Calathea Zebrina Plant Information
The name “Zebrina” comes from the Latin word “zebra”, which means snake. These plants are native to Africa and they have been cultivated for centuries in many parts of the world. They were introduced into Europe during the 1600’s. There are two species of calathea zebrina, C. zebra and C.
flamestrata (C. floridana). Both species grow well in most climates. The calathea zebrina is native to South America and it grows best in hot and dry areas. However, it can tolerate some drought conditions if the soil pH is neutral or slightly alkaline.
Zebra plants require a cool place with good drainage to thrive. They prefer moist but not soggy soils. Their growth habit is slow growing and they need space between each plant to avoid competition for light and water resources.
These plants are not invasive. They do not compete with other houseplants for space, light or nutrients. If you want to keep them out of your home, then you will have to provide those things yourself. You can’t just buy one at Home Depot!
How To Care For And Grow Calathea Zebra
These plants will thrive in a variety of bright light conditions. Normal to bright kitchen and bathroom lighting will be fine for them. Avoid placing them in drafty areas like entryways or direct sunlight, which could cause leaf burn.
The calathea zebra plant doesn’t tolerate cold drafts well so it should not be placed near doors or windows. These plants prefer warmer temperatures than most other plants. They make great houseplants.
These plants like to be watered thoroughly and then not watered again until the top inch of soil is dry. They can tolerate some under watering but they don’t like to be over watered. Brown tips are a sign of overwatering.
They are sensitive to fluoride and chlorine so you’ll want to use filtered water on these plants. The calathea zebra does not need to be fed regularly or at all.
These plants are prone to mealybugs, aphids, and scale. You can treat them with insecticidal soap to get rid of these pests.
They are not prone to many diseases but watch out for root rot and fungal rots caused by high humidity or poor drainage.
Zebra Plant Propagation
You can reproduce these plants by cuttings. Cuttings root easily and quickly. Place a cutting in some propagation medium and cover it with a plastic sandwich bag until it develops its first set of leaves. Then you can harden off the cutting and plant it in soil. Cuttings should be placed in warmth, filtered light, and kept moist until they root.
Because these plants are so easy to reproduce from cuttings you could always get several of them and try breeding different types together to create your own special hybrid plant!
Zebra Plant Uses
These plants are rarely used for anything other than décor. They have no known medicinal or culinary purposes.
These glossy plants look great sitting on a table or nightstand. They accent almost any decor. Combine them with other houseplants for a wonderful bright and green look.
Their ornamental value makes them great housewarming gifts for plant lovers or people that just like nice things.
Zebra Plant Care Conclusion
These plants are low maintenance and high style. They’re very adaptable and can thrive in most conditions.
Whichever type of zebra plant you decide to grow, you can be sure it’s going to look great and add a little something extra to your home.
Other types of calathea you might want to check out are the galaxy plant and the cotton leaf. They’re also low maintence and can take a little more neglect than many other common houseplants.
Zebra Plant Pictures Gallery
Zebra Plant Video
Calathea zebra plant video.
Zebra Plant Additional Information
Scientific name: Calathea zebra
Difficulty: Very Easy
Light Requirements: Bright, indirect sunlight.
Pots & Containers: Best in hanging baskets. Does well in most standard pots. Does not like to have its roots disturbed, so it’s best potted in a hanging basket where you can just water and fertilize the entire pot rather than having to repot it.
Soil: Loose, well-draining soil.
Fertilizer: Slow-release fertilizer for houseplants applied at half strength every few weeks.
Decorations: They look great all by themselves but you can also add other types of plants to contrast their sizes and leaf shapes.
Special Features: Calathea zebras are some of the most interesting and easy to care for houseplants. They like the warm and a bit of sunlight but don’t require as much attention as other plants do. They make great companions for other plants or they can easily hold their own as the “star” of the show.
Sources & references used in this article:
Using the Surface Features of Plant Matter to Create All-Polymer Pseudocapacitors with High Areal Capacitance by DG Hessayon – 1996 – Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
Encyclopedia of House Plants by L Zhang, TL Andrew – ACS applied materials & interfaces, 2018 – ACS Publications
Growing indoor plants with success by N Vermeulen – 1999 – books.google.com
Indoor Gardening the Organic Way: How to Create a Natural and Sustaining Environment for Your Houseplants by SV Pennisi – 2009 – athenaeum.libs.uga.edu
Research and development and innovations in floriculture: lessons from the market giants for developing countries like Sri Lanka by PB HOUNSHELL, GM MADRAZO – The Science Teacher, 1978 – JSTOR