ZZ Plant Leaves Turning Light Green: Top 5 Reasons And Solutions

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Last Updated on May 1, 2022 by Cristina

The original color of the leaves of ZZ plants is usually dark green. ZZ plant leaves turning light green may have you wondering if something is wrong with your plant.

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia plant which is the short form is ZZ and the plant’s normal new growth tends to be light in color. Therefore, if the ZZ plant is new and just growing, it can be light green and it will turn dark green eventually.

However, if the leaves that turned light green are already established, then this might be an issue and it may be a warning sign that can later turn your ZZ leaves to yellow.

ZZ plant leaves turning light green can be caused by different reasons and we will be looking into some of these reasons and offer some solutions to them.

ZZ Plant Leaves Turning Light Green: 5 Top Reasons And Solutions

Here are 5 top reasons why your ZZ plants may be turning green and solutions to the situation:

1.    Inadequate Nitrogen

When the plant of ZZ is deprived of sufficient nitrogen, it can cause the plant to turn light green. Nitrogen is required by ZZ plants to develop the green chlorophyll in their leaves so once the plant is deprived of sufficient nitrogen, the leaves will begin to show light green color. Then from light green, the leaves can change to yellow.

Solution: a slow-release indoor fertilizer should be utilized two times a year in spring and fall. Ideally, you should go for a slow-releasing fertilizer that can last for 6 months so as this will keep your plant and prevent the leaves of ZZ from turning light green.

2.    Insufficient Watering – ZZ Plant Leaves Turning Light Green

When there is insufficient water, your ZZ plant leaves can begin to change to light green. Even though the plant is drought-hardy, it still requires proper watering to flourish.

They have this huge rhizome that has the ability to capture and retain water to assist ZZ plants to survive dry seasons. But notwithstanding, they will still need watering.

Solution: always check the soil below the plant to know if it is dry. Once 50% of the topsoil is dry, then ensure you water deeply

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3.    Over-watering

Over-watering is not good for the plant of ZZ because it can cause nitrogen to wash away and thereby, causing the leaves to turn light green.  This same over-watering can also cause oxygen to be removed from the soil and may cause root rot or stem rot.

When the ZZ plant is exposed to root rot, this situation can cause fungal growth that can damage the root of the plant. So, this causes the root of the ZZ plant to be unable to absorb nutrients. Once this happens, there will be a lack of nutrients in the plant that can cause leaf damage.

Solution: one good way to go about saving an over-watered ZZ plant is to simply repot into a new pot or container. Doing this can add organic matter, oxygen, and nitrogen back to the plant. Then fungus or mold that may be growing on the previous soil and pot can be eliminated.  Also, obtain a new quality soil and repot your ZZ plant into a fresh and clean pot.

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4.   Excess Exposure To Sunlight

When ZZ plant is exposed to excess sunlight, it can cause the leaves to begin to change to light green, or yellow, or give rise to brown leaf edges. The ideal thing to do is to provide the ZZ plant with indirect sunlight because too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves of the plant.

Solution: try to relocate or move your ZZ plant where it is shaded or move them indoors away from direct sunlight. Leaves that have begun to change to brown can be removed. Then light green or slightly yellow leaves can be left to see if they will later recover. If you can notice these issues on time, then your chances for the plant to be saved and recover back to green can be a good one.

5.    ZZ Plant May Be Getting Old – ZZ Plant Leaves Turning Light Green

Another reason why your ZZ plant may be changing to light green may be because they are getting old. If your ZZ plant has been grown or nurtured for a very long time, then its leaves may begin to change to light green or yellow.

This stage is totally natural and the plant may not need too many leaves at this point.

Solution: when you notice your ZZ leaves that you have been growing for a long time turning light green, then propagation should be the next thing to do.

Learn more about Why Is My Zz Plant Not Growing – 5 Slow Growth Fact Of The Zz Plant

ZZ Plant New Growth Light Green

Another common reason for the ZZ plant turning light green is because of new growth. They tend to develop new stems from rhizomes that act like potato like-growth under the soil. But as time goes on, the light green leaves tend to change to darker green.

ZZ Plant New Growth Light Green

It usually takes around 2 months for the stem to develop and the leaves to turn dark green. This process is totally normal.

The period ZZ plants usually grow new stems is when the weather is warm and this is during spring and summer. During this period, ensure they get adequate watering monthly and supply them with slow-releasing fertilizer at the beginning of spring and again in fall.

Conclusion On ZZ Plant Leaves Turning Light Green

ZZ plant leaves turning light green usually happens on the stem of their new growth and this is completely normal.

But leaves turning light green can also be by other issues such as over-watering, under-watering, insufficient nitrogen, excess sunlight exposure, and old age. Among all these issues, we have proffered some good solutions and we hope this piece of information will be of help to you.


Why is ZZ plant light green?

ZZ plants can display light green colors due to different reasons. Some of these reasons include excess exposure to direct sunlight, lack of nitrogen, under-watering, over-watering, old age, and so on.

Why is my ZZ plant leaves pale?

Your ZZ plant leaves may turn pale because they aren’t getting adequate nutrients, especially nitrogen. Some other reasons may be because of excessive exposure to sunlight or old age.

Will yellow ZZ leaves turn green again?

It may be possible for your yellow ZZ leaves to turn green again only if you notice the issue on time and act accordingly. For instance, exposure to excess direct sunlight can cause yellowing of leaves, but if you are able to move the plant away from sunlight on time, it may recover and change to green.

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