ZZ Plant Leaves Curling – Causes & Solutions

Are you concerned about your ZZ plants? Are you noticing any curling leaves in your ZZ plants?

If yes, then do not worry, as I am here to help you and guide you on the causes of curling leaves of the ZZ plant and how you can fix this problem. I will share with you my personal experience as I also went through this issue about three months ago.

ZZ plants should have thick, waxy, green leaves; if you observe that they are curling or changing color, something is wrong. You can have relief as curled leaves are not deadly, and if the root cause can be taken care of, your plant can recover. To find out why this happens and how to fix it, keep reading this article till the end!

ZZ Plant’s Leaves Curling: Causes And Solutions

I am sure even if you are a beginner gardener, you will want your plant’s leaves to look beautiful and amazing.

But why do my ZZ plant’s leaves curl up?

There are several reasons why the ZZ plant’s leaves curl up. Luckily for you, I have made a complete list to help you with the questions that you have in your mind right now.

So, let us first start with the sunlight issue. Keep reading!

1. Does sunlight cause the ZZ plant’s leaves to curl?


Yes, too much sunlight is the main cause of curled ZZ plant leaves. This is probably the issue if the leaves have dark burn patches and are curled. If you place your ZZ plant outside for too long or on the window sill for long hours, especially during summers and you forget to bring it inside, the leaves of the ZZ plant curl up and can even change color or have a sunburn. So, lets now explore some steps below on how you can fix this issue:

  • Medium, indirect light is preferred for ZZ plants. Long-term exposure to direct sunlight causes the leaves to curl as they attempt to flee the source of light. 
  • Relocate the plant away from the window and into a more shaded area. If moving the plant is not an option, cover the window with a sheer drape. 
  • Windows that face south, in particular, let in a lot of light. ZZ plants do not benefit from this sunshine like other plants like succulents may. The ideal windows are those that face east or west since they get enough light without being too intense.

Note to remember: Even when the plant is placed in the shade, brown sunburn patches on the foliage do not go away. Trim the leaves to get rid of burn stains.

2. ZZ plant leaves curling because of lack of water


Although ZZ plants are renowned for their ability to withstand drought, they can nevertheless become waterlogged. Your ZZ plant needs a good drink if you see curled leaves and dried, brown tips. If the soil is extremely dry, check it with your finger and water your plant. I have given some tips below on how you can fix this issue!

  • Water the ZZ plants every two weeks in the summer and every three to four weeks in the winter. According to the unique environment of your facility, modify this timetable as necessary (humidity, temperature, and light received). 
  • More water is needed by plants in hotter, brighter environments than by plants in chilly, dark environments. It is recommended to water at the plant’s base until water begins to drain from the drainage hole. 
  • After that, let the soil dry before watering it again. The soil should not be misted in between waterings. ZZ plants prefer periods of dryness interspersed with periods of saturation.

3. ZZ plant leaves curling from overwatering

On the other hand, over-watering might cause leaves to curl. Overwatering can cause root rot, which is indicated by brown stems and yellow, mushy, and curled leaves. ZZ plants can endure drought, but they cannot stand too much wetness around their roots. 
Reduce the frequency of watering and prune your plant if root rot is the problem. Before watering again, wait as long as a month to let the soil dry out. So that the soil dries up more quickly, keep the plant in a warm environment with medium-intensity indirect light. Let us now check out how you can prevent root rot in ZZ plants which I have discussed below!

How can you prevent root rot in ZZ plants?

Keep in mind that overwatering is the main reason ZZ plants die. As it is considerably simpler to fix, it is better to take care on the side of underwatering. Simply follow the steps given below to prevent root rot from overwatering the ZZ plants!

  • Before watering again, always wait for the top inch of soil to dry off. 
  • A basic terracotta pot with a drainage hole is the ideal item to use. This enables extra water after watering to flow away. Pour out any water that accumulated in the saucer as well to prevent the plant from spending too much time there. 
  • Add perlite or gravel to the soil to improve drainage. As a result, the mixture becomes porous, allowing the roots to breathe.

