Why Does My ZZ Plant Have Yellow Leaves

Why Does My ZZ Plant Have Yellow Leaves? Causes and Fixes

If you want a low-maintenance houseplant, consider the ZZ plant, or Zamioculcas zamiifolia.

Your ZZ plant will most likely have the most problems with its leaves turning yellow.

Read on to find out what measures you should take to remedy this issue and avoid it in the future.

What’s up with my ZZ plant’s yellow leaves? The most common reason of fading ZZ plant leaves is overwatering, which causes root rot.

Yellowing leaves, on the other hand, can be an indicator of underwatering, as well as, less commonly, issues with temperature, light, or fertilizer.

There are various plausible causes for the fading leaves on your ZZ plant.

It’s critical to figure out why your houseplant is unhappy so you can address the problem and avoid it from happening again.

We’ll go through some of the possible reasons of yellow leaves on your ZZ plant, as well as some remedies to ensure the problem doesn’t reoccur once the plant has been revived.

Top Reasons ZZ Plants Get Yellow Leaves

Because ZZ plants are rather durable indoor plants, they are a popular choice for folks who don’t have a lot of time to spend to plant upkeep.

One of the reasons ZZ plants are so hardy is their ability to live in dry circumstances.

Many people mistakenly assume that ZZ plants can grow in highly hot and bright situations. To be honest, the ZZ plant can live in severely dry circumstances but not in heat.

When ZZ leaves suddenly turn yellow, it may come as a surprise because the plant can withstand some neglect. This is clearly a request for aid.

Why Does My ZZ Plant Have Yellow Leaves

A red light indicates that something is wrong, but what is the source of the problem and what can be done about it?

The yellowing of your leaves is most likely caused by how frequently you water your plant.

Simply modifying when and how much you water your ZZ plant may do a lot to repair the damage and bring it back to life.

The causes of your ZZ plant’s leaf color loss and what you may do about it are addressed below.

Overwatering A ZZ Plant Can Lead To Yellowing Leaves

Overwatering may have a severe effect on ZZ plants, which have evolved to thrive in dry conditions.

This is largely due to root rot and fungal development, which occur when the plant’s roots stay in water for an extended period of time.

Wet roots result in root rot, which interrupts the passage of water and nutrients to the leaves and the rest of the plant.

This can occur due to a variety of factors, including overwatering or poorly draining soil.

Once root rot has taken hold, the root system can no longer function normally.

The yellowing of the leaves is caused by a lack of water and nutrients reaching the plant’s critical sections. Leaves that have begun to turn yellow frequently fall off completely.

Solution if root rot caused by overwatering is the cause of the yellowing of the leaves:

  • The first step is to conduct a soil test. How saturated is the ground? If this is the case, remove the plant from its container and carefully check its roots. The roots should be a consistent white tone. If they aren’t, and brown rot patches can be observed, you most likely have a root rot problem. Root rot can be treated and the root’s functioning restored if detected early enough.
  • Pruning shears may be used to eliminate root rot with accuracy. Dig up the most affected roots and make minor incisions in otherwise healthy ones to encourage fresh root development. After removing the rot, properly clean the pruners. This is due to the fact that fungal growth promotes the development of root rot, which can be transmitted via contaminated pruners and other equipment.
  • Move the ZZ plant to a pot with enough drainage. Remove the contaminated soil and replace it with fresh soil. It is advised that you use a growing medium with sufficient drainage in the future to avoid this problem. Only enough water should be applied to make the soil mildly damp. Wait until the soil is completely dry before watering again.

Underwatering A ZZ Plant Can Lead To Yellowing Leaves

Because of its minimal water requirements, your ZZ plant is at risk of being neglected. Leaf color change, shriveling, and drop are all symptoms of a severe water deficiency.

It’s bad news for everyone who loves their houseplants.

Dry soil is an indicator that your plant is being drowned. If you adjust the frequency with which you water your ZZ plant, it should recover quickly.

