Calathea zebrina

Zebra Plant

A striking indoor plant that doesn’t overpower other specimens in the same room, Calathea zebrina is a welcome addition to any room that receives bright, indirect light.

Velevety dark green leaves are highlighted by showy, broad chartreuse stripes which lend Calathea zebrina its name.

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Origin: Mexico
Genus: Calathea
Species / Cultivar: zebrina
Common Name: Zebra Plant
Synonym: Goeppertia zebrina

Plant Biography

Also known as Goeppertia zebrina, this plant is native to southeastern Brazil where it lives in the lowlight conditions of the topical rainforest floor.

Calathea zebrina
Light: Medium
This plant likes a spot further away from bright windows, but still lit by natural light.
Soil: Indoor Potting Mix
Enjoys moist well drained soil with composted organics and some drainage material.
Temperature: 15-25°C
Temperature range at which this plant is healthiest and grows best.
Growth Rate: Slow
Expect to see quite small amounts of growth over the years.
Final Size: Medium
Final size will be suitable for a table, plant stand, or large strong shelf.
Water Requirement: Regular Watering
Water when soil surface is dry to the touch. Water must draining easily away.
Humidity: High
Provide moist air via daily misting or trays of wet grit. Keep away from drafts and heaters.
Maintenance: Moderate
This plant has specific requirements. Incorrect care can quickly lead to signs of distress.

Expert Tip

Wiping the leaves regularly helps to prevent a build up of dust and can help your Calathea thrive.
Why Prayer Plants 'Pray'

Why Prayer Plants 'Pray'

As a member of the Prayer Plant family, the leaves of this Calathea will characteristically ‘pray’, folding up at night before re-opening again as the morning light levels rise.

At the base of each leaf is a joint-like thickening called the pulvinus, which swells and shrinks in response to pressure developed in the leaves.

This movement of the leaves is a process known as nyctinasty, which serves a number of purposes.
It allows the plant to absorb as much light as possible in its low light rainforest environment, to help absorb and retain water, and to reduce the risk of fungi and bacteria forming on their leaves.

Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Though in the wild Calathea zebrina produces white to purple flowers in bloom, these flowers are rarely seen when cultivated indoors.

A place with bright but indirect light is ideal. Avoid south facing spots with too much intense direct sunlight, unless you diffuse the light with a sheer curtain. 


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