Zebra Plant Aphelandra Squarrosa Care And Growing (My Secret Tips)

Zebra Plant Aphelandra Squarrosa Care And Growing | The Zebra plant, in any other case, generally known as Aphelandra squarrosa, is an evergreen shrub, which makes a gorgeous houseplant on account of its evergreen foliage and hanging variegated look. It’s natively discovered within the rainforests of central and South America, the place it thrives within moist and humid situations.

A few of its recognizable options embrace darkish emerald-green leaves, white markings alongside the veins, and a crown of dense saffron-yellow flower bracts. These flower bracts have given this plant the choice title of Saffron Spike, and its many distinctive options make it an ideal decorative plant to show in your house.

While a reasonably temperamental home plant, with an inclination to drop its leaves when not handled appropriately, I consider that correct zebra plant care directions can keep away from any main issues, and the trouble is greater than the value it. This article will let you know precisely what to do to maintain your zebra plant thriving and looking nice.

zebra plant aphelandra squarrosa care

About Zebra Plants

I’ve by no means been an enormous fan of Latin. These lengthy, troublesome to pronounce binomials all the time journey up my tongue. I write them for gardeners who have a curiosity in such issues and, sure, I admit I’ve spouted them off a couple of instances to individuals who suppose gardeners are all overgrown kids who wish to play within the dust, however, the fact is, I favor the extra fanciful widespread names – till I run into one thing like zebra plants. There are two kinds of zebra houseplants and whenever you have a look at their scientific (Latin) classification, you’ll be able to see that Calathea zebrina and Aphelandra squarrosa don’t have anything in common apart from their widespread names.

Aphelandra Zebra Houseplant

Our topic right here is Aphelandra squarrosa. These “zebra crops” are members of a big Brazilian family and of their rain forest habitats, develop into massive, upright shrubs that bloom profusely within the moist, tropical warmth.

This zebra houseplant is understood for its massive, shiny leaves and darkish inexperienced foliage deeply veined in white or yellow, paying homage to zebra stripes, therefore the widespread title. Their brightly colored flowers and bracts make for a prized show. They’re often fairly small on the time of buy and lots of indoor gardeners take into account them a short-lived good friend. Even with glorious zebra plant care, your Aphelandra squarrosa will solely offer you a couple of years of enjoyment, however, don’t despair.

A part of how one can take care of a zebra plant is propagation. New Zebra plants are simply grown from 4- to 6-inch (10-15 cm.) stem cuttings. Take away the underside leaves and stick the stem cuttings instantly into potting medium or right into a glass of water till new roots type. In this manner, your authentic plant can final for many years!

What Size Are Zebra Plants (Aphelandra Squarrosa)?

Zebra crops can develop to be 6 ft tall and 5 ft vast of their natural environment, however when grown indoors, this species sometimes solely reaches a height of 1 to 2 ft. The person’s leaves are oval in form and may grow to be 9 inches in size and a couple of inches in width, whereas the saffron-yellow flower bract can develop to eight inches tall and 2-3 inches wide.

The time it takes for the Zebra plant to succeed in its most size varies enormously relying on the situations that it’s exposed to.

Zebra Plant Light Requirements

Good Zebra plant care requires brilliant mild and they need to be positioned in a well-lit area that receives oblique or filtered light.

By no means expose a Zebra plant to direct daylight and all the time defend the plant from the new afternoon solar as a result of too much direct sun will lead to scorching of the leaves. Bright light is preferable within the spring and summertime months whereas reasonable mild is best within the fall and winter months.

How To Water A Zebra Plant (Aphelandra Squarrosa)

The Zebra plant could be fairly temperamental and requires extra consideration to watering than most plants. Aphelandra squarrosa won’t tolerate excessively moist or dry soil, so you will have to make sure that your watering retains the soil, moist however not excessively wet. Just a little water on a frequent foundation is definitely the best choice for the zebra plant.

If the soil dries out, the leaves of the plant will droop down in a short time. Left without water for an extended period of time, and the depart will begin to drop. In case you do see the leaves of your zebra plant drooping, guarantee to water it right away or attempt to identify every other reason for stress to the plant. As soon as it receives water once more, it’ll bounce right again up, on the condition that it hasn’t gone too long without water.

On account of its temperamental nature, I might suggest using lukewarm water to water aphelandra squarrosa. The water also needs to ideally be mushy water, so if you reside in a tough water space, it’s possible you’ll want to consider utilizing rainwater to water your zebra plant, which may have a decrease degree of dissolved minerals. Something to reduce stress to the zebra plant will improve your success in rising this plant.

What Soil Does A Zebra Plant Need?

