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APHELANDRA squarrosa 'Louisae'

Image of Aphelandra squarrosa 'Louisae'

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Acanthaceae

Botanical Name

APHELANDRA squarrosa 'Louisae'

Plant Common Name

Louisa Silver Zebra Plant, Zebra Plant

General Description

The popular zebra plant cultivar, 'Louisae', is much like the species but has a tighter, more compact habit and larger ornate striped leaves and yellow and red flowers. It is superior for container culture and better suited to smaller tropical landscapes.

Long loved as a houseplant, zebra plant is a beautiful tropical shrub with glossy dark green leaves striped with white. This robust shade lover is fully evergreen and originates from the humid jungles of Central and South America, so it thrives where growing conditions are sultry. Mature specimens have the added plus of beautiful conical flowers.

The long, oval leaves of this striking foliage plant are dark glossy green with contrasting white or pale yellow midribs and veins. Indoor plants rarely flower but those allowed to reach full maturity outdoors produce pineapple-like flower heads when growing conditions are moist and warm. Each flower cluster is comprised of numerous golden bracts (petal-like leaves) edged in maroon. From each bract arises a long, tubular yellow flower. These are favored by hummingbirds.

Grow zebra plant in partial sun or shade and lightly acid, well-drained, evenly moist sandy loam. Hot midday sun should be avoided and water should be reduced during the cooler winter months. This is a handsome accent shrub for shaded borders. Specimens grown as houseplants should be placed in a spot with bright indirect light and ample humidity for best performance.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    1"-3" / 2.5cm - 7.6cm

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Central America, South America, Brazil

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Burgundy, Dark Red

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green, Silver

  • Foliage Color (Spring) Modifier

    Variegated, Striped/Striated

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green, Silver

  • Foliage Color (Summer) Modifier

    Variegated, Striped/Striated

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green, Silver

  • Foliage Color (Fall) Modifier

    Variegated, Striped/Striated

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green, Silver

  • Foliage Color (Winter) Modifier

    Variegated, Striped/Striated

  • Bark Color

    Tan

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Edging, Feature Plant, Foundation, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No