ZZ Plant Yellow Leaves – Causes & Solutions

ZZ Plant Yellow Leaves
ZZ Plant Yellow Leaves


Zz is the short form of Zamioculcas zamiifolia. The plant is also called aroid palm, fat boy, eternity plant, or golden money plant. Zz is popularly known as an African-shade lover plant because it has a low tolerance to light. 

However, the ZZ plant is tough and drought-resistant, with undemanding beauty that makes it among the best options for neglectful and forgetful gardeners.

Besides, the plant is most suitable for gardeners who have poor watering habits. 

Amid the routine care and management, you may notice Zz Plant Yellow Leaves, which you are not sure about the causes or the actions you need to take to prevent this from destroying your entire plant.

We have prepared this article to explore everything you need to know about ZZ Plant Yellow Leaves before you can use the plant to enhance the beauty of your backyard. 

Read more: Zz Plant Watering – Full Guide

Improper light

Improper exposure to the light can cause yellowing of the Zz plant. The plant requires low to medium exposure to light.

The exposure of this plant to sunlight for extended durations makes the leaves yellow and burn.

But the plant can survive in extremely low-light areas, which is why the placement of the plant in the dark corners could be the ideal location for the location. 


The Zz Plant Yellow Leaves can also occur from inappropriate moisture levels in the soil. Maintaining the right moisture content is important in caring for the Zz plants.

The primary cause of yellowing in these plants is usually overwatering, which leads to the excessive moisture content in the soil. 

The Zz plants do not require a lot of water to survive. Indeed, watering is required only when the top 50 percent of the soil is dry.

Watering should be done until such a point that water will start to flow freely from the drainage holes located at the pot’s bottom side. 

It’s important to ensure that you discard excessive water flowing into the saucer. Avoiding the “wet feet” for your Zz plants because this can cause rotting of your roots and a possible drying on the plant. 

Read more: ZZ Plant Propagation

Pests invasion 

Zz Plant Yellow Leaves can also be caused by a pest attack. The stress or weakening of these plants increases susceptibility to insects. ZZ plants can be drained from moisture by sap-sucking bugs such as spider mites. 

The problem can manifest quickly when the leaves start to turn yellowish. The indoor environments increase the susceptibility of your plant to spider mites, mealybugs, and piercing mouths.

Failure to kill these pests in time will allow proliferation and movement along with fronds and leaves and into crannies and nooks. 

The piercing of the insects will exhaust moisture from the Zz plants and accelerates yellowing. The vulnerability increases when your plant is not healthy because of improper moisture balance and other nutrient deficiencies. 

Read more: ZZ Plants’ Toxicity to Cats

The watering consistency. 

The alternation between the wet soil and bone dry from ill-timed watering may stress and result in the yellowing of the Zz plants. 

Nutrient Imbalances 

Zz Plant Yellow Leaves can be caused by nutrient imbalances no matter the plant’s capability to grow in imperfect conditions. Excess application of fertilizers or nutrient deficiency can cause yellowing of the Zz plant leaves. 

The recommended frequency for fertilizing Zz plants is usually a month. Be sure to use a water-soluble and a balanced fertilizer.

More so, you should ensure that it does not exceed the recommended package strength, avoiding the nutrient strengths. 

Fertilizing your plant more than two times a year, it is very unlikely that the yellowing will be caused by nutrient deficiency.

But if you have been fertilizing the Zz plant more than twice a month, try flushing the pot with a lot of water to remove the excessive nutrients.

Alternatively, you can report the plant in a fresh pot that does not have excessive nutrients. 

Read more: Best Soil for ZZ Plant: Everything You Need to Know

The treatment of Zz Plant Yellow Leaves

Now that you have noticed the causes of yellowing in ZZ plants, it is good that you know what to do with the yellow stems and leaves.

The first measure you should take is removing the Zz plants from the pot to rescue it from the overwatering problem if it has been affected by overwatering. The tips for treating your Zz plants are as follows: 

Check that the stems of the leaves are not contaminated. Clip any of the yellow stems off where they are growing right down at the tuber.

After the recovery is underway, the plant should regrow in a healthy manner. 

You should also discard the affected areas by starting to prune the yellow leaves. Note that you may require to avoid pruning the leaves if they are all yellow. The plant will still require some leaves to be left on for photosynthesis. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Zz Plant Yellow Leaves are caused by many factors, as we have seen above. So, the right action to take is to establish the cause of yellowing and take the right action.

If it is water, drain or add water to the required amounts and if it is nutrients, drain the excess nutrients or add nutrients as required. 

Should I remove yellow leaves from the Zz plant?

it is recommended that you remove the Zz Plant Yellow Leaves or even the stem parts that have started yellowing.

You could also remove the plant from the pot if the cause of discoloration is too much water or excessive nutrients in the pot. If all the leaves are yellow, remove some for photosynthesis.

Read more: How to Choose the Best Soil for Your ZZ Plant 

What does an overwatered ZZ plant look like?

The excess water causes the yellowing of the Zz plants in the pot. Another indicator that you have excess water in the roots is yellow stems or the droopy stalks that cannot stand up.

When you observe any of these symptoms, it is good that you take the necessary measures to remove excess water from the pot. 

Can yellow leaves turn green again?

It is possible for the Zz Plant Yellow Leaves to turn green again. Specifically, greening can restore if the cause of yellowing is stress.

The only requirement is to restore the necessary conditions against stress, including the right watering, proper lighting, and maintaining the right nutrient balance.

More so, eliminating pests could also help restore the green leaves of the ZZ plants. 

What nutrient deficiency causes yellow leaves?

The nutrient deficiencies are also a significant cause of yellowing on the Zz plants. The common nutrient causes of the yellowing in the Zz plants include lack of sufficient iron.

But this is not the only cause of yellowing because it can arise from zinc, nitrogen, and manganese deficiencies. Adding compound fertilizers is recommended because they contain most of these nutrients. 

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

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