5 Reasons for Light Green Leaves on ZZ Plant [How to Revive]

Just the name ZZ plant is enough to irk your senses, making you think about which plant we are talking about. Unlike most of the staple garden plants and trees, ZZ Plant is quite a unique option. It is known for its stunning bright green foliage and shiny leaves. The uniform structure of the plant is also a popular trait of the ZZ Plant.

Light Green Leaves on ZZ Plant

But, the question of the hour is, “Why is the foliage on the ZZ Plant turning light green?”

We will tackle that and more about the concerns in this article, along with some clear control measures that you can implement to overcome the challenges.

Why are the Leaves Turning Light Green in my ZZ Plant?

As unique as the name is, ZZ Plant has very strict growing parameters, which means that failing to follow them will result in poor-quality growth eventually.

Not just the growth, it also affects the color of the foliage, which is a reason enough for you to look into the concerns.

Let us walk you through the most potent complications.

1. Lack of optimal watering

Not just ZZ Plant, even plant and tree has their delegated moisture requirement for optimal growth. If you aren’t providing that to them, chances are that the same will lead to improper growth or discoloration of the foliage, which is exactly what happens with the ZZ Plant.

Lack of optimal watering

Both cases of excessive and under-watering of the plant are hazardous to its growth. If you don’t provide enough water, it leads to a lack of oxygen levels, which is a concern for the ZZ Plant. If your water excessively, it can lead to the discoloration of the leaves.

How to fix it?

Get a moisture meter first. This will allow you to measure the moisture levels in the soil and water the plant according to the needs. On the flip side, you can also touch and feel the soil to assess the water levels before planning to re-water.

2. Low light exposure

Sunlight is a necessity for green plants to thrive and grow. ZZ Plants are highly sensitive to light exposure. So, the lack of light or excess light can lead to the discoloration of the foliage that most growers often complain about.

Low light exposure

Along with discoloration, you also need to look out for signs of wilting and drooping of the leaves. If you notice all of these happening, chances are that it’s a sign of damage to the plant due to poor light exposure. The reason why sunlight is crucial for the ZZ Plants is due to photosynthesis.

How to fix it?

When placing the ZZ plant, you want to ensure they are somewhere with prolonged lighting exposure. This is very important, especially if you live in non-tropical areas with limited sunlight. If you live somewhere with very sparse sunlight, artificial LED lights can help.

3. External stress factors

Environmental stress factors are very common reasons why your ZZ plant leaves are turning light green in color. A combination of temperature, humidity, and sunlight can either support or damage the growth of the ZZ plant indoors. Also, seasonal changes in the surroundings are common contributing factors.

External stress factors

Since ZZ plants are quite sensitive to sudden changes in temperature and weather conditions, keeping an eye on these environmental factors is crucial. The last thing you want is to witness the ZZ plant losing all of its colors.

How to fix it?

You want to maintain the optimal growth parameters for the ZZ plant. This includes maintaining the temperature at 20°C to 25°C and the humidity at 30-40%. Anything drastically different from these parameters will lead to further damage to the plant.

4. Lacking nutrients

Next up on the list of causes behind the lightening color of the leaves in a ZZ Plant is nutritional deficiency. Since the ZZ plant is more of a houseplant, not getting a balanced nutrient supply is very common. Two of the most common deficiencies that affect the ZZ Plant are nitrogen and boron deficiency.

Lacking nutrients

You can combat the issue by researching the plant before bringing it into your home. Ideally, we’d recommend that you check the resilience of the plant by the surroundings that you live in. Also, ensure that you will be able to provide the plant with the nutrition it needs to grow and flourish.

How to fix it? 

The easiest way to fix the issue is by picking a balanced fertilizer for your plant. What this does is take care of the ZZ Plant’s necessary nutrient balance. No longer will you have to worry about damaging the plant’s growth or contributing to the discoloration of the leaves.

5. Pest infestation

Moving ahead, the last potent reason why your ZZ Plant is turning green is due to excessive pest infestation. Some of the most common pests that attack the plant include aphids, whiteflies, etc. If you notice any damage, especially with spots and holes in the leaves, it is a sign of pest infestation.

Pest infestation

The bright green leaves can turn pale with spots due to the pest infestation. The best way to combat that issue would be with some immediate measures. Some of these pests are even necrotic, which means that they eat away at the plant’s leaves entirely. Don’t wait until this happens.

How to fix it?

Your first step is to look for signs of infestation. Also, cut and trim out the leaves that are already damaged by the pests. Once that’s done, the next step is to spray the plant with some commercial pesticide and wait for it to show its results. You might have to spray a few rounds for tangible results.


With so many different factors affecting the growth of the ZZ Plants, the reasons why the leaves are turning light green are diverse too. We hope this article gives you a holistic idea of the possible triggers and what you can do to mitigate the issues before things take a turn for the worse. Also, be vigilant and proactive for quick fixes.

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