- Author: Andrea Peck
- Editor: Noni Todd
By Andrea Peck UCCE Master Gardener
Common Name of Plant: Zebra Plant
Scientific Name: Haworthiopsis attenuata
Planting Area: USDA Zone 11
Size: Up to 6”
Bloom Season: Summer
Exposure: Indirect bright light.
Pruning Needs: Pruning is not necessary
Water Needs: Grown outdoors, water weekly. Grown indoors, water monthly.
Snapshot: With deep green triangular-shaped leaves, and striking white stripes, the diminutive zebra plant is an eye-catching succulent. Relaxed and easy to care for, it fits seamlessly into a modern style décor. It grows up to a manageable 6 inches tall and spreads by little clusters or rosettes that grow solidly from the main plant. These clusters can be plucked to grow a new plant or allowed to spread out in a mounding horizontal direction. In mild climates Haworthiopsis grows outside. It does not tolerate frost so in colder areas (below 40 degrees), it is best kept in a pot outdoors during the warmer seasons and brought indoors when temperatures dip. This is a low-maintenance plant but in hot weather, it needs irrigation weekly. Be careful, however, as overwatering can be the death of H. attenuata. Particularly, be mindful of water inside the leaves---this plant is prone to rot because excess moisture does not drain easily.
Grown indoors, the zebra plant adds a touch of simple drama and requires less watering. Haworthiopsis blooms during the summer months. Flowers are white and tubular, growing on a long inflorescence. Originating, like its namesake, from South Africa, the zebra plant is best grown in bright, but indirect light. In nature, it thrives under the shade of rocks or other protective objects. Hot, direct sun may scorch the leaves. H. attenuata grows best in a loose, quick-draining soil with a pH in the range of 6.6 -7.5. Place your zebra plant in an area with good air-circulation. Use cactus fertilizer during the summer months for best results. Repot during the spring or summer months. H. attenuata grows at a snail's pace but once this appealing plant reproduces, you'll want to pull off a few to propagate and give to your friends.