Zebra succulents experience drought stress as a result of little or excessive watering, which causes the brown tips on their leaves. Zebra leaf tips turning brown as an indication of stress is also caused by hot temperatures, strong air currents, and intense sunshine.
Being smaller and more compact than most succulent species, zebra succulents (also known as zebra Haworthia, zebra cactus, and Haworthiopsis fasciata) may be more vulnerable to drought stress if planted in adverse conditions.
If the zebra plant’s lower leaves are also becoming brown and crispy, it means the soil is drying up too quickly for a variety of reasons or the plant is not receiving enough water.
For a variety of causes, zebra succulent leaf tips may experience drought stress:
- watering insufficiently.
- not watering enough frequently.
- Convection currents and wind currents indoors or air conditioning currents outdoors.
- The soil dries out too soon since the zebra succulent is close to a heat source.
- Due to the drought, potting soil has dried out and become hard, making it more difficult for water to get to the roots.
- too much heat.
- exposure to the sun’s rays.
Read on to find out why the tips of your zebra plant’s leaves are becoming brown and how to fix it.
Zebra plants detest being overwatered, but they also avoid being underwatered, so you’ll have to deal with that. When the topsoil feels dry to the touch, moisten it. Plan to water the plant once every three to five days.
In its natural environment, the plant prefers shade from other trees and indirect sunshine. As a result, it is always adequately shielded from the chilly and powerful winds.
Given that, it would be prudent to keep it away from windows and AC vents where a chilly draft can impact your plant. To prevent it from developing yellow or brown leaves, keep it away from hot air vents as well.
Although the zebra plant enjoys bright, indirect light, avoid leaving it out in the hot afternoon sun for lengthy periods of time. The sun’s intensity can eventually lead to dryness and stress, which causes the leaf tips to turn yellow, red, or white.
Place it close to an east-facing window so that it can get 1-2 hours of the gentle morning sun.
Too Much Fertilizer
Do not feed the plant every one to two weeks. It will cause the soil to become too salty, which will make the leaves become yellow.
It is preferable to fertilize the plant once every three to four weeks during the plant’s growing season, which is in the spring and early summer. During the winter, avoid feeding the plant.
Lack of Humidity
The edges of the plant’s leaves may become brown due to a lack of humidity. Keep the plant on a pebble tray with water in it to increase humidity to avoid this from happening. A humidifier is another option for this.
Chlorine or Flouride in Water
Hard water, which contains fluoride and chlorine, can cause salt to build up in the growing media and eventually cover the roots, making it impossible for the plant to absorb water. The plant will experience a draught-like situation as a result, which will cause the leaves to turn brown and yellow.
Utilize rain, spring, RO, or well water. If you’re using tap water, let it sit for the entire night to allow the salts to dissolve.
How can a zebra succulent be revived?
You may tell something is wrong when the vivid green and white leaves on your zebra plant begin to turn yellow. The main causes of yellow leaves are listed below.
The Problem: Overwatering
Overwatering has been a common mistake made by plant owners. It sounds strange to not water a plant for several days at a period, yet frequently that’s exactly what the plant needs.
Check the soil if the leaves on your zebra plant are turning yellow. It needs to dry out if it still feels wet or if there is standing water after you water it.
Another telltale indicator of overwatering is if the stems are mushy and soft. The roots can’t obtain the oxygen they need to absorb the water when the soil is overwatered and not draining. Root rot results from this, which can be lethal.
Take the overwatered zebra plant out of the soggy soil as soon as you detect the problem to save it. Look closely at the roots—are they all mushy and black? If so, your plant might not survive.
If only a few of the zebra plant’s roots appear to be harmed or dead, you might try pulling them out and repottiting the plant in new soil. Within 1-2 weeks, your plant should start to perk up if your efforts were successful.
The Problem: Underwatering
If your zebra plant is thirsty, you should be able to tell a little more easily. The soil needs water as soon as possible if you insert your finger into it and it feels dry to the touch more than 2 inches down.
Other signs of underwatering include withering, brown-tipped leaves, and dry, crinkly leaves.
