Common Name: Zebra Plant
Botanical Name: Aphelandra squarrosa' Dania'
Zebra Plants strike your wild-child chord with white-striped leaves and emerald green tones. This indoor plant lets out a roar when it produces fluffy yellow flowers that last for weeks! Aphelandra squarrosa' Dania' has a few care requirements, and if you provide them, your Zebra Plant will add glorious texture and whimsy to your home. Read more to learn how to care for these striking indoor plants!
The ideal spot for your Zebra Plant is in bright indirect light, encouraging frequent blooms. Aphelandra can handle low light, but increased light can help maintain the vivid colors and patterns on the foliage. Try to provide at least 6 hours of filtered light each day if you are looking for a show-stopping flower display! Direct sunlight can damage the leaves and may cause the colors to fade. If your Zebra Plant does suffer from too much sun exposure, relocate it to a setting protected from the sun's direct rays, and eventually, the leaves will (cross your fingers) grow back!
Aphelandra Squarrosa' Dania' needs moist soil, and it will tell you that you are slacking in your watering obligations by dropping its leaves. Thoroughly water these indoor plants when the top few inches of the soil are dry. Zebra Plants do best in well-draining soil and containers with drainage holes. Be careful; while they love to get their drink on, they still like to dry out a bit between watering. Tap water may contain different minerals, salts, or compounds that can damage the leaves. Brown edges along the leaves indicate that the water is high in salt or contains chlorine, chloramine, bromide, or fluoride. It may be best to water the plant using filtered or distilled water or water collected from a dehumidifier if you suspect tap water is unsuitable for your Zebra Plant.
Potting soil rich in nutrients and organic matter but still can drain well is the perfect growing medium for most houseplants, including Aphelandra squarrosa. Most coco coir or peat-based potting soil mixes will be adequate, but ensure they do not contain water-retentive crystals as they can cause the soil to stay moist, causing root rot continually. If you are feeling adventurous, try creating your own potting soil!
As tropical plants, Aphelandra squarrosa like warmer temperatures. Average room temperature above 65°F is acceptable, but these indoor plants won't mind if it gets warmer and the temperature creeps closer to 80°F. Be sure to provide air circulation when the air is hot, as high temperatures can invite unwanted pests from settling on the foliage. Avoid placing them near exterior doors, drafty windows, and vents, particularly during the colder months. Make sure to avoid placement near cooling vents during the warmer months. Zebra Plants are extremely sensitive to cold temperatures, so try your best to keep them warm!
High humidity is a must-have for Zebra Plants. The leaves may begin to curl, or the edges will turn brown and dry out if they do not receive enough humidity. These indoor plants can grow well in a kitchen, bathroom, or any area with extra moisture in the air. Using a humidifier or a pebble tray with water can help give them the extra moisture they crave. Learn how to increase the humidity in the air around your indoor plants!
A complete liquid fertilizer diluted to 1/4 of the recommended strength is a good option for fertilizing your Zebra Plant (every 2-3 weeks during the growing season). When re-potting, you can also amend the soil with worm castings or any organic compost of your choice in the spring or early summer! These indoor plants should not be fertilized during the colder months when the plant is dormant.
Aphelandra squarrosa Dania can reach a mature height of 1-2' tall and equally as wide when you properly maintain them! These houseplants are relatively short-lived, but you can propagate the cuttings to create new plants!
Pet Friend or Foe
Zebra Plants are considered non-toxic to pets but may be harmful if ingested in large amounts. Friend (with caution)!
- Zebra Plants are moisture-loving plants, but over-watering is still a concern and can introduce a host of problems. Making sure the plants receive lots of bright indirect light can help regulate the dampness while allowing the plant to thrive.
- If you notice the leaves drooping, check the soil for dryness and water if needed. If the leaves do not perk up after a day or two, you might need to increase the humidity!
- Aphelandra squarrosa Dania can be propagated easily in water. Please wait a few weeks to see roots develop and plant them into fresh soil!
- Rotate your Zebra Plant to promote a full, balanced indoor plant.
- Always check the leaves (top and bottom) during your care sessions. Check for unwanted guests (pests and diseases).
- Learn how to use neem oil to prevent or remove pests!