A zebra plant, Aphelandra squarrosa, is a herbaceous houseplant with tropical veined foliage. Zebra plants have unique blossoms that emerge from the leaves like a glowing flame. Find facts and information on growing and caring for zebra plants.
Zebra Plant Facts
A zebra plant is grown as a houseplant and will reach up to 3’ high by 2’ wide. It has an upright stem and horizontal leaves. It is a native of tropical forests in Brazil and belongs to the family Acanthacea, and the genus Aphelandra. The species Aphlelandra squarrosa is a striking plant with dark green foliage with white veining. It has bright yellow spiked blooms which sharply contrast the foliage when in bloom.
Zebra Plant Care
Growing zebra plants requires medium light to provide optimum light conditions. It will tolerate lower light but will not bloom. Give the house plant direct sun in winter. Constant warmth is necessary to keep the leaves looking their best. If the zebra plant has any exposure to cold it will cause the plant to drop its leaves. You should provide high humidity of around 65 percent.
Plant in regular potting soil and keep the plant moist but not soggy. Reduce the watering during winter dormancy. The leaves will likely drop from dry soil so cut the plant back hard to rejuvenate it for spring growth.
Feed three times in summer or at half the rate at each watering during its active growth period. Zebra plants seldom need to be be repotted. They seem to bloom better when they are slightly pot-bound. After the plant blooms, remove the flower spike to force it to develop side shoots.
Zebra Plant Propagation
This plant is propagated by removing side shoots, complete with roots, and potting them up. Stem cuttings are also successful.
Pests and diseases: The zebra plant is seldom bothered by any pests.
- ‘Dania’ has silvery veins and yellow-orange flower and is more compact than the species.
- Aphelandra suarrosa louisae has creamy white veins and red-tipped bracts.
- Aphelandra aurantica has orange-scarlet blooms and gray-veined leaves.