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ZZ Plant Not Growing Straight & How To Straighten Them

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ZZ plants are popular houseplants due to their ability to survive through almost anything. However, these plants can still have their share of problems which can cause them to not grow straight. This can be concerning for you, but what are the causes of this, and how can you straighten your plant again?


There are various reasons for your ZZ plant to stop growing straight. These include lighting issues in your plant’s environment, over or underwatering your plant, and fertilizer issues. Once these have been addressed, you can straighten your plant again using a stake to help it grow straight again.

How do you fix the problems that are causing your ZZ plant to fall over? I will tell you how to fix all these problems and how to encourage your ZZ plant to grow straight again in this article, so keep reading!

Why Do ZZ Plants Not Grow Straight?

ZZ plants are stunning plants increasing in popularity as they are fairly easy to care for, and they carry the reputation of being extremely difficult to kill. ZZ plants can survive through a myriad of tough conditions that most other plants would have a difficult time in.

ZZ plants are used to tough conditions due to the locations they are native to and had to overcome. These plants are originally from East Africa, where the conditions and climate are known to be harsh.

Even though these plants can survive through almost anything, they can develop a few problems. One quite common problem that these plants can face is that they might not grow straight as they should.

This could happen for several reasons, and not all of them will necessarily affect the plant’s health right away, but they can become a problem if left unchecked, and they can all affect the aesthetics of the plant. Let’s look at the main reasons for a ZZ plant to start growing off-kilter.

Lighting Issues

The first issue we will go through is possible issues with the light in the location where you keep your ZZ plant. ZZ plants require bright indirect sunlight for them to thrive in your home. ZZ plants can tolerate lower light conditions, but not for an extended time.

If you leave your ZZ plant in low light conditions for too long, your plant will begin to actively look for more sunlight.

Your ZZ plant will begin to stretch around in search of better light, and once it finds better light, your plant will start to grow in that direction.

This will cause your plant to grow in many different directions, and most if not all of the stems of your plant will begin to grow in the direction of the better light conditions. This will lead to your ZZ plant growing in every way but straight.

You need to keep your ZZ plant next to a window that receives good morning sunlight and make sure the window has a sheer curtain covering it to protect your ZZ plant from direct sunlight.


Underwatering The ZZ Plant

Another problem your ZZ plant could face that will cause it to not grow straight is underwatering your plant.

Even though ZZ plants are tough and can survive in conditions that are not ideal, bad growing conditions will start affecting your plant if it’s left in these conditions for too long. Regularly underwatering your ZZ plant will cause your plant’s stems to droop and fall over.

This will happen as the plant is dehydrated and starts running out of its sap reserves, which helps keep the plant upright. If this is the cause of your plant growing straight, you will also notice some discoloration on the leaves too.

You will need to gradually water the plant more to avoid shocking your ZZ plant. You can also increase the frequency that you water your plant to help fix this problem.

Overwatering The ZZ Plant

Overwatering your ZZ plant can cause more problems than underwatering your ZZ plant, and it can also cause your plant’s stems to fall over. This is because your ZZ plant and its soil will become oversaturated with water.

This will affect many aspects of your plant’s health. The over-saturation of water in the soil will affect your plant’s ability to absorb enough nutrients as the nutrient in the soil will become diluted.

The over-saturated soil can also cause your plant to develop root rot, affecting your plant’s ability to absorb everything it needs from the soil to survive.

When your ZZ plant is overwatered for too long, the plant will begin to fall over, and the leaves will become soggy and discolored.

You need to replant your ZZ plant, trim off any roots infected with root rot, and water your plant less, to fix this problem.

Nutrition And Fertilization Of The ZZ Plant

One of the most common problems that can lead to your ZZ plant not growing straight is not fertilizing your plant correctly, and you might not be using the correct fertilizer. For ZZ plants, you need a fertilizer with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the ratio of 20-20-20.

If these nutrients are not in this ratio, they can begin to affect your plant and cause it to droop. You also only need to fertilize your ZZ plant every six months. If you are fertilizing your plant more than this, you are over-fertilizing it, which can also lead to your ZZ plant drooping.

How To Straighten ZZ Plant Stems?

To straighten your ZZ plant’s stems, you need to ensure you are first caring for your plant correctly to eliminate the cause of your plant not growing straight in the first place. When you have accomplished this, you can begin helping your plant recover and grow straight again.

You can help your ZZ plant grow straight again by placing some splints into the soil next to the plant and tying the plant to the splints. You can use bamboo straws, popsicle sticks, or skewers for this.

Alternatively, you can use twist ties to gently group the ZZ plant’s stems together, encouraging the plant to grow straight again.

Using one of these two methods, your ZZ plant should be goring straight again within 2 to 3 weeks, and you can remove the splints or twist ties. However, your plant will only recover in this time if you care for it correctly, so ensure all its needs are taken care of.

FAQ About ZZ Plants Not Growing Straight

Now that you know what can lead to your ZZ plant not growing straight and how to help them grow straight again, I will answer a few other questions that some people may have on this topic.

How To Get Your ZZ Plant To Grow Straight?

The only way to get your ZZ plant to grow straight is to ensure your plant has everything your plant needs, in the right quantities, to stay healthy.

You need to keep your plant in bright indirect sunlight, you should be watering it every 2 to 3 weeks and allowing the soil to dry completely in between waterings, and you need to use the right fertilizer every six months. This will keep your ZZ plant healthy, and it will grow straight.

If your plant is already not growing straight, you can use the methods mentioned above and good care to help your plant straighten out.

How To Make A ZZ Plant Stay Upright?

To make your ZZ plant stay upright, you need to eliminate any possible problems affecting the growth of your plant, like incorrect sunlight conditions. Once you have dealt with these problems, you can begin helping your ZZ plant grow upright again.

You can do this by tying the stems together in the middle of the plant pot or by using splints and tying your ZZ plant stems to the splints. This will help correct your ZZ plant’s growth and help it stay upright.

Should You Stake A ZZ Plant?

If your ZZ plant is healthy, then there is no reason to stake your plant. However, if your ZZ plant is not growing straight, you can stake your plant with popsicle sticks, bamboo straws, or skewers to help your plant recover and grow straight again.

Just be sure not to tie the stems of your ZZ plant to the stake too tight, which could harm your plant, which can cause plant stress. This will further damage your ZZ plant and affect your plant’s growth.


ZZ plants are beautiful plants that are relatively easy to care for, but they can still have their share of problems.

To help ensure your ZZ plant grows straight and doesn’t have this problem again, you need to ensure your plant is cared for well and stick to a watering schedule to avoid watering problems.

When your plant has everything it needs to thrive, you won’t need to worry about it again. Good luck with your ZZ plant!