How to repot a ZZ plant – 3 easy steps to give this hardy houseplant a new home

ZZ plants are a staple among low-maintenance indoor plants, but it's important to still repot them as they grow bigger

ZZ plant
(Image credit: Alexandr Kolesnikov via Getty Images)

If you're new to owning houseplants or simply don't want to fuss with more high-maintenance indoor plants, a ZZ plant is the perfect choice for you. These hardy houseplants can adapt well to different environments and will last a long time with essential care.

But just because ZZ plants are low-maintenance indoor plants doesn't mean you can ignore them entirely. 'Over time, indoor plants need repotting. While they may look healthy and happy, repotting is an important part of caring for indoor plants,' says Thomas Rutter, former gardener and Gardens Content Editor at Homes & Gardens.

It's easy to repot your ZZ plant and give it a boost in just a few easy steps. Discover our expert tips below.

ZZ plant

(Image credit: Evgeniia Siiankovskaia via Getty Images)

How to repot a ZZ plant

You should repot your ZZ plant as it gets bigger to prevent it becoming root bound or experiencing houseplant root rot. We've asked experts for three easy steps to give your ZZ plant a new home.

1. Remove your ZZ plant from its current pot

Repot ZZ plant

(Image credit: Detry26 via Getty Images)

You'll know it's time to repot your ZZ plant if roots are poking through the drainage holes or if your ZZ plant is turning yellow. The first thing you'll need to do is remove it from its current container.

If your ZZ plant has start to become root bound, it can be harder to remove it from its pot. Gently twist it to loosen the roots and help ease it out.

You can also use essential gardening tools or sharp tools, like these scissors from Walmart, to cut through plastic or temporary pots. 

When removing your ZZ plant, be careful not to damage any roots or foliage.

Thomas Rutter
Thomas Rutter

Thomas is a Content Editor within the Gardens Team at Homes and Gardens. He has worked as a professional gardener in gardens across the UK and in Italy, specialising in productive gardening, growing food and flowers.

2. Carefully shake off excess soil

Repot ZZ plant

(Image credit: Westend61 via Getty Images)

Once your ZZ plant is out of its pot, you need to give the roots some care before repotting. 

'When repotting, it is important to shake off a little of the old soil and replenish with nutrient-rich soil,' says Thom.

Removing old soil is important so that your ZZ plant can benefit from nutrients in the fresh potting soil when you repot it. It's as simple as using your hands to remove and shake off the soil so the roots are clean.

This can also be a good time to prune away any dead and damaged roots, using tools like these pruning shears from Greendigs.

3. Plant your ZZ plant in a larger pot with new soil

Repot ZZ plant

(Image credit: Anastassiya Bezhekeneva via Getty Images)

When selecting a new home for your ZZ plant, you need to ensure you have chosen a larger container than the current one.

'Choose a pot that is no more than one pot size bigger than the existing pot,' says Julie Bawden Davis, indoor plant expert at Healthy Houseplants.

You can then use a nutrient-rich houseplant soil, like this indoor plant soil mix from Perfect Plants Nursery, to give your ZZ plant fresh potting mix.

'I would also suggest adding some grit or bark to the mixture, to allow for good drainage,' says Thom.

'Water well after repotting and don’t water again until the top inch and a half of soil has dried out,' says Julie. 'You will know that the plant has acclimated to the new pot when it begins producing new growth,' she adds.

Julie Bawden-Davis
Julie Bawden Davis

Julie Bawden Davis is a garden author and University of California Certified Master Gardener, who has written several gardening books, including Indoor Gardening The Organic Way. In addition to running, she shares indoor gardening advice on her YouTube channel @HealthyHouseplants.


How often do I need to repot my ZZ plant?

ZZ plants are slow-average growers and won't need repotting often.

'ZZ plant likes to be tight in its pot, so it doesn’t need frequent repotting. Generally every three years or so,' says Julie Bawden Davis, indoor plant expert at Healthy Houseplants.

It's easy to repot a ZZ plant and doing so will boost its growth and keep it thriving for longer. You can also propagate a ZZ plant to multiply this houseplant and grow more in your home.

Tenielle Jordison
News Writer (Gardens)

Tenielle is a News Writer in the Gardens team at Homes & Gardens with five years of journalistic experience. She studied BA Journalism, Media and English Literature and MA Magazine Journalism at Cardiff University. Before coming to Homes & Gardens, Tenielle was in the editorial department at the Royal Horticultural Society and worked on The Garden magazine. She is passionate about sustainable living and likes to encourage gardeners to make greener choices to help tackle the effects of climate change with a trowel in hand. Tenielle is also a houseplant lover who is slowly running out of room for her ever-growing collection.