Aphelandra squarrosa, which gets its name from its zebra-like leaf, has large, dark-green leaves with white stripes that stand out against the dark green background. This plant, which is mostly cultivated for its eye-catching leaf, is native to tropical North, Central, and South America, where it is a common evergreen shrub that thrives in damp forests.
The Zebra plant can only be cultivated inside, where it prefers filtered light hidden behind a transparent curtain or being positioned a few feet away from a sunny window, because it is not winter-hardy in our region. The Zebra plant will thrive best in direct, bright sunlight or partial shade, and will bloom more frequently with higher light exposure. When a bloom dies, don’t forget to remove the flower spikes to keep the plant from using all of its energy to produce seeds.
Although aphelandras typically flower in the fall, creating spikes of vividly colored bracts, they may be made to bloom at any time of year under the correct circumstances. These plants, known as “Photo accumulators will only generate leaves if the light is too low and require a specific number of days of high light to flower.
Zebra plants don’t typically bloom very frequently, but they can be persuaded to do so by extending their exposure to light during the day. Flowers frequently begin to form after twelve weeks of good light.
Although the golden yellow bracts produced by Aphelandra squarrosa louisae can grow to be 4 inches long and continue for a long time, the plant is worth growing even when it is not in bloom due to its stunning leaves.
Zebra plants can be difficult to water since too much or too little water can soon cause the leaves to fall off. Remembering that this plant prefers to be kept moist, water when the top of the soil just begins to feel dry. Avoid wetting its leaves, and wipe off any water that does happen to land there. Less water is required in the winter and after the plant has blossomed.
This plant adores being placed over a tray of stones or in the high humidity of a bathroom or kitchen. A lack of water will cause significant drooping and the loss of lower leaves.
It’s crucial to fertilize your Zebra plant frequently. Feed your plant once a week during the spring and summer growing seasons. Every spring, repot established plants into a slightly bigger pot. Try using an African violet potting soil when repotting a zebra plant because it prefers a rich soil that holds water.
When completely developed, your plant should be between 1 and 2 feet tall. You can take some stem cuttings in the spring after about three years, or when the plant starts to lose its charm. Cut cuttings that are 4 to 6 inches long and set them in a perlite and damp peat moss mixture. Place the pot in indirect sunlight and cover it with plastic to maintain moisture within. Since older specimens frequently decay and fresh plants can be easily raised from cuttings, it is advised to propagate periodically.
Since my Zebra plant is now many years old and is beginning to look a little lanky, I intend to take numerous cuttings this spring. I’m curious to find out if the original plant will produce new leaves lower on the stem or if I’ll only get cutting-derived plants.
Under typical room conditions, the Zebra plant could be a little challenging to cultivate, but the effort is well worth it. Every now and again, it’s a good idea to try growing something that presents a little bit more of a challenge. We all feel at ease growing the same old, dependable houseplants that we’ve had for years and appear to thrive despite our negligence. The future? A stunning flower spike that will undoubtedly brighten your day might be your reward!
For the bus ride to the Philadelphia Flower Show, seats are still available “On March 4, 2010, the Great Kills Garden Club sponsored Passport to the World. The cost of the bus and entertainment is $60. For reservations, call 718-351-9205.
The Great Kills Garden Club’s former president and a former director of the First District Federated Garden Clubs of New York State is Lee Gugliada.
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How can a wilting zebra plant be revived?
Have you noticed that your plant has started to droop more recently? A sudden or extreme drooping indicates a water shortage in the plant.
Zebra plants often require watering twice weekly when they are actively growing (in spring and early summer). This can be decreased to once per week during their rest time.
The finger test can be used to inspect the compost and determine whether it is receiving enough water if you are unsure of when you last watered.
Insert your finger.
Has the top inch dried out or is it still moist? A nice drink should help the compost recover if it feels dry and dusty because these plants need their compost to be hydrated at all times.
What does a zebra plant look like when it is overwatered?
Increase the frequency of watering your zebra plant to try to solve this issue. But be careful not to overwater, as this can make it worse. In general, they should receive a thorough watering, covering all of the soil areas, once a month. Make sure the plant is not close to a heating vent and that the soil is moist.
Any damaged or dead leaves should be clipped off, and the top layer of soil should always be moist. Water can also be added as needed. If your zebra plant is receiving too much water, the leaves will begin to turn yellow and translucent. The leaves decay, get discolored, and are easily blown off by too much water. These kinds of plants may find it difficult or impossible to recover from overwatering. If this occurs, reduce watering and get rid of the damaged leaves because they won’t survive.
Unbelievably, these plants may also get sunburned. Zebra plants may get brown spots if they spend a lot of time in direct sunlight. Never leave plants in direct sunlight as this can result in lasting damage to them. Although it would appear perfect, a sunny window is not the best location for a zebra plant.
How can you recognize a fading zebra plant?
You might find the answers to the following frequently asked questions on cultivating zebra plants useful (and my answers to them).
Why are the leaves on my zebra plant curling? Too much light is nearly typically the culprit for curled leaves. Relocate the plant to a more shaded area; ideally, a south or west window with a sheer drape to screen the light is excellent. While a north-facing window can be used, it will not produce enough light. Stay out of the sun.
Why are the leaves on my zebra plant yellow? Overwatering or underwatering nearly always results in yellow foliage. But too much light can also scorch the leaves, turning them yellow. Make sure the soil is regularly moist, never waterlogged or wet. If the soil seems dry at a depth of about 1 inch after sticking your finger into it, water it. Never let the soil dry out.
