I got this ZZ plant (Zamioculcas) from the nursery (and tried choosing the best one) yesterday. I noticed some yellow leaves and broken leaves. When I asked the gardener (or whatever we call her) she said it was caused by sunlight. I don't know the real cause of it. Upon Googling, I learned that it was due to overwatering. Is this the case?

Also, does it need repotting?

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1 Answer 1


First, I am not sure I follow you all the way. This was the best plant, and already had the yellow leaves when you got it yesterday? I would not have made that choice, if this was indeed the case.

Have you been watering profusely, or do you suspect the nursery did? Is the soil wet to touch? It also appears to have a clayey nature to it, and you should try to make sure the soil has good drainage by adding compost, or other items that help this.

You probably should repot the plant using soil that allows for efficient drainage, and I would move it to a spot where it sees bright light, but does so, indirectly. If the soil is dry to touch, water the plant gently. Over watering is definitely bad.

  • 1
    It already had yellow leaves. There were two others: one had only one stem, and the other had same condition but with more broken leaves. The soil was wet when I got it. I haven't watered it till now and won't until the soil gets dry. Not all the leaves are yellow. There are three stems. One stem is perfect(no yellow leaves, no broken leaves) The second stem has few broken leaves. And the third one has some yellow leaves(only tips) and some broke leaves. Soil looks like good drainage soil.
    – 4-K
    Sep 14, 2016 at 9:05
  • Please check how deep the wetness goes to. You can put a finger in, or try using a stick or something. If the roots stay wet too long, in dry plants like this, root rot can set in. Sep 14, 2016 at 15:38
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    Gross soil 4k!! Get it repotted into potting soil and a bit smaller pot. Water and leave it alone. When repotting I'd knock as much of that crap soil (looks suspiciously like garden soil) off before planting. Maybe they have some substandard nursery source for plants. This also looks like too high of salts from tap water. Over watering affects the entire plant. Dry indoor environment will cause a bit of this yellowing but mostly too high of salts built up in the soil. Especially, clay garden soils.
    – stormy
    Sep 14, 2016 at 20:59
  • @SrihariYamanoor Yeah, it's wet.
    – 4-K
    Sep 15, 2016 at 13:03
  • @stormy yeah, bad soil. But it's better than clay garden soil. I am still searching for a good potting mix/soil :) Salts? the white powder like thing? Is there any way to remove salt from water? LOL :D
    – 4-K
    Sep 15, 2016 at 13:05

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