Plant Rehab: Stopping the ZZ plant from going ‘zzzzzzz’

| DIY Projects, My Thoughts, Plants

Our local church has several indoor plants and one of them is this ZZ plant. It was situated in the ladies restroom that had no windows and with minimal artificial light and yet, it thrived… then came COVID-19 pandemic. Restrictions in church gatherings and events affected even our indoor plants. What used to be vibrant was now lackluster. Sadly, our life can be the same way too.

This ZZ plant was transferred to a room with a window several weeks ago but it seems like it had slowly deteriorated. So I volunteered to take it home for rehab.  It had a lot of droopy leaves, broken stems and was root bound.

I prepared the following materials and tools: potting mix, perlite, horticultural charcoal, worm castings, biotone, gloves, plastic pot, shears and a small shovel.

My tips on how to deal with such issues:

Step 1: Inspection – check for pests, insects, dried leaves, root rot, etc.

Step 2: Gently clean and clear the area. Take the plant out of the container and check the root system. In this case, notice how rootbound this plant was.

Step 3: Trim the branches and clean the rootball. Make sure you clean your scissors or trimmers with alcohol. I was able to separate several branches. There was 1 rootball that was mushy so I threw it away… Yuck.

Step 4: Prepare the soil. I added biotone to the soil + soil amendmemts to make it richer. If you do this, make sure you mix it really well to distribute evenly.

Step 5: wash the roots and place them on the new soil mix and cover with more soil. You might freak out that I took out all the soil but don’t worry… it will survive. Just hold off adding water for about 1.5 – 2 weeks to avoid root rot.

Here’s the refreshed ZZ plant. Doesn’t it look happier and healthier already? I tied the branches with a string so they won’t droop while the roots are taking root.

11 October 2020

Dear zz plant – please grow and be happy. Have you repotted a plant recently? Did you feel bad that you had to prune many branches?

This ‘plant rehab’ or should I say revival project reminded me that sometimes, our life needs it too. We get so comfy in our little pots that we start getting root rot and our growth gets stunted. But if we allow God to work and prune us, as painful as it is, He has promised that…

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:6

So press on. Love God with all your heart. Take care and be a blessing to someone.


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