How to grow and care for Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa) Indoors

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Zebra Plant, Aphelandra squarrosa

Botanical name: Aphelandra squarrosa
Family: Melastomataceae
Common name: Zebra Plant

Zebra Plant Description

Zebra Plant is grown indoors for its all year round large leaves with silvery veins which provide an attractive feature and for the golden cone-like bloom which provides color for a short time.

The Zebra Plant does not bloom often but it can be encouraged to bloom by prolonged daily exposure to light.

For Zebra Plant to thrive, it requires regular feeding, high humidity and consistently moist soil.

Zebra Plant Size

Zebra Plant can grow to a height of 2 ft and to prevent it from becoming leggy, regular pruning is required.

Zebra Plant Origin

Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa) is native to the Atlantic forest vegetation of Brazil.

Zebra Plant Varieties

The basic species of Zebra Plant can reach a height of 3-4 ft and therefore is not ideal to be grown indoors.

The usual choice of Zebra Plant for growing indoors are the less vigorous varieties.

The less vigorous varieties of Zebra Plant include Louisae, which is a 1-2 ft sturdy bush with red-tipped bracts.

More compact types of Zebra Plant include Brockfeld and the golden Dania. Fritz Prinsler has the most eye-catching veining.

Other newer varieties of Zebra Plant are Apollo with white veins and Red Apollo which has a blush of red on the stems and on the leaf undersides.

Buy beautiful and healthy Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa) from Etsy.

Zebra Plant, Aphelandra squarrosa

Photo Credit: Costa Farms

Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa) Care Indoors

Zebra Plant Light Requirements

Zebra Plant grows best in bright light away from direct sunshine.

Exposure of your Zebra Plant to direct sunlight will result in sunscorched leaves. Read more on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Zebra Plant

Water Zebra Plant thoroughly during the growing season to maintain the soil moist through out. Reduce watering for your Zebra Plant during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist.

Do not allow the soil to dry out completely for your Zebra Plant as it can lead to wilting and leaf drop. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Avoid soggy soil for your Zebra Plant as it can lead to root-rot. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.


Temperature for Zebra Plant

The best temperature for growing Zebra Plant indoors is an average room temperature with a minimum of 180C.

Protect your Zebra Plant from cold draughts to prevent leaf drop. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Zebra Plant

Zebra Plant thrives in humid conditions. To raise humidity for your Zebra Plant, set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Regularly clean the leaves of your Zebra Plant by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Zebra Plant Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Zebra Plant monthly with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer during the growing season.

Withhold feeding for your Zebra Plant during the growth season as growth is minimal. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to Prune Zebra Plant

Prune your Zebra Plant by removing dead blooms and leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy.

Cutback the Zebra Plant after flowering to 1/3 of its height to encourage new growth and to keep the plant compact. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

How to Repot Zebra Plant

Repot your Zebra Plant at the beginning of the growing season only when the plant becomes pot-bound.

Use a pot one size larger than the previous one and ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot.

Soil for Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa)

The best soil for Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa) should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients. Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for Zebra Plant.

Buy quality Potting Mix for your Zebra Plant from Etsy.

Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa) Propagation

Zebra Plant can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings.

How to propagate Zebra Plant from stem cuttings

Take stem cuttings of about 4-6 in. from a healthy Zebra Plant. Ensure each cutting has at least 2 nodes.

Dip the lower cut end of the Zebra Plant cutting in a rooting hormone to hasten rooting.

Insert the Zebra Plant cutting in moist, free-draining soil. Ensure the rooting container has adequate drainage to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Cover the set up with clear polythene to create a greenhouse effect in order to promote rooting.

Place the set up in a warm, brightly lit spot. Rooting should occur in about 6 weeks.

Allow the new Zebra Plants to be well established before transplanting after which routine care can begin.

Zebra Plant, Aphelandra squarrosa

Photo Credit: Amazon.com

Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa) Problems Indoors

Zebra Plant wilting and dropping leaves

Underwatering is the cause of wilting and leaf drop in your Zebra Plant.

Water your Zebra Plant thoroughly and maintain the soil consistently moist during the growing season. Reduce watering in the cold season and never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Zebra Plant dropping (shedding) leaves

Cold draughts and exposure to direct sunlight will cause leaf drop in your Zebra Plant.

Protect your Zebra Plant from cold draughts and maintain warm temperatures with a minimum of 180C.

Do not expose your Zebra Plant to direct sunlight. Position it where it will receive bright light with no direct sunlight falling on the leaves.

Zebra Plant brown leaf tips and edges

Too low humidity will cause brown leaf tips and edges in your Zebra Plant.

To raise humidity for your Zebra Plant, set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Zebra Plant brown leaf spots

Exposing your Zebra Plant to direct sunlight will result in brown sunscorch marks on the leaves.

Keep your Zebra Plant drom direct sunlight. Position it where it will receive bright light with no direct sunlight falling on the leaves.

Zebra Plant Pests

Zebra Plant pests; Spider Mite, Scale Insects and Aphids. Isolate the affected Plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it for the pests appropriately.

Is Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa) toxic?

Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa) is non-toxic to both humans and pets. Zebra Plant is safe to grow in the home.

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