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What Are Zebra Plants Good For? (A Look at the Pros and Cons)

What Are Zebra Plants Good For? (A Look at the Pros and Cons)

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Zebra plants are beautiful additions to your space due to their dark green leaves and stunning white streaks. However, they can be temperamental plants that need careful attention to thrive.

If you’re on the fence about getting a Zebra plant, you might be wondering about its advantages and disadvantages to help you decide.

In this article, we’ll explain how Zebra plants are good for many things and tell you some of the cons of caring for them.

What Are the Advantages of Caring for Zebra Plants?

Zebra plants are popular houseplants, originally from the rainforests of Brazil. These plants have several benefits that make them worthwhile to grow as houseplants, such as:

1 – Aesthetically Pleasing

Zebra plants have an attractive and unique appearance that can make your space look more vibrant and interesting. What most people find the most striking in these plants are their golden flower bracts that are bold and attention-grabbing.

Additionally, they add character and texture to your space. They’re also versatile, so you can arrange them next to other houseplants to create dynamic displays.

2 – Easy to Propagate

If you like to gift plants to your loved ones, Zebra plants are a perfect choice because they’re easy to propagate.

All you have to do is take stem cuttings from your mother plant. Then, cut three to six inches of stems from your plant and remove all but one leaf on each cutting.

Next, place them in a pot of soil. We recommend using a moist mixture of half each of peat moss and perlite.

After, put your cuttings in a bright place with high humidity. Zebra plants thrive in 60-70% humidity too.

3 – Evergreen Plant

These plants are evergreen, which means they’ll keep their leaves throughout the year.

So, if you’re keeping them indoors, they’ll add a splash of green to your home even during the winter months.

4 – Mood-Boosting and Stress-Relieving

Science has proven that indoor plants, like Zebra plants, can quickly improve your mood.

According to the same research, spending 5-20 minutes around houseplants can make you feel happier and more content.

Additionally, engaging in activities like repotting your Zebra plant can reduce stress levels and activate your body’s relaxation response. As a result, you’ll end up feeling more calm.

Lastly, Zebra plants, like other houseplants, can provide you with a sense of escape when you need to stay in enclosed spaces for long periods. During these times, having indoor plants can lessen symptoms of anxiety and depression.

What Are the Disadvantages of Caring for Zebra Plants?

Despite the benefits of keeping a Zebra plant around, some drawbacks may stop you from getting one. Here are some of those downsides:

1 – Temperamental

Zebra plants’ temperamental nature may make new plant parents pause before buying one. They’re high-maintenance plants that need specific conditions to thrive.

Otherwise, your plant may stay stubborn and refuse to bloom with those beautiful flower tracts.

They need partial shade because too much sunlight can scorch their leaves. On the other hand, not enough sunlight can prevent them from flowering.

Unlike other houseplants, Zebra plants require higher humidity levels of around 60-70%. This is because they’re originally from humid climates and may suffer in dry air.

2 – Not Adaptable

Since Zebra plants are temperamental and need a specific set of conditions to thrive, you can’t place them anywhere and expect them to adapt. In most places in the United States, you’ll need to keep Zebra plants indoors.

This is because Zebra plants need bright, indirect light, high humidity, well-draining soil, and moderate temperatures. They can’t tolerate rapid temperature changes.

As such, if you live in a place where seasons change, it’s best to keep your Zebra plant indoors. However, if you live in tropical climates or states with warmer temperatures like Florida and California, it’s possible to keep your plant in the garden.

3 – Potentially Irritating

Zebra plants aren’t toxic to people or their pets, but their sap can irritate your skin. The sap contains chemicals like calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause itching, burning, or swelling of the skin.

This sap can also cause allergic reactions in some people like rashes, hives, or blisters. You should keep your pets away from the sap because it can cause difficulty breathing when it gets into the eyes, nose, or mouth.

To avoid these negative effects, we highly suggest wearing gloves when you have to make any cuts on the plant’s stem—like when propagating, for example.

Do Zebra Plants Purify the Air?

Yes, Zebra plants can purify the air in your home. However, this isn’t unique to Zebra plants.

According to research, many indoor plants can help purify the air by reducing toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene that pollute the air.

They do this by absorbing the toxins and breaking them down. They can also purify the air by absorbing carbon dioxide in indoor spaces and converting them into oxygen.

In addition, houseplants can make the air slightly cooler and more humid. The more plants you have, the more you might feel this purifying effect.

Are Zebra Plants Hard to Care for?

Yes, Zebra plants can be tricky to care for, especially for new plant parents. You need to pay close attention to setting the right conditions to keep them happy.

They prefer bright, indirect sunlight, so you need to find the perfect place for them in your home. For example, you can place them near an east or west-facing window and use sheer curtains to make the sunlight milder.

These plants are also very sensitive to the amount of water you give them. Too much water can give them root rot, while too little water can make them wilt. A helpful tip is to make sure that the top few inches of the soil (around 25%) stay moist.

Zebra plants also like high levels and humidity and thrive in environments that are around 60% to 70% humid. To meet these levels, you may need a humidifier or a group of other plants nearby.

Final Thoughts

Zebra plants are good for many things, such as adding beauty and color to your space, improving your mood and well-being, and purifying the air.

However, they’re also challenging to care for, as they need specific light, water, and humidity conditions to thrive and bloom.

If you decide to get a Zebra plant, you should be prepared to give it a lot of attention and care. These temperamental plants aren’t for everyone, but they can be rewarding plants for those who are willing to meet their needs.

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