Ask a Question forum: ZZ Plant - yellowing and browning leaves - Please help!

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Richmond, VA
VAgardener
May 2, 2018 9:12 AM CST
Hello! Please help, I love this beautiful plant!

The issue: I am aware that there has been another post regarding a yellowing ZZ Plant, but I believe my circumstances are different. The issue is that the leaves are yellowing and some are turning completely brown and dropping from from the plant. The yellowing seems to be mainly on the newer growth and the browning seems to be mainly on the older growth.

How I care for the plant: I don't. I was told that they prefer neglect. It is still in the plastic pot that it came in, although I have set that pot in a larger planter for decorative purposes. I have watered once in the four weeks since I purchased the plant. I was unable to find how much I should water it, so I gave it a good watering at the time. Should I consider replanting? If so, what kind of soil should I use?

Light: The plant sits in a relatively dark corner, but does receive some indirect filtered light in the morning.
Thumb of 2018-05-02/VAgardener/afafd9


Thumb of 2018-05-02/VAgardener/e3a9e3


Thumb of 2018-05-02/VAgardener/ef62d3

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 2, 2018 2:22 PM CST
Based on what I can see in the photos, I think you may be worrying unnecessarily. It is normal for new shoots to be a lighter shade of green when they emerge and gradually become darker green as they mature.

I only see one brown leaf at the base and that is normal as some older leaves will die back as they age. The brown spots on the leaves in the third photo are just blemishes and not a cause for concern.

Keep you ZZ tightly potted in its nursery pot; no need to repot. Although a ZZ Plant can withstand low light better than most all other plants, they do benefit if they receive more light. From your description (dark corner), it may not be getting enough to do well long-term. Try to get it out of the corner and more in front of the window.

How much water and how often will depend a lot on how much light it gets and surrounding temperatures. It is best to allow the soil to get very dry about halfway deep into the pot. Add just enough water so that a little trickles through the drain holes. Empty out any excess water that may accumulate in the bottom of the decorative planter. In good light, a thorough watering about every other week would be about right.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Houston, TX
Tigershoes
Sep 17, 2018 1:02 PM CST
VAgardener said:Hello! Please help, I love this beautiful plant!

The issue: I am aware that there has been another post regarding a yellowing ZZ Plant, but I believe my circumstances are different. The issue is that the leaves are yellowing and some are turning completely brown and dropping from from the plant. The yellowing seems to be mainly on the newer growth and the browning seems to be mainly on the older growth.

How I care for the plant: I don't. I was told that they prefer neglect. It is still in the plastic pot that it came in, although I have set that pot in a larger planter for decorative purposes. I have watered once in the four weeks since I purchased the plant. I was unable to find how much I should water it, so I gave it a good watering at the time. Should I consider replanting? If so, what kind of soil should I use?

Light: The plant sits in a relatively dark corner, but does receive some indirect filtered light in the morning.
Thumb of 2018-05-02/VAgardener/afafd9


Thumb of 2018-05-02/VAgardener/e3a9e3


Thumb of 2018-05-02/VAgardener/ef62d3


How is your plant doing now? I was just curious if there indeed was something wrong or if it was fine. Thanks!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Sep 17, 2018 2:05 PM CST
Your ZZ Plant may not be perfect, but it is fine. Occasional yellow lower leaves are normal. Over time, some entire stems will yellow and die, as well. That is normal, too. The brown spots are blemishes and not a cause for concern.

The new stem is a bit pale and that is because it is not getting quite enough light. Lots of bright, but indirect sunlight no more than 5 feet from an uncovered window is best. The new stem and leaves will get darker green as they age.

Allow the top inch of soil to get very dry before adding enough water so that a bit runs through the drain holes. In good light, it would reach that level of dryness again in about every week or two.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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