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A Deep Dive into the Zebra Plant (Calathea Zebrina)

Step into the lush realm of houseplants, where leaves aren't just leaves—they're stories waiting to be told! Today, let's cast the spotlight on the Calathea Zebrina, affectionately known as the Zebra Plant. Its enchanting foliage and distinctive features make it a true showstopper in the world of botanical wonders. From the wild patterns adorning its leaves to the nightly dance it performs, the Zebra Plant isn't just a houseplant; it's a living masterpiece that adds a touch of the jungle to your living space.

General Care


The Zebra Plant, much like a diva, demands the perfect spotlight – bright, indirect light. It thrives in conditions mimicking its native rainforest habitat, so find a cozy spot away from harsh sunlight. Whether you place it near an east or north-facing window, this plant will thank you with vibrant green leaves adorned with zebra-like stripes.


Zebra Plants prefer their soil to be consistently moist but not waterlogged. Allow the top inch of the soil to dry out before reaching for the watering can. A moderate watering routine, keeping the soil evenly moist during the growing season, is the secret to a happy Zebra Plant. 


If your home has a touch of tropical humidity, your Zebra Plant will feel right at home. Mimic the rainforest atmosphere by misting its leaves or placing a tray of water nearby. For an extra touch, consider a humidifier. 


Zebra Plants fancy well-draining soil that retains some moisture. A mix of peat-based soil with perlite or sand provides the ideal feast for its roots. Repotting every 1-2 years during spring allows your Zebra Plant to stretch its roots and continue its journey towards becoming a lush, jungle-inspired masterpiece.

Common Problems and Solutions

Brown Tips

If the leaf tips start browning, it's time for a moisture check. The Zebra Plant is sensitive to both over and underwatering. Adjust your watering routine, ensuring the soil stays consistently moist, but not waterlogged. A humidity boost can also work wonders in preventing those dreaded brown tips.

Curling Leaves

Curling leaves can signal a cry for help – your Zebra Plant might be feeling a bit parched. Increase humidity by misting, using a humidity tray, or placing it near other moisture-loving plants. Your Zebra Plant will unfold its leaves in gratitude for the extra moisture.

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves might suggest your Zebra Plant is getting too much light. While it craves brightness, direct sunlight can scorch its delicate leaves. Move it to a shadier spot and watch as its foliage regains its lush green colour.

Fun Facts

  1. Night-time Performance: The Zebra Plant has a unique party trick – its leaves fold up at night, revealing a different pattern on the underside. It's like a secret midnight dance in the jungle!
  2. Air-Purifying Marvel: Besides being a visual delight, the Zebra Plant is an excellent air purifier. It filters out common household pollutants, contributing to a cleaner and healthier indoor environment.
  3. Nature's Thermostat: This plant is not just a pretty face; it's a natural thermostat. The leaves respond to temperature changes, curling up when it's too cold and relaxing when it's just right.

Continue your botanical adventure and read up on the Rattlesnake Plant here!

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