Why Is My Zebra Plant Turning Yellow

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 fatal.

The Fix

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.

Why are the leaves on my zebra plant becoming yellow?

The likelihood of growing yellowed leaf parts with browned haloes will increase with a variety of concurrent cultivation concerns; for a visual example, check the image below. First, the area can be too dark, with the compost being overly wet between waterings; mold growth on the soil is typically a poor indicator. Additionally, you can be using water that is too cold or tap water that hasn’t had a chance to sit for 24 hours. The harsh chemicals used to maintain water hygiene (fluoride & chloride) will start to settle after a few hours during this period of rest, along with the temperature. To avoid future chemical burns, use fresh bottled water from a store or supermarket. The final offender may be a deficiency in fertilization, with routine feedings essential for producing long-lasting, healthy leaves. The specimen will start to exhibit the nutrient shortages described in this article if it has gone longer than two months without food. If your specimen has had this common issue, remove the afflicted leaves only—not the entire leaf—and greatly enhance the growing environment. Regularly fertilize with warm water, making sure to let the top third dry out in between applications.

The idea is to irrigate frequently. Drought periods will cause the specimen to return to its dormant state quickly, stunting growth and confusing the plant’s owner. If it hasn’t been replanted in a while, the soil may dry up more quickly because of too many roots and insufficient soil capacity to hold moisture. To find out more about a transplant, go on this page.

Pest infestations can start in the original nursery or through household contamination, and they might appear at any time.

The typical residents are spider mites and mealybugs, with the first being tiny and nearly transparent and scouring the leaves for chlorophyll and a place to bury its eggs. The latter, however, will be considerably more noticeable as white cottony webs form on the stems and foliage. Before giving the plant the all-clear, thoroughly inspect its cubbyholes. You can also learn more about resolving these difficulties by clicking on the relevant links.

Lower, closest to the soil, yellowing leaves are a blatant symptom of overwatering, which is typically brought on by insufficient light. Although Zebra Plants can thrive in darker environments, irrigation needs to be done less frequently to prevent the risk of root rot. People are unaware that plants’ roots also require access to oxygen; when soil is moistened, air rises and escapes the potting soil. The roots will deteriorate during the next days due to a lack of readily available oxygen. To understand more about root rot and how to prevent it, visit this website. For confirmation, always feel the weight of the pot (heaviness indicates good soil moisture, and vice versa).

Low humidity levels might result in yellow haloes surrounding browning leaf tips. While this won’t harm your specimen, you could want to provide more moisture to the area to stop the new growth from displaying these symptoms. While the heaters are running, mist or clean the leaves occasionally and establish a humidity tray to maintain a stable atmosphere for your specimen.

Keep the leaves dusted. Although it’s not a big deal, a buildup of dust particles might clog the plant’s pores and reduce its ability to absorb light. In order to maintain low levels and enhance growing circumstances, wipe the topsides of the leaves down once a month.

If your Alocasia starts to wilt, there may be one or several problems, ranging from the surroundings to your gardening practices. When the window is many meters away, plant confusion may result if the specimen is placed in an area with too little light. The majority of Alocasia will need overhead lighting to suit its growth behavior, as noted in “Location & Light,” with anything else resulting in either wilting or tilted growth. Second, inconsistent watering practices may result in root dryness, which will eventually cause wilting. Long-lasting droughts and root rot both cause the upper part of the plant to become dehydrated, albeit with the help of excessively damp compost. The final potential cause of your wilting Alocasia is environment shock. The likelihood is that the specimen hasn’t adjusted itself to the new surroundings if it was just purchased or moved. Ensure that the environment is bright, indirect, and at the best angle to the light source (overhead or nearby a window). Depending on the season, keep the soil somewhat moist, letting the top third dry out in between waterings, and fertilize every two to four weeks. If you have any additional questions about your sick Alocasia, make sure to schedule a 1-to-1 call with Joe Bagley to talk about it in more detail!

The development of mold on the soil indicates both inadequate lighting and excessive irrigation. Despite the mold’s safety, most gardeners find it unattractive and remove it as soon as they are aware of it. The top two inches of the soil should be taken out and replaced with a brand-new batch of “Houseplant” compost. Reduce the frequency of watering a little bit or increase the quantity of light received (avoid direct sunshine for the first several weeks to prevent environmental shock). You might potentially have root rot if the mold is followed by yellowing lower leaves.

