Why Is My ZZ Plant Turning Brown?

While ZZ plants are extremely resilient however, they can show signs of trouble by forming brown spots on their stems or leaves. It could be due to water quality issues or improper watering, inadequate humidity or light levels, pest infestation and nutrient deficiencies or other factors that affect the pot in which the plant is growing.

ZZ Plants can withstand droughts, beautiful plants that originate of East Africa that is also known as ZZ Gems are ornamental plants that originate from East Africa. Zanzibar gem. They certainly are an asset when it comes to having an indoor plant that will always appear attractive, cleanse your air and require only minimal maintenance.

You might be puzzled when the normally tough-looking natural shiny green leaves of the ZZ plant begin to turn brown.

Why Is My ZZ Plant Turning Brown?

ZZ Plants are extremely easy to maintain and appear to possess an almost natural ability to look beautiful and lush even in the most challenging conditions. not be the best for them.

If you notice spots of brown appearing on plants’ leaves, then you might be worried about the most dangerous. If you act swiftly, your beautiful ZZ plant is soon in the process of full recovery.

There are a variety of reasons that a normal trooper such as ZZ Plant ZZ Plant may start looking unhealthy and becoming brown. The usually waxy, prehistoric-looking leaves could begin disappearing from their deep green appearance and, more often the tips of the leaves start to change color.

Before you take any action to fix the issue it is essential to determine the reason ZZ plant is becoming brown.

If the reason isn’t obvious it is necessary to explore all options to make the environment optimal to allow your plant to flourish. Like all plants, the simple ZZ plant must meet certain minimum needs to be healthy.

The most frequent issues that can cause ZZ Plants to change luster to dead brown are as follows:

  • Water quality
  • Watering is not correct
  • Humidity Issues
  • Too much sunlight
  • Temperature
  • Pot size is not correct.
  • Transplant shock
  • Over-fertilizing
  • Diseases and pests
  • Beware of sprays that shine on leaves

Of course, there’s more to each of these points than just doing the opposite of what you’re currently doing.

To be successful, you have to be aware of the place from which ZZ Plants originate and mimic the conditions as closely as you can.

Fortunately, the pleasant conditions in most homes are ideal to grow ZZ Plants, so it usually comes down to fixing one thing to bring the ZZ Plant back to original splendor.

indoor pots zz plant

It is crucial to remember that when a portion of a leaf, or an entire leaf turns brown the part that is brown cannot be saved. It will never be green ever again. Once you’ve identified a plan of action to take care of the ZZ plant, it is recommended to cut off the brown parts.

10 Reasons Why Your ZZ Plant Is Turning Brown

Let’s look at the most frequent reasons that the ZZ Plant may be turning brown. We’ve provided solutions to every problem to make it simpler so that you don’t have to pursue an education in horticulture to bring the ZZ Plant back into beautiful healthy, green state.

1. Tap Water May Be Making Your ZZ Plant Sick

ZZ ZZ plants do require to be kept hydrated frequently however, they do not require frequent watering. This is due to the fact that they store the water inside their rhizome root system, which is plump and swollen.

If you fail to water your plant for one or two weeks most likely that your ZZ plant will be grateful. The only thing these plants aren’t capable of enduring is the chemicals found in tap water.

This isn’t to suggest that every tap water source is harmful It’s more the fact that ZZ plants are more sensitive to the cleansing chemicals and additives that are found in the majority of tap water.

Because these drought-resistant plants don’t require as frequent watering as other houseplants, however, when they drink, they can make it happen, and the effects on the plant from chlorine, mineral, and fluoride in tap water can make the plant look unwell.

Fortunately, you don’t have to go out and purchase special spring water specifically for your ZZ. If you are able, attempt to collect rainwater to feed your plant.

It can also be used to make snow however, be sure to allow it to melt and reach temperatures of room temperature prior to soaking the soil around the plant with the freezing water.

If you own a large number of plants in your home, it could be worthwhile to invest in an easy filtration system that can cleanse tap water. It’s as easy as purchasing a pitcher that is filtered such as this by Aquagear.

