The zebra plant is a very popular plant that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. It is a unique plant and can be distinguished by the zebra-like patterns on its leaves.
The plant is mainly grown indoors, and there are a number of different types of zebra plants that you can choose from. However, while the zebra plant really adds a touch of uniqueness to any space it’s grown in, you should know that it requires a bit of care as well.
The zebra plant can grow quite well as long as you make sure that the conditions are met, and the plant gets appropriate care. Many consider it a temperamental species, and the plant is likely to lose its leaves if you are not careful.
A common problem that many people worry about is the browning at the edges of the leaves. Due to the brilliant coloration of the zebra plant, it’s actually quite easy to spot when the tips start turning brown.
What Causes the Brown Tips?
If the tips of your zebra plant are turning brown, it’s probably due to one of two reasons. For starters, the major reason could be that water is not reaching that particular area of the plant. It’s a common problem that can cause browning on the edges.
As you water the plant, you will want to check the soil as well. In case the soil has become water-logged, adding more water to your plant is actually detrimental to its growth. You have to make sure that you manage the water.
Most people confuse the browning with leaf diseases. However, it’s important to understand that leaf diseases usually manifest themselves as round spots, whereas water-related issues show up on the edges.
If the soil is water-logged, you need to make sure that there are appropriate drain holes in the pots. Similarly, you will also want to give a few days of time before you decide to water the plant again.
The best way to deal with this problem is to make sure that you check the soil with your fingers before you add more water to the plant. Insert your fingers up to the second knuckle and then see if there’s moisture.
If there is no excess water, the problem is probably caused due to a lack of it. Most people usually give an interval of two or three days before watering their plant.
Keep in mind that this gap is subjective; if the plant is kept in a dry area, the interval will be shorter. Similarly, during the winter months, you don’t have to water the plant this much at all.
If the plant is getting a limited supply of water, it’s going to affect the leaves, and you will see browning on the edges.
Finally, the last reason why the leaves of your zebra plant might be turning brown is due to a draft in the house. The plant should be kept away from drafty spaces.
It might be a wise idea to take a look around the surroundings and see if there are any furnace vents nearby. You need to make sure that the plant is repositioned so that it does not fall in the way of a draft.
These are the three main conditions why the tips of your zebra plant’s leaves could be turning brown. As long as you make sure that none of these are affecting your plant, it should get back to normal.
However, you should know that there are other things that must be done to maintain the health of the plant. Here are some simple tips for zebra plant care.
Emulating similar conditions as the ones in which the plant is grown in its native region of Brazil is important. This plant is found in the tropical rainforests, and as a result, it’s important for you to ensure that the same conditions are provided.
When it comes to lighting, these plants are used to growing under a canopy of trees. They are found in tropical jungles, so they love partial shade or indirect lighting. If you have kept your zebra plant smack dab in the middle of a window, it’s going to burn out.
The direct exposure to sunlight can cause the leaves to scorch. On the other hand, putting the plant in complete shade is equally worse, as it would prevent your plant from blooming.
You also have to worry about the soil conditions as well. The zebra plant loves soil that has a balanced pH value of 7, or slightly acidic. The best thing to do is to get a multipurpose soil potting mix.
You can also add a bit of sand into your potting mixture to increase the drainage of your soil. If you want your zebra plant to flower (most people just keep it for the leaves), it’s imperative that you feed it with balanced fertilizer once every two weeks.
The fertilizer should be added during the growing season from spring through summer.
Temperature and Humidity
Apart from water requirements, both temperature and humidity are key factors that will affect the growth of the plant. The zebra plant grows very well in moderate temperatures.
The location where they are grown should be at least 60°F or a bit higher, but it should never fall below 55°F. Again, this is similar to the temperatures in the tropical rainforests.
Furthermore, you should know that the zebra plant thrives on humidity. Ideally, it requires an atmosphere with 60% to 70% humidity. The best way to achieve this is by keeping an electric humidifier nearby.
If you don’t have one, you can always keep a pebble tray nearby. It’s a pretty basic way to make sure that the humidity levels in the air remain consistent.
These are just some of the many things that you should know about caring for the zebra plant.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.