Alocasia Zebrina, an exotic ornamental beauty that is native to the tropical regions of the Philippines and some other parts of East Asia, has become a staple when it comes to design choices for home designers when looking at the Alocasia genus.
The Zebrina Alocasia houseplant is listed as a threatened or endangered plant species in the Philippines, making it illegal to collect the plant species in the country. When purchasing any houseplant it is always important to make sure it was not illegally collected from the wild.
This plant, however, is not that rare in cultivation and is often grown as a houseplant in temperate climes.
Growing and caring for the Alocasia zebrina is not an easy task. These stunning indoor plants require a lot of attention, the right environment, and a proper care routine to flourish and be the best they can be.
To grow zebra plant successfully, you need to make sure that you grow it in a location that provides the environmental conditions it needs.
The Zebrina Alocasia requires sufficient bright but indirect light to thrive. Their broad leaves were designed to soak up as much light as possible from the shaded jungle canopy.
Be careful to avoid long exposure to direct sunlight, as this can cause the leaves of the Elephant Ear to get scorched.
You can place the potted plant close to a window with curtains and shade that helps provide it with just enough light to ensure proper growth without the harsh sun rays harming it.
It also helps to frequently rotate the plant for more even growth as it tends to grow towards the sun or other light source.
Humidity And Temperature Requirement
The Zebrina houseplant thrives in an area with high humidity. The appropriate temperature required for the plant would be between 60 degrees to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is a plant that doesn’t like cold, so make sure you provide a safe, warm temperature, without excessive fluctuation in temperature, or the plant’s leaves may fall off.
Ensure that the soil used for your Alocasia Zebrina is a very well-draining, nutrient-rich soil that holds moisture within for a long time.
Choose a light, very fertile, airy, and above all, well-draining potting mix that can also retain sufficient moisture for your plant. For environmental reasons, you should select a peat-free growing medium for your houseplants wherever possible.
Ensure you water your Zebrina plant often as they love their soil to be moist. However do be careful when watering, its roots are susceptible to rot so avoid overwatering them.
The stems of the Alocasia Zebrina tend to hold water moisture for some time, so be careful not to water them every session.
It is recommended that you water this plant in small sessions. A common practice would be to feel the topsoil before watering. After watering it, wait a few days or at most, a week, before its next watering session.
All members of the Alocasia genus are heavy feeders, with the Alocasia Zebrina being no exception.
With that being said, it is recommended that you feed the Alocasia Zebrina with an organic liquid fertilizer that has been diluted to half strength.
Feed every 2 weeks during the warm months. In winter, cease feeding the Zebrina plant.
It is also recommended that you flush the soil often (at least every month) with a lot of water, to get rid of the fertilizer remnants, especially if you have a habit of bottom watering your houseplants on the whole.
Ensure you prune out the damaged leaves often so as to encourage proper, healthy growth of new leaves. This should be done during its growing months.
Avoid using a blade without sterilizing it as it helps to prevent infection. Dipping it in alcohol is a great practice.
You should avoid repotting your Alocasia Zebrina plant often as it has rather delicate roots.
When you do feel the need to re-pot the exotic plant, ensure that the new pot size is just a little bigger than its last pot size.
Propagating Alocasia Zebrina
When propagating the Zebrina Alocasia, you can use one of two methods;
- Separate close-growing plants, or
- Divide the assets and corms that grow on the plants.
Either way, be careful so as not to disturb the delicate roots of the Alocasia Zebrina.
When Ingested, the Alocasia zebrina’s stem is poisonous and can cause irritation in the eyes and skin. So do ensure that you keep the houseplant out of the reach of children and pets.
Also, the leaf tissue or foliage has oxalate crystals that if ingested could also be harmful, leading to vomiting and nausea.
Common Pests And Diseases
The Alocasia Zebrina is a strong plant, and as such isn’t very susceptible to a lot of pests and diseases. However, overwatering or drought can open it up to some pests and diseases. A few of those are;
- And fungal Root Rots.
These issues, though, are not as common as issues with the environmental conditions or care. If the leaves on a zebra plant are drooping or yellowing, the first thing to do is to check that you have met the basic environmental needs and are providing your plant with appropriate care.
Once you have identified and addressed the causes of symptoms like yellow leaves, you can cut these off once an entire leaf has turned yellow in color. Just remember that more will change color if you have not correctly addressed environmental issues causing stress to the plant.