Zebra crops thrive in a properly draining, wealthy potting soil and with an excellent quantity of peat moss. Zebra plants develop finest in soil which has excessive natural matter content material, however which drains properly. In apply, an excellent technique is to mix 50-60% peat, with equal elements potting soil and perlite or coarse sand. One other technique to extend drainage is so as to add some stones to the underside of the potting container, as it will assist water drain away from the soil and out of the pot.

zebra plant aphelandra squarrosa care and growing

What Fertilizer Should I Use For Zebra Plants?

A properly balanced, water-soluble fertilizer ought to be used each two to 4 weeks in the course of the warmer months of the 12 months and no fertilizer should be used in the course of the cooler months.

Humidity Requirements

To ensure that this plant thrives, it should be positioned in a moist setting, with superb humidity ranges larger than 60%. Since Zebra crops initially come from the Atlantic Forests of South America, it is very important to mimic these situations as intently as attainable.

Most house environments will naturally have decrease humidity ranges than this, so it’s typically a good suggestion to manually improve the humidity ranges across the plant.

This above-average humidity could be achieved by putting a small humidifier close by the plant, setting the pot on a wide-based mostly drip tray partly crammed with water, misting the plant regularly, or by putting the plant with different home crops, which is able to improve native humidity ranges.

What Temperature Is Best For A Zebra Plant?

Simply as Zebra plants thrive in humid environments, in addition, they thrive in hotter temperatures. Throughout the plant’s period of energetic progress, a temperature of 65-75 °F is good. Throughout the plant’s period of winter relaxation, cooler temperatures are preferred however ought to nonetheless not dip under 50 °F. Typically, it is very important to ensure that the zebra plant shouldn’t be exposed to temperatures under 60 °F for a chronic time frame, as that is more likely to cause leaf dropping as a result of excessive stress positioned on the plant.

Zebra Plant Flowers

The flower of the Zebra plant, an impressive yellow bloom, is certainly one of its most distinguishable options and is claimed to appear to be a bromeliad or a pineapple. The flowers sometimes come within the late summertime and all through the autumn.

Whereas the flowers themselves will solely last for numerous days, the bracts will stay intact for roughly 6 weeks. After that point, it is very important to cut off the saffron-yellow crown instantly and put together the plant for a second bloom. Whereas one other bloom isn’t assured, it will no less than give the plant an affordable probability of producing a second stunning flower.


As time goes on, the Zebra plant can change into leggy and stalky and can subsequently require pruning to trim off the lifeless leaves and take away die again. If and when the Zebra plant is flowering, take away flowers as they die and prune the stems and leaves as quickly because the bract begins to die. The explanation for doing so is to encourage a bushier plant for potential future flowerings and to stop the plant from stretching out as a lot as attainable.


Throughout the springtime, it’s attainable to propagate Zebra crops from each tip cuttings and stem cuttings. To do that, minimize off 2 to 3 inches from the tip or the facet shoots and plant the respective cuttings in a separate combination that’s appropriate for mature plants of this species.

Add loads of moisture to the soil and place it in a moist space that receives brilliant filtered light and has a temperature of about 75 °F. Inside 6 to 8 weeks, there ought to be new progress and typically the cuttings will truly do higher than the unique plant.

Tips For Planting Zebra Plants

Zebra plants make nice indoor plants, in addition to patio and porch crops, and are perfect for pots and containers. Since this plant grows upright, it’s best to plant them in pots that might be taller than their vast. That stated, Zebra crops will also be extremely difficult to lift and therefore require particular care.

Ideas for planting embrace rotating the pot regularly to make sure that the plant doesn’t start to lean into the light because it grows, misting the plant typically to extend the humidity, and pinching out the guidelines of the plant to make it much less leggy and extra bushy.

Repotting Zebra Plants

Every year, sometimes in the course of the springtime, Zebra plants ought to be repotted in a contemporary mixture of potting soil to initiate a new wave of flowering. Keep away from a pot that offers the zebra plant an excessive amount of house, as they do best when the roots are stored pretty compact. In case your zebra plant has been particularly crowded, go for a pot solely slightly greater.

When re-potting the Zebra plant, take away the outdated potting combination from the roots of the plant as a lot as attainable, being cautious to not hurt the plant’s roots within the course of.

Relying on the size of the plant that you’re attempting to cultivate, it’s typically an excellent technique to prune a zebra plant again to a single pair of wholesome leaves earlier than repotting. This tends to stimulate new progress, retains the plant extra compact and comely, and sometimes leads to a number of important shoots growing, which is able to lead to increased numbers of engaging flowers later within the year.

Varieties Of Aphelandra Squarrosa

There are a number of varieties of the Aphelandra squarrosa. Each of the Aphelandra squarrosa Louise and the Aphelandra squarrosa Brockfeld are extra compact variations of the first species.

