Tony O’Neill, gardener and author of the popular “Composting Masterclass” and “Your First Vegetable Garden,” combines lifelong passion and expert knowledge to simplify the art of gardening. His mission? Helping you cultivate a thriving garden. More on Tony O’Neill
The Zebra is one of the most exotic animals, perfectly camouflaged in grasslands with its unique black and white stripes. The striping on the petioles of the A. zebrina is equally exotic. It’s no wonder it’s also referred to as the A. Zebrina Tiger or A. Leopard. In nature, its unusually large leaves give rise to its other name – Alocasia elephant ear.
The Alocasia genus, like the Philodendrons and Monsteras, is from the Arum family (Araceae), generally referred to as the Aroids. These plants all prefer high light levels, don’t like direct sun, and need well-draining, organically rich soil.
The Alocasia Zebrina is a beautiful tropical plant. Its large leaves stand out, but so do its beautiful zebra-like stems.
It’s not the easiest plant to take care of, though; it will drop leaves from time to time. Luckily this is normal and is nothing to worry about.
If you take good care of this plant, it’ll only drop its old leaves to make space for large new leaves.
Humidity and Watering for Alocasia Zebrina
Because the Alocasia Zebrina is a tropical plant, it requires a humid environment to thrive and will become sensitive to pests if it becomes too dry. Fortunately, regularly misting this plant is fairly simple to keep it sufficiently damp.
Doing this in the morning at least once a week is recommended. You can keep the leaves of your Alocasia Zebrina from becoming dusty by misting them, and it helps your plant seem better, and the increased humidity will make it happy.
When do I Water A. Zebrina?
Although this plant prefers a humid atmosphere, it does not require a lot of watering. It is preferable to submerge this plant gently.
Its thick stems hold much water, so it won’t need to be watered as frequently as you think. Because the long stems hold a lot of moisture, it’s easy to tell when your plant is thirsty.
When the stems begin to droop somewhat, it’s time to cut them off.
The Alocasia Zebrina is a tropical flowering plant with exquisite flowers. Its massive leaves and elegant zebra-like stalks stand out.
It’s not the easiest plant to care for, and it does drop leaves from time to time. Fortunately, this is rather common and poses little danger.
If you take adequate care of this plant, it will only shed its old leaves to make place for bigger new ones. Watering is required since the stems are no longer wet.
Do not water your plant if only one stem begins to droop. Your plant may be attempting to replace a single drooping stem with a new leaf.
How do I Water A. Zebrina?
When watering this plant, a simple method is to water it until it trickles out of the drainage hole. The earth has absorbed all of the liquid it can when the water drops out of the drainage hole. You can prevent the dreaded root rot by draining the excess water.
Wet soil is not good for the Alocasia Zebrina, as it is prone to developing root rot.
The (Un)reliable Finger Test
You may touch the soil and water it if it seems dry for many plants, which will not work with the A. zebrina, which is extremely water-sensitive.
Apart from the drooping stems, the simplest method to tell whether it needs watering is to compare the weight of a dry pot and a wet one.
But don’t put it directly close to the window; it’ll burn its lovely, large leaves. If your plant develops yellow leaves, the sun is too much for it, and you should shift it to a slightly shadier location. It’s not an issue if you don’t have a room with a south-facing window.
You may also put it adjacent to the window in a west- or east-facing window. Although these rooms will not receive as much sunlight, placing the plant directly next to the window will provide ample light throughout the day.
Rotate the Plant
This plant is obsessed with sunshine, so if you don’t give it enough, it will grow its stems longer and longer in search of the brightest location. This indicates that the plant will grow in the direction of the sun.
If you don’t pay close enough care, the plant will grow to one side rather than up. Just rotate the plant 90 degrees (a quarter turn) after each watering to prevent this from happening.
You don’t need to do anything if your plant isn’t striving for the light; it’s happy where it is.
Alocasia Zebrina Soil Preferences
When nurturing plants, the soil you use is crucial, and you must consider each plant’s requirements.
As described before in this book, this plant should be submerged rather than overwatered, as overwatering can destroy it.
Using exceptionally well-draining soil is one technique to ensure that the possibilities of overwatering are decreased.
This will ensure that all excess water is drained from the pot and just the bare minimum remains. This is ideal because this plant is quite sensitive to overwatering, and it will only be able to absorb a small quantity of water, and its roots will be less likely to rot.
A Zebrina Fertilizer Needs
The Alocasia Zebrina grows quite swiftly during its growth season, which lasts from spring to early October. Fertilize the plant every two weeks to give it the energy it needs to keep growing so swiftly. Ensure that the leftover fertilizer is flushed away every several months.
This may be accomplished by fully watering the plant and allowing the water to drain through the bottom of the pot. This will maintain your plant in a livable environment in the soil.
Pick a Pot Size for A. Zebrina
In a tiny container, the Alocasia Zebrina enjoys being root-bound. So don’t rush into repotting this plant into a larger container.
It’s ecstatic to be in such a little container. When you need to relocate this plant to a larger container, do it in gentle steps.
To keep the Alocasia happy, move it to a little larger pot as soon as possible. You know your Zebrina is doing well when the roots emerge from the container’s bottom.