How can I determine whether my zebra plant needs water? Your zebra plant needs water if the top inch of soil feels dry when you stick your finger into it. Drooping leaves or wilting leaves that fall to the ground would be another indication. This plant will die if you allow it to become completely dry, so be careful to monitor it and water it as needed.
How frequently do I need to water a zebra plant?
When the potting dirt around zebra succulents has sufficiently dried out, water them. The zebra plant’s typical watering needs are met by giving it a good soak once every two to three weeks to prevent root rot. Before watering your zebra succulent, make sure the soil is dry.
Knowing how frequently to water zebra succulents, also known as zebra Haworthia and Haworthiopsis fasciata, is crucial because they are prone to root rot brought on by excessive watering and poorly draining soils.
Zebra succulents can go into a state of hibernation in the summer as a response to high temperatures and as a method to cope with dryness, thus they have varied watering needs at different times of the year.
To avoid water stress and maintain the health of your zebra plant, the ideal watering schedule should be used in conjunction with coarse, well-draining, succulent soil and the appropriate pot.
For additional information on how to determine your climate’s conditions and the best times of year to water your zebra succulent, keep reading.
How can a dead zebra plant be revived?
- Symptoms. The zebra succulent has soft, mushy leaves that turn yellow, brown, or even black with time.
- Causes. Overwatering, soils that take a long time to drain, pots with poor drainage, or saucers and trays under pots prevent water from draining away from the roots.
Native to South Africa, zebra plants are drought-resistant succulents that thrive in rocky, well-draining soil with little water retention and strong indirect light.
Zebra succulents become brown or yellow, develop mushy leaves, and look to be dying if the soil is wet, saturated, or even merely excessively moist around the roots for an extended period of time.
Zebra succulents should be planted in grittier soil and watered only after the earth has completely dried up in order to mimic some of the growing conditions seen in their original environment.
The zebra succulent cannot take excessive moisture around the roots, which is caused by frequent watering or putting it in regular potting soil that tends to stay damp for an extended period of time.
Overwatering causes the earliest signs of stress in the form of yellow, brown, and mushy leaves.
As a result, water stress causes the aloe vera leaves to turn yellow, brown, or translucent with mushy leaves.
Zebra succulents can undergo a condition of dormancy in the summer if the temperatures are particularly high, which can emphasize this.
Zebra succulents have a summer dormancy in which they stop growing as a means of survival in hot and dry areas.
Because there is less need for moisture, there is a greater chance that over watering will cause the leaves to turn brown or yellow.
In order to prevent the soil from becoming soggy, it’s crucial that your zebra succulent is in a pot with drainage at the bottom that allows any excess water to drain away.
Notably, attractive outer pots and saucer trays can also prevent water from properly evaporating from the pot’s base, which can result in yellow or brown leaves or probable root rot.
How to Revive Yellow and Brown Zebra Succulent
- Restrict the irrigation. Zebra succulents should only be watered once a week at most, so any more than that is overwatering. Only water zebra succulents after the dirt in the pot has totally dried out. Generally speaking, this entails watering once every 14 days or so, but the actual frequency depends on your temperature, the season, the soil’s ability to retain moisture, and the size of the pot.
- If the potting soil is still damp, replace it. Even though you water zebra succulents at the proper intervals, if the soil is difficult to drain or remains wet for an extended period of time, the leaves may still turn brown or yellow and appear to be dying. Replace the soil with specially formulated succulent and cactus soil, which replicates the well-draining, grit-rich soil profile of the zebra succulent’s natural habitat and is available at garden centers and on Amazon.
- In pots and other containers with drainage holes in the bottom, plant zebra succulents. Drainage holes allow excess water to escape the bottom of the pot after watering, allowing the soil to dry out correctly and preventing root rot, which would otherwise kill the zebra plant.
- Zebra succulents should be planted in pots that are appropriate for their size. Larger pots have more soil in them, which means they can hold more moisture. Because of this, the pot dries out much more slowly than a smaller container, which increases the possibility that the zebra plants will develop root rot and die. For the zebra succulent to maintain the ideal moisture balance, smaller pots that are proportional to the size of the plant dry out at a rate that is suitable.
- Regularly empty the outer pots, trays, and saucers. In the house, following a round of watering, saucers, trays, and attractive outer pots are frequently used to stop extra water from pouring from the soil. To avoid your zebra succulent from dying from water stress, make sure to frequently dump anything underneath your container that may retain water.
Feel the dirt at the bottom through the drainage hole to determine whether the potting soil is dry. Refrain from watering for a few days if the soil is still damp. This is the ideal time to water your zebra succulent if the soil is dry.
The zebra plant is kept healthy by watering when the soil dries out since this mimics the soil’s natural cycle of moisture levels.
Make sure that no roots or compacted soil are obstructing the drainage holes, which could cause drainage to slow down.
Your zebra plant has a chance to recover from its appearance of death if the soil has completely dried up around the roots of the zebra succulent and you are watering according to best practices or replacing the soil with gritty succulent soil.
In the ensuing two weeks, you should start to see changes in the state of your zebra succulent.
The yellowing or browning of zebra succulent leaves is frequently only a symptom of stress brought on by overwatering, but if the leaves begin to turn black, this may be an indication of root rot, which is much more difficult for the plant to recover from.
I would advise trying to separate the healthy offsets from the unhealthy black part of the plant for multiplication if the zebra succulent has any growing in the pot.
(Read my post to learn the best methods for watering zebra succulents to find out whether zebra succulents need watering more frequently or less frequently according on the time of year.)