zz plant turning brown

Why Is My ZZ Plant Turning Brown? [Main Reasons]

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Zamioculcas, also known as Zanzibar gem, ZZ plant, Zuzu plant, aroid palm, eternity plant, or emerald palm, is a flowering plant genus in the Araceae family that contains only one species, Zamioculcas Zamiifolia.

The root system of the ZZ plant is quite unusual. Rhizomes are thick, potato-like roots that grow beneath the plants that are visible above the soil.

However, when you see it turns brown, it’s a big shame.

So, let’s start with the question- why is my ZZ plant turning brown

For starters, if the surrounding air becomes drier, the problem arises. Another reason your ZZ plant’s leaves are turning brown could be because of the pot’s size and material. Lastly, if it gets any shock during repotting, it may show the symptoms. 

Now, these are not the whole thing; we are just getting started- 

To help the plant, you need to get to the root of the problem. That’s why we’ve explained every reason with its possible solution. 

Therefore, if you want to save your ZZ Plant, please go through the article! 

4 Reasons Why ZZ Plant Is Turning Brown [Along with Solutions]

zz plant turning brown
source: https://garden.org/

It’s very disappointing, right? 

Most certainly, it’s disheartening to see your ZZ plant suffering especially since the reason behind this is probably you. 

Your minor mistakes are the reason why your plant is sick right now! But the good news is you can fix this! 

To help you, we’ve explained the reasons and their solutions-

1. Insufficient Humidity

When growing a ZZ Plant, one of the most important factors to consider is humidity. Low relative humidity (less than 50%) is ideal for ZZ plants. And it is for this reason that they can function in environments such as homes and workplaces.

When the surrounding air becomes drier, the problem arises. The moisture in the plant is quickly depleted. Wilting and browning of the leaves will occur if that amount of water is not replaced. That is why, in addition to proper soil watering, ensure that there is sufficient humidity.

2. Over or Underwatering Over or Underwatering 

Plants can go a long way if you provide the proper amount of water. Otherwise, they’ll give you signs that they’re suffering. Whether it be Pothos Leaves Turning Black or ZZ plants turning brown. 

So, how much water do ZZ plants need? 

Well, ZZ plants require a lot of watering. They need to be watered at least 2-3 days a week. 

You might have to water the plant more if you live in a dry area. Or where the average temperature is 28-39 degrees Fahrenheit in winter. And 69-78 degrees Fahrenheit in summer. However, by more, we mean watering the plant everyday morning. 

This way, you won’t be overwatering the plant. Also, if you didn’t know, the plant’s roots can rot if it’s overwatered. This situation results in a brownish color plant.

Checking the soil before watering again is vital. Because if your drainage system is terrible-

Watering regularly increases the chance of the plant turning brown. 


Now don’t worry, if you’ve ruined the plant during watering! Think instead of how the plant can now be treated!

Well, first of all, you must inspect your soil to see if you have overwatered or underneath the plant. You have overwatered the plant when the soil is pretty wet. And it couldn’t absorb everything.

Place it in another container or pot that has drainage holes at least 3-4. Be a little patient after replanting. Because it has to drain the water.

Once you’re sure, enough water has been drained, test the soil. Use a moisture meter to know whether the soil is moist or not. If it is, you can start watering again. 

Because of a lack of water, drying plants lose out on the soil’s beneficial nutrients. They become not only thirsty but also hungry. Tissues would then burst as a result of this. This is reflected in the development of blisters and the discoloration of the leaves.

It’s also worth noting that the amount of water required varies depending on the plant’s amount of light. The ZZ Plant will only take less water if it is exposed to less sun. Meanwhile, exposure to a brighter environment will cause them to need more water.

3. Wrong Size and Material of PotWrong Size and Material of Pot

Another reason your ZZ plant’s leaves are turning brown could be because of the pot. The size of the pot, as well as the materials that make it up, are essential.

Choose a pot that is one size larger than your plant when choosing a container. This is due to the ZZ Plant’s slow growth. A smaller pot may restrict the root’s growth. On the other hand, a larger pot can cause root rot due to the excess water it holds. Both of these factors can cause leaf browning.


If you detect that it’s due to wrong size and material of pot-

Move the ZZ plant to a better and verified pot where it will be more safe and healthy.

1. Classic Home and Garden Honeysuckle Planter
2. ArtStone 35088 Ella Square Planter

3. Costa Farms Raven ZZ Trending Tropicals Collection Live Indoor Plant

4. Ceramic Flower Plant Pot with Stand

Now, before placing the plant into the pot, check the check the size and material of the pot. If the size and material meets the need, it’s good to use!

4. Infestation of InsectsInfestation of Insects

Insects can be a reason behind plant turning brown. Because they are well known for sucking the juice out of the plant tissue. And this causes a plant’s to lose chlorophyll.  

Keep an eye out for the insects that enjoy ZZ Plants. Scale, aphid, spider mite, thrips, vine weevils, mealy bugs, whiteflies, and blackflies are some of these pests. They’re insignificant details that can have a significant effect on your farm.


The treatment is pretty easy! And that’s using a plant-based pesticide. 

If your plant is suffering from a more severe and extensive invasion, you can use the following remedies. To thoroughly remove the infected region, prune the infected bits. Before and after pruning, make sure to disinfect the method.

Use insecticides that are suitable for the situation. If the pests have taken over the whole plant, this is the best option. If the infested ZZ Plant is living with other plants, separate it. This is to discourage the pests from spreading in the first place.


  • Why are the leaves on my ZZ plant turning brown?

Overwatering, underwatering, chemical sensitivity and a lack of humidity are the most common causes of brown leaves in ZZ Plants.

  • Is it possible to save a brown plant?

Every day, plants use and lose water through their tissues. When the lost water isn’t replaced for whatever reason, the leaf tips turn brown. Those dead tip cells can’t be revived once they turn brown, but simple corrections can help bring the rest of your plant back to life.

  • Is it necessary to mist my ZZ plant?

The ZZ plant prefers temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It prefers humid climates but may survive in less humid environments unless the air is dehydrated. You should spray its leaves with water to fight the dry air in that situation.

  • Is it possible for the ZZ plant to recover from overwatering?

You’ve probably overwatered your ZZ if you’ve seen yellowing stems or leaves on your vine or droopy stalks that won’t stand up. However, you should be aware that your plant should not recover. Houseplants that have been overwatered to the point of rot will rot from the bottom up.

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