If your ZZ plant becomes yellow due to overwatering, you should do the following:

Why Does My ZZ Plant Have Yellow Leaves

  • Don’t flood the dirt, but water the houseplant carefully at first. It’s easy to believe that providing additional water can help a plant that has been ignored for too long. Make an effort to reduce your water use.
  • Any excess water should be drained from the drainage saucer. Keep the plant away from water.
  • To boost health and nutrition, soluble fertilizer can be added to water. You just need to combine it to half the dosage strength stated on the label if you wish to use it.

Your watering consistency

If you water your ZZ at inconvenient times, it may grow yellow leaves, resulting in a cycle of soil that is either too dry or too wet.

Yellowing ZZ plant leaves may be caused by either overwatering or underwatering, so keeping track of how much water your plant need is critical.

Many factors impact how frequently and how much water should be provided to the plant, including the size of the pot, the ZZ plant itself, the ambient temperature and humidity, the quantity of direct sunlight received, and the amount of ventilation available.

I have a whole website dedicated to advising you when to water your houseplants.

You’ll never have to worry about your houseplants receiving too much or too little water again after you’ve mastered this approach.

The majority of ZZ plant keepers state that they only need to water their plants once every seven days in the summer and once every two to three weeks in the winter.

However, before you begin watering, you should check the soil.

When the earth is entirely dry, water the plant. Allowing the roots to soak in water all the time is bad for the ZZ plant’s health.

Water the plant thoroughly if necessary. Remove the saucer from the pot within 30 minutes of watering to avoid the plant sitting in water.

Excessive Light Can Cause Yellow Leaves

ZZ plants, in general, have a wide range of light tolerance. They are excellent accent plants in the house since they can survive in low-light circumstances.

They cannot, however, withstand as much direct sunlight as some other plants.

If your ZZ plant receives more than 4 hours of direct sunlight every day, the illumination might be the cause of yellow leaves.

When exposed to too much light, the plant’s leaves are more prone to burn and become brown.

If you’re not sure, move your ZZ plant to a location with indirect yet bright light. This will prevent this problem from happening, allowing your plant to recuperate faster.

Why Does My ZZ Plant Have Yellow Leaves

Nutrient Imbalance Can Cause Yellow Leaves In ZZ Plants

Even though it tolerates less-than-ideal growing conditions well, it might develop yellow leaves due to a lack of nutrients or an overdose of fertilizer.

Once a month, ZZ plants should be treated with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Prepare at half the strength stated on the package to avoid nutrient burn.

If you fertilize your ZZ plant more than once or twice a year, the yellowing of the leaves is most likely not due to a lack of nutrients.

If you have been feeding your ZZ plant more than once a month, or if you have been using an overly potent solution, you should completely clean the pot with plenty of water.

You might also repot your ZZ plant into new, well-draining potting soil.


Watering (or not watering) the soil as needed is an important element of caring for a ZZ Plant.

Overwatering is the most prevalent cause of leaf yellowing in ZZ Plants. ZZ Plants can generally survive with little to no maintenance or irrigation.

Water just until there is no moisture left in the soil. Water until the water drains easily from the bottom of the container.

Any water that overflows the saucer should be discarded.

Having “wet feet” might be detrimental to your ZZ Plant since it promotes root rot.


ZZ is brittle or overloaded. As a result, pests are more prone to damage plants. Spider mites and other sap-sucking pests can deplete the moisture supply of your plant.

The first evident indicator of this illness is the quick withering of the leaflets and fronds. Pests such as scale, mealybugs, and spider mites thrive in indoor conditions.

If you don’t get rid of these small parasites right away, they’ll spread all over the leaves and fronds, and even into the fissures.

If your ZZ is already unwell from a lack of nutrients or too little soil moisture, the insects’ piercing fangs will exhaust your plant and hasten the yellowing process.

Plant Rootbound

When you do your inspection, there may be no indication of root rot. There is, however, another issue that might cause your ZZ plant’s leaves to turn yellow, and you can recognize it.

If your plant was previously healthy and developing well, the expansion did not occur solely at the ground level.

If the roots of your plant have overrun the container, it may be root-bound.

