Are you a green thumb who fell in love with zebra plants? Are you wondering about zebra plant sizes and whether they can fit inside your house or not?
The good news is that zebra plants aren’t huge. Indoors, these plants can grow up to two or three feet tall at max, so they can fit well in a corner of your home.
However, if you’re planning to plant them outdoors, expect a six-foot-tall basketball player, as that’s how high those beautiful plants can grow.
In this article, we’ll briefly talk about zebra plants, their sizes, and some of their types. We’ll also talk about the requirements they need if you want them to reach their maximum height.
The zebra plant, also known as Aphelandra squarrosa, is a beautiful green plant characterized by its zebra-like white stripes on the green leaves. It’s also known for its colorful yellow flowers which are considered the crown jewel by most people.
Native to Brazil, this plant blooms annually during the summer-fall period. In the US, it grows best in hardy zones 11–12 where humidity is similarly high to its native land.
There are various types of zebra plants, some of which are:
- Leopoldii: This variant has broad leaves, and the flower color is more gold than yellow.
- Dania: In addition to the pretty white veins on the green leaves and the yellow flowers, the Dania variant has reddish stems that add more beauty to the plant.
- Snow White: The Snow White variant looks similar to the Leopoldii, but the flowers have gorgeous, tiny white spots on the leaves, giving it its nickname.
Zebra plants can grow as high as six feet and as wide as five feet. However, that six-foot height is only reachable when you grow the plant outdoors.
Zebra plants that are planted in indoor pots usually hang around the three-foot mark in height. Still, much like any other plant, there are some requirements needed for the plant to reach the desired size.
Here is the list of basic requirements needed to healthily grow a zebra plant:
Green plants require sunlight to undergo photosynthesis; a process that produces energy inside the plant’s system using the daylight sun rays.
Without this process, the chances of zebra plants surviving, let alone reaching their mature size, is quite low.
However, plants usually have different light requirements. Some plants prefer direct exposure to the sun, while others would need a slight shade to avoid leaf damage.
Zebra plants fall in this sun treatment, as they fall into the partial shade category. In other words, they won’t require eight hours of sun a day. Instead, several hours (usually around 5–6 hours) is more than enough for healthy growth.
While you can plant a variety of plants in the same soil, not all plants will happily grow together. That’s because some plants prefer slightly more alkaline soil, while others, like zebra plants, prefer slightly acidic soils.
To be more specific, zebra plants grow best in a soil pH ranging between 5.6–6.0.
Sunlight and soil nutrients are two aspects of a three-aspect formula for a plant to grow. The third aspect is water. And just like sunlight and soil, plants have slightly different requirements from each other.
Zebra plants are somewhat difficult to water. For starters, you should water from under the leaves and avoid watering from above, as this could damage the leaves by exposing them to mold and fungal infections.
Further, Zebra plants prefer “moist” soil, which basically means there should always be a minimum amount of water in the soil but without overwatering, rendering the process a bit tricky.
Overwatering, without even talking about possible fungal infections and root rot, can cause the plant stem to soften and wilt.
To get the proper amount of water, use the finger dip test. Instead of coming back and forth to water the soil at specific times, occasionally dip the first one-third of your finger in the soil. If your finger comes out dry, it’s time to water your zebra plants.
While zebra plants don’t heavily realize on fertilizers, feeding them with fertilizers every two weeks can make them strive.
The best time to use fertilizers is during the plant’s growth season (late spring to early summer).
Zebra plants grow healthier when they are repotted every year. The best time to do that would be during spring when the plant isn’t in its growing phase.
If you want to propagate your zebra plant, doing so while repotting it would be the ideal time.
To mimic the plant’s original environment, you need to increase the humidity of the atmosphere around the zebra plants.
To do that, you need to use a greenhouse or humidifier.
Neem oil will be your best friend while controlling any pest infestation in your plants. Mealybugs, spider mites, and other pests will damage your zebra plants whenever possible.
To dodge that, use neem oil as your organic natural pesticide even when there are no visible bugs. Don’t forget to wear gloves whenever your try to remove any pests by hand to avoid further damage to your plant.
Zebra plants don’t take up much space as they’re limited to two or three feet of height at max indoors. However, the beauty of this plant can go even higher if you plant it outside, because it can stretch up to six feet high, which is taller than most people.
Still, if you want your zebra plant to strive and grow that high, you’ll need to take care of it. Adequately water it, feed it with fertilizer during growth spurts, provide humidity, and control any infestations. This will keep your zebra plant healthy until it reaches its maximum height.
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.