Why are the leaves of my ZZ plant curling? (Causes and solutions) – ISPUZZLE

ZZ plants are a great choice for indoor plant lovers with a defined brown thumb. These plants can tolerate light conditions and months of neglect without becoming picky.

But that doesn’t mean ZZ plants are invincible. ZZ plant leaf curl is the most common problem. You should examine the houseplant before taking any measurements.

So why are the leaves of my ZZ plants curling? This is caused by improper watering, direct sun exposure, extreme temperatures, root problems, etc.

Curling the leaves of the ZZ plant is not a death sentence. You will need to cut off damaged leaves and stems to allow the plant to return to its former glory.

Keep reading this article to know the causes. You will also learn how to fix ZZ plant leaf curl problem like an expert.

You might also like: Why are the tips of my ZZ plants turning brown?


8 Reasons Your ZZ Plant Leaves Curl

The leaves of the ZZ plant should be thick, waxy and green. If you notice your ZZ plant’s leaves curling and changing color, that’s a sign of an improper grooming regimen.

There are several reasons why your ZZ plant has curled leaves. But most of these causes can be corrected without affecting plant health and growth.

Below are possible causes and solutions for leaf curling in ZZ plants (Source: University of Vermont

underwater problem

ZZ plants are drought tolerant houseplants. But water is essential to facilitate the physiological activities of the plant. Its drought-tolerant nature causes many plant owners to neglect it.

A submerged ZZ plant usually has a problem with curling leaves. The phenomenon occurs because the houseplant tries to retain the remaining water in its tissues.

Check the soil’s moisture level by pressing your index finger before watering the plant. When the soil is dry, water your houseplant.

Be sure to develop a watering schedule for your favorite plant. I recommend watering the ZZ plant once every two weeks in the summer and once a month in the winter.

Too much soil moisture

ZZ plants do not tolerate boggy and swampy environments. Wet condition is the main cause of leaf-related problems in many houseplants.

If you notice your ZZ plant’s leaves curling, yellowing, and mushy with brown stems, that’s a sign of root rot. Root disease causes more damage to your houseplant.

Overwatering problems occur as a result of poor soil drainage. The best option is to reduce the frequency of watering to prevent the plant from dying.

Transplanting the houseplant into a well-drained soil and container is the best solution. Be sure to cut off damaged roots with sterilized scissors before transplanting the plant.

direct sun exposure

ZZ plants can tolerate low light with too much sun. These plants grow under the canopy in their natural habitat.

Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight is responsible for leaf curl. It is a mechanism that helps the houseplant avoid excessive water loss.

ZZ plants prefer medium to bright indirect sunlight. The intensity of filtered sunlight is lower and cannot cause stress on the leaves of the plant.

East or west facing windows are best for your favorite plant. Sunlight is not too harsh but sufficient to stimulate photosynthesis.

Cut the burnt leaves and get the best ZZ plant care routine. It is best to consider installing artificial lighting rather than placing the plant in full sun.

cold temperatures

ZZ plants are native to tropical regions. These tropical plants like warm temperatures ranging from 65-85OV (18-27.)OC).

The leaves of ZZ plants curl when the ambient temperature is below 50oF. Curling leaves are the first signs of fear in cold weather.

Keep your houseplant away from cold drafts, air vents and fans. The technique is suitable for preventing the leaves of the ZZ plant from curling.

harmful insects

ZZ plants are more vulnerable to pests such as scale insects, thrips and aphids. These cell sap-sucking insects can alter the shape of the plant leaf.

These pests often pierce the leaves and suck the sap from the cells. Frequent drilling ends up distorting the appearance of the sheet metal.

Curly leaves on ZZ plants are the most common sign of pests. Take the time to examine the sheets with a lens before taking the correct measurements.

Use insecticidal soap or diluted neem oil to spray the houseplant. This will help eliminate insects on the plant.

root related problem

ZZ plants propagate from rhizomes. These bulbs often store water and nutrients for the plant as it grows.

The root problem occurs when the plant is grown in a smaller container. Due to limited expansion space, ZZ plants will curl up.

Be sure to repot the houseplant after a few years to avoid root issues. Consider checking to see if the roots are sticking out of the potting mix.

Choose a larger container with drainage holes in the bottom. These holes help drain excess water and prevent overwatering.

You can also enjoy: Why are the stems of my ZZ plant falling off?

lack of humidity

ZZ plants can tolerate drought for several days. But the houseplant can die if the drought exceeds certain levels.

Insufficient moisture around the plant can also facilitate leaf curling. It is a technique that helps the plant retain a certain amount of water.

Dry air increases water loss from plants. Too much water loss causes leaves to drop and wilt over time.

The best decision is to install an electric humidifier in your home to increase the humidity. The method will prevent your houseplant from curling up due to humidity fluctuations.


The growth state of the plant store is very different from its indoor environment. Leaf curling of ZZ plants is a common occurrence after purchase from a plant store.

But the plant will adapt to its indoor growing condition after a few days. Be sure to provide a proper care regimen to rule out other issues.

I recommend reading how to care for ZZ plants before buying. The information will help you take the necessary precautions in advance.

frequently asked Questions

Why are the leaves of my ZZ plant hanging down?

Direct sun exposure and excess water are possible causes of leaf drop in ZZ plants. These plants prefer medium indirect sunlight and a moderate amount of water in the soil.

Why are the leaves of my ZZ plant turning light green?

This is due to too much water and insufficient light conditions. Overwatering causes root rot, which prevents the plant from absorbing essential nutrients from the soil.

Why are the leaves of my ZZ plant turning brown?

Low humidity and direct sun exposure are responsible for the brown leaves of the ZZ plant. Keep the plant in an area that receives medium indirect sunlight and high humidity.

Why aren’t the leaves of my ZZ plant glowing?

A ZZ plant leaf that is not shiny is due to an improper care regimen. The fastest way to make your sheets shine is to clean them more often. Helps remove dirt and dust from leaves.

You can also enjoy:

  • Why does my ZZ plant have yellow leaves?
  • 11 beautiful varieties of ZZ plants with photos

At last

The ZZ plant allows curls to occur due to poor grooming routine. Many houseplant enthusiasts assume that the houseplant does not require the utmost care.

The most common causes of curled leaves on ZZ plants are excess sun, cold temperatures, excess water, lack of water, pests, and root problems.

Examining the houseplant will help determine the exact cause. Take appropriate action to resolve the issue that is causing the sheets to curl.

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