Zz Plant Leaves Turning Yellow : [ Reasons & Ways To Fix ]

If you are a lazy person who loves indoor gardening, the ZZ plant is the best choice for you. Since the robust herb does not need any care, Zamioculcas zamiifolia will do well for a forgetful gardener.

The neglect-tolerant sturdy herb features a quality of surviving in adverse conditions like low light and scorching heat. So, for any gardener, it is the best houseplant.

But, with this indoor plant, you can face one issue. There is yellow foliage on the shrub. It can happen for various reasons, and there are ways to fix the problem. Go through the article to know more.

Why do ZZ plant leaves turn yellow?

There could be countless reasons that might cause the leaves of the ZZ plant to turn yellow, but the most common cause is improper watering. Inappropriate atmosphere, unsuitable environmental factors, and malnutrition- mainly these three reasons lead to yellowing foliage of the indoor herb. But, overwatering cast a severe impact on the ZZ plant and the leaves yellow. Since extreme moisture leads to root rot, it results in yellowing foliage. But, there are other reasons too.

Underwatering also causes the leaves of the plant to turn yellow due to dehydration. Even though the watering issue mainly causes the foliage of the ZZ plant to turn yellow, some other factors also influence the problem.

Improper temperature, light, and malnutrition can rarely lead to the yellowing leaves of the shrub. Below we have discussed all the possible reasons for the issue in detail.

1. Overwatering causes illness to the plant

Even though the ZZ plant is a neglect-tolerant, robust houseplant, it cannot withstand several adverse conditions. Maybe the herb does not care if you do not look after it.

But, if you overwater them or place them in direct sun, they cannot survive.

Although the plants can tolerate only a limited amount of neglect, the unnatural yellow leaves of the ZZ plant can be the signs of some severe health issues.

It could be a signal that the shrub demands some attention from the caregiver. If your plant is showing the same, check the watering schedule.

Most of the time, overwatering causes the problem of yellowing leaves of the ZZ plant.

Since this house plant thrives well only in a dry climate, extreme moisture can do potential harm to the herb.

If you investigate the reason behind the wetness-intolerance of the plant, it is the fungal infection.

More than the required water increases the moisture level of the soil. So, the environment becomes perfect for the fungus to grow there. The fungal growth on the roots of the ZZ plant has the worst consequences ever.

Firstly, the fungal infection leads to root rot and ultimately turns the leaves yellow. It can happen either due to overwatering or for the improper drainage of the soil.

Maybe you can provide the shrub with a required amount of hydration, but the potting medium cannot pass it through the drainage hole within the time.

So, the root system can rot due to over-exposure to the moisture for an extended time.

If you cannot prevent the root rot, it will start functioning abnormally. Roots generally help the ZZ plant by providing the required hydration and nutrients to every part of the herb.

If the rhizomes stop working correctly, the gorgeous house plant lacks water and nutrition.

The phenomenon leads to the yellowing leaves of the indoor plant. As the nutrients fail to reach all essential parts of your elegant ZZ plant, the shiny green leaves can start yellowing.

2. The ZZ plant is not getting enough water

We all know that the ZZ plant does not need much water and thrives rapidly in a dry environment. So, often gardeners forget about watering the beautiful indoor plant and think the plants will endure extreme dehydration.

But, it can severely damage a thriving shrub. The plant can only tolerate a decent amount of dryness, and a severe lack of hydration can result in discolored foliage.

Inadequate moisture leads to the yellow leaves wilting and dropping.

As a passionate indoor gardener, do not cover for such consequences. If you plant the ZZ plant in coarse rocky soil, the problem of underwatering can rise.

Since an extreme rocky potting medium drains water immediately, the root system of the herb fails to absorb the required hydration and nutrients from the water. As a result, the foliage cannot receive the nutrients and starts yellowing.

But, you can fix the issue smoothly by rescheduling the watering sessions. The water requirement of the ZZ plant depends on several factors.

Still, it does not need hydration more than once a week.

During summer, try to water the plant not more than once a week or as required. Reduce the frequency of misting during the winter season.

In the cold, the ZZ plant needs water not more than once every 2-3 weeks. As we have said earlier, the requirement varies depending on multiple factors.

So, check the sogginess of the soil before every watering session, and water the plant only when the mold seems dry.

3. Malnutrition turns the leaves yellow

Nutritional imbalance is one of the rarest reasons that cause the yellowing leaves of the ZZ plant. Generally, malnutrition cannot impact this robust indoor plant.

But, in some cases, yellow leaves can occur due to nutritional deficiency or excessive amounts of nutrients. The ZZ plant needs water-soluble fertilizer only once a month.

