Calathea

Common name: Zebra Plant


Calathea zebrina is an evergreen greenhouse perennial that is native to tropical South America.

There are many species but only a few are commonly cultivated.

They are grown for their attractive foliage of alternating bands of light and dark green.

They generally grow to around 600mm (24") high with a 500mm (18") spread.

They require high humidity and cannot tolerate cool, damp conditions, draughts or direct sunshine, because of this they are generally only grown as house plants.

Keep plants in light shade at all times, avoid direct sunlight as this might bleach the leaves.

They will not tolerate temperatures of less than 12°C (55°F)

Their specific needs make them well suited to growing in bottle gardens.

They do not need to be re-potted unless the plant becomes top heavy or the roots protrude from pot drainage holes.

Water regularly preferably with rainwater during the growing season, and keep the atmosphere around the plant quite moist / humid.

Humidity can be controlled by sitting the pot in a larger pot, and filling the gap with moist sphagnum moss.

Alternatively sit the pot on a saucer of pebbles and fill the saucer with water.

Keep the plants just moist in winter.

Cultivation:

Week 22: If repotting is necessary, re-pot the plants up into well crocked 150mm (6") pots of potting compost.

Week 23: Give fortnightly liquid feeds from now until September.

Week 26: Divide crowns so that each piece retains a few leaves and sturdy roots, and grow on at around 18°C (65°F)





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