Written by Ivy
Jan 12 2023
Overwatering, which results in root rot, is the most frequent cause of yellowing leaves in ZZ plants. Yellowing leaves, however, can also be a sign of underwatering and, less frequently, can be caused by temperature extremes, light problems, or fertilization problems.
Yellow leaves on your ZZ plant could be caused by a variety of different things. The best course of action is to look into the causes to make sure you know what is upsetting your house plant and what to do about it. We discuss several possible causes of yellow leaves on your ZZ plant below, along with some advice on how to prevent yellow leaves from reappearing after the plant is revived.
ZZ plants can react negatively to excessive watering because they are made to thrive in dry environments. This results from the plant's root system being exposed to a moist environment for an extended period of time, which causes fungal growth and root rot.
Wet roots cause root rot, which then interrupts the regular flow of water and nutrients to the plant's leaves and other parts, whether you are watering your plant too frequently or the soil isn't draining well.
When root rot develops, the root system is unable to perform as it should. As a result, the plant's vital areas receive insufficient water and nutrition, which causes the leaves to turn yellow. Yellowing leaves will occasionally even fall off.
What to do if root rot from overwatering is the cause of yellow leaves:
Since a ZZ plant doesn't require a lot of water, it's possible to completely overlook watering it. A severe lack of water will cause the color of the leaves to change, they will shrivel, and they will fall. For someone who loves house plants, this can be very upsetting!
The issue with underwatering may be caused by the extremely dry soil of your plant. The good news is that your ZZ plant can recover fairly quickly by altering your watering schedule.
What to do if your ZZ plant is turning yellow from underwatering:
Monitoring your ZZ plant's water needs is crucial because overwatering and underwatering are the two main causes of yellowing leaves. The temperature, humidity, sunlight, ventilation, the size of the pot, and your ZZ plant will all have an impact on how much water you need to give it.
The majority of ZZ plant owners claim that they can get away with watering their plants just once per week in the summer and just once every two to three weeks in the winter. However, it is best to examine the soil before watering.
Before you water the plant once more, let the soil dry out. Continuously leaving the roots of the ZZ plant wet is bad for them. When you do water the plant, be sure to give the soil a good soak. In order to prevent the plant from standing in too much water, you should empty the saucer no later than 30 minutes after watering.
ZZ plants can typically withstand a variety of lighting situations. They thrive in low light conditions, making them a great houseplant for rooms with less natural light. They can tolerate some direct sunlight, but not much.
If your ZZ plant receives more than 4 hours of direct sunlight each day, you should think about lighting as a possible cause of the plant's yellow leaves. The plant will be more likely to have brown spots or brown tips on the leaves due to sunburn if there is too much light.
If in doubt, relocate your ZZ plant to a spot with plenty of bright but indirect light. This will rule out this potential issue and, hopefully, help your plant recover.
Although quite tolerant of unfavorable growing conditions, it is still entirely possible for a plant to develop yellow leaves due to nutrient deficiency or excessive fertilizer application.
ZZ plants should typically only receive monthly fertilization from a balanced, water soluble fertilizer. To reduce the chance of nutrient burn, make it up at no more than half the recommended strength on the package.
It is highly unlikely that nutrient deficiency will be the root of the yellow leaves on your ZZ plant if you fertilize it more than once or twice a year. Use a lot of water to flush the pot if you have been fertilizing your ZZ plant more frequently than once a month or with an overly potent solution to get rid of the extra nutrients. Alternatively, repot your ZZ plant in fresh, well draining potting media
Yellow leaves are a normal sign of aging, i.e., as plants edge, there will be chlorophyll and other pigment degradation. As a result, you will observe leaves turning from yellow to brown before they die and fall off the plant.
Only a couple of the lower, older leaves at a time will age. To stop it from happening, not much can be done. As they still rely on the plant but do not help it, we advise you to remove any yellow or brown leaves. Additionally, pests might find these leaves to be a haven.
The best course of action for treating root rot has already been discussed, but what about the rest of the plant? You should also take care of any stem discoloration and yellowing leaves. First and foremost, if overwatering was the issue, remove the ZZ plant from its pot in order to save it from the soil situation. Follow these tips to correctly treat your ZZ plant:
As soon as your ZZ plant begins to exhibit symptoms of illness, you should take immediate action. Spend some time looking into the potential underlying causes whenever you notice the first yellowing of the leaves. If you can determine the cause of the color change in the leaves, you can develop a treatment strategy that is effective for your particular plant.
An occasional yellow leaf, usually at the bottom, can be seen on the plant as it gets older. You might even observe an entire stalk turn yellow over time, along with all the foliage it is attached to. This is a natural part of aging.
If the plant is otherwise healthy, the yellowing doesn't "spread," there was or is new growth on the plant, and you don't feel anything else could be causing this, then some yellowing of the Leaves from a ZZ plant are perfectly normal.
Keep a close eye on the plant to see if the yellowing persists and more leaves begin to turn yellow. A few yellow leaves at the bottom of the plant are typically not a problem.
Even though it is necessary, repotting stresses out plants. Your plant may experience difficulties after you have repotted it, even if it was in perfect health before.
While plants may initially appear unhealthy, some leaf yellowing is common. However, the plant should recover fairly quickly and the problem shouldn't worsen.
The use of soil that holds on to moisture excessively and allows the soil to remain wet for an extended period of time would be one exception. Your plant needs to be replanted in appropriate soil.
Problems can arise when repotting a plant into a container that is far too large because the soil will remain wet for a longer period of time.
On ZZ plants, the majority of the factors that cause yellow leaves also result in brown tips, edges, spots, or brown leaves. The most likely causes of yellow leaves with brown tips or margins are underwatering, excessive light, heat stress, and low humidity.
Brown blotches, on the other hand, might be an indication of overwatering or a cold draft, while yellowing and brown spots will indicate pests or diseases.
Yes, it would be beneficial to cut the yellow ZZ plant leaves with sterile gardening shears. Why? Because, despite not contributing, the yellow leaves still rely on the plant. They may also draw pests and are susceptible to diseases.
The area and cause of the problem will determine how to proceed. If there is just a small area of yellowing on the tip or margin, cut the leaf off as close to the stem as you can. If a disease is the reason, remove every leaf and every component.
Your ZZ plant needs three things in order to be healthy and content. There is adequate light, the right amount of water, and moderate temperatures here.
A healthy ZZ plant has firm, thick waxy leaves that are water-filled. Something is wrong when leaves start to yellow and develop dry tips. Your ZZ plant needs the following:
ZZ plants require a lot of direct, bright light. They dislike harsh sunlight. Your ZZ plant's leaves will begin to burn if you leave it in the hot sun for too long. A room with lots of natural light will be ideal for the plant to grow.
Watering the ZZ plant with too much or too little water can be harmful. The timing and quantity must be precisely calculated. In contrast to watering on a strict schedule, you should water the plant after evaluating the soil's dryness and the plant's health.
A temperature range of 70°F to 90°F is ideal for ZZ plants. These plants can withstand temperatures as low as 50°F, which is a little bit colder. The plant will start to suffer if it gets any colder.
If you want a lovely, low-maintenance house plant, a ZZ plant is a wonderful addition. Yellowing leaves on your plant are almost always a sign of improper watering. Be prepared to adjust your watering schedule in the hopes that your beloved ZZ plant will recover its health.