If you feed more or less than that, the plant suffers from malnutrition or nutritional burn. To avoid risks, apply the fertilizer half of the recommended amount.

It would be best if your house plant is already suffering from a nutritious burn.

But, many gardeners fertilize their plants only once or twice a year. It can result in a nutritional deficiency that ultimately leads to yellow leaves.

On the other hand, feeding the ZZ plant a strong fertilizer or a mild one more than once a month can burn the whole plant.

It can also turn the healthy green foliage of the herb into yellow. In that case, wash the pot well in running water. It will flush out the extra nutrients from the potting mixture and the tub.

What do I do if my ZZ plant has yellow leaves?

Even though the tough, neglect-tolerant, low-light resistant, and drought tolerant plant survives any situation, the leaves of the ZZ plant can turn yellow for various reasons.

While undergoing the problem, this beauty can demand little care.

Since yellowing foliage and discolored stem can lead to the death of the elegant houseplant, the gardener needs to deal with the issue immediately.

If your ZZ plant suffers from the same problem, you can follow the following steps to recover it.

  • Discard the yellowing foliage and rotten stem from the plant. Overwatering or inadequate hydration often causes the discoloration of the graceful ZZ plant. In both cases, rhizomes rot due to fungal infections.
  • You can remove the mold from the root balls as much as possible. As the fungal disease spreads from roots to the soil, discard the infected potting medium as well.
  • Your ZZ plant will do well if you cut off the soft, mushy, and black rootlets from the tuber. Trim the rotten parts of the root system until you see the healthy tissues. Also, while cutting the swollen rhizomes, use sterilized hand pruners to prevent any further infection.
  • Even if you see any diseased or rotten part on the tuber, remove that portion. Removal of all the infected parts will help the ZZ plant to recover from the yellowing leaves condition. Plus, after a few days, the sturdy house plant will grow dark green, shiny leaves.
  • If you think the situation has gotten out of control, then drench the whole root system of the ZZ plant with an effective pesticide. It will guard the tuber against fungal infection in the future.
  • As a sincere indoor gardener, you can take an extra step while looking after the ZZ plant. Rinse the pot thoroughly before putting the herb into it. It will minimize the chance of yellowing the foliage of the plant.
  • Since malnutrition can cause the yellow leaves on a plant, ensure your ZZ tree gets proper nutrition and minerals from the soil. To ensure this, you need to use the best nutrient-rich potting mixture for your plant.
  • The ZZ plant also needs an apt atmosphere to prevent the leaves from turning yellow. So, place the herb in a position where it gets appropriate light, warmth, and moisture.
  • Low light and more warmth accelerate the recovery process and help the ZZ plant develop new shoots within a few days.
  • After complete recovery from the yellowing leaves, your ZZ plant can do well in any atmosphere. But, if you want to offer a special care to your aesthetic leafy friend, keep the herb in bright indirect light.
  • Also, make sure the temperature of the room where you keep the ZZ plant is within the range of 76-90 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature falls below 76, it will be difficult for your houseplant to thrive.
  • Since overwatering or underwatering causes the foliage to turn yellow, only adequate moisture can fix the issue. So, water the ZZ plant thoroughly. Also, make sure the soil gets enough moisture. Plus, water the plant only when the mold gets completely dry. It will prevent fungal infection in the future. It ensures no root rot due to excessive hydration.
  • Fertilization reduces the risk of getting yellow leaves on a ZZ plant. So, feed the graceful herb a water-soluble fertilizer once in two months to secure healthy growth.
  • If you spot your ZZ plant growing yellow foliage while staying indoors, you can keep it outdoors for a while. The herb will appreciate the bright indirect sun, adequate warmth, and fresh air.

Should I trim the yellow leaves of the ZZ plant?

Yes, you need to remove the yellow leaves of the ZZ plant so that they cannot affect the whole shrub. The herb grows yellow leaves due to overwatering, malnutrition, or any other reason. Since it is a kind of infection, you need to remove the diseased area from the ZZ plant. It will save the healthy tissues from getting infected.

So, to rescue the gorgeous houseplant, you need to trim the yellow foliage as soon as possible. If your plant gets covered by yellow leaves, then spare some leaves. Removing all leaves can hinder the shrub from performing photosynthesis.

End thought

If you want to add greenery to your home, but there is a lack of time to take care of a plant, a ZZ plant would be a perfect collection for you.

Since the houseplant features a low-maintenance and neglect-tolerant profile, it is the best indoor plant for a forgetful person. But, if the foliage of the shrub turns yellow, improper watering can also be the reason.

So, reschedule the misting sessions to help the plant regain its health. Also, offer a well-balanced fertilizer and nutrition-enriched potting mixture to prevent any malnutrition of the ZZ plant.