5 Best Store-Bought & DIY Potting Soils for Your ZZ Plant

best potting soil for zz plant

As a plant enthusiast who currently has a thriving ZZ plant in my kitchen window, I know that choosing the right potting soil is crucial for the health and growth of this popular houseplant. ZZ (zamioculcas zamiifolia) plants are known for their resilience and ability to thrive in low-light conditions, but they still require well-draining and nutrient-rich soil to reach their full potential.

When it comes to store-bought options, there are a few brands that consistently receive high praise from plant owners. One popular choice is Espoma Organic Cactus Mix, which is specifically formulated for succulents and cacti but works well for ZZ plants too. Another option is Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix, which is designed to retain moisture while also providing adequate drainage.

For those who prefer a DIY approach, creating a custom soil mix can be a fun and rewarding experience. A simple recipe includes equal parts perlite, peat moss, and sand. Adding in a slow-release fertilizer can also provide the necessary nutrients for ZZ plants to thrive. Another option is to mix in some coconut coir, which helps retain moisture and prevent soil compaction.

Best Potting Soil for ZZ Plants

As a plant parent, I know how important it is to choose the right potting soil for my ZZ plant. The right soil provides the necessary nutrients and drainage for the plant to thrive. Here are some things to look for when choosing the best potting soil for your ZZ Plant. 

1. Drainage

ZZ plants thrive in well-draining soil, so it’s important to choose a soil mix that allows excess water to flow out easily. Look for soil mixes that contain perlite, sand, or vermiculite to improve drainage. Avoid soil mixes that contain large amounts of peat moss, which can retain too much moisture and cause root rot.

If the soil is too compact or dense, it can lead to root rot and other issues. A well-draining soil mix allows excess water to drain away from the roots, preventing waterlogged soil.

2. Nutrients

ZZ plants require a well-draining soil mix that is rich in organic matter. The nutrients that a ZZ plant can get from soil include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are commonly referred to as the three primary macronutrients.

Nitrogen is important for the growth and development of leaves and stems and helps to give plants their vibrant green color. Phosphorus is essential for root development and flowering, while potassium helps to regulate water balance in the plant and improve overall growth and vigor.

In addition to these macronutrients, ZZ plants also benefit from trace elements such as iron, zinc, and magnesium. These micronutrients are required in smaller quantities but are no less important for the plant’s overall health and well-being.

3. PH Level

ZZ plants prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH level between 6 and 7.5. You can test the pH level of your soil using a soil pH meter or test kit. If the pH level is too high, you can add sulfur to lower it. If the pH level is too low, you can add lime to raise it.

Top 5 Best Potting Soils for ZZ Plants

Here are some of our favorite store-bought potting soil options that are great for ZZ plants:

1. Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix

Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix is a popular choice for many indoor plants, including ZZ plants. It is a store-bought soil mix that is specially formulated to provide the right balance of drainage, moisture retention, and nutrients for indoor plants. This potting mix contains a blend of peat moss, perlite, and fertilizer, which provides a good growing medium for ZZ plants. It is also pH-balanced, which helps to prevent nutrient deficiencies in the plant.

Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix, Blended for a Variety of Houseplants, Feeds for up to 6 Months, 6 qt., 2-Pack
  • Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix feeds houseplants for up to 6 months and is designed to be less prone to gnats (contains no compost or bark, which are known to shelter fungus gnats)
  • This potting mix contains coconut coir, which holds and releases water and helps soil re-wet
  • Blended for a wide variety of indoor container plants, including climbing, foliage, flowering, and tropical plants
  • To use, fill a container about 1/3 full with potting mix; add more mix after placing your plant in the pot

2. Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix

Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix is another great option for ZZ plants. This soil mix is specially formulated for cactus and succulent plants, but it works well for ZZ plants too. It is made from a blend of peat moss, sand, perlite, and limestone, which provides excellent drainage and aeration for the plant. This soil mix is also pH-balanced, which helps to prevent nutrient deficiencies in the plant.

Sale
Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix, 4 Quarts, Brown/A
  • Provides the drainage cacti need to flourish.
  • You will receive (1) 4-quart bag with this order.
  • Ready to use, so that you don’t need to take the time and energy to mix ingredients together.
  • Encourages bloom and root development so that your cacti grow faster and larger than ever before.
  • Comes in an easy to pour and store bag.

3. Espoma Organic Potting Mix

Espoma AP8 8-Quart Organic Potting Mix is an organic potting mix that is made from a blend of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. It is a good choice for those who prefer to use organic soil for their plants. This potting mix provides good drainage and moisture retention for ZZ plants. It is also enriched with Espoma’s proprietary blend of mycorrhizae, which helps to promote root growth and nutrient uptake in the plant.

