Guide to Caring for Calathea Zebra Plants: Tips for Keeping Your Calathea Zebra Houseplant Healthy


If you’re looking for a small,healthy houseplant with beautiful and unique foliage, look no further than the Calathea Zebra plant. With its white-striped leaves that resemble zebra stripes, this plant is sure to add a touch of color and movement to your home or office.

The Calathea Zebra plant is native to the tropics, where it grows in shaded areas with high humidity. It uses this natural environment to its advantage, and as a houseplant, it still needs similar conditions to thrive. This means managing the moisture levels in your home, as well as providing it with the right amount of light and fertiliser.

When choosing a location for your Calathea Zebra plant, it’s important to keep in mind its light requirements. Since it originated in the shaded understory of the tropics, it prefers bright, indirect light. Placing it in a well-lit room that doesn’t receive direct sunlight is ideal. If you place it in a dark corner or a room that lacks natural light, you may see the plant lose its vibrant color and rosette shape.

Watering is another essential aspect of Calathea Zebra plant care. These plants have high moisture requirements and will need to be watered thoroughly but less frequently. It’s important to water them until the soil is moist and then allow the top few inches to dry out before the next watering. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the leaves to dry out and the plant to wilt.

Fertilising your Calathea Zebra plant is also important to keep it healthy and promote growth. It’s best to use a well-balanced fertiliser, and you’ll want to fertilise it at least once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). Make sure to follow the instructions on the fertiliser packaging for the correct dosage.

One of the common problems with Calathea Zebra plants is fungal disease. To prevent this, it’s important to provide good air circulation around the plant and avoid crowded, damp conditions. If you notice any signs of disease, such as yellowing or spotted leaves, it’s important to take action quickly to prevent it from spreading to the entire plant. Isolate the affected plant and remove any infected leaves or rosettes. You may also need to treat the plant with a fungicide.

If you’d like to propagate your Calathea Zebra plant, it’s best done through division. Choose a healthy plant and carefully separate the rhizomes, making sure each new division has several leaves and roots attached. Plant the divisions in a well-draining mixture and water them thoroughly. It will take a few weeks for the new plants to establish roots and start growing.

Overall, with the right care and attention, your Calathea Zebra plant will grow into a beautiful and healthy houseplant. Just remember to provide it with the proper light, waterings, and fertiliser, and you’ll be able to enjoy its vibrant foliage for years to come.

Worth Its Stripes: How to Grow and Care for Calathea Zebrina Plants

Calathea Zebrina plants are tropicals that are known for their unique striped leaf patterns and slow-growing nature. If you decide to give these plants a try, you’ll be rewarded with an elegant and eye-catching addition to your indoor garden.

It’s not uncommon to get confused between Calathea Zebrina and Calathea Zebra plants, as their names are quite similar. However, the former is the correct species name, while the latter is a common name used to refer to various Calathea plants.

Calathea Zebrina plants thrive best in bright indirect light, so it’s essential to place them in a spot where they can receive filtered sunlight. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, as it may quickly burn their delicate leaves.

When it comes to watering, Calathea Zebrina plants prefer consistently moist soil. You can water them once every 3-4 days, or whenever the top inch of soil feels slightly dry to the touch. Be sure to use room temperature water and allow excess water to drain away to prevent the roots from becoming mushy.

To increase humidity for your Calathea Zebrina plants, you can mist their leaves regularly or place a tray filled with water near them. Another option is to use a humidifier to create an ideal environment for them.

Repotting your Calathea Zebrina plant is necessary when it outgrows its current pot. However, it’s best to do this during the spring or summer months to avoid shocking the plant’s roots. Use a well-draining potting mix and ensure that the new pot has drainage holes.

Ambient temperatures between 60-75°F (15-24°C) are ideal for Calathea Zebrina plants. If the temperatures dip below 60°F (15°C), these plants may suffer, displaying signs of stress like yellowing leaves or leaf drop. Similarly, if the temperatures exceed 75°F (24°C), they may also struggle and develop brown spots on their leaves.