4. ZZ plant leaves curling as a result of the cold

ZZ plants, which are native to tropical regions, prefer warmer temperatures between 65 and 80 °F (18 and 27 °C). The leaves could curl from the cold if they are kept in temperatures below 50 °F.

To keep your ZZ plant warm, keep it away from AC vents, fans, and draughty windows. Consider placing a humidifier or air purifier near your ZZ plant if the air is really dry and the tips of the plant appear crispy.

5. Pests can make the ZZ plant’s leaves curl


Many pests, including aphids, mealy bugs, and thrips, can alter the morphology of leaves. These insects alter the look of the plant by sucking its sap.

Examine the plant thoroughly for any indications of insects, paying close attention in particular to the underside of the leaves. If pests are found, relocate the ZZ plant far from any nearby plants to prevent the infestation from spreading. Use insecticidal soap, diluted neem oil, or rubbing alcohol to mist the plant. Repeat until the infestation is eliminated every three to four days (it may take several weeks).

6. ZZ plant leaves curled because of root entanglement

Rhizomes, which are plant-specific bulbs that store water and nutrients, are the source of growth for ZZ plants. The leaves may curl if the rhizomes become rootbound and unable to expand. 

Every few years, repot ZZ plants to allow them to expand, especially if you see roots poking through the soil. Select a pot with a diameter that is one to two inches larger than the existing one (do not choose a pot that is too large, because the excess soil retains water and promotes root rot). Pick a soil for indoor plants that drains well and add perlite to improve drainage.

Prevention Tips: Prune a Curly ZZ plant leaf!


It’s time to cut the troublesome spots on your ZZ Plant once you’ve determined what’s producing the curled leaves. It is preferable to cut the stems close to the plant’s base as opposed to specific leaves or sections of the stem. Even plants don’t appreciate choppy hairstyles! Follow the steps I have given below before pruning the curled leaves of the ZZ plant!

  • You’ll need to cut or clip away any mushy stems or even soft areas on the rhizomes. Trim the stems as close as you can to the rhizome. 
  • Don’t worry if you have to remove some of the rhizomes. This can be done without having an impact on the entire rhizome. 
  • Use clean, sharp implements when pruning or caring for plants, as always. Be cautious of the sap when pruning stems or leaves. 
  • After handling the ZZ Plant clippings, refrain from touching your lips, nose, or ears as it may irritate your skin. 
  • Although it’s not necessary, those with sensitive skin might want to protect themselves by wearing gloves.


Q1. Is the ZZ plant poisonous? 

Ans. ZZ Plants are incredibly simple to care for, but they do come with a warning: all portions of the plant are harmful to both people and animals. Ensure that clippings are disposed of properly and out of the reach of youngsters and animals. This can assist you to decide where to put your plant to prevent pets or young children from accidentally ingesting any plant parts.

Q2. Is my ZZ plant underwater? 

Ans. Although we have praised the ZZ Plant’s capacity to store water, the plant can be submerged. You may have been too cautious with the watering can if the leaves are curling or the leaf tips are dry. 

To determine the amount of moisture in the soil, you need to regularly examine it with your finger or a moisture meter. If the dirt is crumbly, dry, and leaves no trace on your finger, water is needed.

Q3. How do I fix the problem with ZZ plant lights? 

Ans. Change the location of your ZZ Plant so it receives less direct light, or move it farther away from the window. You can also give your plants filtered light by using blinds or drapes. 

Q4. Any tips for keeping my ZZ plant healthy? 

Ans. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way when using ZZ Plants. Your plants will remain content and healthy with just a little water, a tiny correction, and light pruning.


The plant should recover once you have identified the cause of your ZZ plant’s curled leaves. ZZ plants can withstand a lot and they remain content if you keep them in moderate, indirect light, give proper water when the soil is dry, and place them in well-draining soil.

I hope you like this article, and if you have any more doubts, please drop us a comment below, and also don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family!

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  • Vinni Balyan

    11 years ago when we left NY and started living in the suburbs, I developed the passion for gardening. I'm a mom of two, and a big time gardener here helping you pick you right battle in gardening. 🙂 Stay tuned.

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