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How to Care for a Zebra Plant

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017

The zebra plant is a tropical plant with glossy green and white leaves that is native to the tropical areas of South America. The plant will produce a yellow spike bloom that is not fragrant and is considered a woody shrub. The plants are commonly used as houseplants. However, in USDA growing zones 10-11, they will grow outdoors in shaded conditions.

Care of the Zebra Plant

Plant the zebra plant for indoor use in a container that allows room for root growth. The ideal size is 1 inch larger in diameter than the root ball. Indoor zebra plants will need transplanting periodically as growth slows down because of being root bound.

Plant zebra plants outdoors in a hole that is twice the size of the plant's root ball and the same depth as the container the plant is presently in. Add compost to the hole to increase moisture retention. Remove the plant from the container and separate the roots. Place the plant in the hole and fill with soil by lightly packing it around the plant.

Place zebra plants in a location that provides filtered light and protection from the hot afternoon sun. Place an indoor plant in a location that offers bright light but not direct sunlight. Plant zebra plants outdoors under trees that provide light filtering with leaf cover.

Fertilize zebra plants every two weeks with a water soluble fertilizer that is quick release. Provide a winter rest period by not fertilizing during the months of October through February as this will initiate new bloom growth.

Water zebra plants regularly so the soil is moist, but not wet. Water generously when the top 2 inches of soil become dry. Check the plant regularly as environmental factors affect soil dryness.

Mulch outdoor zebra plants to maintain soil moisture. The plants should be watered a minimum of once a week when there is less than 1 inch of rainfall per week.


Things You Will Need

  • Zebra plant
  • Container
  • Compost
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • Mulch


  • Water indoor zebra plants by submerging the lower holes of the pot into water. Allow the plant to soak up the desired amount of water and remove from submersion.
  • Remove the bloom spike once the flower has faded in color.
  • Do not allow a zebra plant to wilt from under watering because it will cause the lower leaves to fall from the plant.

About the Author


Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.