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Zebra Plant

SCENTIFIC NAME: Aphelandra squarrosa

CLIMATE (LOCATION): Atlantic Forest - Brazil | Tropical

DESCRIPTION: The Zebra Plant is a small tropical houseplant with shiny, dark green leaves with white lines that look like the stripes on a zebra, which is how it got its name. These leaves are surrounded by bright yellow petals that add a splash of color to its look.

hard difficulty & pet safe

Zebra Plant Plant Care

Lighting

Light Requirement: High Light (Bright Indirect Light)

The Zebra Plant prefers bright, indirect light. Place it near a west or east-facing window to provide the ideal lighting conditions. These plants are native to the tropical regions of Brazil, where they grow under the canopy of larger trees, receiving filtered light. To mimic this natural setting, consider using sheer curtains or blinds to diffuse direct sunlight and prevent leaf burn. If natural light is not an option, you can use a LED grow light to mimic sun light!

Watering

Quick Tip: Water until water comes out of drainage holes. Allow top 2 inches of soil to completely dry between waterings.

Zebra plants need careful hydration in order to flourish inside. These plants prefer to be maintained with consistent, but not excessive, moisture. When the top inch of the soil seems just a little bit dry to the touch, it's crucial to water the Zebra plant. Make sure that the water gets to the root zone without producing too much runoff by using room temperature water and gently pouring it onto the soil. Avoid letting the plant stand in water that is still because this can cause root rot. Keeping the area around the plant adequately damp might also aid in preventing drying out. It is suggested to water the Zebra plant every 7 to 10 days, modifying the frequency based on the environmental factors and the particular requirements of your plant. To maintain a constant amount of moisture without overwatering, regularly check the soil's moisture content and make adjustments as needed.

Temperature

Preferred Temperature: 60º - 80º

Zebra plants prefer mild temperatures of at least 60°F (15°C) at night and 65-80°F (18-27°C) during the day. They prefer damp, but not soggy, soil and need a humid atmosphere. By periodically spraying the leaves, setting a tray of water next to the plant, or using a humidifier, you may ensure that the environment is sufficiently humid. Zebra plants can withstand low light levels but prefer bright, indirect light. It's crucial to keep the plant out of direct sunlight because doing so risks burning the leaves. Also, it's crucial to keep the plant away from temperatures below 55°F (13°C), which can harm it. Research is essential to maintain the best growing circumstances for Zebra plants because they are a unique plant with specialized care needs.

Humidity

Preferred Humidity: 50 - 60%; Moderate Humidity

Zebra plants prefer moderate to high humidity levels. For these plants, a humidity level between 50% and 60% is excellent. The plant may develop brown leaf tips or possibly drop all of its leaves if the air is excessively dry. It is advised to mist the plant's leaves frequently, to keep a humidifier nearby, or to group it with other plants to create a humid microclimate in order to maintain the right humidity levels. Also, keep the plant away from vents that heat or cool the space, as they might dry out the air and kill the plant.

Additional Plant Care

Propagation
Zebra plants can be multiplied with stem cuttings. Make sure the plant has numerous leaves and a node before you take a healthy clipping from it (the point where the leaf meets the stem). Plant it in a well-draining soil mixture, such as a combination of peat moss and perlite, after dipping the cut end in rooting hormone. Maintain the cutting in a warm, humid environment with bright, indirect light, and keep the soil moist. The cutting should start to establish roots and new growth after a few weeks. The new plant can be potted up and maintained like a mature zebra plant once it has established itself well. Zebra plants can also be multiplied through division, though their delicate root systems make this process more challenging.
Toxicity
The Zebra plant is not considered toxic to humans or pets. However, it's always a good idea to keep an eye on pets or children around any plants to ensure they do not ingest large quantities or have any allergic reactions. If you have specific concerns or suspect that someone or a pet has ingested a Zebra plant and is experiencing adverse symptoms, it is best to consult a medical professional or veterinarian for appropriate advice.
Repotting
The Zebra plant needs to be replanted every one to two years to ensure good growth. To repot a Zebra plant, carefully take it out of its current container and gently untangle any roots that are twisted. Remove any broken or dead roots, and get rid of any wilted or brown leaves. Choose a new pot with drainage holes at the bottom that is somewhat larger than the old pot. Fill the bottom of the new pot with a fresh layer of potting soil, preferably a blend of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. Put the plant in the middle of the new pot and add more potting soil until it is level with the earth's surface. Give the plant plenty of water, and let the soil fully drain. Consider putting a dish of water nearby the plant or using a humidifier since zebra plants prefer bright, indirect light and high humidity. After repotting, it's also crucial to avoid overwatering the plant to prevent root rot. Prior to fertilizing, give the plant time to adapt to its new surroundings by waiting a few weeks.
Pruning
Regular trimming helps Zebra plants keep their shape and encourage strong development. When the plant is actively developing in the spring or summer, prune it. Start by removing any stems or leaves that are infected, damaged, or dead. Trim any long, leggy stems back to just above a leaf node after that. Cut back to just above a node that faces the direction you want the new growth to grow in order to promote branching. Pruning shouldn't be done more than a third of the plant's total size at once because doing so can stress the plant. The Zebra plant will bloom more and appear healthier if it receives regular pruning.
Fertilizing
To preserve their health and encourage flowering, Zebra plants need regular fertilization. Throughout the growing season, which is normally spring and summer, use a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer and apply it to the soil every two to three weeks. Avoid overfertilizing the plant, as this can cause salt accumulation in the soil and burn the roots, and carefully follow the recommendations on the fertilizer bottle. To prevent scorching the roots and to avoid fertilizing the plant while it is not actively growing, fully hydrate the plant before applying fertilizer. Consider using a fertilizer made for plants that prefer acidic soil. The Zebra plant can benefit from regular fertilizer to maintain a healthy appearance, encourage new growth, and energize bloom buds for the upcoming season. A fertilizer with a higher phosphorus concentration can also stimulate the plant to develop flowers that are more colorful.
Soil
Zebra plants prefer organically dense, slightly acidic, well-draining soil. Peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite should be mixed in equal amounts with some compost to raise the organic content of the soil. Too much sand can cause the soil to dry up too rapidly. Zebra plants should also be grown in a pot with drainage holes to avoid water building up in the soil, which can lead to root rot. To prevent startling the roots, the soil should be kept consistently moist but not soggy, and the plant should be watered with water that is room temperature. Zebra plants can thrive in the appropriate soil conditions and develop stunning leaves.
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Hanging Heights

Zebra Plant Lighting Requirements: High Light (Bright Indirect Light)

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