When the ZZ plant leaves turn light green, it might be experiencing seasonal change, overwatering, direct sunlight, underwatering, aging, or a nutrient deficiency.
These are all causes of the light green leaves issue in your plant. But how do you know which one is the problem? And what are the remedies to resolve this problem?
Let's find out more about it in this guide.
Why Does My ZZ Plant Have Light Green Leaves?
Here are some detailed insights on this issue -
1. Seasonal Change
Seasonal or environmental change brings many changes to the plant's leaves.
Although you don't get to see these effects a lot on indoor plants, you might see the impact on the ZZ plant's leaves. This generally happens when the plant is weak.
When the weather becomes too hot or cold, this type of plant may not be able to cope with environmental stress. Ultimately, the leaves will start to change their color to light green and turn yellow or brown before falling off. It's a typical sign in weaker plants, so you need to address this issue accordingly.
2. Aging ZZ Plant
Another common reason for this issue is the age of the plant.
If you have been growing the ZZ plant for quite a long time, you might see some leaves turning yellow or light green in the process. It's a completely natural process, as the plant may not require too many leaves at this stage of its lifecycle.
In such cases, you should think of propagating the plant. This will allow you to have more ZZ plants in the garden.
For the propagation, you can either use the water propagation method or the soil propagation method. Both these methods are useful in making the best of this situation.
3. Lack Of Nutrients
Now, this could be the main reason for your plant's light green leaves issue.
When the plant doesn't get enough nutrients from the soil, we see its effects on the leaves. Due to this, the leaves might turn pale green.
If you continue growing the plant in such a condition, the newer leaves will also show similar behavior.
4. Direct Sunlight
ZZ plant doesn't like too much sunlight. The plant is native to harsh African regions, but it cannot tolerate direct sunlight.
When it receives direct light for many hours, you will see its effects on the leaves. The light green or pale green-colored leaves are a good indication of excess sunlight problems. However, the good thing about this issue is it can be fixed easily.
Yes, like sunlight, the ZZ plant doesn't do well in the overwatering situation.
When the plant gets too much water, its roots begin to rot, and the same thing happens to the rhizome. Generally, when the plant goes through this situation, it becomes weak. The whole internal system doesn't work as efficiently as it should.
This results in stress for the plant, which causes the leaves to change their color. It can also turn the stem brown.
Although it's very unlikely to see such behavior from the ZZ plant, underwatering could also be the root cause of this issue.
When the plant doesn't receive sufficient water for long, some of its leaves will begin to turn light green or yellow. This often happens when you go on a vacation and keep the plant indoors.
Overall, these are the primary reasons why you'd see the light green leaves or faded leaves on your ZZ plant.
In the next section, I have shared some useful tips to fix this problem. Do try them out if you want to revive the plant quickly.
5 Tips To Fix Light Green Leaves On ZZ Plant
Here's what you need to do while addressing the problem -
1. Do Not Water Your Plant Every Day
I know many plant parents have the habit of watering their plants every day.
Now, this might be a good thing for outdoor plants, but it doesn't work well for indoor plants. Indoor plants are known to grow with limited resources. They don't need a lot of water.
When you talk about the ZZ plant, it is quite sensitive to extra moisture in the container.
Therefore, it makes sense to stop watering this plant frequently. You should only water this plant when the topsoil is dry. Ideally, you need to water the plant every 10-15 days.
In winter, you can water it once a month as well.
Since the ZZ plant can store water in its rhizome, you don't have to worry about the lack of water. The plant will have enough resources to last a few weeks in an adverse situation. But yes, if you want to fix the pale leaves problem, you should definitely cut down on the watering frequency.
2. Check For Underwatering Situation In The Pot
Even though the plant can withstand a limited water supply, you shouldn't neglect it entirely. It will still need water to continue its growing phase. So, make sure you don't leave the plant without water for too long.
Sometimes, the lack of watering can also result in yellow or light green leaves problems in the ZZ plant. Hence, if you haven't watered the plant in a while, water it well.
When you water an underwatered plant, you should water it till it comes out of the drainage holes. This will ensure that the roots have received a decent amount of water. But you shouldn't do this regularly.
Otherwise, there will surely be overwatering in the pot, which will invite more issues unnecessarily.
3. Add Fertilizers Regularly
As mentioned in the above section, the lack of nutrients is a big factor when you see something like this in your plant. Therefore, the best way to resolve this issue is by providing a regular supply of fertilizers to your plant.
Of course, it won't require a lot of fertilizers, as the growth of this plant is relatively slower than most indoor plants. Try to fertilize it every 3-6 months, depending on the size of the plant. This should help fix any problem with the leaf's discoloration.
You can use nitrogen-based fertilizers for this plant, which will help boost foliage growth. As a result, the new leaves will get a darker shade of green color.
4. Repot The Plant If Needed
Whether it's an overwatering problem or a root-bound issue, you should consider repotting the plant.
This also helps in providing a new soil mixture to the ZZ plant, which is always a good idea to resolve any leaf-related issues in the plant. If you don't have access to fertilizers, you can surely consider the soil replacement option.
It will at least give your plant some nutrients and possibly a better environment to thrive in.
Note: The repotting method is not a direct solution to the leaf problem, but you will definitely see an improvement in the plant's growth.
Here's a video guide for the repotting process -
5. Keep The Plant In Indirect Sunlight
As you know, the ZZ plant is averse to direct sunlight.
So, find a place in your room where the plant can get indirect sunlight throughout the day. If that's not possible, you can also keep it in a shaded place. The plant can do very well in low conditions.
Other than that, you may consider installing grow lights if you don't have any other options. However, the plant can generally survive in a well-lit space during the daytime and under LED light at night.
This way, you can avoid the installation cost of grow lights. It will also fix the light green leaves issue on your ZZ plant.
Now, let's check out the FAQs related to this topic below.
Yes, the ZZ plant does require sunlight. But it can survive under LED lights or grow lights too.
Yes, you can mist your ZZ plant. This should only be done during summertime. Still, make sure you don't create an overwatering situation in the pot.
ZZ plants can do well in low-moderate humidity. It does not require humidity or moisture to thrive in normal environmental conditions.
This could be because of the lack of watering in the plant. It may also happen due to irregular watering. Moreover, you will need to fix the watering schedule for your plant.
You can provide a good amount of natural light to this plant, which is crucial for the plant's growth.
If the plant is not showing any growth despite the sunlight, you should prune some of the branches. This will send a signal to the plant to produce more new branches on the stem.
These are the two things you need to follow if you want to encourage growth in the plant.
Over To You
The light green leaves on your ZZ plant are not a major issue, but they could be a sign of an existing problem in the plant.
So, you shouldn't neglect this problem at all. Try to get to the root cause of this issue, as it will help revive the plant quickly.
Meanwhile, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments. If you enjoyed this guide, do share it with your friends and family.
I think the new growth on my Zz plant is lighter green. Is that an indicator of needing fertilizer or is all new growth lighter?
It is difficult to say without seeing a photo of the plant.
If you think the new growth is lighter green than it should be, it is possible that the plant needs fertilizer.
However, it is also possible that the new growth is simply lighter green because it is young.
Try fertilizing the plant and see if there is any improvement.
If not, give it some time and see if the new growth gets darker green as it matures.
Kushan Shah says
My ZZ plant has pale green and dark green leaves in the same pot ....what would be the real issue with the plant....also I've purchased it new
Since you've got a new ZZ plant at home, it might be under some stress. Generally, these plants need some time to get acclimatized to a new environment.
So, you don't have to worry too much about the plant. Just follow the standard growing practices, and it should do fine over the period.