When To Repot Zanzibar Gem: An Expert Guide To Repotting

As a proud Zanzibar Gem owner, you understand the importance of proper care for your beloved indoor plant.

One essential aspect of maintaining its health is knowing when and how to repot it.

In this expert guide, we will focus on providing you with the necessary information to make repotting a breeze.

Repotting plants at home. Zamioculcas plant on floor with roots, soil, ground, pot with drainage

Characteristics of Zanzibar Gem

The Zanzibar Gem, also known as Zamioculcas zamiifolia or ZZ plant, is a popular houseplant due to its low maintenance and attractive foliage.

This plant's leaves are glossy and dark green, which gives it a striking appearance.

The stems of the ZZ plant are thick and fleshy, storing water that helps it survive in low-water conditions.

Because of its resilience, it's known as the "plant of steel."

The Zanzibar Gem usually grows slowly and can reach a height of 3-4 feet indoors.

Another feature of this plant is its ability to thrive in a wide range of light conditions, from low light to direct sunlight.

However, it's important to avoid placing the plant in intense, direct sunlight for extended periods, as this may cause its leaves to scorch.

When to Repot Zanzibar Gem

Ideally, you should consider repotting when the plant's roots start to outgrow its current container. This typically happens every two to three years.

Signs of an overcrowded plant include roots growing out of the drainage holes, water not being absorbed properly, and reduced growth rate.

Here are the signs that your Zanzibar Gem needs repotting.

Roots are Visibly Crowding the Pot

If you notice that your ZZ Plant's roots are pushing against the sides of the container or growing out of the drainage holes, it's time to repot to give it more space.

Stunted Growth

A lack of new growth may indicate that your Zanzibar Gem has become root-bound and needs a larger pot to flourish.

Soil Depletion

Over time, the potting mix can break down and lose its nutrients, leaving your ZZ Plant hungry for sustenance. This can lead to yellowing leaves, wilting, or even root rot.

Compacted Soil

Over time, the potting mix might become compacted, making it difficult for the roots to access nutrients and water.

If the soil seems hard when you touch it, consider repotting your ZZ plant.

Best Time of Year to Repot

The ideal time to repot your Zanzibar Gem is during its active growth period, which is usually in the spring or early summer.

This ensures that your plant has enough energy for the repotting process and quickly adapts to its new environment.

Here's a quick step-by-step guide for repotting your ZZ Plant:

  1. Select a new pot that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the current one. Make sure it has drainage holes to prevent root rot.
  2. Carefully remove your ZZ Plant from its current pot, gently shaking off excess soil from the roots.
  3. Fill the new pot with fresh, well-draining potting mix. Position your ZZ Plant in the center and add more soil until the base of the plant is level with the pot's rim.
  4. Gently firm down the soil and water thoroughly.

Steps to Repot Zanzibar Gem

Repotting a ZZ plant is just like repotting any other plant. Here's how:

1. Preparing the New Pot

First, choose a pot that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the current pot of your Zanzibar Gem. Ensure the pot has drainage holes to prevent root rot.

Fill the bottom of the new pot with a layer of high-quality, well-draining potting soil, ideally made for African violets or other indoor tropical plants.

2. Carefully Removing the Plant

Before you remove the plant, water it gently a few hours prior to repotting. This will help the roots slide out of the container more easily.

Tip the pot sideways, and gently grip the base of the plant between your fingers.

With your other hand, tap the bottom of the pot to loosen the soil, and then carefully slide your Zanzibar Gem out of the pot, supporting the roots.

3. Transfer to New Pot

Place the Zanzibar Gem in the center of the new pot, on top of the layer of soil you prepared earlier.

Spread the roots out gently, and fill the remaining space with potting soil.

Make sure the soil is slightly firm around the base of the plant, but avoid overpacking it, as this can damage the roots.

4. Post-Repotting Care

Water your newly repotted Zanzibar Gem thoroughly, allowing the excess water to drain out.

Place the plant in a location with bright, indirect sunlight, as direct sun can harm its leaves.

Keep an eye on the moisture level of the soil for the first few weeks, ensuring it remains moderately moist without being soggy.

After the plant has adjusted to its new environment, resume your regular care routine, and enjoy your thriving Zanzibar Gem!

Detailed steps on this video below:

How Often Should ZZ Plants Be Repotted?

ZZ plants are known for their low-maintenance nature and can generally go quite a long time without needing to be repotted.

There isn't a specific time frame for repotting, but a good rule of thumb is to repot your ZZ plant when you notice signs of slow growth, protruding roots from the drainage holes, compacted soil, and yellowing leaves.

Generally, repotting every 2 to 3 years is a reasonable guideline for ZZ plants.

However, remember that each plant is different, and yours may need repotting sooner or later, depending on its unique circumstances.

Ideal Growing Conditions

To keep your Zanzibar Gem happy and healthy, it's essential to provide it with the following conditions:


ZZ plants do well in a range of light conditions, but they prefer bright, indirect light. Placing your plant near a window with filtered sunlight is ideal.

If you're unsure about the light levels in your space, try placing the plant in a spot where it will receive some morning or late afternoon sun.


As a drought-tolerant plant, the Zanzibar Gem doesn't require frequent watering.

It's better to underwater than overwater this plant, as too much water can lead to root rot.

A good rule of thumb is to allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings.

Depending on the humidity in your home, this could mean watering your plant once every 2-3 weeks.


ZZ plants are adaptable to a variety of temperatures, but they thrive in conditions ranging from 65°F to 79°F (18°C to 26°C).

Keep your plant away from cold drafts or air conditioning vents, as sudden temperature changes can cause stress to the plant.

Potting Mix and Container

When choosing a container for your Zanzibar Gem, make sure to select one with drainage holes to prevent water from sitting at the bottom of the pot.

As for the potting mix, a well-draining mix is crucial. You can use a standard potting mix combined with perlite or sand for better drainage.

Repot Every 2 Years or As Needed

By repotting, you're giving your plant the chance to thrive in a healthy environment.

To make the repotting process smoother and less stressful for both you and your plant, ensure you have all the required materials beforehand.

Always take extra care while handling the roots to avoid any damage, as this can lead to a stressed plant and hinder its growth.

Remember that repotting should be a low-stress and enjoyable process for you and your Zanzibar Gem.

Stay patient and attentive to your plant's needs; you'll surely see it flourish in its new environment.

For more tips on ZZ plant care, read here:

Best Fertilizer For Eternity Plant (Zz Plant) – And How To Use It

How Often To Water Zanzibar Gem: Perfecting Your Watering Schedule

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