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Care of the plant Aphelandra squarrosa or Zebra plant.

Care of the indoor plant Aphelandra squarrosa or Zebra plant

The genus Aphelandra, family Acanthaceae, comprises 200 species of flowering plants, the majority of which are native to Brazil. Some species are: Aphelandra squarrosa, Aphelandra tetragona, Aphelandra acutifolia, Aphelandra rigida, Aphelandra sinclairiana, Aphelandra tridentata.

Common names: Zebra plant. This species is native to Atlantic Forest vegetation of Brazil.

They are very attractive tropical plants for their bright dark green and cream-white leaves. The flowers appear in terminal spikes and can be yellow, red, or orange. They bloom in spring and summer.

They are used as houseplants in well-lit and warm rooms. They need large pots. If they lose leaves it is because they get too much sun or too cold.

The Aphelandra squarrosa needs an illuminated exposure but without direct sun. Its ideal temperature is between 15-25º C (59-77 ºF) and the humidity must be rather high.

The ideal soil would consist of one part of coarse sand, another of leaf mulch and two parts of peat. Transplanting is best done in the spring.

Water frequently to prevent the soil from drying out; the ground should always be a little damp.

Prune the flower spike when it wilts so that new shoots appear.

Fertilize in summer every 2 weeks with mineral fertilizer for indoor plants.

If the environment is very dry they can be attacked by mealybugs and aphids.

They propagate from cuttings of the stems that sprouted in spring.

Image of the indoor plant Aphelandra squarrosa or Zebra plant

Aphelandra squarrosa
Aphelandra squarrosa
Aphelandra squarrosa
Aphelandra squarrosa