Why ZZ Plant Leaves Turn Yellow and How to Fix Them

I love the gracefully layered leaves and the beautiful drought-tolerant ZZ Plant. This statement plant can grow as tall as 76 centimeters; the ZZ plant is tough and almost indestructible. Well, I thought that until my plant leaves gradually turned yellow. With careful observation and much research, I discovered why my ZZ plant leaves turned yellow and how to fix them.

Causes And Treatment Of Zz Plant Leaves Turning Yellow

ZZ Plants leaves

Like many other plants, irrespective of hardness, thickness, climate origin, and the lot, the ZZ plant encounters issues when it is not well tended to periodically. Several things can result in the yellowing of the ZZ plant’s leaves.

1. Excessive Exposure to Direct Sunlight

The most common reason for ZZ plant leaves turning yellow in direct sunlight.

If your plant is in a spot that gets a lot of direct sun for long hours, the leaves will start to yellow as they try to protect themselves from the heat. You can combat this by moving your plant to a spot that gets less light or by adding a screen or curtain around it to provide some shade.

2. Inadequate Watering

If your ZZ plant’s leaves are turning yellow, one of the most likely causes is not getting enough water. This is especially common in winter when people often forget but must remember to water their plants as regularly as they should.

Your ZZ plant needs water to stay healthy, so make sure you’re watering it regularly, and check the soil moisture level before watering it. If the soil is dry, give your plant a good drink; if it’s wet, you can hold off on watering for a day or two.

3. Nutrient Deficiency

The third common reason why ZZ plant leaves turn yellow is due to a nutrient deficiency. Several things, such as poor soil quality, excessive watering, and lack of sunlight, can cause this.

To treat this, get a well-balanced fertilizer ratio of at least 10-10-10. It has 10% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 10% potassium. However, before then, correct the excessive watering or lack of sunlight—whatever might have led to the nutrient deficiency in the first place.

4. Temperature Stress

If your ZZ plant is placed in an area that gets too much direct sunlight or is exposed to drafts from doors or windows, this can cause the leaves to turn yellow.

To fix this problem, move your plant to a spot with more moderate lighting and temperature. If you can’t provide this for your plant, you may need to invest in some grow lights to get the light it needs without being exposed to extreme temperatures.

5. Overwatering

Watering ZZ Plant Leaves

The fifth possible reason your ZZ plant’s leaves turn yellow is that you’re watering it too much. It’s easy to do because, as I mentioned before, ZZ plants are drought-tolerant.

But even a plant that can survive long periods without water can be overwhelmed if it’s getting too much. When this happens, the roots start to rot, and the plant can’t take up the water and nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

So, how can you tell if you’re overwatering your ZZ plant? The leaves will turn yellow and drop off, and the stem will look mushy. If this is the problem, stop watering for a few days and see if the plant starts to recover.

6. Pests or Diseases

If your plant is suddenly covered in what looks like a yellow powder, you’re likely you’re dealing with a powdery mildew infection. Powdery mildew is a type of fungi that can infect a wide variety of plants, and unfortunately, once your plant has it, it’s pretty tough to get rid of.

You’ll first want to isolate the affected plant from healthy plants, as the fungi can spread quickly. Next, take a look at the leaves and see if there are any visible signs of insects. If you see any, try to remove them by hand.

Once you’ve done that, you can try treating the plant with a fungicide. There are several products on the market, so do your research and pick one designed for powdery mildew. Ensure you follow the directions on the package to the letter.

7. Transplant Shock

Transplanting ZZ Plant

If you’ve recently transplanted your ZZ plant, it may be experiencing transplant shock. This is when a plant gets stressed out from being moved, which can manifest in several ways—including leaves turning yellow.

The good news is that this is usually not a serious problem and can be fixed with a little tender love and care. Ensure you’re giving your plant the right amount of water and light; it should recover in no time.

How to Prevent ZZ Plant From Turning Yellow

Preventing the ZZ plant from turning yellow is pretty easy. If you’re seeing yellow leaves on your ZZ plant, the first step is to try and identify the cause so you can take corrective action to get your plant back on track. If you can’t understand what’s causing the yellowing, you can try repotting your plant or propagating it.

Your ZZ plant needs to be tended properly and carefully. Doing this will save you a lot of money and time, especially if something unexpected, like the yellowing of your plant leaves, pops up.

After propagation, position your plant in moist and adequately draining soil. Ensure the soil is nutritionally balanced and the position of your ZZ plant is where the sun is not excessive or lacking. Water your plant regularly and appropriately, taking note of the season and climate. Examine your plant frequently from time to time to be ahead in case of pests and disease infestations.

When fertilizing your ZZ plant, always apply appropriately and as directed. Overfertilizing your plant can adversely affect its growth.

Refrain from assuming things about your plant; take time to check and research. If you are stuck with not knowing how to go about any circumstance regarding your plant, feel free to call the professionals to come and check it out.

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