How to Grow Aphelandra - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Grassy Category   /   2023

Aphelandra, also known as Zebra plant, is a tropical plant that is native to South America. It is a member of the family Acanthaceae, which includes many other popular houseplants such as dumbcane (Dieffenbachia) and African violets (Saintpaulia). Aphelandra is a perennial plant that typically grows to a height of 2-3 feet. It has dark green, lance-shaped leaves that are covered with white stripes. The flowers of the Aphelandra plant are large and showy, with yellow petals and red centers.

How to Grow Aphelandra - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Aphelandra plant? known as zebra plant. It's a bold and beautiful houseplant that's easy to grow. Aphelandra plant like a warm environment and does best in bright, indirect light. Water Aphelandra plant when the soil feels dry to the touch and be sure to empty the drainage tray after watering. Fertilize Aphelandra plant every other week during the growing season.

Plant Size

How big can it be? The Aphelandra plant flowers for the first time when it is about 30 cm in height and 18-20 cm in width. In the second year, it doubles in size.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? If you're looking for a fast-growing plant, the Aphelandra is a good choice. It can produce 5-6 leaves per year and 4-5 shoots in its second year of cultivation. This makes it a great option if you're looking to add some greenery to your home quickly.

Aphelandra Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Grassy
Family Acanthaceae
Origin Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Philippines

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? The Aphelandra plant usually grows within 1 year, and it blooms during the plant's second year.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? The Aphelandra plant is a tropical plant that can withstand temperatures of up to 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. However, in the winter, if the plant is not watered, it can only withstand temperatures of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It is best to maintain the temperature at around 59 degrees Fahrenheit in order to keep the Aphelandra plant healthy.


What about the humidity? Common Aphelandra plants thrive in high humidity, so they make great houseplants. If the humidity in your home is on the low side, try placing your Aphelandra on a pebble tray. A pebble tray is simply a tray filled with pebbles and water. The water will evaporate and help increase the humidity around your plant. Just be sure to remove the pebbles during the flowering period, as too much humidity can cause the flowers to fall off.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? When it comes to Aphelandra, also known as Zebra plant, the best lighting is bright, diffused light with some shade on the southern window. East window is ideal for this plant.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Aphelandra? When it comes to the Aphelandra plant, the soil must be breathable. This means that sand or perlite should be added to the soil if it is too dense. For a mixture of own preparation, take: 1 part of the turf ground, 1 part coarse-grained sand or perlite and 2 parts peat or humus (leaf land). Always use a pot with an opening and drainage.

Watering Time

How much I must water Aphelandra? Unless the Aphelandra plant is growing in a naturally humid environment, the soil must be kept constantly moist. Over-watering can be as detrimental as under-watering, so it's important to find a happy medium. For active growth, water at least twice a week. Once the plant begins to flower, cut back watering to once a week. After the blooming period, give the plant a rest by withholding water for 4-6 weeks. Resume watering when you want the plant to start growing again.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. When to fertilize and what type of fertilizer to use. The Aphelandra plant requires a rather fertile soil and during the growing season, every 10-15 days, liquid fertilizer, alternating organic and mineral should be used.


How to reproduce Aphelandra? When it comes to Aphelandra plant reproduction, this can be achieved through cuttings or by seed. If you want to use cuttings, then the stalk must have at least 2 leaves. You will then need to root the cutting in a mixture of wet peat and perlite, whilst also ensuring conditions of high humidity and a temperature of 75.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Pre-treating the stalk with heteroauxin is also recommended. If you opt to propagate the Aphelandra plant by seed instead, then these should be sown in early spring.


Why Aphelandra won't bloom? Since it is a tropical plant, it blooms almost year-round in warm weather climates. The flowers have yellow bracts and are borne in spicate inflorescences. After the blooms fade, the inflorescences should be removed.

Transfer or Repotting

How much I must water Aphelandra? Since the aphelandra is a rather unpretentious plant, it can be transplanted as needed. It is best to do this in the spring, when the plant is just beginning to grow actively. Once every 2-3 years will be quite enough. You can also carry out the transplant before flowering.

Caring The Aphelandra

How to care the plant? known as Zebra plant. They have beautiful leaves that have yellow stripes going down the center of the leaf, with deep green on the outside. The flowers are a deep red and they bloom in the late summer and fall. They like to be in a bright location, but not in direct sunlight. They need to be in a well-draining potting mix and should be watered when the top of the soil is dry. They can be susceptible to mealybugs and spider mites, so check them regularly for pests.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Aphelandra plant? So, if the leaves of your Aphelandra turn yellow and brown, it is likely that the plant is suffering from one of the following problems: sunburn, drought, or cold damage. If the tips of the leaves are brown and dry, it is probably due to sunburn or drought. If the leaves are brown and mushy at the base, it is probably due to cold damage. If the plant is faded, it may be due to drafts. If the leaves are brown and curled, it may be due to gas fumes. Spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, and Coccidae can all cause damage to Aphelandra plants.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Aphelandra poisonous? Eventually, all parts of the Aphelandra plant are toxic if ingested. The stem, leaves, and flowers all contain high levels of poisonous compounds. If any part of the plant is eaten, it can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, it can lead to organ failure and death.