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Aphelandra Squarrosa: Zebra Houseplant

Aphelandra Squarrosa: Zebra Houseplant

Looking to add to your plant jungle? Meet Aphelandra Squarrosa, commonly known as the Zebra plant. Prized for their dark, thick leaves, deeply veined white and yellow stripes, and brightly coloured flowers!

A tropical houseplant originating from the rain forests of Brazil, Zebra plants naturally grow as large upright shrubs with profuse bloom. Soaking up tropical rainstorms, the Zebra plant lives on the jungle floor, gratefully protected by the canopy of trees providing the ideal temperature, humidity level, and dappled indirect light. 

Aphelandra Squarrosa offers intriguing foliage that is sure to be a head-turning, conversation starter in your home! With proper care, your plant will reward you with beautiful bracts and blooms for years to come!


Light: indirect light or partial shade

Water: Ensure consistently moist soil, by watering your Zebra plant to saturation every few weeks, allowing the water to completely penetrate the soil until it runs out of your container’s drainage holes. Falling leaves is a sign of too much water. 

Temperature & Humidity: Zebra plants thrive in moderate and consistent temperatures—60 F or higher. Humidity is key for keeping your Zebra plant happy, so choose a place in your home with high humidity (ie. bathroom, or kitchen) or you can increase moisture levels by using a humidifier, misting regularly, or placing your plant on a pebble tray. 

Fertilizer: This will help your Zebra plant grow and increase its ability to flower. During Spring and early Summer feed every one or two weeks using a general-purpose houseplant fertilizer. Yellow flowers could bloom in late summer, early fall depending on your plant’s environment. 

Propagation: Part of caring for your Zebra plant involves propagation, this allows for your original plant to last for decades. The perfect time to do it is in the Spring, Cut 3-6″ stems from the side shoots of your Zebra plant and stick them into a glass of water or a pot filled with moist soil. Ensure the baby plant is exposed to high levels of humidity so it can establish a strong root system. Give the plant a month for roots to take and watch for new leaves. 


  • Early winter – Your plant will enter semi-dormancy is it time to water less frequently, however, do not allow the soil to completely dry out.
  • Late Winter – Should be able to see some new growth and begin to water with a weak fertilizer solution every two weeks. 
  • Early Spring – When new shoots and flower heads develop, move your plant to the brightest possible area and water generously
  • Summer/Fall – This is when you may spot bracts and blooms. When in bloom a Zebra plant bears tall golden bracts that last up to six weeks. Deadhead spent blooms and bracts to make room for new growth.
Tags: Houseplants

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