It is possible that leaving the tap water in the fridge overnight can reduce the amount of chlorine in your water. The truth is that chlorine is dissolved, but as per experts they suggest that it will take at minimum 48 hours to get the task completed. However, it’s worthwhile to try it if you do not have any water filtered accessible.

Remember that when it comes to ZZ plants, even though regular watering is important it’s a matter that quality over quantity. It is more beneficial to water your plant less often with pure water rather than the reverse.

2. Water Your ZZ Plant Only When Needed

We all want to pamper and love our plants. One of the most popular ways we show our affection to their plants is by regularly spritzing them in water.

We do not want them to dry out and die, do we?

ZZ Plants seem to have developed from the lack of attention. They are accustomed to receiving very little, and are incredibly upset when they are given more than they need.

This doesn’t mean that they don’t require water at all however, the schedule for watering should be determined by the requirements of the plant in relation to the outside temperature or season, and not based on a strict schedule for watering the plant.

Insufficient or excessive watering of your ZZ plant could cause the plant to turn brown. Consider the way in which the plant could grow natural within East Africa.

If it was in floodwater or the hot and dry earth, the leafy, green top of the plant will undoubtedly change to brown. The same is true for the houseplant you have.

Before you do anything else, make sure the drainage holes beneath the pot of your plant are completely accessible. It is essential to water your plants, but it must drain rapidly through the soil surrounding the roots of the plant, and excess water should drain via the bottom.

One good practice to observe prior to applying water to the ZZ plants is to examine your plant’s soil using the tips of your fingers. The top layer must be dry prior to when you get to the watering container.

Most of the time, you’ll have to water ZZ plants on average ZZ plant every week. During the winter months, it may be less frequent.

Also, you don’t want your plant to enter self-preservation mode if you don’t provide sufficient water. ZZ plants can survive times of drought by keeping all their reserves within their massive rhizome roots.

This, of course, means that the top most visible part of your plant, which looks stunning in your home will start to change color as the plant begins to die down.

3. Incorrect Humidity May Be A Factor

ZZ Plants generally work well with different levels of humidity which makes them very popular in many offices with air conditioning.

But, dry air implies that evaporation takes place more quickly. This causes ZZ’s ZZ plants leaves to dry out faster, which results in the beautiful green leaves becoming brown. It is possible to see the edges of certain leaves turning brown.

If you reside in an area that is dry where the ZZ plant is becoming brown even though it’s properly watered There are a few simple and affordable methods you can implement to correct the issue.

  • Mist the leaves with a spray – all you require is a spray bottle stuffed with water that is room temperature. Place the nozzle in the most effective spray, and then light mist your leaves from the ZZ plant. The purpose in misting the leaves is to gently cover the leaf’s surface. Be careful not to spray with so much water that it flows through the stems and into the soil, and you end up inundating your plant.
  • Make use of a pebble tray The creation of a pebble tray can be an enjoyable project that looks great and is sure to increase the humidity of the ZZ plant. Be aware of this. The plant’s base should never be immersed in water. The drainage must continue to flow through the pot, and any excess water should be removed from the plant’s root.

Pebbles look amazing when paired with an ZZ plant, if you choose pebbles that match the plant’s appearance from prehistoric times. It is possible to use any type of tray, or even a saucer as that it has an opening that can hold water.

After you have your pebble tray in place Keep topping off the pebbles with water And voila! Your plant will be enjoying its own humidity zone that is self-regulating.

  • Plant your house plants in groups In nature, few plants are able to grow in the open. They are clumped together with other plants of various types and sizes. This helps keep the individual plant species from becoming dry.

If the area in which the plant is kept ZZ plant is very dry and you also have other plants in your home, you might want to consider placing them in close proximity. Keep in mind the requirements for light for each type.

  • Transfer it to a humid area – If you reside in an area that is dry where the ZZ Plant is developing brown edges on the leaves, it might be beneficial to relocate the plant to an environment that is more humid. Bathrooms with steam are excellent for mimicking African tropical climates and the ZZ Plant will gain from the natural humidity.
  • Install a humidifier. Humans as well as ZZ plants can benefit from having an humidifier. In the event that you have one already, you might relocate it closer to your ZZ plant.

