What Causes the Browning of My ZZ Plant? (Easy Solution)

The ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia) is trying to communicate with you by turning it’s color brown to alert you to a problem. Learn what’s causing it and how to stop it from happening again to help them. In this article, I’ll discuss some potential reasons behind this and several easy ways to fix the problem.

What Causes the Browning of My ZZ Plant (Easy Solution)

Due of their low maintenance requirements, ZZ plants can be found in a wide variety of homes. It’s an easy-care houseplant that can be maintained by novice and seasoned green thumbs alike. The browning of the leaf tips is one of the most serious problems the Zamioculcas zamiifolia plant has.

The causes and potential remedies for brown tips on ZZ plants are discussed here. Additionally, you’ll discover how to avoid brown leaf tips in ZZ plants in the future.

What Causes the Browning of My ZZ Plant and Solution


Sunburn in humans and plants have some similar stages in their development. Sunburn occurs when the skin is exposed to the sun for an extended duration. This is also true for plants. Layer 0 of the ZZ When leaves are subjected to such strong, direct light, they burn. Then, it’ll either cause them to get a slight burn or a light tan.

When it happens, the leaves will turn a rich brown color. That’s because the sun’s ultraviolet rays are too damaging to withstand. Keep them in a cool, shady spot with bright, indirect light to prevent this from happening.


Lessen the amount of water you use. The overall number of leaves would decrease without this, so it is necessary to perform it. They can get by with far less water than they used to. Slowly and carefully water the plant until new growth appears. Take steps to limit reproduction. The frequency of fertilizer applications is more essential than the total amount used. If it starts sprouting new leaves, you’ll need to increase the dosage to meet the plant’s needs.

Water Problem

The ZZ Plant, like many houseplants, is particularly sensitive to the levels of specific minerals in the air. Some chemicals that could be harmful include fluoride, chlorine, and table salt. It’s also possible that any or all of these things are lurking in the water. It’s completely unethical to keep watering them while you’re blind to this fact. There will be a buildup of toxic minerals in the soil, influencing the plant you’re trying to develop. The plant’s leaves will start to turn brown as soon as they display symptoms.


  • Immediately desist from consuming water straight from the tap. There is fluoride in it, a known plant poison.
  • Using melted snow or rainwater can help you get by in a pinch. Water that has been distilled or filtered is also available for purchase.
  • Install some kind of water filtering system. This is the best action if you want a permanent fix for all your issues at once. They should be given water at a temperature that is agreeable to them. Which person voluntarily would subject themselves to a cold or scalding shower? Not even plants are immune.

Deficiency of Humidity

Humidity is one of the most crucial factors when growing a ZZ Plant. Because it prevents the plant from respiration normally or transpiration. ZZ Plants need a dry setting with less than 50% relative humidity to flourish. That’s why people can do well in everyday life in locations like home and work.

As the surrounding air dries out, the problem gets more acute. The plant is experiencing a worrying rate of water loss. Leaves will droop and turn brown if you don’t rehydrate the plant in that water. This means that it is not enough to water the soil simply; you also need to ensure adequate humidity.


  • You should regularly spray your plant. The plant’s relative humidity will rise due to this method. The only disadvantage is how rapidly its potency fades. The plant will benefit greatly from regular spraying.
  • A humidifier should be placed nearby. Using a humidifier is beneficial not only for humans but also for plants.
  • Get a tray for the stones. This achieves its goal by increasing local temperatures due to the evaporation of water from deeper layers.
  • Select a shallow bowl or tray large enough to house the ZZ Plant, then cover the bottom with gravel.
  • Keep the plant above the ground, and water it regularly so it never dries out. However, you should ensure that you pour enough to cause water overflow.

READ How To Grow And Care ZZ Plant | Zamioculas Zamiifolia

Pot’s Problem

Your ZZ plant’s fading leaves may also have anything to do with its pot. The dimensions and composition of the pot are crucial. Choose a pot that is just one or two sizes larger than the root ball your plant will fill when you plant it. The ZZ Plant takes an extremely long time to develop into full maturity.

Avoid using a pot that is too small since this could cause root suffocation in the plant. A larger pot, however, may be detrimental to the plant since it might hold an excessive amount of water, which can cause root rot. Either of these may cause the browning of the leaves.


  • Get a pot that’s just a tad larger than your current one. Don’t waste your time on the smaller and larger ones. Both should be avoided as they induce root suffocation and waterlogging, respectively.
  • Choose a clay or ceramic pot. The clay type of this product is the best option because it keeps the soil dry. Moreover, neither of these two types is prone to tumbling over. As the ZZ plant grows, it may become top-heavy, but these pots can withstand the strain without cracking.
  • Make sure there are holes for water to escape. Doing otherwise will lead to root rot in your ZZ Plant due to water.

