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Zebra Plant

The zebra plant features dramatic dark green leaves with bold white striping. It’s a higher care plant that can pay off big with its high-contrast leaves and statuesque form. In the proper conditions, zebra plants can sprout bright yellow, spiked flower clusters that can last up to 6 weeks!

How to care for your Zebra Plant

Use these instructions to care for a Zebra Plant. This guide will tell you how to water a Zebra Plant; its light, temperature, humidity preferences and any additional care it might need to help it grow.

Zebra Plant


Your zebra plant thrives in bright, indirect light. It can tolerate a couple of hours of direct morning sunlight, but avoid long periods of direct sun and especially direct afternoon sun, which can cause the leaves to scorch. Zebra plants are not adaptable to low light.


Water your zebra plant when the top 25% of soil is dry. Water thoroughly, and be sure to empty the saucer of any excess water to prevent root rot. Avoid watering directly on the leaves, as water can funnel down the stems and cause crown rot.


Your zebra plant requires a high humidity level of 60-70%. In lower humidity environments, the leaf edges will brown, new leaves may not develop properly, and the plant will not thrive. Group plants together to create a humid microclimate, place a humidifier nearby, or use a pebble tray to raise the humidity. Keep the plant away from air vents, which can be drying. A large humidity dome with a vent may be helpful.


Your zebra plant prefers temperatures at 65°F and above to thrive. Avoid cold drafts and sudden temperature changes.


For best results, use a liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength once every 1-2 weeks during the spring and summer. Never apply fertilizer to dry soil; always make sure the soil is damp before feeding your plant.


Your zebra plant is considered to be non-toxic to pets and humans.


Though the zebra plant is considered non-toxic, the sap can irritate sensitive skin, so we recommend wearing gloves when handling this plant. Under the right conditions, your zebra plant may produce multiple flower spikes. The showy, bright yellow flowers are actually called bracts, a type of modified leaf structure, and can remain on the plant for up to 6 weeks. When the bracts start to brown, just cut the stem down as close to the base of the plant as possible. Your plant will go into a resting period after flowering, during which it will use less water. You should also pause fertilizing during this resting period until you see new leaf growth.

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What's a Zebra Plant?

Botanical Classification: Aphelandra squarrosa


Reaching up to 6’ tall in its native home of eastern Brazil, the zebra plant is an understory tropical plant. It’s grown as a houseplant that typically reaches 1-2’ tall and wide. With very specific care preferences, we recommend the zebra plant for plant parents who enjoy spending time monitoring their plants’ progress. Grown indoors, it requires supplemental humidity. Zebra plants prefer bright, indirect light, and aren’t very adaptable to other lighting situations.

Pictured Left: Zebra Plant

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