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Friday, March 17, 2006

Aphelandra squarrosa (Zebra Plant)

Scientific Name: Aphelandra squarrosa

Common Name: Saffron spike ; Zebra plant

  • Light shade
  • Temperature 16 -21 degree celsius
  • keep moist and fed

The aphelandra has two fairly obvious common names, 'zebra plant' and 'saffron spike' , relating to different parts of the plant - one to the grey-green leaves striped with silver, and the other to the saffron-yellow spike that forms the bract produced in midsummer.

It is equally attractive with or without flowers, and reaches a height of about 60cm when grown in a 13cm diameter pot. Larger pots will produce taller plants, usually in their second year.

When in good health all aphelandras will produce a wealth of roots and, consequently, require frequent feeding and potting on as soon as they have filled their exisiting pots with roots.

Peaty mixtures are not much use to this plant; try a proprietary brand potting soil that contains a good propertion of loam. In spring and summer established plants must be fed with every watering.

To encourage bloom: Rest after flowering.


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