Alocasia Zebrina Toxicity
All parts are poisonous and contain calcium oxalate crystals. This toxic substance makes the mouth, tongue, and throat feel like small needles are digging into them. Poisonous by ingestion, dermatitis, and eye injury.
This is toxic to Humans, Cats and Dogs if ingested.
Symptoms may include painful lips, mouth, tongue, and throat irritation after chewing, difficulty speaking, nausea and diarrhea, vomiting, delirium, and death. People with a tendency to have rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones, and hyperacidity should be especially cautious.
Size of an Alocasia Zebrina
Alocasia Zebrinas come in a wide range of sizes, from little bulbs to mature plants reaching heights of up to 3 feet. Other Alocasia plants can grow quite large, but the Alocasia Zebrina stays small enough to be an ideal houseplant.
Alocasia Zebrina Normal Traits
Every plant has its own personality features, such as the ability to produce blossoms. A few character qualities of the Alocasia Zebrina appear to be worse than they are.
This section explains why your plant behaves the way it does and why you shouldn’t blame yourself for things your plant does on its own.
You may have seen water drips on the leaves of your Alocasia Zebrina while caring for it. These emerge when your plant has been overwatered and is attempting to “sweat” the extra water out through microscopic pores on the leaves.
There’s no need to be concerned; the plant is fine. However, it’s something to bear in mind for future watering.
When an Alocasia Zebrina is in full bloom, it will produce many leaves in a short amount of time, and this does not affect the plant until a certain stage. Your plant will lose the weakest leaves dramatically once it has approximately five leaves.
To allow new development, the plant shuts off feeding the weaker leaves. The plant can only support four to five leaves at a time; when new leaves emerge, the old and weak ones wither and die.
There’s nothing wrong with this; it’s just how the plant works. Because there is no way to conserve the leaf, you should take it as a sign that fresh leaves are coming.
Alocasias Genus Alternatives
Alocasia Zebrina is one of numerous Alocasia species that require comparable care. If you have one of the Alocasia plants listed below, you may also use these instructions to care for it.
- Amazonica: Hybrid with leathery, bronze/green 16-inch long leaves with contrasting green and white veins.
- Calidora: Highly attractive large tropical-looking leaves
- Frydek: Hybrid with dark, velvety green leaves. Occasionally flowers.
- Low Rider: Dwarf up to 2 feet tall.
- Portora: Grows up to 6 feet tall with a 5-foot spread.
- Sarian: Grows to 5 or 6 feet tall. Cold sensitive.
- Yucatan Princess: Dark green to black upright leaves
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it necessary to spray my Alocasia Zebrina daily?
Humidity is a favorite of Alocasia Zebrinas. Misting the large leaves regularly is one technique to do this. You won’t need to spray the leaves daily if you have other measures to keep the humidity high (above 60%).
Is it necessary to water my Alocasia Zebrina regularly?
When the leaves of the Alocasia Zebrina begin to droop, it’s time to water it. This indicates that the stems are no longer hydrated, and the leaves will be elevated after the stems are full.
Should I rotate my Alocasia Zebrina?
Alocasia Zebrina is a kind of Alocasia that grows towards light. You may rotate the plant 90 degrees daily to maintain it straight and prevent it from expanding to one side.
When does the Alocasia Zebrina go into dormancy?
Late in the autumn and into the winter, the Alocasia Zebrina goes dormant, and it re-grows in the spring and continues to do so throughout the summer and early fall.
Where should an Alocasia Zebrina be placed?
Alocasia Zebrinas are tropical plants that require enough sunshine to thrive, and they can’t survive in the dark, so ensure there’s enough light for this lovely plant. Bright indirect light is preferred, although direct sunlight is acceptable, provided it does not exceed four hours daily, preferably in the morning.
Why are the leaves on my Alocasia Zebrina becoming yellow?
Only approximately five leaves per plant can be sustained by the Alocasia zebrina, which will cut off the nourishment to older and weaker leaves once it reaches this number. It does this to ensure optimal use of limited nutrients to boost new growth.
Why are the leaves of my Alocasia Zebrina exuding water?
If your Alocasia zebrina‘s leaves are dripping water, it’s because it’s somewhat overwatered, and the plant is attempting to get rid of it by sweating it off. Excess water escapes via the leaf’s small pores. This is typical and should not cause concern; your plant is healthy.
Is an Alocasia zebrina toxic?
Yes, Alocasia Zebrina is very toxic; therefore, keep it away from pets and small children. All parts are poisonous and contain calcium oxalate crystals. This toxic substance makes the mouth, tongue, and throat feel like small needles are digging into them. Poisonous by ingestion, dermatitis, and eye injury. It has an explicit warning: HIGHLY TOXIC, MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN! SKIN IRRITATION IS SEVERE!
How tall do Alocasia zebrinas grow?
Alocasia Zebrinas grow to be around three feet tall, so they aren’t exactly small houseplants, but they do fit in compact areas.
Whatever you choose to call it, the Alocasia zebrina is a delight to grow – as long as you live in areas where the daytime temperatures are in the region of 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The plants typically take about two years to mature.
I realize that some aspects of this post do not match the information other bloggers gave. That is because Simplify Gardening does not merely reiterate the general popular discourse. Rather, we share out experience and source additional information from educational institutions. I aim to give you information that you can trust.