The presence of roots above ground indicates that something is going on under the surface.

If there isn’t enough room for the roots to expand, repot your plant into a larger container.

ZZ plant leaves turning yellow after repotting?

Plants are stressed during repotting, which is necessary. Even if the plant was previously healthy, repotting might be stressful.

Some yellowing of the leaves and a general deterioration in plant appearance may be natural. Nonetheless, the plant should recover quickly and exhibit no more indications of the disease.

Except, maybe, if you used soil that holds too much water and the ground stayed moist for a lengthy period of time. Your plant most likely needs to be repotted in new soil.

If you repot your plant into a container that is significantly too big, the soil will remain moist for much longer.

Plant is Too Dense

Plants that are flourishing well and aggressively producing new growth may injure some stalks if the area in which they may develop gets congested (literarily squeezed to death).

Mechanical Damage

The leaves on this shrub are rather fragile. If you notice an unusual yellowing of a leaf, it might be due to your or another person’s recent brushing against it, as it doesn’t take much effort to break off a leaf.

Some damage to the base of the leaf may have cut off its supply of nutrients, causing the leaf to become yellow.

Why Does My ZZ Plant Have Yellow Leaves


Fewer ZZ plants are preferable. You don’t need to fertilize them very regularly, and doing so may be detrimental to their roots. Root damage can cause the leaves to become yellow.

To flourish, the ZZ plant requires only half the regular fertilizer dose. The yellowing of your ZZ plant’s leaves might be due to an overabundance of fertilizer.

Allow water to seep through the soil for approximately a minute to flush it. No fertilizer should be used until next year.

ZZ Plant Has Yellow Leaves at the Bottom

As the plant ages, there will be the odd yellow leaf near the base. As a result of age, the entire stalk and its associated leaves will eventually become yellow.

Some yellowing of ZZ plant leaves is normal if the plant is otherwise healthy, the yellowing does not “spread,” there was or is new growth on the plant, and you do not feel anything else is to blame.

Keep an eye on the plant to see whether the yellowing spreads to other leaves; a few yellow leaves at the bottom aren’t usually an issue until they persist.

How To Treat ZZ Plants With Yellow Leaves

To begin, remove the wounded plant from its container. Any ill ZZ plant may benefit from being repotted into new soil, especially if overwatering is the cause.

Remove the old dirt by gently shaking or brushing it off the plant’s root ball and discarding it.

When dealing with a root rot problem, avoid utilizing soil that has already been contaminated by fungus.

Inspect the roots in a well-lit place.

When you find any soft or squishy areas, use clean, sharp pruning shears to remove them.

This infected tissue must be properly disposed of.

Instead of composting it, dispose of it.

Examine the plant’s roots and branches using clean scissors.

Remove any yellowing leaves with a snip.

If you find any yellow stems, cut them off just where they emerge from the tuber.

If you suspect root rot, use a fungicidal solution such as thiophanate – methyl to the entire tuber and its roots.

Before using any product, it is critical to read and follow all directions.

Make a new container and prepare it.

ZZ plants should be cultivated in pots with drainage holes to guarantee good root growth and tuber health.

Pots made of ceramic or hypertufa are perfect.

Because they are porous, the container you use must have plenty of holes to allow excess liquid to escape.

For your houseplants, use fresh, airy potting soil. Perlite and succulent potting mix mixed 50/50 works great.

Water drainage can be improved by placing pebbles or packing peanuts at the bottom of the container and spreading potting soil over the surface.

Fill the container with fresh dirt once you’ve planted the tuber and its roots.

Why Does My ZZ Plant Have Yellow Leaves

Keep the healing plant in a warm, dark spot with indirect lighting for about a week. Watering should not be done at this time under any circumstances.

If you allow the plant to dry out, the fungicide you apply will have a higher chance of functioning.

After a week, your plant should have recovered sufficiently to thrive in the ideal habitat.

Your ZeeZee plant will grow in a bright indirect light environment with temperatures ranging from 80 to 87 degrees Fahrenheit (27 and 30 degrees C).

