Aphelandra squarrosa, commonly known as the Zebra plant, boasts stunning foliage and vibrant yellow flowers. While it can be a bit finicky to grow, the effort is rewarded with its striking appearance and unique charm. It's important to note that there are various "Zebra" plants available, so identifying by its scientific name ensures the right care.

  • Safe for pets and children
  • Repot once every 2 years
  • Fertilize every every other week
  • Bright, indirect light
  • Average water

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About the Aphelandra


The Aphelandra squarrosa, commonly known as the Zebra Plant, is native to the Atlantic forests of Brazil, where it thrives in the warm and humid climate.

Air Purification

The Zebra plant is not known for its air purifying abilities.


While the Zebra plant is not considered toxic to humans or pets, its sap may cause mild skin irritation. We recommend wearing gloves when handling or repotting the plant to avoid any potential discomfort.

How to care for an Aphelandra


Zebra plants are quite particular about their watering needs. They are sensitive to both over-watering and under-watering, so it's crucial to maintain consistently moist soil—neither too dry nor too soggy. A recommended watering method is to give the plant a thorough soak once a month in the sink, allowing excess water to drain completely. Between these monthly sessions, provide weekly watering, ensuring a slow, thorough watering until water begins to trickle out from the pot's drainage holes. Reduce the frequency of watering in the winter months to accommodate for the plant's slow growth.

Lighting and Placement

Light plays a crucial role in the health and flowering of your Zebra plant. For optimal blooming, aim for indirect sunlight. Additionally, maintaining temperatures between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius and humidity levels between 60% to 70% is ideal. To boost humidity, consider placing the plant on a pebble tray—simply fill a tray with pebbles and water, ensuring the plant's roots do not come into direct contact with the water. Avoid placing the plant near open windows or air ducts to prevent exposure to drafts.


In the spring and summer months, your Zebra plant will experience increased growth and may benefit from weekly feeding with a balanced liquid fertilizer. This will promote healthy foliage and encourage flower growth.


Repot your Zebra plant as needed or every other year to ensure optimal growth and health. When you notice the plant becoming root-bound or outgrowing its current container, it's time to consider repotting. Choose a pot that's slightly larger than the current one to accommodate the roots comfortably. Use a well-draining potting mix to prevent waterlogging.

Pruning and Flowering

Give your Zebra plant a thorough pruning in early spring to maintain a compact, bushy shape and prevent leggy growth. Regular pruning also stimulates flower production. As the fall approaches and the flowers fade, trim off the spent flower bracts to keep your plant looking tidy and encourage new growth.

Aphelandra Help


The Zebra plant requires specific care conditions to thrive, including bright, indirect light, consistently moist soil, and a warm, humid environment. Failure to meet these requirements can lead to various ailments in this finicky plant. Inadequate light may cause leaf drop, while excessive sunlight can result in curled leaves. Additionally, insufficient watering may lead to brown leaf tips. Maintaining optimal conditions is crucial for the health and well-being of your Zebra plant.

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