Leaf-Spot Disease is caused by several different species, including Graphiola, Botrytis, Anthracnose, and Cercospora, and all of them behave similarly. As the plant steadily grows, fungi spores will fall to the surface of the leaf. Unfortunately, you can only remove the afflicted portions and frequently wash the leaves to stop the spread because there are no products that will tackle the problem directly. However, in certain instances, the little yellow spots are not a direct result of a disease but rather are brought on by uneven soil wetness. Consider your personal cultivation practices before deciding what to do.

Owners frequently experience root rot, especially those kept in chilly or dark environments. Always keep in mind that zebra plants have a corm at the base of their stems that functions like a bulb to help them survive brief periods of drought.


Heinrich Schott made the initial discovery of the Alocasia zebrina in the early to mid 1800s in the Philippines. When cooked thoroughly, the corm is safe to consume despite having high levels of calcium oxalate crystals that can temporarily paralyze speech. It also has large levels of starch that can be used as energy or stored by the body.


H1b (Hardiness Zone 12) plants can be cultivated outside during the summer in a protected area with temperatures above 12C (54F), but they are also acceptable indoors. If you choose to grow this plant outside, limit its exposure to the sun to no more than an hour each day to prevent sunburn. Watch out for bugs frequently, especially while bringing it back inside.


Up to 2 meters tall and 1 meters wide, with the final height being attained in 5 to 10 years. In order to support the development structure of zebra plants, overhead lighting is preferred; lateral light sources, such as those found in corners of rooms, would result in stunted, uneven growth.


To promote healthier growing conditions, remove yellow or decaying leaves as well as any plant detritus. Always use clean shears or scissors when pruning to lower the risk of bacterial and fungal infections. Never cut through yellowed tissue as this could lead to severe harm from bacterial infections or other disorders. To avoid shocking the plant and resulting in decreased growth and a decline in health, always create clean incisions.


Basal Offset Division: Your plant will create a number of basal offsets that can be divided after they reach a height of over 25 cm and have a strong enough root system. If at all feasible, moisten the ground 24 hours prior to the main event to lower the likelihood of transplant shock when the plant’s dry root systems are handled roughly. Remove the plant from its container, then lay your fingers close to the nodal junction. If necessary, dig a little deeper to gain greater access. The desired offset should be pushed down until a snap is heard. Consider mentally noting the significant danger of injury as you separate the mother plant’s foliage and its root system. Put the transplant in the right-sized container with fresh “Houseplant” soil. Keep the soil uniformly moist and place it away from any direct sunlight in a bright, indirect area. Use the aforementioned care advice after eight weeks and treat it normally! N. B. – After a number of years, your specimen will develop basal offsets along the stem itself. To separate the plantlet with a knife, wait for the base to gently swell. Place it in the ground by following the directions above. If there aren’t any roots, don’t worry; they’ll develop after the plant recognizes that its principal water source has been cut off (i.e. the mother plant).


As members of the Araceae family, alocasia’s blossoms aren’t particularly eye-catching. Their flowers have a white or green spathe (the spoon-shaped shell), which is similar to the flower body of a peace lily. The spadix is where pollination takes place. Blooms, which typically appear in late spring or early summer at a distance of at least 30 cm from the soil line, can last up to five days.


Alocasia is an example of an Arace family member that frequently contains harmful calcium oxalate crystals. This family also includes the plants Philodendron, Zamioculcas (ZZ Plants), and Spathiphyllum (Peace Lilies). If eaten, nausea, vomiting, and a loss of appetite could happen, therefore consuming big amounts needs to be dealt with right away.


Overwatering is one of the key reasons zebra plants yellow. This can happen for a number of reasons, including giving the plant too much water each time you water it, watering it more frequently than necessary, leaving the plant outside during the rainy season, using a potting mix and pot that don’t drain well, and not changing your watering practices to correspond with changes in the weather and season.

If the leaves of the zebra plant have turned yellow or brown and feel mushy to the touch, the plant is receiving too much water.

Keep in mind that zebra plants are succulents, which can store water in their leaves to resist dry conditions. As a result, they require less watering than the majority of plants.

Zebra plants can also lie dormant if their soil is completely devoid of water. They are totally suited to the driest of conditions, and it is far simpler to repair a zebra plant that has been underwatered than one that has been overwatered.

Because these plants are native to some of the driest regions on Earth, where the soil is loose and rocky, they do not thrive in typical potting soil, which is too dense and effectively holds moisture.