To begin a wise and effective watering routine, thoroughly water your therapeutic plant.

It is critical to wait until the top inch of soil is completely dry before watering again.

Your plant does not need fertilizer right now because it is in fresh soil.

Fertilizing should be delayed until early spring, depending on the season.

Remember that you should fertilize your lawn no more than once a month and at least twice a year.

If feasible, bring your ZZ plant outside during the warmer months of spring and summer.

Your plants will thrive outside as long as they are protected from the elements.

What A ZZ Plant Needs To Be Happy

Three major elements influence the health of your ZZ plant. They include enough light, just enough water, and acceptable temperatures.

The leaves of a healthy ZZ plant are thick and waxy, and they are filled with water. A issue is indicated by yellowing leaves with dry tips. You’ll need the following for your ZZ plant:


Indirect, intense light is required for ZZ plant development. They are bothered by bright lights.

If you leave your ZZ plant in direct sunlight for too long, the leaves will begin to burn. To thrive, the plant demands an extremely bright atmosphere.


The ZZ plant might be killed by either too much or too little water. You must create a balance between how much you apply and when you apply it.

Instead of watering on a regular schedule, examine the soil’s dryness and the health of the plant before selecting whether or not to water.


Some plants can really endure temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant will suffer if the temperature lowers more.

Yellow Leaves on New Growth

New leaves are frequently a pale green, but they should not be yellow.

If the new growth is turning yellow but the older leaves are not, nutrient deficiencies may be to blame.

While younger leaves are more susceptible, all leaves eventually turn yellow. Iron or potassium deficiencies are frequently to blame.

Improper watering can also be seen early on in young shoots.

FAQs about yellowing ZZ plant leaves

What do you do when ZZ plant leaves turn yellow?

If the leaves on your ZZ plant begin to yellow, it is in peril. If numerous leaves turn yellow and fall off, the stress level is considerable.

It’s time to get started! Use the provided list as a diagnostic tool, and treat the condition to the best of your ability.

Can Yellow ZZ plant leaves turn green again?

Dead or fading leaves cannot be revived and returned to their former green hue. Once the chloroform has worn off, the plant discards them. #ruthless

Should I remove yellow leaves from ZZ plants?

It is up to your preference whether or not to remove yellowing leaves. I generally give them a brief pull to check whether they come off easily, and if so, I take them off.

What does an overwatered ZZ plant look like?

Plants’ leaves become limp and yellow when they are overwatered. Brown or black areas on the leaves might also appear, ultimately turning mushy.

Do ZZ plants leaves turn yellow in fall?

The leaves of this plant do not change seasonally like those of a maple tree. The yellowing of your plant’s leaves indicates that something is amiss. Perhaps the cool air helps when done outside.

Why are my ZZ plant leaves turning yellow and brown

The yellowing and browning of the ZZ plant’s leaves is caused by a lack of moisture or humidity. Overwatering might cause root rot if soft brown and yellow areas appear.

Why are my ZZ plant leaves turning brown?

If a plant is too exposed to sunlight, does not get enough water, or suffers low humidity, its leaves will turn brown and crispy.

Why are my ZZ plant leaves turning yellow with black spots?

Yellow leaves with black spots indicate that your plant has been overwatered. Remove it from its present container, dump any remaining water, and repot it in a container with drainage holes.

You should only water your plant if the soil is dry.

Why is my ZZ plant leaves turning yellow after repotting?

Leaf color changes, such as yellowing, may indicate plant stress or shock. Plants may become stressed if they are moved. Check for enough lighting, water, and drainage.

Why is the new growth on my ZZ plant yellow?

The new growth on the ZZ plant is an extraordinarily vibrant shade of green, almost fluorescent. This is normal even on a Raven ZZ plant, but it may surprise you at first. It will darken with time.


A ZZ plant is an excellent choice for a beautiful, low-maintenance home plant. Your plant’s fading leaves are most likely caused by a lack of water.

Your favorite ZZ plant may soon be blooming again if you’re prepared to make some changes to how frequently you water it.

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