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Brandon\'s ZZ
Brandon's ZZ  

Brandon\'s ZZ roots
Brandon's ZZ roots  
Hi Will. I have had my ZZ plant for 7 years & it is in a pot & stands 4' above pot.  Pot is 15" tall & 57" in diameter. My ZZ gets max light & was last repotted roughly 2 years ago. I have repotted it twice so far since 2007.  Both times no probs just upgrade pot one size.  Now she is so big that she dominates my retail space & is getting heavy to move (roughly 80 lbs.). I want to repot & break into several smaller plants.  Figured this was best bet since bigger pot is expensive & heavier yet. Not sure I can get her out of this pot without breaking the pot & damaging roots.  The root ball is tight & overflowing the pot now. The local nursery told me to cut root ball from the side into wedges & repot wedges.  I've got roughly 20 shoots ranging from 4"-6" in diameter.  So this could get expensive as probably only one shoot would fit into a new pot. Should I attempt this or just trim bad pieces off of this plant & repot back into original pot (& not break up). This plant is now like family, so failure is not an option.  Thank you sir.

Hi Brandon,

There is no need to repot and attempting to divide the rootball is not only difficult to do, but it is risky to the individual divisions.

I suggest that you leave it as is. It is perfectly healthy and happy and will not ever need to be repotted. Trust me on that one. Any stems that are too tall or leaning too far to the side can be cut off at the base. This selective pruning will not affect the health of the plant but it will help you keep it at a manageable size it its existing pot. Simple.

I realize that your ZZ looks crowded, but this is a plant that does best when kept potbound, particularly if you are trying to control size.

I have written detailed articles on repotting, propagating by root division and on ZZ Plant care that I will email for free to anyone who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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