Calathea Zebrina
Calathea and Maranta,  Plant Care,  Propagation

Calathea Zebrina

Welcome to our guide to the Calathea Zebrina all to you need to know about care and propagation

Calathea Zebrina Care Summary

Light needs:Bright indirect sunlight.
Watering needs:Check soil twice a week in the hotter months, once a week in the colder ones. Water when top half of soil is dry. 
Fertilizer:Use a balanced feed monthly in summer.
Soil:A mix of 20% perlite to 80% potting compost .
Temperature:18-27°C (65-80°F).
Where to buy:Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.
Other names:Zebra plant.
Common issues:Irregular watering, too much or too little water. 


Calathea zebrina, a.k.a. the zebra plant, grows in the wild in Brazil and has become popular as a houseplant due to he striped patterns on its leaves.

See also: Calathea Musaica, Calathea Dottie, Calathea Makoyana, Calathea Orbifolia, Calathea Beauty Star, Calathea Setosa (Ctenanthe Setosa), Calathea Pinstripe, Calathea Triostar, Calathea Maui Queen.

Light Needs

Aim for bright indirect sunlight with no direct sun. They are ok a bit further back from the window in medium indirect sun too.

How Often To Water

Check the soil twice a week in the hotter months and once a week in the colder ones, and water it when the top half of soil is dry. Make sure you empty the external container after wared and do not leave the plant sat in a water in the saucer. They plans like to be a little bit moist but not soaking.


You can use a a balanced fertilizer in monthly in the summer to encourage growth. Make sure it is well diluted as the leaves can get fertilizer burn if too strong.


They need a well raining medium, you can add perlite to a good potting compost to ensure it drains well. 20% perlite to 80% potting compost is a good mix.

When to Repot

Check them at the start of spring to see if the roots need space and pot them up if they do. Refreshing the soil is great for the plant too.


60% is good humidity level to aim for. They thrive when given moist air.


18-27°C (65-80°F) is ideal in the daytime, don’t let them get down below 10°C (50°F) at night if you can help it.

How to Propagate Calathea Zebrina

The Calathea Zebrina will put out smaller plants at the base, which you can divide out and pot them up as smaller plants. You’ll need to take the pant out of it’s pot and be really careful when separating out the plants so that you do not damage the roots. Leave them for a few hours for the wounds to heals if they do get damaged, and then pot them up separately.

How Big Do Calathea Zebrina Grow?

They can grow up to a meter tall (3 feet a a bit.)

Why Is My Calathea Zebrina Drooping?

They can droop when over and under watered. They droop due to root rot from overwatering, but also from lack of water, so make sure you check the soil each week to see if they need watering, but don’t over do it.

Why Is My Calathea Zebrina Turning Yellow?

Leaf yellowing occurs when the plant is stressed, which is commonly form overwatering, make sure the plant is not sat in soggy soil.

Is Calathea Zebrina Toxic To Cats?

The calathea zebrina is non-toxic to cats and dogs.

Calathea Zebrina Vs Warscewiczii

They are similar plants but can be told apart as the zebrina has much more defined, stripes which are almost luminous green. The warscewiczii is not a bright, and it has purple undersides to its leaves.

Calathea Zebrina Vs Freddie

The freddie has thinner leaves of light and dark green stripes. The zebrina is similar but has a dark green and distinct bright luminous green.

Other Names

Zebra plant.

Where To Buy

Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.

FAQs and Common Problems

Common issues are due to too much or too little water. Make sure you are check the plant regularly but only watering it when it needs it and be sure to tip out excess water afterwards so they do not sit in waterlogged soil.

Other Articles You Might Like

There you have it, here ends our guide to this beautiful plant. You might also like our other articles:

Calathea Musaica, Calathea Dottie, Calathea Orbifolia, Calathea Beauty Star.

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Calathea Zebrina
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