Plant Care Calathea Zebra

Calathea Zebra

3.1 out of 5 (26 experiences)

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

About Calathea Zebra

Calathea Zebra is a popular houseplant 🌿 that is isn’t challenging to grow and needs regular watering to thrive. They do best in abundant sunlight ☀ and should be less than 3 feet from a window.

Plant parents describe this plant as browning easily and having large, lush leaves with a whopping 270 being grown with Greg around the world. Check out the reviews below for more details!🌟

Calathea Zebra likes soil that is well draining. Your plant shouldn't need added fertilizers if you repot each time it doubles in size.

Calathea Zebra belongs to the calathea genus, and is native to Southeastern Brazil.


Calathea zebrina

Also known as

Zebra Plant

How to care for Calathea Zebra


How often to water your Calathea Zebra

Water needs for Calathea Zebra
0.5 cups
every 9

Calathea Zebra 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 Calathea Zebra

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 Calathea Zebra in your home

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

Calathea Zebra 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 Calathea Zebra in your home 🏡.


How to fertilize Calathea Zebra

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Calathea Zebra: 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 Calathea Zebra after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Difficulty Level

Calathea Zebra is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!

Water Needs
Sunlight Needs
Growing Outdoors

Care Summary for Calathea Zebra

Calathea Zebra

Calathea Zebra

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

Calathea Zebra has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 17
Calathea Zebra has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 8
Calathea Zebra has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 5
Calathea Zebra has a Pest magnet plant personality Pest magnet 4
Calathea Zebra has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 3
Calathea Zebra has a Pet friendly plant personality Pet friendly 1
Megan avatar
leaf-1 106 Plants
xp 6,070 XP
globe Washington, District of Columbia

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, New Jersey

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!

Pet friendly 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 38 Plants
xp 1,882 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 4 Plants
xp 78 XP
globe Portage, Michigan

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 33 Plants
xp 1,381 XP
globe Denton, Texas

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 20 Plants
xp 479 XP
globe San Diego, California

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 25 Plants
xp 915 XP
globe Apopka, Florida

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

Fast grower Fast grower

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