Create a Comfortable Home for Your Zebra Plant Houseplant
Taking care of houseplants is kind of like parenting a pet. It requires daily attention, effort, and TLC. But when done right, the rewards can be substantial. A flourishing green houseplant brings beauty to the home and can even create a healthy environment if its air-purifying abilities are utilized.
For many people, the Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa) is the perfect houseplant choice. Also known as the Urn Plant, this tropical beauty features dark green leaves with striking yellow veins that have a zebra-like pattern.
Despite its striking beauty, the Zebra Plant isn’t the easiest houseplant to care for. But by establishing an appropriate environment for your plant, you’ll be taking the necessary steps to ensure it thrives in your home.
Location, Location, Location
Where you place your Zebra Plant is of utmost importance. While this particular houseplant prefers plenty of bright indirect light, direct sunlight (for example, from a south or west-facing window) can scorch its leaves. Therefore, finding the right location is key.
The best spot is one that receives diffused light throughout the day, such as an east-facing window. If you don’t have access to one, you may want to consider investing in a special light fixture that can simulate natural sunlight. Be sure to take into account how far away your plant will be from the light source and adjust the length of time it’s exposed to the light accordingly.
Your Zebra Plant will thrive in temperatures between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s especially important to monitor temperatures during winter and night time, as extreme temperatures during these periods can damage the leaves. If your home gets too cold, you may want to consider renting a space heater or using a humidifier for additional warmth.
Humidity and Watering
The Zebra Plant is relatively drought tolerant, which makes it suitable for those who aren’t too experienced with indoor plants. That being said, it still needs adequate moisture and humidity to be healthy. To increase humidity, try misting your plant once every few days or setting it near a humidifier.
In regards to watering, soak your plant until water starts to run out of the bottom of the pot. Let it dry out before you water it again, but don’t let it remain dry for more than two weeks. During dry spells, you may want to consider investing in a water meter or keeping an eye on how dry the soil is so that you know when your Zebra Plant needs a drink.
Fertilizer and Pests
Fertilizing your Zebra Plant once every month during its growing season (typically May – August) will help it stay healthy and strong. Stick with a balanced liquid fertilizer and apply it diluted at half strength. During the winter months (November – February), it’s best to abstain from fertilizing so that your plant doesn’t burn.
It’s also important to watch out for pests, as they can cause significant damage to your houseplant if left unchecked. Common culprits include spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. To get rid of any unwelcome visitors, use a solution of soap and water and gently remove them by hand or with a cotton swab. If the infestation persists, you may want to consider neem oil or insecticidal soap.
By taking extra care of your Zebra Plant houseplant and giving it the optimal living conditions, it can become an elegant addition to your home décor while also purifying air quality. Caring for a houseplant isn’t as daunting as it may seem – all it takes is a bit of effort and attention!