If you believe this to be the case, water your plant well until water is pouring out of the drainage hole without restriction. If this were the only problem, your zebra plant might recover quickly.
However, a leaf that has turned yellow will never again be green. Anytime you see any leaves that are brown, yellow, or otherwise damaged, you can take them out.
The Problem: Cold Drafts
Temperature is a definite factor for zebra plants. They thrive in warm, humid environments in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, where they are native.
Your zebra plant’s leaves may turn yellow and fall off if it is regularly exposed to temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, such as next to a drafty window.
If possible, relocate the plant away from drafty windows and try to improve the insulation there. Since space heaters tend to dry the air out too much, they could cause more harm than good.
The Problem: Not Enough Light
The placement of the yellow leaves is one of the best signs that your plant isn’t getting enough light. You can assume that it needs more if it predominantly appears in the lower leaves or in locations with less light.
If you don’t have someplace else to put your zebra plant and it isn’t in bright, indirect light, think about adding a grow light as a supplement. Fluorescent full-spectrum plant lights are available for purchase and come in a variety of designs and sizes.
Another straightforward choice is to purchase a full-spectrum light bulb made exclusively for indoor plants. Use this to create a little desk lamp that is movable so you can place it directly over your plant.
How frequently should a zebra succulent be watered?
moderate irrigation Once every two weeks in the winter and once a week or so in the summer. Feeding When it is growing, try fertilizing once every three months.
Why is a portion of my succulent browning?
Sunburn or sun damage is the most frequent cause of brown leaves on succulent plants. When you observe brown spots on your plants’ leaves after moving them to a bright place or after a heatwave or other period of extreme heat, these patches are the equivalent of sunburn.
Brown spots from sunburn do not actually injure the plant, but they do leave a permanent mark on the leaves, which is unsightly but not harmful. The leaves will ultimately fall off as new growth appears, but these spots won’t fade away. More sensitive to sunlight than mature plants are little baby plants or newly produced plants.
If you notice that the plant is getting burnt, move it to a more shaded area or give it some shade. If you intend to leave your plant in a position that receives direct sunlight all day, acclimate it to the heat by gradually increasing its sun exposure. Remember that during a severe heatwave, even a mature plant that has become accustomed to full sun might still get burnt.
When a severe heatwave is predicted, move the plant or offer shade to avoid this from happening. Never leave young plants, plants without roots, or leaves that you are propagating outside in the direct light. Always give protection from the sun to prevent them from becoming completely cooked.
While solar damage is the most frequent cause of dark leaves on succulent plants, there are generally additional factors at play. While the majority of them may be resolved quickly and easily, some are trickier to resolve than others.
Should my zebra plant be misted?
This time, Aphelandra squarrosa is the focus. These “zebra plants” are part of a big Brazilian family, and in the humid, tropical heat of their native rain forests, they develop into large, tall bushes that blossom lavishly.
The widespread name “zebra houseplant” refers to the plant’s huge, lustrous leaves and its dark green foliage, which has white or yellow veins that resemble zebra stripes. A treasured display is created by their bracts and blossoms, which are vividly colored. At the time of purchase, they are typically quite little, and many indoor gardeners view them as a passing acquaintance. Your Aphelandra squarrosa will only provide you with a few years of enjoyment even with exceptional zebra plant care, but don’t give up hope.
Propagation is a necessary component of zebra plant maintenance. Cuttings of 4- to 6-inch (10-15 cm) stems can be used to readily establish new plants. Take off the bottom leaves, then bury the stem cuttings in potting soil or a glass of water until new roots begin to grow. Your original plant can endure for many years in this method.
What can be done to revive a zebra plant?
- Symptoms. The zebra succulent has soft, mushy leaves that turn yellow, brown, or even black with time.
- Causes. Overwatering, soils that take a long time to drain, pots with poor drainage, or saucers and trays under pots prevent water from draining away from the roots.
Native to South Africa, zebra plants are drought-resistant succulents that thrive in rocky, well-draining soil with little water retention and strong indirect light.
