Plant Care Zebra Calathea

Zebra Calathea

3.2 out of 5 (29 experiences)

Zebra Calathea has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily
Zebra Calathea has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves

About Zebra Calathea

This houseplant with showy leaves is an indoor herbaceous perennial to 3' 3", fountain-like and spreading. It's generally intolerant of low humidity, wet soil, dry soil, low or inconstant temperatures, cold drafts, direct sun, low light and direct sun.


Goeppertia zebrina

Also known as

Calathea zebrina

How to care for Zebra Calathea


How often to water your Zebra Calathea

Water needs for Zebra Calathea
0.5 cups
every 9

Zebra Calathea needs 0.5 cups of water every 9 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Zebra Calathea

Water 0.5 cups every

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size


Check the growing potential in your area

A plant's growing potential is determined from its location, the time of year, and current local weather.

Select a city to check sunlight intensity

Finding light for Zebra Calathea in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Zebra Calathea: 3ft from a window
3ft or less from
a window

Zebra Calathea may have difficulty thriving, and will drop leaves 🍃, without ample sunlight.

Place it less than 3 feet from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Zebra Calathea in your home 🏡.


How to fertilize Zebra Calathea

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Zebra Calathea: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Zebra Calathea after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Difficulty Level

Zebra Calathea can be challenging to care for, according to some plant parents. Check out the reviews down below to learn from their experiences!

Water Needs
Sunlight Needs
Native Region
Growth Pattern
Growing Outdoors
Yellow Leaves

Care Summary for Zebra Calathea

Zebra Calathea

Zebra Calathea

Greg recommends:


0.5 cups every 9 days


< 3ft from a window


Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

What other plant parents say

Zebra Calathea has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 18
Zebra Calathea has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 10
Zebra Calathea has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 5
Zebra Calathea has a Pest magnet plant personality Pest magnet 4
Zebra Calathea has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 3
Mkaybuds avatar
leaf-1 9 Plants
xp 260 XP

This is a temperamental plant, as all calatheas are. But it gives me the most problems. On a positive note I get new leaves maybe once every 2 weeks or so, however… I can not keep her happy. No amount of humidity, watering (or lack there of) sunlight (direct or indirect) keeps my leaves from yellowing, browning and or dying. The plant itself is beautiful and exotic looking but it is a challenge

Browns easily Browns easily
Bjoyce avatar
leaf-1 57 Plants
xp 10,286 XP
globe Orlando, FL

Needs humidity - no tap water

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Megan avatar
leaf-1 84 Plants
xp 14,529 XP
globe Washington, DC

Love this plant. Easy to tell when it needs water - the leaves start curling up.

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Amber avatar
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 56 XP
globe Glen Gardner, NJ

Grows best when you wipe down the leaves with a cloth every time you water, it is perfect for me because it’s pet friendly!

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Uknowsomethingidont avatar
leaf-1 9 Plants
xp 151 XP

Temperamental but i love it, bring it in the shower with me every few days and to help give it the humidity it’d usually get. Found that a warm vaporiser a few feet away has done wonders at keeping it both warm and humid enough

Mummyplantmum avatar
leaf-1 79 Plants
xp 3,238 XP
globe Oxfordshire, England

Love this plant! It’s such a statement plant and so easy to care for!

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Catlopera avatar
leaf-1 34 Plants
xp 3,548 XP

She's so fussy!! Leaves brown super easily and even though I do everything to keep humidity up, her leaves always have yellow spots or brown tips. Agh!

Tessmentis avatar
leaf-1 19 Plants
xp 234 XP
globe Forestville, New South Wales

While it’s beautiful, this plant is a PEST MAGNET, like most calatheas it finds a way to attract all types of bugs all the time. I’ve had to repot her three times due to caterpillars in her soil, and I’ve had to soap spray her a few times. Honestly she’s a pain, just stick with monsteras

Pest magnet Pest magnet
Browns easily Browns easily
Alexa avatar
leaf-1 0 Plants
xp 72 XP
globe Surrey, British Columbia

I find this plant to be picky, i always think its getting what it needs but the leaves die easily and turn brown around the edges

Survivor Survivor
Browns easily Browns easily
Jess avatar
leaf-1 2 Plants
xp 34 XP
globe Porirua, Wellington

Can get droopy throughout the day then perks back up overnight

Fast grower Fast grower
Browns easily Browns easily
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
7smithcc avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 88 XP
globe Portage, MI

she's a lil spicyyyy. doesn't like to be watered a lot but rather wants to be misted everyday and the humidifier HAS to be on at all times or else she'll curl up. 😩

Browns easily Browns easily
Pest magnet Pest magnet
Brooke avatar
leaf-1 30 Plants
xp 1,645 XP
globe Denton, TX

Maybe I just haven’t had much luck with this plant, but I can’t seem to keep it from getting crispy. I’ve used a pretty regular watering system + using only distilled water + placed the plant right next to a humidifier.. no luck. :(

Browns easily Browns easily
Pest magnet Pest magnet
Jessjc_ avatar
leaf-1 18 Plants
xp 534 XP
globe San Diego, CA

i have had it in an area of 50%+ humidity with medium/bright indirect light. i have a setosa and treat them both the same and my setosa is thriving but this zebrina is stagnant and crisping. i started to cut back on watering so hopefully i can rehab my mistakes. things i’ve learned with this plant:
- only water with room temp, distilled water
- careful on the fertilizer, may be prone to burn
- water when almost dry (prone to root rot. calatheas need constant ‘wet’ soil, never soggy)
- KEEP HUMIDITY UP or leaves WILL curl (literally starting curling at 40% humidity once, a real drama queen)

Browns easily Browns easily
Riversong avatar
leaf-1 36 Plants
xp 1,278 XP

Gorgeous foliage patterning but delicate; very sensitive to low humidity. Due to the leaves being prone to browning due to lack of humidity, you have to watch close for pests as browning caused by pests can easily be missed.

Browns easily Browns easily
Emiliekt1 avatar
leaf-1 11 Plants
xp 264 XP
globe Uxbridge, England

Likes to die

Browns easily Browns easily
Laurenashley avatar
leaf-1 34 Plants
xp 1,427 XP
globe Apopka, FL

It’s given me so many new leaves in short period of time

Fast grower Fast grower

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