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Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix – All Natural Potting Mix For All Indoor & Outdoor Containers Including Herbs & Vegetables. For Organic Gardening, 8qt. bag. Pack of 1
  • FOR USE ON: Not just an indoor potting soil, this can also be used as a potting soil for outdoor plants and is a great soil mix for vegetables, herbs & all other container plants & flowers.
  • CONTAINS: This organic soil for plants & vegetables is a rich blend of sphagnum peat moss, humus & perlite enriched with earthworm castings, alfalfa meal, kelp meal & feather meal
  • MYCO-TONE: A proprietary blend of endo & ecto mycorrhizae.
  • WHEN TO USE: Any time planting containers, whether starting a new plant or transplanting into a larger container. Plants require regular re-potting and fresh planting soil for optimum growth
  • ORGANIC GARDENING: Contains a rich blend of only the finest natural ingredients. No synthetic plant foods or chemicals are used.

4. FoxFarm Happy Frog Potting Soil

FoxFarm Happy Frog Potting Soil is another organic potting mix that is popular among indoor plant enthusiasts. It is made from a blend of peat moss, perlite, and composted forest humus, which provides excellent drainage and aeration for ZZ plants. This potting soil is also enriched with beneficial microbes and fungi, which help to promote healthy root growth and nutrient uptake in the plant.

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FoxFarm FX14054 12-Quart Happy Frog Organic Potting Soil
  • Ready to use right out of the bag
  • Our unique mix is alive with beneficial soil microbes and mycorrhizal fungi
  • The benefits of this premium select potting soil are strong plant structure,

5. Black Gold 1310102 All-Purpose Potting Soil

Black Gold 1310102 All Purpose Potting Soil is a versatile potting mix that is suitable for a wide range of indoor and outdoor plants, including ZZ plants. It is made from a blend of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite, which provides good drainage and moisture retention for the plant. This potting mix is also enriched with a slow-release fertilizer, which provides nutrients to the plant over a long period of time.

How to Mix Your Own ZZ Plant Soil

If you prefer to make a DIY potting soil mix for ZZ plants, you can try a mix of equal parts perlite, peat moss, and sand. This mix provides good drainage and aeration for the plant. You can also add some slow-release fertilizer to the mix to provide nutrients to the plant over time.

Another DIY option is to mix equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. This mix provides good moisture retention and aeration for the plant. You can also add some organic fertilizer to the mix to provide nutrients to the plant.

A good potting mix should be well-draining, provide adequate nutrients, and have a pH level between 5.5 and 7.5. Here are a few options for creating your own ZZ plant soil mix:

Option 1: Peat-based Mix

For a peat-based mix, combine equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and coarse sand. Peat moss is a good organic material that holds moisture well, while perlite and sand provide good drainage. You can also add some vermiculite to the mix to improve water retention.

To make a peat-based potting mix, you will need the following ingredients:

Here are the steps to make a peat-based potting mix:

  1. In a large container, combine 2 parts peat moss and 1 part perlite or vermiculite. Mix well.
  2. Add 1 part compost to the mixture and mix well.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of fertilizer per gallon of potting mix and mix well.
  4. Moisten the potting mix with water until it is evenly damp but not soaking wet.
  5. Use the potting mix to fill your pots or containers.
  6. Plant your seeds or seedlings in the potting mix and water them.

Note: Peat moss is a non-renewable resource, so you may want to consider using an alternative like coconut coir or composted bark. Additionally, be sure to source your peat moss from a sustainable and responsible supplier.

Option 2: Coir-based Mix

If you prefer a coir-based mix, combine equal parts of coconut coir, perlite, and pumice. Coconut coir is a sustainable alternative to peat moss, and it also holds moisture well. Pumice is a volcanic rock that provides good aeration and drainage, while perlite helps to prevent compaction.

To make a coir-based potting mix, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Coir fiber or coconut coir
  • Perlite or vermiculite
  • Compost (optional)
  • Fertilizer

Here are the steps to make a coir-based potting mix:

  1. In a large container, combine 2 parts coir fiber or coconut coir and 1 part perlite or vermiculite. Mix well.
  2. Add 1 part compost to the mixture and mix well.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of fertilizer per gallon of potting mix and mix well.
  4. Moisten the potting mix with water until it is evenly damp but not soaking wet.
  5. Use the potting mix to fill your pots or containers.
  6. Plant your seeds or seedlings in the potting mix and water them.

