Why Is My Zebra Plant Turning Yellow?

The zebra plant is a popular houseplant that many people enjoy. It’s easy to grow and can be kept in any room of the house, as long as it gets enough light. Unfortunately, there are some common problems that these plants often face.

One such problem is yellowing leaves. This article will discuss why your zebra plant may be turning yellow and how you can remedy this issue!

Why Is My Zebra Plant Turning Yellow?

Your zebra plant is turning yellow because the plant has been overwatered, it hasn’t received enough light, or the environment is causing stress.

Let’s now explore the most common causes of yellowing leaves on a zebra plant and what you can do about them.

1. It Should Be Watered Less

Overwatering is one of the most common reasons that zebra plants turn yellow. It usually occurs when the plant doesn’t have proper drainage or if you water it too much.

To help prevent this from happening, you should wait until the top of your potting soil feels dry before watering it again. You can test this by sticking your finger into the soil up to the second knuckle. If it doesn’t feel damp, then you can give your plant a drink of water.

Alternatively, you can use a moisture meter to test the moisture level of your soil. This is the most accurate way to tell if your plant needs water.

Also, make sure that there is a drainage hole in the bottom of the container. This allows excess water to drain out and prevents the soil from becoming too soggy.

I recommend watering a zebra plant every 10-14 days, but it depends on where you live and the type of potting soil you use.

If the overwatering leads to root rot, then you need to act as fast as possible. This is because root rot spreads quickly and can kill your plant.

If this happens to you, then cut off the affected roots and transplant them into a new container filled with fresh potting soil. Remember to discard the roots away from all plants to avoid fungal infection.

My final tip would be to avoid overwatering in the first place because it’s much easier than dealing with root rot. This means paying close attention to the soil and only watering it when necessary.

2. It Needs More Light

The second most common reason for yellowing leaves on a zebra plant is a lack of light. These plants need bright, indirect sunlight to survive and grow properly.

You should move your zebra plant to an area that gets between four and six hours of indirect sunlight every day. You can tell if it’s receiving enough light because the leaves will become darker in color.

If you don’t have enough natural lighting in your home or workspace, then I recommend using fluorescent lights instead (Amazon link). They are great for plants and can be placed right on top of the soil.

The best way to do this is by suspending a fluorescent light above your plant for approximately 6-12 hours each day. Make sure that it’s far enough away from the leaves so that they aren’t burned, but close enough to provide sufficient lighting.

3. Dry Air / Cold Drafts

The final reason for yellowing leaves on zebra plants is stress. If the plant has been moved to a new location, if it’s being exposed to cold air or drafty windows, or if you have recently pruned it back, then your plant may be stressed out and its leaves are turning yellow in response.

To fix this problem, you should give the plant a few days to adjust before making any changes. Many people make the mistake of changing multiple things at once, which can lead to more problems.

If your zebra plant is still turning yellow after a week or two, then there may be something else going on that you don’t know about yet.

This could mean that the soil isn’t draining properly or that pests are attacking it from below ground. It’s also possible that your plant is suffering from root rot, so you need to act quickly.

Here’s a video that shows how someone saved their dying plant. It talks about the steps you need to take if you want your zebra plant to thrive.

Zebra Plant Leaves FAQs

I will now discuss some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to yellowing leaves.

Should I cut yellow leaves off my zebra plant?

Yes, remove the leaves as soon as you notice them turning yellow. This reduces the risk of spreading fungal infections or pests, plus it keeps your plant looking neat and tidy. Besides, they may fall off anyway.

Will too little light cause my zebra plant to turn yellow?

Yes, if your plant isn’t receiving enough light, then the leaves will become pale in color and turn yellow. Remember to keep it away from drafty windows or cold air because these can also cause discoloration.

Will too much water cause my zebra plant leaves to turn yellow?

Yes, if your zebra plant has too much water, then the leaves will start to wilt and become yellow.

Does overwatering cause root rot?

Yes, if you accidentally overwater your plant, then it’s more likely that the roots may become damaged. This can lead to root rot and a host of other problems that you’ll need to deal with right away.

Will yellow zebra plant leaves turn green again?

No, it is unlikely for the leaves to turn green again once they have turned yellow. The good news is that new leaves will be green if the plant is receiving the care it needs.


In conclusion, there are several reasons why your zebra plant may be turning yellow, but the most common ones include lack of sunlight, overwatering, and stress. You should avoid these problems in order to keep your plant healthy for years to come.

I hope that this post was helpful. Feel free to share your tips and experiences in the comments section.

Leave a Comment