Calathea Zebrina Care Tips

calathea zebrina

Last updated on July 22nd, 2022 at 05:16 pm

This calathea zebrina variety is an excellent choice for containers as well as the ground, with its slender and delicate foliage. The leaves come in a wide range of colors including green, red-brown, purple-red, or dark pink. It has some shade tolerance but will grow best when it gets plenty of sunlight to maintain its color.

This easy-care plant does not need fertilizing every week like other plants may require and can be watered from above once a month or so during dry periods to keep them healthy. Plants should also be rotated occasionally to avoid wear on one side of the leaf blade’s edge which leads to tearing at that spot over time.

The calathea zebrina is native to Central America and grows as a perennial in the wild. The plant has long leaves that are green with red stripes or white veins running through them, which can grow up to two feet long.

As it matures, calathea zebrina will produce inflorescences of bright yellow flowers.

The calathea zebrina is a tropical plant that prefers warm temperatures and moderate humidity. It can survive in most climates but will prefer warmer conditions such as south Texas or Florida, to cooler areas like the North of Ireland or Scotland. The calathea zebrina grows best indoors on windowsills with plenty of light.

Where to find calathea zebrina?

calathea zebrina

In the wild, they are found in Central and South America. In captivity, this plant does best when grown indoors or outdoors with plenty of light during the summer months (planted under a shady tree). The temperate climate is not recommended to grow this plant.

How to propagate calathea zebrina

Propagation of a Calathea zebrina is by cuttings, division, or leaf-blades. The plant should be left in the pot to form more roots before repotting it into a larger container with fresh mix soil and 100% organic fertilizer. It will take about two weeks after planting for new leaves to emerge.

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The plant is best grown in moist peat moss with high humidity and shade, the water should be changed every three weeks or so to keep it fresh for roots that will grow from the stem.

Calathea zebrina care

calathea zebrina

Light requirements

For calathea zebrina to sustain healthy growth, it needs at least 12 hours of daylight. They should be placed near a window in order to provide natural light sources for the plant. However, if you need your plants out on display but don’t want them exposed to sunshine because they might burn, then artificial lights can help give it the same effect.

Supplemental lighting is recommended for plants grown indoors or in areas without sufficient sunlight year-round.

If light levels are low for prolonged periods, provide supplemental artificial light such as fluorescent tubes along with natural daylighting for at least four hours a day during winter months when days shorten considerably; do not expose leaves to direct sunlight which can scorch them from above because they lack protective waxy coating.

Soil/potting mix

The plant requires a well-drained potting mix. A nursery soil or any other type of commercial potting mix will work for the calathea zebrina so it can be transplanted into a garden in time as long as they are not rootbound.

Use a good-quality potting mix such as the African violet potting mixture, which is light and porous to promote root growth. Mixing in some perlite or other coarse material will help keep the soil from compacting around roots.


calathea zebrina

The calathea zebrina plant is subtropical and needs warm temperatures to thrive. It can tolerate a minimum temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit, with the optimum being between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.

It should not be exposed to freezing conditions or below 60 degrees because it would likely die due to cold shock.

Normal room temperatures of 60°F/16°C–75°F/24°C are fine if lights are on 14 hours per day and temperature does not exceed 85ºF (29ºC).

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Humidity is a key factor in the care of calathea zebrina. The optimal level for this plant should be between 40-60%. It needs to be moist, but not too wet and never dry out completely. In general, houseplants prefer cooler environments so try to keep it at around 18 – 24 degrees Celsius (64-75 degrees Fahrenheit).


Fertilizer is important for calathea zebrina, but this plant should be fed once every two weeks. Use a water-soluble fertilizer that has been diluted to half strength and feed plants at the rate of one teaspoon per gallon of water.

This particular type of plant tends to grow well in medium pots as it prefers moist soil which is not too rich and well-drained. It should be watered thoroughly, but then allowed to dry out before watering again in order to avoid root rot or fungal disease such as damping off.

During the growing season, fertilize every other week with liquid plant food that has been diluted to half strength.


This plant should not be pruned too much or it will lose its attractive shape. If you notice that the leaves are browning and dying, however, then they may need to be trimmed away from healthy ones (sometimes this is necessary for plants that grow in areas with high humidity). It can also get rootbound if the pot size becomes too small. To avoid this, change the pot size every year or so to avoid overcrowding which will cause root damage and kill your plant.

This is a great houseplant for anyone who needs some greenery indoors but doesn’t have much time to care for it! With good care, calathea zebrina can live up to 20 years.


calathea zebrina

This plant is a succulent plant, which means that it needs to be watered sparingly and doesn’t need much water. It may not look very happy when you water it too often so make sure you are giving your houseplant the right amount of watering by observing how it looks after an extended period without watering.

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Keep soil moist during the hottest days of summer and soak it when dry every week or two. Allow the top layer of potting mix to dry out between waterings in winter months (if indoors). Never let roots stand in water.


Repot plants every year if growing outdoors because of their rapid rate of growth; use a container that has drainage holes near the bottom so excess water can escape when it rains heavily on top (too much weight may cause the plant to topple over).


Calathea zebrina is not toxic to cats and dogs, although some people may have an allergic reaction to the latex in this plant.

Hardiness zones

This plant is hardy to USDA zones 11-12

Pests and diseases

The most common pest is aphids, which are black or green colored insects that feed on plant sap. They usually appear in the spring and can be removed by washing them off with a strong spray of water from your hose; you may need to repeat this several times as they reproduce quickly.

Diseases such as damping-off might also occur. This is a fungus that can be caused by overwatering or too much fertilizing, and it will cause the stalk to rot at ground level before moving up and killing all of the leaves on your plant.