This beauty is native to Brazil, where you’ll find it growing in the shade of big trees in tropical rainforests. Its broad striped leaves can grow as long as 45cm in its natural habitat. They curl up at night, then unfurl in the morning to catch all the rays they can.
If you think about where it’s from, it’s easy to remember how to keep it happy. It’s used to living in dappled light, so it doesn’t like direct sun. And it needs lots of rainforest-like moisture. That will mean it needs either a humid room or misting every few days. It will also benefit from a feed with liquid fertiliser once per month in spring and summer. Meet those demands and it’s a really striking houseplant.
Did you know?
The name calathea zebrina roughly translates as ‘zebra-striped basket’, which makes sense if you look at its leaves.