Zebra succulents become brown or yellow, develop mushy leaves, and look to be dying if the soil is wet, saturated, or even merely excessively moist around the roots for an extended period of time.
Zebra succulents should be planted in grittier soil and watered only after the earth has completely dried up in order to mimic some of the growing conditions seen in their original environment.
The zebra succulent cannot take excessive moisture around the roots, which is caused by frequent watering or putting it in regular potting soil that tends to stay damp for an extended period of time.
Overwatering causes the earliest signs of stress in the form of yellow, brown, and mushy leaves.
As a result, water stress causes the aloe vera leaves to turn yellow, brown, or translucent with mushy leaves.
Zebra succulents can undergo a condition of dormancy in the summer if the temperatures are particularly high, which can emphasize this.
Zebra succulents have a summer dormancy in which they stop growing as a means of survival in hot and dry areas.
Because there is less need for moisture, there is a greater chance that over watering will cause the leaves to turn brown or yellow.
In order to prevent the soil from becoming soggy, it’s crucial that your zebra succulent is in a pot with drainage at the bottom that allows any excess water to drain away.
Notably, attractive outer pots and saucer trays can also prevent water from properly evaporating from the pot’s base, which can result in yellow or brown leaves or probable root rot.
How to Revive Yellow and Brown Zebra Succulent
- Restrict the irrigation. Zebra succulents should only be watered once a week at most, so any more than that is overwatering. Only water zebra succulents after the dirt in the pot has totally dried out. Generally speaking, this entails watering once every 14 days or so, but the actual frequency depends on your temperature, the season, the soil’s ability to retain moisture, and the size of the pot.
- If the potting soil is still damp, replace it. Even though you water zebra succulents at the proper intervals, if the soil is difficult to drain or remains wet for an extended period of time, the leaves may still turn brown or yellow and appear to be dying. Replace the soil with specially formulated succulent and cactus soil, which replicates the well-draining, grit-rich soil profile of the zebra succulent’s natural habitat and is available at garden centers and on Amazon.
- In pots and other containers with drainage holes in the bottom, plant zebra succulents. Drainage holes allow excess water to escape the bottom of the pot after watering, allowing the soil to dry out correctly and preventing root rot, which would otherwise kill the zebra plant.
- Zebra succulents should be planted in pots that are appropriate for their size. Larger pots have more soil in them, which means they can hold more moisture. Because of this, the pot dries out much more slowly than a smaller container, which increases the possibility that the zebra plants will develop root rot and die. For the zebra succulent to maintain the ideal moisture balance, smaller pots that are proportional to the size of the plant dry out at a rate that is suitable.
- Regularly empty the outer pots, trays, and saucers. In the house, following a round of watering, saucers, trays, and attractive outer pots are frequently used to stop extra water from pouring from the soil. To avoid your zebra succulent from dying from water stress, make sure to frequently dump anything underneath your container that may retain water.
Feel the dirt at the bottom through the drainage hole to determine whether the potting soil is dry. Refrain from watering for a few days if the soil is still damp. This is the ideal time to water your zebra succulent if the soil is dry.
The zebra plant is kept healthy by watering when the soil dries out since this mimics the soil’s natural cycle of moisture levels.
Make sure that no roots or compacted soil are obstructing the drainage holes, which could cause drainage to slow down.
Your zebra plant has a chance to recover from its appearance of death if the soil has completely dried up around the roots of the zebra succulent and you are watering according to best practices or replacing the soil with gritty succulent soil.
In the ensuing two weeks, you should start to see changes in the state of your zebra succulent.
The yellowing or browning of zebra succulent leaves is frequently only a symptom of stress brought on by overwatering, but if the leaves begin to turn black, this may be an indication of root rot, which is much more difficult for the plant to recover from.
I would advise trying to separate the healthy offsets from the unhealthy black part of the plant for multiplication if the zebra succulent has any growing in the pot.
(Read my post to learn the best methods for watering zebra succulents to find out whether zebra succulents need watering more frequently or less frequently according on the time of year.)