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VitoCorral
Apr 3, 2016 8:46 AM CST
Hi! I'm really concerned about my Zee Zee. This plant is gorgeous and I feel like I'm not caring for it well enough. He has also been over run with gnats that I'm currently spraying with dishwashing soap and water. I've had to cut two stems that have turned brown and dried up. Some of the leaves are turning brown as you can see from the pictures. Please help me with some direction. I like be this plant. Thanks!
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 3, 2016 9:24 AM CST
Welcome to ALT! Welcome!

ZZ's hate to be watered, hate too much light and hate fertilizer. You are probably giving it too much love and attention.

Gnats are a good sign a plant is staying too wet.

Daisy
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Apr 3, 2016 9:30 AM CST
I agree Welcome!
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 3, 2016 9:51 AM CST
Some dish soaps can alter the PH of the soil. Repotting can always help get rid of gnats. If gnats continue to be a problem for potted plants, look for a product with BTi to put in the water you give your plant (when thirsty.) Agree with above advice about ZZ not enjoying being consistently moist. The roots make tubers that store water, and can rot if kept too moist, or if they get too crowded in the pot.
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Apr 3, 2016 10:16 AM CST
Hi VitoCorral, Welcome to All Things Plants!

Since I see a saucer beneath your ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) I'm assuming the container it's planted in has drainage holes in the bottom so maybe the issue is from the soil retaining too much water, either from over watering or improper drainage. Some potting mixes are quite heavy; adding perlite or bark chunks to the potting medium will help lighten the soil, allowing fo better aeration around the plants roots and aiding in proper drainage. ZZ's are very drought tolerant plants and Fungus Gnats are usually a sign of the soil staying to wet.
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VitoCorral
Apr 3, 2016 12:08 PM CST
Thank you all so much! Does mixing soil with sand help out as well? If so I will do that this afternoon. Thank you again!
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 4, 2016 5:41 AM CST
No, the tiny particles of sand will eliminate the tiny air spaces in the soil and suffocate roots, which then rot (overwatering.) Perlite is an excellent addition.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Apr 4, 2016 11:05 AM CST
Hello VitoCorral, agree with the comments above. If you can change the soil, and add either pumice/perlite/little lava rocks, just to aid in drainage. I do have preference for pumice though in my media.

These are two of my ZZ plants, I made the soil as gritty/coarse as I can do it and it is happy like that, roots of this plant are fat and ably holds water so you have to make the media very well draining. I put those big rocks, to help me gauge if soil is still wet. Growing it indoors, dry out time takes longer, so when I lift any of those rocks and it still shows damp, then I delay watering.
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This was my plant before, had to separate them into three, it was fun doing the repot last Apr2014, really made me understand why it wants to be kept on the dry side with those fatso roots:
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VitoCorral
Apr 5, 2016 1:01 PM CST
Thank you all again for the advice. This will be my project for tonight. I'll be sure to keep y'all posted!

Vito

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