Why Is My Zebra Plant Turning Brown

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.

Cold Drafts

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.

Direct Sunlight

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 dying zebra plant be saved?

  • 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.)

Why is the base of my zebra plant becoming brown?

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.

Are zebra plants sunlight-required?

Light. Since zebra plants are accustomed to growing under a canopy of trees in warm, humid settings, they do best in indirect light or partial shade. While complete shadow may prevent your plant from blooming, direct sunlight can scorch the foliage and should be avoided.

How can I determine whether my zebra plant needs water?

Zebra succulents are specially adapted to thrive in hot, arid environments with infrequent rainfall and rocky soil. For example, they store moisture in their thick leaves, which are likewise designed to minimize water loss through transpiration.

Zebra succulents prefer dryer conditions than most plants since they are so well suited to thriving in drought, and they are more prone to experience issues from overwatering than from underwatering, such as foliage turning brown or yellow and root rot.

It’s crucial to mimic the watering conditions of their natural environment if you want to take good care of zebra succulents in your home.

Only water your zebra succulent when the earth is absolutely dry since zebra succulents need the soil to dry out between sessions of watering. To attain the ideal balance of moisture, zebra succulents often need to be watered once every two to three weeks with a good soak.

Potting soil does not always dry out at the same rate for a variety of reasons, including:

  • climate’s humidity and temperature range.
  • How big the pot is (large pots dry out much slower then smaller pots).
  • Whether the zebra succulent is near a heat source or in an air stream.
  • the potting soil’s capacity to hold moisture.

Feel the soil at the bottom of the pot via the drainage hole to determine how frequently to water zebra succulents according to the climate and conditions where you live. Delay watering for a few days if the soil feels damp. This is the ideal time to water if the soil seems dry.

When you know how long it typically takes for the soil surrounding your zebra succulent to dry out, you can create a watering schedule that suits your needs and faithfully imitates the moisture and watering conditions in their natural habitat.

Symptoms of Watering Zebra Plants Too Often

Zebra succulents shouldn’t need to be watered more regularly than once a week, so stop.

Zebra succulents exhibit signs of stress when their leaves turn yellow or brown and have a mushy, soft texture. If the leaves become black, this may be a sign of root rot brought on by excessive watering.

Reduce your watering and allow the potting soil to totally dry out around the roots of the zebra succulent if its leaves start to turn brown or yellow and have a soft texture so that it can recover.

Should I remove the zebra plant’s brown tips?

Zebra plants thrive with proper care. They can be difficult to care for because they are native to tropical or arid conditions, where they might be difficult to grow. They require moist soil and like humidity levels of about 60 to 70 percent. Avoid placing your zebra plant in the sun; filtered light is preferable.

According to House Plants Expert, Aphelandra squarrosa typically blooms in the late summer or early fall. The flowers emerge from tiny leaves, or bracts. The plant has to be clipped after the blooms have bloomed and have begun to wilt and die. To maintain the health of your plant, remove the bract and any dead stems and leaves using sterile pruning shears.

Both underwatering and overwatering can harm zebra plants. Brown tips on your zebra plant may be a sign of insufficient humidity. The other species can also display these signs; if the tips of your zebra succulent or zebra haworthia are turning brown, dryness is probably at blame.

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.

How is a zebra plant fixed?

You should keep your Zebra plant in a humid atmosphere. Incorporate a pebble tray, mist frequently, or put a humidifier close by.

The frequent temperature changes caused by heaters or air conditioners might also result in dry areas or dry leaf edges. Verify that your plant is not near any open vents or in a drafty place.

Zebra plants grow well in direct, bright light. Long-term exposure to direct sunlight may burn the foliage, bleaching the leaves to a pale tint. Places close to east-facing windows or a few feet away from unobstructed southern or western windows will have bright indirect light.

When these plants are overly dried out, they have a tendency to get a little dramatic with droopy leaves. The foliage may crisp up as a result of prolonged dryness. When the top 25% of the soil becomes dry, keep the soil moist and water. Until it empties out of the drainage hole, thoroughly wet the area. A good soak is necessary if the soil is completely dry.

  • Depending on the size of your plant, pour 2-4 cups of water into a sink or bathtub.
  • To allow the plant to absorb the water from the bottom, place it in the water without the saucer. Give the plant at least 30 minutes to soak in the water.
  • Feel the soil’s top to determine whether it has absorbed enough water once the 30 minutes are over. If it requires a little more time, give it another 15 to 30 minutes to sit or give it a light watering from the soil’s surface.
  • Drain the sink, give the plant some time to rest, and let the water flow out of the bottom.
  • Make sure there is no standing water before placing the plant back on the saucer.