Zebra house plants (Aphelandra squarrosa) have spectacular foliage and exotic looking flowers. The nickname Zebra plant comes from its large, dark green, shiny leaves that have a bold white midrib and white veins. The stems of the leaves have a purple tinge. The bright yellow flowers on a Zebra plant emerge from bracts at the end of a long stem.
Zebra plants require very bright indirect light but no direct sun, especially if you want them to bloom.
Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and never allow the soil to totally dry out. Bottom leaves drop off a Zebra plant when it is over or under -watered.
Zebra plants prefer temperatures between 65°-75°. Prolonged exposure to temperatures below 60° causes leaves to fall off.
Zebra plants, native to the jungles of Brazil, like very high humidity. If necessary, place your Zebra plant on a tray of wet pebbles to help increase the moisture in the air around it. Be sure the plant is sitting on the pebbles and not in the water.
A Zebra plant produces flowers from a four sided yellow spike made up of overlapping bracts. The yellow flowers only last a few days, but the attractive bracts of a Zebra plant last for a month or two. Once the bright yellow bract fades, remove the entire flower spike.
Though somewhat pest resistant, whitefly, Mealy Bugs, Aphids, scale, and spider mites can all be a problem. The high humidity a Zebra plant prefers encourages Fungal leaf spot disease. You can prevent this problem by keeping the leaves dry and providing good air circulation.
Zebra plants are non- poisonous.