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The Only Zebra Plant Watering Guide You’ll Need

The Only Zebra Plant Watering Guide You’ll Need

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Zebra plants are eye-catchy, unique, and require low maintenance, which makes them ideal for any beginner. However, watering zebra plants can be tricky.

Let me tell you why.

Generally, zebra plants don’t require frequent watering, but they thrive in consistently moist soil. The problem is that anyone can mistakenly overwater zebra plants.

Overwatering can lead to many problems, including wilting of the leaves and root rot. And sadly, root rot can lead to the end of your beautiful plant.

Don’t fret! In this article, we have a zebra plant watering guide with all the information you need to keep your plant healthy.

Let’s dive into the details right away.

How to Water a Zebra Plant

Before we tell you how to water a zebra plant, you need to understand that there are many plants we refer to as “zebras.”

While most zebra plants have similar watering requirements, it’s best to make sure that your plant is succulent.

Additionally, we recommend wearing gloves when handling your zebra plant. Although it’s not toxic, the sap can irritate sensitive skin.

That said, here’s how to water your succulent zebra plant:

Bottom Watering

Providing your plant with enough water without overwatering it can be tricky. That’s where this watering technique comes in handy.

Bottom watering is exactly what it sounds like. This method allows your plant to receive the right amount of water it needs. That’s because the soil won’t absorb extra water. It can lower the risks of overwatering.

The problem with this method is that it doesn’t allow water to wash away salts and other minerals from the soil. Therefore, you should also pour some water over the soil occasionally.

You can proceed with the following steps to water your zebra plant from the bottom:

  1. Fill a large tray with lukewarm water.
  2. Then, place the pot in the tray and make sure the soil is in contact with the water.
  3. Let the soil soak up the water for around 10 minutes.
  4. After that, feel the soil to check if it has absorbed enough water. The top layer should feel moist.
  5. If your plant is still dry, add more water to the tray and wait 10 more minutes.

Water Over Soil

The second method is similar to traditional watering. However, in the case of zebra plants, you shouldn’t pour water on the leaves.

Instead, you should pour the water over the soil. Watering directly on the leaves can lead to unwanted problems, like crown rot.

Ideally, you want to pour lukewarm water slowly until the excess water seeps out from drainage holes.

How Often Should You Water a Zebra Plant?

The frequency of watering a zebra plant depends on many factors, including the weather and the season.

Generally, zebra plants don’t require frequent watering. Succulents can hold extra water inside their fleshy leaves. So, they can survive for long periods without watering.

On average, these plants require watering every 1-2 weeks. All in all, you shouldn’t water your zebra unless it needs water.

Here’s how to know if your plant needs watering: feel the top 2 inches of the soil with your hand. You can also insert your finger into the soil.

If the soil is dry, your plant needs some water. Otherwise, you shouldn’t water your zebra plant.

Furthermore, many growers prefer providing zebra plants with smaller amounts of water more frequently. Unfortunately, it can be tricky for beginners to do that.

Does a Zebra Plant Need Drainage?

Yes! Drainage is crucial for zebra plants, as they’re sensitive to overwatering. So, that means you need light, well-draining soil, and a pot with proper draining holes.

When it comes to soil, it’s important to pick a suitable, well-draining type. It also should retain enough moisture.

Additionally, you can make your own soil mix. We recommend adding peat moss or perlite to your mixture to help with the draining process.

Does a Zebra Plant Need Cold Water?

In nature, zebra plants get the water they need from rain. Since the air is warm, the rainwater tends to be a little warmer.

So, watering your zebra plants with cold water can be harmful. It can cause permanent damage to your green friend.

Ideally, you should use lukewarm water. Additionally, it should be filtered or distilled water.

How Long Can a Zebra Plant Go Without Water?

As with most succulents, zebra plants can go for long periods without water. For example, Haworthia zebra plants can survive without water for weeks.

However, underwatering your plant can harm it. You should water your zebra plant whenever the first two inches of the soil feel dry.

Sunlight and Temperature Can Affect Watering Frequency

Generally, zebra plants thrive in moderate indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can be harmful to these plants, as it can scorch the leaves and dry out the soil quicker.

In hot regions, you might notice that soil dries out quickly. Still, you shouldn’t water your zebra plant unless the top layer of the soil is completely dry.

Saving an Overwatered Zebra Plant

Overwatering can cause many problems, including leaf discoloration and root rot.

The problem with overwatering is that it prevents the roots of your zebra from getting the oxygen it needs. That leads to root rot, which can be the end of your plant.

In any case, you need to act quickly.

Here’s how to confirm your plant is overwatered:

First, check the soil. If it feels soggy, you need to let it dry. Of course, you shouldn’t add any more water to the soil.

Second, check if the excess water is draining properly. If not, your pot might be clogged.

In that case, you’ll have to repot your plant.

To save an overwatered zebra, you’ll have to take it out of the soggy soil as soon as possible. Then, check the roots of the plant.

If they’re black and mushy, you might be a little late. You’ll have to remove any dead or damaged roots.

After that, you can place the zebra plant in fresh soil. Your plant might need some time to bounce back again.

Make sure to wear gloves when handling your plant, as the sap can cause skin irritations.

Signs of Overwatering

Let’s check out some of the signs of overwatering.

1 – Leaves Turning Yellow or Brown

Discoloration of the leaves is one of the first signs of stress due to overwatering. The leaves can become yellow, brown, and mushy.

2 – Losing Leaves

Both underwatering and overwatering can lead to dropping leaves. It can also happen due to low humidity and receiving too much sunlight.

3 – Soggy Soil

Generally, the soil should be moist, but not soggy. So, if the soil is soggy, it means you overwatered your zebra.

4 – Moldy Smell

If the soil smells moldy or like a swamp, it can be a sign of root rot. In that case, you need to repot the plant as soon as possible and get rid of any damaged roots.

Final Thoughts

Zebra plants don’t need frequent watering. They can hold significant amounts of water inside their fleshy leaves.

So, before watering your zebra, you should check the soil first. If the first two inches of the soil are dry, you can water your plant. Otherwise, your plant has all the water it needs.

You can water your plant using two methods: bottom watering and watering over the soil.

Bottom watering is good for beginners, as it’s easy and simple. More importantly, it lowers the risk of overwatering.

However, you shouldn’t rely on bottom watering alone. It’s best to water the plant over the soil occasionally to wash down salts and minerals.

We hope our zebra plant watering guide helps you grow a healthy, beautiful zebra. Remember to wear gloves when handling your zebra plant!

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