Note: Coir fiber is a renewable resource and is a great alternative to peat moss. It is also more environmentally friendly as it is a waste product from the coconut industry. However, it is important to source your coir fiber from a sustainable and responsible supplier.

How to Repot a ZZ Plant

ZZ plant is a slow grower and does not require frequent repotting. However, they should be repotted every 2 to 3 years into a bigger pot or when the plant has outgrown its current pot. Signs that your ZZ plant needs to be repotted include roots growing out of the drainage holes, the plant becoming top-heavy, or the soil drying out very quickly after watering. 

Additionally, if you notice that the plant is not growing well or the leaves are turning yellow, it may be time to repot your ZZ plant. Repotting your ZZ plant in fresh soil and a larger pot will provide it with more room to grow and access to fresh nutrients, which can help it to thrive.

Here are the steps to repot a ZZ plant:

  1. Choose a new pot that is one pot size size larger than the current pot. The new pot should have proper drainage holes at the bottom. 
  2. Water the ZZ plant thoroughly a few days before repotting. This will help the plant to come out of the old pot more easily.
  3. Gently remove the ZZ plant from its old pot. You can do this by tipping the pot on its side and gently pulling the plant out.
  4. Shake off any excess soil from the root ball and inspect the roots for any signs of damage or disease. Trim off any damaged or diseased roots with a clean pair of scissors or pruning shears.
  5. Add fresh potting soil to the new pot, filling it about one-third full.
  6. Place the ZZ plant in the center of the new pot and fill in the gaps with fresh potting soil. Gently press the soil down around the plant to remove any air pockets.
  7. Water the ZZ plant thoroughly and allow the excess water to drain out of the bottom of the pot. Be careful not to add too much water. 
  8. Place the ZZ plant in a bright, indirect light location and avoid direct sunlight.
  9. Water the ZZ plant as needed, keeping the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged.

Note: ZZ plants are very hardy and can tolerate a wide range of conditions, but they prefer well-draining soil and do not like to be overwatered. Repotting is usually done every 1-2 years or when the plant has outgrown its current pot.

Frequently Asked Questions: Best Potting Mix for ZZ Plant

Can I Use Cactus Soil for ZZ Plant?

Yes, cactus soil can be used for ZZ plants. It is a well-draining soil mix that is ideal for plants that require good drainage. However, it is important to note that cactus soil may not provide enough nutrients for ZZ plants, so it is recommended to mix it with other organic matter to provide the necessary nutrients.

Can I Use Succulent Soil for ZZ Mix?

Yes, succulent soil can also be used for ZZ plants. It is similar to cactus soil in that it is well-draining, but it may contain more organic matter and nutrients than cactus soil. However, it is important to check the pH level of the soil mix to ensure it is suitable for ZZ plants, which prefer slightly acidic soil.

Is Cocopeat Good for ZZ Plant?

Yes, cocopeat is a good option for ZZ plants. It is a natural, organic soil amendment that is lightweight and retains moisture well. It is also renewable and environmentally friendly. However, it is important to mix cocopeat with other soil amendments to improve drainage and provide the necessary nutrients for ZZ plants. 

Healthy ZZ Plant CareTips

ZZ plants are a great option for an indoor plant as they are incredibly low maintenance and can thrive in a variety of lighting conditions. Here are some other tips for ZZ plant care in your home so you can get the best results for your plant:

  • ZZ plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight but can also tolerate low light conditions. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight as this can scorch their leaves.  
  • ZZ plants do not require frequent watering and can tolerate periods of drought. Water your ZZ plant only when the soil is completely dry to the touch. Overwatering can lead to root rot, can damage the root system, and can be fatal for your plant. Lastly, ZZ plants do not require fertilization, but you can feed them with a balanced houseplant fertilizer once a month during the growing season. Wait until the top inch of soil is dry before watering again.
  •  ZZ plants also prefer slightly humid environments, so misting the leaves occasionally can be beneficial.
  • Choose the right option for your ZZ plant’s soil, as we’ve outlined in this article. 

One of the best things about ZZ plants is that they are incredibly forgiving and can withstand neglect. They are also great air purifiers and can remove harmful toxins from the air in your home. Additionally, ZZ plants are pet-friendly and non-toxic to cats and dogs, making them a safe option for pet owners. Plus, its glossy green leaves and ability to grow in a variety of container sizes make it a versatile and attractive choice. 

ZZ plants are a great option for anyone looking for a low-maintenance indoor plant. They are easy to give proper care to, can tolerate a variety of lighting conditions, and are great air purifiers. So, whether you’re a seasoned plant parent or a beginner, a ZZ plant is a perfect addition to your home.