4. Too Much Sun Will Burn Your ZZ Plant

One of the most remarkable aspects of ZZ plants is their tolerance of a variety in lighting. While they are more successful in bright, indirect sunlight but they can be found plodding along even at lower levels of light.

High light isn’t the same as direct sunlight, and if your plant’s color is changing after exposure to direct sunlight, it’s likely been burned.

Then, immediately move it to a place in which its waxy, rigid leaves are safe and will not be further burned.

5. Extreme Cold Will Affect Your Plant

If the plant is located in your garden or even on the porch, and notice that it is beginning to turn yellow and brown with edges Check the temperature of the night.

ZZ plants can withstand temperatures that range from 50 to 90F. The ideal temperature for a room is 50-90F and ZZ plants are great plant pots in indoor environments.

The beginning of winter often arrives before we are ready for it, and temperatures at night start to drop rapidly.

When you notice the first signs of cold, take your plant inside. Anything below 50F is most likely to trigger the plant’s top to begin turning brown and receding.

The cold temperatures aren’t just caused by cold weather. sudden blasts from cooling system or air vents can result in fluctuations in temperature, which can affect the performance of your ZZ plant.

Even the plant may have already been damaged due to cold, you can help it recover by taking it inside or shifting it to a warmer location.

Remove the damaged part Even if it means all of the leaves on the surface, and then continue to care for the root.

The rhizome that is hardy will put new shoots during the coming season of growth, however, prevention is always better than curing, so make sure to ensure that you keep your ZZ cozy and warm to ensure it is in good all through the year.

6. Overfertilizing Can Affect The Health Of Your ZZ Plant

ZZ plants aren’t in any way tolerant of soil. If you add too much fertiliser can overpower the humble ZZ plants and could hinder the growth of new leaves or cause discoloration to the leaves that are already in place.

As long as there is enough drainage, they will be used in a normal mix of potting soil.

While ZZ plant don’t require any extra fertilizer, they can sometimes benefit from a little dilute feed, particularly in the spring and summer.

However it should be restricted to a couple of times per year. It is also important to make sure that the plant isn’t in a pot and to repot it whenever necessary.

7. Watch For Signs Of Transplant Shock

Like the other living creatures that live, plants are used to certain circumstances, and sudden changes to their environment could cause them to react and eventually get sick.

If your recently transplanted ZZ plant is beginning to turn brown, it could be having trouble adjusting to the new environment.

After repotting, be sure to put your ZZ Plant back in the same spot in the same way as before, until the plant has fully adjusted. It is recommended to water the plant for at least 24 hours prior to transplanting is recommended to lessen potential stress during transplantation since it will remain well hydrated after you move it.

While you must transplant your ZZ plant when you begin to notice signs that it is outgrowing it’s pot, ideal time to do it is typically late in the autumn or in the early winter.

This is the time when the plant is in its most active growth phase, and therefore the transition from one container to the next is less stressful.

Be careful not to damage the storage roots when you transplant. Another tip is to ensure that you prepare the container and to use as much soil that was in the previous container as is possible in the new container.

Place the seeds of your ZZ in the exact depth as it was before and it will be comfortable and flourish in the new pot.

8. Check The Size Of The Pot To Keep Your ZZ Plant Healthy

The bigger the more effective, and when it comes to ZZ plant species it is certainly the situation. These gorgeous hardy plants maintain their unique shape better when their roots are maintained in a smaller space.

Therefore, select a smaller pot than what you would choose for a similar-sized plant.

ZZ plants are known to be slow to grow, and therefore they’re unlikely to grow out of their pots quickly. But, when the soil inside the pot is depleted the condition of the plant will decline.

Transferring the ZZ plant from one pot to another isn’t difficult, and it’s usually possible to remove all of the root structure out of the pot to plant it in a larger container for your plant.