When it comes to fertilizing Calathea Zebrina plants, it’s recommended to use a balanced houseplant fertilizer. You can apply the fertilizer every 2-4 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). However, remember not to over-fertilize, as it can cause leaf burn and overall damage.

In terms of pest control, Calathea Zebrina plants are generally low-maintenance and not prone to many problems. However, if you notice any pests, such as spider mites or aphids, you can gently wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or use an organic insecticidal soap.

Overall, caring for Calathea Zebrina plants is not overly complicated. By providing them with the right light, moisture, and temperature conditions, you can enjoy their beautiful striped leaves and lush foliage. So, if you’re looking for a plant that adds a touch of the tropics to your indoor space, Calathea Zebrina is the perfect choice.

Goeppertia zebrina aka Calathea zebrina

Goeppertia zebrina, commonly known as Calathea zebrina or simply Calathea zebra, is a beautiful houseplant that belongs to the Marantaceae family. It is native to the tropical regions of Central and South America. The plant gets its name from the unique zebra-like pattern on its leaves, which makes it a popular choice among plant enthusiasts.

Calathea zebrina is best grown in medium-sized pots, as it prefers to be slightly root-bound. It is important to provide the plant with well-draining soil to prevent waterlogged roots and the risk of root rot. Watering Calathea zebrina properly is crucial for its health. It requires frequent waterings, but the soil should be allowed to slightly dry between waterings. It is important to water the plant thoroughly and ensure that excess water drains out from the bottom of the pot.

When it comes to light requirements, Calathea zebrina thrives in bright, indirect light. It should be placed near a window where it receives filtered sunlight. However, direct sunlight should be avoided, as it can scorch the leaves and cause damage. Calathea zebrina is known for its sensitivity to light, which is why it closes its leaves at night and opens them in the morning.

The natural habitat of Calathea zebrina is the forest floor, where it enjoys high humidity levels. Therefore, it is important to mimic these conditions indoors. Regular misting or placing the plant on a pebble tray filled with water can help increase humidity. Calathea zebrina also benefits from regular feeding during the growing season, using a balanced houseplant fertilizer.

In terms of caring for Calathea zebrina, it is important to keep in mind that the leaves are prone to developing brown spots or edges. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including low humidity, underwatering, or overexposure to sunlight. Managing these issues and providing the plant with the right conditions can help keep it healthy and vibrant.

Calathea zebrina has a reputation for being a bit finicky and demanding, but with the right care and attention, it can be a rewarding plant to grow. Its stunning foliage and unique pattern make it a wonderful addition to any indoor space. So, if you’re looking to add a touch of nature to your home or office, consider growing a Calathea zebrina.

In summary, Calathea zebrina, also known as Goeppertia zebrina or Calathea zebra, is a small houseplant with a distinctive zebra-like pattern on its leaves. It requires medium-sized pots, frequent waterings, and bright, indirect light to thrive. Adequate humidity and proper care can help manage potential issues and ensure the plant’s health. Keep in mind that Calathea zebrina can be a bit sensitive and may develop brown spots if its needs are not met. However, with the right conditions and care, this plant can be a stunning and rewarding addition to your indoor space.

What You’ll Learn

  • How to care for Calathea Zebra plants
  • Tips for maintaining yellow and green stripes on the leaves
  • Creating a suitable environment and potting medium for your plant
  • Watering and humidity requirements for Calathea Zebra plants
  • Pruning and propagating techniques for this houseplant
  • Identifying and treating common pests and diseases
  • How to display Calathea Zebra plants in your home
  • Choosing the right lighting conditions for optimal growth
  • Fertilizer and feeding recommendations
  • Understanding the hardiness of Calathea Zebra plants
  • Proper watering techniques and frequency
  • Signs of overwatering and how to adjust your watering schedule
  • Thrive in different spots – starting in California to blooming in Ecuadoriana
  • Troubleshooting common problems and solutions

✿ Read More About Houseplants.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.