The Aphelandra squarrosa Dania has leaves that might be barely silver in color and it is usually identified to be probably the most difficult selection to make bloom.

The Aphelandra squarrosa Frintz Prinsler is understood for having a hanging look which is attributable to its stunning leaf-veining and very sharp distinction of colors.

Lastly, the Aphelandra squarrosa Apollo boasts a dramatic white venation whereas the Aphelandra squarrosa Purple Apollo presents a touch of crimson in its stem and the undersides of its leaves.

zebra plant aphelandra squarrosa care and growing

What Diseases And Pests Are The Zebra Plant Prone To?

Zebra crops are usually not proof against diseases or pests and may such issues come up, this species requires correct consideration and care to fend off potential issues. Though the excessive humidity that Zebra plants love a lot retains many pests away, it might probably additionally bring on quite a lot of fungal issues.

An excessive amount of light may cause crinkly and curly leaves whereas too dry soil may cause growing tricks to wilt.

As for pests, whitefly infestation is a typical downside with Zebra plants, leading to little yellow spots on the leaves of the crops.

One other infestation downside is with fungus gnats, which make the Zebra plant weak and slows its progress drastically.

Mealybugs, or plant-sucking pests, are one other problem that leads to white clusters on the stems of the Zebra plant.

Equally, aphids are sap-sucking bugs that feed on the undersides of outdated and new leaves. To rid a Zebra plant of such pests, use a cotton swab that has been soaked in rubbing alcohol to wipe the creatures off, then spray the leaves with water and deal with them with a systemic insecticide.

Are Zebra Plants Toxic?

The Zebra plant is protected for households with young children and it’s not poisonous to cats, dogs, or different animals. Whereas the plant shouldn’t be stated to be toxic to those creatures, individuals with allergic reactions or delicate pores and skin have reported slight pores and skin irritation from the sap produced by Zebra plants. Due to this fact, it’s a good suggestion to put on gloves when dealing with the plant or trimming off its lifeless leaves.

How can I save my dying Zebra plant?

Because of the temperamental nature of those plants and the care that’s required for them to thrive, it’s not unusual for Zebra plants to begin wanting unwell. The almost certainly culprits are lack of sunshine or an excessive amount of direct mild, an excessive amount of or not sufficient moisture, or too little humidity. Pests also need to be thought about, so be sure you study your plant carefully.

One of the best ways to avoid wasting a dying zebra plant is to keep away from this situation in the first place. For anybody getting a zebra plant, my recommendation can be to be very attentive for the primary 4-6 weeks, responding shortly to any indicators of stress or poor plant health. In this manner, you’ll in a short time learn to keep your plant happy, and it will assist you to hold the plant in good well being for a very long time.

Why can’t I bring my Zebra plant into bloom?

Zebra plants are usually not the simplest crops to get to bloom they usually truly don’t bloom fairly often. That said, you’ll be able to encourage blooming by increasing the quantity of sunshine that the plant receives all through the day, making certain that the right temperature and humidity situations are met, and eradicating any lifeless flowers from the present crown.

How long will my Zebra plant live?

Zebra plants are stated to be perennial, which means that they will reside for a few years, nonetheless, these plants require a substantial amount of love and care to reside such an extended and healthy life. With propagation, Zebra plants can hypothetically reside without end.

Maybe you need to know how one can take care of a zebra plant, or perhaps how one can get zebra plant to bloom, however earlier than you could find the solutions to questions on zebra pant care, it’s essential to find out which zebra plant you’ve got sitting in your window.

Getting Aphelandra Zebra Plant to Bloom

If you want to learn how to get the Aphelandra zebra plant to bloom, it’s essential to perceive the pure rhythm of the plant. In case you’re considering buying a plant, find one whose bracts are simply starting to type.

In early winter, your plant will go into semi-dormancy. Growth shall be minimal, and luckily for these of us who reside in colder climates, the plant truly likes temperatures slightly decrease than regular. Don’t let the soil fully dry out, however water rather less regularly. By late winter, you’ll see new progress and may water with a weak fertilizer answer every two weeks.

As soon as facet shoots develop and new flower heads could be seen, transfer your plant to the brightest attainable space and water generously.

Summer season is the time for bloom, and it’s the bracts that present the yellow, orange, or red-tinged ‘flower.’  The true flowers die inside days, however, the colorful bracts can stay for months. As soon as these start to die, they need to be eliminated and the plant in the reduction of to permit room for future new progress and the yearly cycle begins once more.

Aphelandra squarrosa makes a beautiful zebra houseplant. The intriguing foliage and the manufacturing of the gorgeous bracts are your rewards for the care you give your plant.

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