Why is my ZZ Plant Turning Yellow and Brown?

A variety of issues could cause this browning in the ZZ plants leaves. This could be due to issues with the need to water, pests, sunlight or even stress from repotting. We’ll discuss each one in a moment. First, let’s talk about the basics:

The ZZ or Zee zee plant Zamioculcas Zamiifolia Zamioculcas Zamiifolia has been a hugely well-known houseplant in recent times. Its size – ranging from half a metre up to one metre, is a great flooring option for living spaces. The leaves of the green variety are believed as excellent purifiers as well.

The plant is native to Africa and could be poisonous to cats however it has been successfully propagated across the globe. Some owners are noticing that the leaves of the plant change brown or yellow and I have faced. It could be an indication of one or more issues. Let’s examine the reasons why this occurs.

Why are My ZZ Plant Leaves Turning Yellow and Brown?

If you notice your home plant’s leaves turning brown or yellow Look into the possible reasons immediately. Before taking any other move, however, you should take the following steps:

Find a quality pair of scissors or shears. Use alcohol rubbing.

* Cut off the brown leaves using shears. Use alcohol prior to every cut.

Be cautious not to cut off excessively from the plant. Anything more than 20% of the plant could cause shock to the plant.

Right. We’ve cut off all in the areas affected. It’s now time to get into the causes and solutions as well as some basic zee plant care.

zz plant silhouette

Causes of ZZ Plant Leaves Turning Brown and Yellow

In simple sense, ZZ leaves (like fiddle fig leaves and other plants for the home) change from yellow to brown due to four primary factors: light, water pests, light. Each of these causes has one or two sub-causes however we’ll go into the details later. Let’s take a look at the ways we can deal with each one of these issues individually.

ZZ Plant’s Yellow Leaves Caused by Sunburn

Sunburn can indeed cause browning of ZZ plant leaves. ZZ plants originate from Africa and therefore, many people mistakenly believe that they are not affected by extreme temperatures and sun. However, ZZ plants are tolerant of extreme temperatures and sunlight. ZZ is able to thrive in dry conditions , but struggle with scorching temperatures and direct sunlight.

Your ZZ could be suffering from “sunburnt” if it has more than four hours of direct sunlight and temperatures. This is among the first indications of the tips of your plant becoming brown.

How to Fix It

It’s a simple one. If you think that the direct light coming from windows is too bright then move the ZZ into a spot that has less direct sunlight. Do not move it to the shadows as ZZ likes light, but not directly on its leaves. This will prevent the ends of the leaves from turning brown.

Inadequate Humidity

It’s true, ZZ plants like a little bit of humidity. And when they don’t receive enough, they begin to turn discolored. The air’s moisture (but not directly watering) assists in keeping the leaves in good health.

How to Fix It

There are several options to address the issue of humidity:

Create pebble tray: It is a dish that’s filled with small rocks or pebbles set beneath the plant. Sprinkle water on the stones every day. If the water evaporates, it is absorbed directly under the plant, causing it to become humid in the air surrounding it.

  • Mist the leaves: Maybe it’s easier to make use of a spray bottle that produces a fine mist. Spray the leaves several times per week using regular water. Be cautious not to over soak the leaves as this can lead to fungus and aphids.
  • Take an effort to break the bathroom: Try shifting the plant into your bathroom, provided that there is enough space and the bathroom is equipped with sufficient light. It will not only make your bathroom appear more exotic and secluded, but the humidity of the shower and bath will bring you ZZ satisfied!

Over Watering

Sometimes, too much affection can cause plants to turn brown. ZZ’s are suited to dry conditions, and excessive water can lead to issues with fungus and rot. Be aware that improper watering isn’t just a matter of excessive water. A lack of drainage may cause excessive moisture to remain within the container.

Rot and overwatering can affect the roots. The remainder of the plant won’t be able to absorb the proper nutrients. The leaves will turn brown or yellow, or even end up falling off in extreme instances.

How to Fix It

The most effective way to find out is to examine the soil. If the soil is damp particularly after the last watering, you might have to take the plant from the pot in order to examine it more closely. A general rule for ZZ plants is to allow your soil time to dry out completely before watering it again.

Examine the roots. They must be white. If you notice brown or discolored areas it could be the rot. Don’t be afraid – you might still be able to save your old ZZ.

Make use of a pruner to remove affected areas from the roots. Don’t cut too much. After you’re done, wash the pruning shears as any residue mold and rot could cause damage onto other plant species. Repot the plant in a pot with new pot soil and better drainage, and watch out for ZZ plants that are growing.

Under Watering

However, you can easily submerge the ZZ due to its love of dry conditions is not always the case. Like most species, inadequate water can cause it shrink, lose color and then end up dying.

How to Fix It

If you’ve ever seen a film in which a person is saved by the wilderness, they will always prevent the person from drinking excessive water. Similar principles apply. Begin by giving a small amount of water and then make sure the soil doesn’t get soaked. Make sure that the top of the pot isn’t sitting in water.

Just enough water is needed to moisten the soil, and then continue to check whether the soil has dried up. Repeat the process, and then plan your watering schedule in accordance with it. Now you be aware of the frequency at which you should soak the soil of the ZZ plant.

