Justina is often asked about her favorite plants and while there are many, lately the Zebra plant has been at the top of her list. A plant that combines two key elements of The Jungalow- pattern and plants- will definitely be right at home with us. Added bonus? As long as it receives enough light, the Zebra plant will produce bright yellow bracts/blooms (that can last up to SIX weeks!) in the fall, so really it hits The Jungalow trifecta- color, pattern, and plants! The Zebra plant isn't an easy-care plant, but the payoff in dramatic foliage and flowers is worth the extra attention this plant requires.
GET THE GREEN: Zebra plant (Aphelandra squarrosa)
WATER: Plant in pot with good drainage. Keep the soil moist to the touch, but not soggy. After watering, drain any excess water from saucers or cache pots to prevent root rot. Provide high humidity levels to avoid leaf drop/browning.
SUNLIGHT: Very bright indirect light. Will not tolerate direct sun.
PLACEMENT: Because this plant needs humidity, any area in your home that is extra humid is ideal- the bathroom or kitchen are usually good spots. Avoid placing where AC or heat will be blowing on the plant. Grouping with other humidity lovers like ferns or tropicals can also raise the overall humidity level- and keep everyone happy. Zebra plants are in their happiest place in a greenhouse environment, so keep that in mind as you choose its home.
EXTRA CREDIT: The Zebra plant needs high humidity levels to thrive- especially in dry climates or in winter when heaters are on. Provide extra humidity by using a humidifier, or placing on a humidity tray (saucer filled with pebbles, then water to just below the top of the pebble layer). Misting may also help, but avoid misting the leaves directly as this can cause spotting on the surface of these showy leaves.
WORD OF CAUTION: According to the ASPCA, Zebra plants are non-toxic to cats and dogs!
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