zz Plant yellowing and dying – House Plant Journal

zz Plant yellowing and dying

Plant: ZZ Plant

How long have you had the plant? 1 to 2 years


The leaves are yellowing and eventually the branches die off – looks like I have 2 more dying. It’s happened about 3 times in the past 6 months. I also noticed scale bugs on the plant a few weeks ago which I thought were the source of the problem, but I got rid of those and it looks worse


Overall plant and light situation: the plant receives only indirect light

How do you determine WHEN to water: I wait for the soil to become completely dry

Describe HOW you water: Pour a small amount of water onto the soil; I water it a decent amount from the top

What fertilizer do you use? I have not used any fertilizer.

When was the last time you repotted? I haven’t repotted.


Thanks for the photos and info.

With such a small pot and never having used fertilizer, I’m quite certain the nutrients in this soil are depleted, leading to rapid death of several stems at the same time.  I recommend repotting into a larger pot – 2″ larger than this one is fine – and using a fertilizer on a regular basis.  Fertilizer recommendations HERE.

Any tropical plant soil with some added perlite will do (or you can use ‘cactus soil’ as is).

Going into a larger pot and regularly using fertilizer (in combination with being next to your large window) will encourage new stems to grow and make the current stems last longer – reminder: they will still die eventually but with better growing conditions, new stems will outpace the death of older ones.

My book and online course will teach you the fundamentals of houseplant care so you can feel confident in caring for any plant – rather than trying to follow random do’s and don’ts.

Tired of your houseplants dying on you?

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