Pest Infection

Every plant is susceptible to insects. Aphids are known the opportunity to “drink” ZZ plant juice – as well as “sap” if you prefer. It is easy to determine if your plant is home to Aphids in the plant by looking for tiny yellow spots. They are particularly fond of sitting under leaf blades.

How to Fix it

Fortunately, aphids aren’t too difficult to eliminate. You can create your own water and soap solution to eliminate the aphids.

Mix 2 or 3 tablespoons of liquid soap that are pure in a small container of water. Spray the affected leaves with the aphid solution (especially the lower part).

Be sure not to make use of any chemical cleaners that could be harmful to plants. The local nursery might offer a solution to help you choose a better alternative.

Incredibly dry soil

A little bit related to underwatering, it is possible to neglect to dampen the soil periodically or overlook that it’s going to dry out quicker in warmer seasons. If the soil becomes too dry, the plant may shrink or start to fade.

How to Fix it

In the extreme it is possible to give your plant a specific “supervised” soak. Put the pot of your plant in 5-10cm of cool water in the tub or basin with no drainage saucer. The plant will soak up the water for about 45 minutes.

If the dampness is at the surface of soil empty from the container and allow the excess water evaporate from the plant. Then, you can replace the draining saucer , and place the plant back in its normal spot. Consider it an easy spa day to the ZZ plant.

Nutrient Deficiency

A deficiency in nutrient is a more complex issue, since it could be a trial and test situation. To clarify: Nutrient burn is an consequence of fertilization overuse.

To prevent this from happening, make sure that you fertilize ZZ plants every month. If you’re using an fertilizer that is soluble mix it up to half strength.

How to fix it

However, if you’ve been over-fertilizing the ZZ plants (more than once a month) You’ll need to do something about the pot itself. Clean it with lots of water, or completely repot it. Make use of fresh soil and begin a regular fertilization program.

Poor Water quality

Although it is unlikely, the tap water you use could cause your plants to change color at the edges and tips. Tap water is treated chemically and has certain levels of fluoride and chlorine which could build up.

This is especially relevant when you’re located in an area with hard water.

How to Fix it

There are several ways to deal with the issue of bad water.

  1. Make use of a water filter that is a basic filter for a container can be used.
  2. Fill the container with water and allow it to sit for at least 24 hours prior to you water your plants.
  3. Use collected rainwater instead.

Transplant Shock

Are your plants suddenly not performing as well since switching pot homes? The plants can suffer accidental or unnoticed damage when they’re repotted. Also called pot stress, it’s caused by a repotted that’s not done correctly or even with the wrong size of pot.

Sometimes, gardeners make use of a different type of potting soil, which isn’t as effective. The shock of transplantation is easily cured by a little time. It’s important to note that prevention is more effective than treatment, and placing it properly from the beginning can save you a lot of anxiety and energy.

How to Fix it

A few owners who aren’t experts are aware of is that repotting could be done in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s nice to think that your plant could benefit from a new pot in the spring however, this is not the right time to plant. Plants are susceptible to stress before the flowering season.

As previously mentioned, the use of new potting soils are the most frequent cause. Make sure to use what’s workingas often as you can. Don’t let the plant unoiled for more than is necessary. If the roots remain exposed to too long can suffer the brunt of damage.

If damage has been done, the best thing you can do is apply all the attention in the world. Over time, your plant will begin to show signs of healing. Be sure to take away damaged roots and leaves as you progress.

ZZ Plant Rust

Plant rust can sound a bit sour. It is actually an enigma of fungal infections that affects a variety of plants. Incredibly,”rust fungi” is a term that ” rust fungi” is used to refer to a variety of different types of fungi. One kind that is known as “rust” won’t necessarily infect all your plants. This means… the fungus that causes rust is usually plant-specific.

In any case it is possible to identify the rust fungus from its colour that is a brown, dark rust colour that begins as tiny flecks, but then grows into massive bumps on the leaves, particularly on the lower part.

How to Fix It

Plant rust is an unpleasant customer to get out of. Get rid of all affected parts immediately. It is important not to utilize them for compost. Get rid of them and dispose of them. Then, clean leaves with a soft cloth to get rid of any trace of fungus that might have fallen on the leaves.

To prevent recurrence, you can wipe them clean with to prevent recurrence, try wiping them with a fungicide or Neem oil. If you water again, be careful not to getting the leaves damp. The fungus is fond of water. Therefore, you should water the soil directly rather than.

Causes of ZZ Plant Turning Brown – Fixed!

This explains the most frequent reasons for why the ZZ plant is becoming brown. You can tell that a lot of solutions are easy fixes.

Your ZZ plant can be an excellent living room companion for a long time with a little TLC and not too much water (but not too much) and a suitable pot! Make sure you are prepared for every now and then a wipe using an unscented soap and water, and take the proper care of your plant with the sun and humidity.

In the majority of cases the proper maintenance will help to prevent any major issues. However, don’t get discouraged when your plant begins to exhibit symptoms of stress. Take a moment to review the checklist, pinpoint the issue, and then decide on the best course of action.



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