Your ZZ plants were in good shape but suddenly they have started curling up?
Zamioculcas zamiifolia or ZZ plants are one of the popular picks of house plant lovers because they don’t need much extra care. Moreover, they don’t need much light, water, or even nutrients. But the problem is, they cannot tolerate if someone goes overboard with their required inputs.
You can solve this curling problem by taking the right actions at the right time. But if you don’t apply the right treatments the plant will get damaged even more than before. So let’s check out why the ZZ plant leaves are curling.
Too much sunlight, Improper Watering, Cold Temperature Shock, Pest Attack and Root Bound Issues are the 5 major reasons that can curl up your ZZ plant leaves.
There is nothing to worry about. Because in this article you are about to find out the reasons that cause the curling and how you can solve them without extra hassle. So, keep reading to help your ZZ plant to fix this curling issue.
Let’s get started-
How to Fix the Curled Leaves of ZZ Plants
1. Too Much Sunlight
We all know that plants need sunlight. But the ZZ plants are a bit different, they do not enjoy the sunlight that much.
When they receive too much direct sunlight, they try to get away from the sunlight. As a result, their leaves start to curl. In addition, the leaves get brown spots on them.
Since ZZ plants are not much of a sun lover, 3-4 hours of indirect sunlight is more than enough for them. So, you have to move your plant to a place that doesn’t get direct sunlight. If you have your ZZ plant near a window, cover the window with curtains. It’s best to choose a corner that is bright but doesn’t get the light directly.
Yet, here is another thing, when they get brown spots due to sunlight, the spots don’t fade away. These spots stay even after moving them away from sunlight. So, once you have moved your plant into a shady place, cut off the leaves from the plant.
2. Improper Watering
One of the amazing features of ZZ plants is their drought tolerance. We don’t have to worry about watering it very frequently. But sometimes we forget that they need the minimum amount of water too.
When you see your ZZ plant leaves are curling and the leaves are dry with brown tips, it means you have underwatered them.
On the other hand, too much water will also curl your ZZ plant leaves. In this case, the leaves will be yellow and mushy along with curling.
Never pour too much water on them because the ZZ plants don’t like too much moisture on the soil. Moreover, overwatering can lead to root rot disease that can be fatal to your plant.
Water every 3 weeks in summer and every 4 weeks in winter. But always remember, this is not a constant schedule. The soil of your ZZ plant pot will change the water requirement according to environmental conditions. This means if the weather is too dry they will need watering more frequently. On the other hand, when the soil is moist, you can skip watering until it turns dry.
But before watering, always check the soil condition. You can check it by dipping your finger in the soil or you can get a moisture meter (Our pick: Atree Soil Soil Tester Kits with Moisture, Light, and PH Test for Garden).
When you have already overwatered them, stop watering until the soil gets dry. Or if the soil is waterlogged then it’s better to shift it in another bigger pot with better drainage. Remember that the ZZ plant needs enough drainage holes in the pot so that extra water can drain away.
Learn More–How to Save overwatered ZZ plant.
3. Cold Temperature Shock
ZZ plants are tropical plants. So they love temperatures between 65 to 80 °F (18 to 27 °C). When the temperature goes below 50°F the plant cannot withstand it. In cold and dry air the leaves naturally curl themselves and get very crispy.
ZZ plants are mostly kept as houseplants. So place them in a warm place in your home. And
Don’t place them near the AC or Heaters. Because they make the air very dry. You can put a Humidifier near your houseplants during the winter season to increase the moisture around them (our pick: AquaOasis Cool Mist Humidifier).
Protect it from the cold breeze from the windows. If you have kept your plant on the porch then bring it inside during the cold seasons. Also, remove the curled leaves from the plant as they will not straighten up again.
4. Pest Attacks
Mealybugs, aphids, and thrips can curl the leaves of your ZZ plant. These pests suck the sap from the leaves and as a result of their feeding the leaves curl and get brown or yellow spots on them.
In house plants, the pest gets favorable conditions to attack. So, you have to be very careful and check the plant very often to detect their presence. They mostly cluster around the underside of the leaves.
The ZZ plants that are already unhealthy are affected by these pests more. And if you don’t treat them timely, the entire plant will get injured beyond repair.
First of all, separate your infested ZZ plant away from other plants so that these pests cannot infest into other healthy ones.
After that pick a good insecticide because you are going to apply it inside your home so they need to be equally safe for humans and deadly for insects. Apply the insecticide by following the specific label directions otherwise, you might end up overusing the insecticide (our pick: Bonide (BND951) – Systemic House Plant Insect Control).
Remove the curled leaves from the plant because the infested leaves will not return to their normal shape. So, it’s better to cut them off to reduce the extra pressure from the ZZ plant.
Try these wonderful home remedies to help you with your pest problems. The best thing about homemade insecticides is that they are very safe and they control pests naturally.
Some recipes are given below-
#Recipe 1:- Dormant Oil Spray Recipe
- ½ teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap
- 50 ml of any cooking oil (olive oil\vegetable oil\soybean oil etc.)
- Combine the oil and dishwashing soap and store this solution in a bottle
- Now take 1 teaspoon of this solution and add with 100 ml of water
- Shake very well and pour it into the sprayer
- Spray on your ZZ plants 2 or 3 times every week
#Recipe 2:- Basil Tea Recipe
- 1 Cup of fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon of liquid soap
- 3 cups of water
- Boil the water and then remove it from heat
- Add the basil leaves to hot water and cover the pot with a lid so that the steam will be trapped
- Wait for the water to cool down and then strain all the leaves
- Now, add the liquid soap and put the mixture into the sprayer
- Spray it on both sides of your ZZ plant leaves 2-3 times every week
Note: Sometimes homemade solutions burn the leaves of the plants. So before starting to apply any homemade insecticide try it on a small leaf of your ZZ plant first. Wait for some time and If the leaf seems okay then apply to the entire ZZ plant.
Also, ZZ plants have toxic substances in the sap. So, keep out of the reach of cats, dogs, or children.
5. Root-Bound Issues
ZZ plants grow from rhizomes. Rhizomes are special kinds of the stem that stay underground. But the thing is rhizomes need space to grow. If the pot is smaller than the plant size then the rhizomes do not get to expand. As a result, the leaves start to curl up.
Re-pot your ZZ plant every couple of years to prevent this issue. When re-potting choose a large-sized container so that you won’t have to do repotting very frequently. But always make sure the container isn’t too large for the plant and has good drainage. Otherwise, your plant will suffer from waterlogged conditions.
If you suspect the curling on the leaves is due to root-bound issues then immediately change the pot. It’s best to use fresh soil while changing the pot to reduce the risks of diseases. Mix sand or perlite with the soil to improve drainage. Or, you can purchase houseplant soil mix (our pick: Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix).
ZZ plants are the best choice for someone who has just started to keep houseplants. Because they can thrive with a minimum amount of maintenance. But things aren’t always the same. When they get more light or water than they need, their leaves start curling.
They actually prefer lower lights, little watering, and a warm environment for their growth and development. In this article, I have discussed every reason why the ZZ plant leaf curl and how you can save it from further curling. I hope all this information was helpful to you in saving your precious ZZ plants.