Root rot is one of the most detrimental effects of overwatering your plant. The roots of the plant develop this condition when they are allowed to stand in damp soil for a lengthy period of time. Overwatering will prevent succulents from allowing their roots to dry out between waterings, which is necessary for them to absorb oxygen. The roots will perish from drowning.

The rot will spread more quickly to the rest of the plant because the dead roots will be more vulnerable to opportunistic infections like fungi and bacteria.

The rot will eventually spread to the leaves, which could cause the plant to die.


If you think your zebra plant may be overwatered, stop watering it right away and move it to an area with lots of light. The soil will dry out more quickly due to the solar exposure. Before watering the plant once more, allow the soil in the pot to completely dry out.

Take the plant out of the pot if you believe it has root rot. Gently remove it from the ground and rinse the roots to remove as much soil as you can. Because the roots are so vulnerable at this point, proceed with caution.

Look attentively at each root and search for any areas that have become brown or black. It will be necessary to cut off these decaying roots. To remove the unhealthy, brown roots and leave just the white, healthy roots, use a sterilized knife or pair of scissors.

For a few hours, place the plant on a dry paper towel and let the roots air dry.

Then, get a fresh pot ready by ensuring it has enough drainage holes at the bottom and filling it two-thirds of the way with a potting soil that drains properly.

Then, add the remaining soil to the roots and put the plant in the center of the pot. Give it at least a week to recover from the shock of repotting before watering it.

Ensure that the new pot is not too large. More soil is required to fill a large pot, and more soil indicates that more water will be retained. The likelihood of overwatering the plant increases as more water is retained.

Make careful to remove any extra water that collects on the saucer if you keep the plant indoors and place the pot on one.

Making sure you are following the watering cycle that your plant prefers is the best method to avoid overwatering. When the top two inches of soil are dry to the touch, water it only then. Wait a day or two before inspecting the soil again if the top is still a little damp.

Additionally, frequently inspect the pot’s bottom to make sure that no soil is obstructing the drainage openings.


The zebra plant is succulent, so it requires less watering than other plants, but that does not mean you can ignore it for long stretches of time.

A zebra plant submerged in water will likewise experience yellowing and then browning of the leaves. The leaves will get drier and crisper the longer they go without water.

Your zebra plant may be under drought stress if you notice the leaves changing color from yellow to brown and getting crispy and dry close to the base of the plant.

If the plant is displaying signs of underwatering even though you are certain you have been watering it frequently enough, you may be watering it too lightly.

Every time you water it, you must thoroughly wet the soil in the pot to ensure that all of the roots receive an equal amount of moisture.

The same symptoms of underwatering will occur if you keep your zebra plant in a location that experiences frequent wind or drafts since they can quickly dry out the soil and the plant’s leaves.

Do not worry if you believe your plant is underwater; this problem is very simple to fix. The plant only has to be watered once, until the soil is completely saturated and any extra moisture is leaking out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. This is significant because the water should be accessible to all of the soil’s roots.

Keep the plant away from drafts that will dry it out and in an area with just the right amount of circulation.

As always, checking the soil in the pot is the easiest method to avoid underwatering. Water the plant if the top two inches of soil are dry, but if the soil is still wet, give it a day or two before checking again.

Your zebra plant should have recovered to full health after three waterings. Simply be sure to water it properly going forward.

Too much sunlight

Your zebra plant’s yellowing leaves could also be caused by its receiving too much light.

Zebra plants are succulents, yes, but they prefer bright, indirect light over direct sunshine.

The leaves of a zebra plant will become yellow or even crimson if it receives too much sunshine, but they won’t feel mushy or soft like those of an overwatered plant.

Zebra plants thrive in dark regions where they only receive brilliant, indirect light in their natural habitat. Thus, it is better for the plant if you recreate that environment in your home.

Zebra plants prefer bright, indirect light, as we already indicated. Put the plant under a big tree, under a garden net, or on your porch if you’re keeping it outside. The plant will be able to receive the right kind of light in this way.

Transfer it right away if you believe its current location is receiving too much light.

If the lone window in your house lets in an excessive amount of light, you may always use a sheer curtain to soften the brightness.

Your plant will probably appear much better after a few days in a more shaded location. Unfortunately, because the sun-damaged vegetation has practically burned from the sunshine, it will never return to its previous state. The sunburned leaves can be pruned off if you don’t like the way they appear, or you can wait for them to naturally fall off.