The zebra plant is a member of a large plant family that is native to Brazil, which, in its native habitat, grow into upright shrubs. Zebra plants are known for their variegated foliage of dark green leaves with yellow stripes. Under optimal conditions, they bloom with orange flowers.
Zebra plants need medium light to grow well. To produce flowers, they may need additional artificial light. They also prefer a potting mix that is kept evenly moist; however, you should avoid wetting a zebra plant's leaves since leaf spot fungus can become a problem.
Zebra plants are tropical, so they need warm temperatures, but they will tolerate household temperatures in Colorado. Keep the room temperature at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 55 to 60 degrees at night, and place the plants away from cold and drafts. Zebra plants will thrive in 40 to 80 percent humidity. Fertilize your zebra plant every month with a half-strength solution of an all-purpose soluble fertilizer. Use a potting mix with that drains well.
Zebra plants may be propagated from four- to six-inch stem cuttings with the bottom leaves removed. Stick the stem cutting directly into potting mix or place it in a glass of water until roots begin to form, then plant the cutting. Zebra plants occasionally attract pests, including mealybugs, aphids, scale and spider mites.
For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).
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Updated Tuesday, November 19, 2013