An excellent tip when it comes to indoor planters is to place the plant in a cheap plastic container similar to the one you bought it in from the nursery, and then put the entire thing in an attractive pot.

This way, you’ll be able to take the entire plastic pot regularly and examine whether the plant is bound to the pot.

9. Check Your Plant For Signs Of Pests Or Disease

Plant diseases and pests can rapidly affect the well-being and health of the ZZ plant. The most deadly ailments is root rot, which is usually caused by excessive watering or insufficient drainage. New leaves and stems begin becoming brown and if you don’t take action promptly, your plant won’t survive.

While pests aren’t often a problem for ZZ plants, it’s not impossible, particularly when you have other plants in your home.

This can be aphids, scale and spider mites. Make use of a specific insecticide for houseplants or a natural solution such as Neem oil.

10. Leaf Shine Sprays Are Not Recommended For A ZZ Plant

The leaves of ZZ plants are naturally shiny. ZZ plant naturally shine and can appear almost synthetic in their beauty.

If you find the appearance of your ZZ plant appears to be looking a bit drab Don’t be enticed to grab the spray for shining leaves, because it can block the pores of the leaves, causing them to lose transpiration. This can result in the leaves becoming brown.

If the leaves on your ZZ plant begin to appear somewhat dull, they could become dusty. It’s easy to restore the natural shine and healthiness to the leaves’ surface without the use of sprays for shine on leaves. The below methods to clean your ZZ plants leaves:

  • Give your plant a bath If your plant isn’t too large to fit in a sink, put the entire pot into the sink or basin. Use the spray bottle or low-pressure sprayer to clean the leaves. Make sure that the temperature is not too high and that the pressure isn’t too high otherwise the leaves will be damaged. After that, let your plant to dry and allow the soil to dry before irrigation.
  • Make use of a damp cloth it may take some time and time since it has to be done with care however it is extremely rewarding to wash your plant with your hands. Clean the surface of each leaf using a damp, clean cloth. As you scrub with another hand to keep the stems or leaves from breaking off.
  • Small plants can be dipped in a bucket . In the event that you’re ZZ plant isn’t overly large and the pot is small enough to be able to hold it then you could attempt to dip it in the bucket of water that is lukewarm. This procedure should be done very carefully to ensure that you don’t knock the plant from the pot.

Fill a bucket or similar long container with warm water. It should not be cold or warm. This is crucial, otherwise your plant may be in shock due to the rapid change in temperature.

Utilize both hands to hold your soil. Around the base of the plant. flip it over to ensure that the plant’s foliage is submerged. Swirl it gently to get rid of dust, then remove it, and then turn it upwards direction. The ZZ plants will appear in good condition, as well as the leaf will return to their shiny, deep green hue.

Frequently Asked Questions About ZZ Plant

ZZ plants are generally tough house plants, and you might be worried and don’t know what to do if your plant begins to turn brown. Luckily, our team of experts in plants is ready to answer your questions starting from A – ZZ.

How do I eliminate the brown-colored leaves that are on the ZZ plant?

Unfortunately, once an ZZ leaf is brown it is not way to save it. Remove affected leaves or a portion of each damaged leaf. It is best to use sharp pruning shears or scissors. After each cut, scrub the blades with ruby alcohol.

If a large number of leaflets are damaged, just take a handful at a time to ensure that the plant doesn’t suffer from shock and then deteriorate. But don’t fret when you figure out the reason for the leaves to turn brown, you will be able to restore your plant to its normal state.

What is the reason my ZZ plant’s stems becoming brown?

The most dangerous plants diseases that affect ZZ Plants is root rot. ZZ plant is the root rot that is often manifests in the form of a constant spreading brown color on the stem. When this ailment takes an grip, it can be difficult to eradicate.

What is the reason why do the tips of my leaf of my ZZ plant becoming brown?

The plant is watered with tap water that is contaminated with chemicals such as chlorine and salts could result in the tips of the ZZ plant’s leaves becoming brown. It is recommended to use natural or filtered rainwater to water your gorgeous ZZ plant.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)