Care of Zebra Plants


Zebra plant (Aphelandra squarrosa) is a dramatic houseplant that will be sure to brighten up your indoor environment with its big yellow-striped leaves. The zebra plant is a lush tropical plant, and isn't difficult to grow, but it will require a bit of extra tender loving care to keep it at its leafy best. Like all tropical indoor plants, heat, humidity and sunlight are all-important in care of the zebra plant.

Step 1

Place zebra plant where it will be exposed to moderate sunlight for at least six to eight hours each day. Avoid putting the zebra plant directly in a sunny window. Put it 2 to 3 feet away from the window, or shade the window with a sheer curtain. If necessary, supplement available light with a grow light.

Step 2

Keep the soil constantly moist and don't let it dry out between waterings. Make sure the planting container has a drainage hole in the bottom, and never allow the container to sit in water.

Step 3

Provide a high level of humidity for the zebra plant. Put a layer of pebbles in a plate or tray, and set the zebra plant on top of the pebbles. Add water to the pebbles, but keep the level of water low so the water doesn't touch the bottom of the planting container. Don't allow water to splash on the leaves

Step 4

Feed the zebra plant every month during spring and summer, using a liquid houseplant fertilizer that has been diluted to half strength. Withhold fertilizer during fall and winter.

Step 5

Keep the zebra plant in a warm environment. Daytime temperatures should be maintained at approximately 70 degrees F, with nighttime temperatures between 55 and 60 degrees. Avoid placing the zebra plant near drafty windows, air conditioners or heating vents.

Things You'll Need

  • Sheer curtain (optional)
  • Grow light (optional)
  • Planting container with drainage hole
  • Pebbles
  • Plate or tray
  • Liquid houseplant fertilizer


  • Colorado State University Extension: Plant Talk Colorado: Zebra Plant
  • North Dakota State University: Questions on Misc. Houseplants
Keywords: zebra plant, houseplant, indoor plant

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.