Aphelandra Squarrosa Care Guide


Also known as the Zebra plant. The Zebra plant is native to the Atlantic forest in Brazil. 


Floyd prefers a medium light. If placed in a bright room with direct light he will start to wilt. Keep Floyd about a metre away from any big windows to protect his delicate foliage. Place a large plant next to Floyd to break up some of the harsh direct sunlight.


Floyd likes regular watering - especially in the summer months when he is actively growing. Water him once or twice a week in the spring and summer or whenever the first inches of his soil is bone dry. Getting the balance may be tricky at first as he won’t like his soil to completely dry out or be too soggy. In the winter time you can reduce his watering schedule to every 7-9 days but always check his soil is dry before you water him.


Being native to Brazil Floyd will thrive in a humid environment. You can place him in a bathroom for a humidity boost or by a humidifier. You may notice some brown leaves if placed in a room with low humidity. Find out how you can increase humidity here.


The best indoor temperature for Floyd is between 15-24ºC. As long as the indoor temperature doesn't dip lower than 13°C Floyd will be happy. He will not recover from cold damage so keep him warm.


To promote new growth use fertiliser every 2-4 weeks in the months from March-September. Make sure to dilute the fertiliser to a half strength to avoid fertiliser burn to his roots.


Floyd is a moderate grower but prefers to be root bound. Keep him in his original pot for 2-3 years before repotting him. The best time to repot him is March/April. Avoid repotting in the winter months as he will go dormant.



Curling leaves - The curling leaves will indicate that Floyd is suffering from cold damage. Have a look around the home to make sure Floyd is not close to any windows, radiators or doors that could be causing drafts. Keep his temperature consistent and never place him in a room that will be cooler than 13ºC.

Drooping leaves - You might notice Floyd’s foliage start to droop when he is ready for a drink. Check his soil twice a week and only water when the first inch of soil is dry.

Brown edges: The brown edges could be caused by a variety of things. 

  1. He is sensitive to hard water which could be causing the leaves to brown. Use filtered or rainwater moving forward.
  2. Lack of humidity levels. Be sure that he is getting regularly misted, is near a humidifier or a pebble tray is used underneath his pot.
  3. Occasionally the brown tips could be from over fertilising, it is good to note that Zebra plants can be sensitive. Always dilute a generic houseplant fertiliser. 


Top tip 1: Late summer you might notice Floyd blooming bright yellow flowers. This happens yearly but the flowers will only last a week so enjoy them while you can. 

Top tip 2: Floyd is very draft sensitive. He will suffer from cold damage if he is placed in a draughty spot. Keep him away from any open windows or draughty hallways. 

Top tip 3: Always water and mist Floyd with filtered or rainwater. Harsh chemicals found in tap water will cause his edges to brown. 

floyd polly alocasiazebrina fortifying-houseplant-fertiliser peat-free-soil