bushier

ZZ plants grow upward, not outward, hence, it needs to produce more stems to make it bushier

Once these stems reach a good height, they will appear fuller and bushier.

You also want to make sure that the ZZ plant’s leaves aren’t dropping and turning yellow.

Some of the causes of leaf drop are overwatering, too much light, or an issue with the roots, such as root rot or the plant being rootbound.

If too many leaves drop from the plant, it won’t look as bushy.

 

Conclusion About How Big Does a ZZ Plant Get

While ZZ plants are slow growers, they can grow pretty big as long as the right light and water requirements are met, and it doesn’t hurt to use fertilizer every now and then.

Don’t give up caring for your ZZ plant, and you’ll be rewarded with a tall, healthy plant in a couple of years.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli

Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.