Ineffective methods of watering

ZZ Plant is a low-maintenance plant that does well amid adversity. The right amount of watering is still necessary, though. The leaves can turn from yellow to brown in response to extreme drought or an abundance of water. Allowing plants to dry out prevents them from drawing water and nutrients from the soil. Since they are already thirsty, this will likely cause them to experience hunger.

However, plants constantly surrounded by water will eventually expire if not rescued. It’s getting way more than it can handle at the moment. Following this, the tissues will burst due to the pressure buildup. The leaves illustrate this by developing blisters and changing color as a result.

It’s also important to remember that plants have different water needs depending on the time of day and how much light they get. Keeping a ZZ Plant in a dimly lit light will reduce its thirst for water. Meanwhile, being in a place with more intense light will increase their water needs.


Check the soil’s wetness before planting. Ideally, there would be moisture just beneath the surface at a depth of one inch. Just stick an instrument or your finger into the soil to find out and see what you find.

We need a reasonable amount of water. You need to check if the top layer of soil is still moist before you water it any further. One watering every seven to fourteen days is usually sufficient for most water types. Make the water flow freely. Constantly allowing water to drain from the base is required. Thus, problems like root rot, brought on by excessively damp and soupy beds, will not arise.

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Pest Infestation

While pest infestations are uncommon, plant parents should prepare for the worst. It’s possible that this is causing discoloration and other possibilities.

Keep an eye out for the insects that will make ZZ Plants their home. Pests such as scale, mealybugs, aphids, thrips, spider mites, vine weevils, blackflies, and whiteflies are all included here. They’re tiny, but their presence can kill your plant quickly. These pests secrete a chemical that promotes mold growth. After then, the mold disrupts photosynthesis, the process by which plants produce their food. In turn, this causes the leaves to grow distorted, drop off too soon, and eventually become brown.


Look around carefully for any signs of uninvited pests. Some of them blend in so well with the natural scenery that you might not even see them at first. Individual pests were squished by hand. The insects need to be larger than usual for this to be effective.

Scrub the leaves softly with a brush dipped in a cleaning solution, making sure to get both the upper and lower surfaces. Normal dishwashing liquid is simply hot water combined with mild unscented soap. To get rid of pests hiding in inconvenient places, such as behind furniture or in picture frames, soak a cotton ball in alcohol and then use it to scrub the area.

Any treatments below can be used if the plant suffers from a serious and widespread invasion.

To cure an infection, it’s necessary to remove all infected tissue surgically. Always remember to disinfect the tool before and after each use. To get rid of the bugs, spray them with the appropriate insecticide. This is the best option if the pests have invaded every part of the plant.

A ZZ plant with a disease should not be kept near other plants. Everything conceivable is being done to halt the spread of pests.

Nutrient Deficiency

Plants are susceptible to famine just like humans are. This is because they are not consuming sufficient quantities of these nutrients. Micronutrients are substances needed by plants in extremely minute quantities. The recommended daily allowance for macronutrients is higher. Combining these two measures makes the ZZ Plant more likely to thrive and flourish.

Diseased plants have symptoms similar to those of the other ailments mentioned. However, several pieces of evidence can support it. The leaf’s browning and distorted shape are outward manifestations of a nutrient deficiency in the plant. Symptoms of this disease in plants include slow growth and browning of the leaves. As these components could be located underground, we can assume that this is also where the problem originated. The pH, heat, or temperature could all be to blame.


  • The plant needs just the right amount of water, neither too little nor too much. When there’s enough water, plants’ roots can transport nutrients more efficiently.
  • Assess the soil’s acidity with a pH meter to see if it is within a safe range. The optimal pH range for ZZ Plant is between 6.0 and 7.0, where it can take full advantage of the available nutrients. While you wait, you can experiment with different methods for raising or lowering your soil.
  • Be sure the soil temperature is just right for the most important nutrient. A cooking thermometer, inserted as far as it will go, will provide the most accurate reading. There is a sweet spot for most plant species between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the soil.

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Rusting on ZZ plants

The effects of fungal infestations are especially devastating on ZZ plants. Rusting is just one of several side effects of this illness on an indoor plant. A plant’s vitality and capacity to grow healthily are both diminished by rust. Plant rust can spread rapidly if the plants are watered or in a windstorm. The leaf tips turning brown may also be an indication of plant rust.

The leaves of the plant can be tested to see if rust is the cause of the problem. To prevent the fungal disease spread, remove the infected leaf from the plant. The disease causing the leaf tips to be brown must be stopped, and fungicide should be put on the plant.