Zebra Plant We love succulents

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Haworthiopsis attenuata ‘Zebra plant’ is a local hero, indigenous to the Easterm Cape. They are from the same subfamily as aloe and are equally eye-catching in appearance with pointy leaves and zebra-like white stripes. Grown both indoors and out, this succulent is next on your summer adoption list!

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Getting to know your Zebra plant

Grow guide: With a high tolerance for different light conditions, you can grow them pretty much anywhere. Outdoors, they prefer morning sun and need to be acclimatised to full sun areas. Indoors, they can handle low light but need to be moved to bright light locations every few weeks to keep them healthy. 

Claim to fame: Zebra plants are hassle-free, non-toxic, and can tolerate mild frost for short periods. Locals also use this plant to ward off evil and protect homes. Zebras produce aloe, which can be applied to minor cuts and skin irritations. Plants are highly decorative with a lovely ridged texture on the white stripes.

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In the garden: This succulent will liven up any container and rock garden, reaching a sweet height of 15 cm. Pair them with other low-growing plants in well-draining soil (they do not like wet feet). Water once the soil has dried out completely and fertilise once a month during spring and summer. 

 Pest patrol: Plants are generally pest and disease hardy but be aware of the usual suspects such as mealybugs and spider mites. Keep plants healthy and you will be rewarded with a friend for a decade!

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Did you know? This plant is used in a variety of cosmetics – from shampoo to lotions, homeopathy medicine, and beauty products. 

Top tip: Your Zebra plant will produce pups and offsets. Separate new arrivals by removing them from mom and transplanting them into moist, prepared soil. Wait until new growth appears before watering again. 

Mother-in-law’s tongue We love succulents

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Mother-in-law's tongue (Sanseveria trifasciata), known also as the snake plant, has long been an indoor and outdoor favourite with its sharp, witty nature. This succulent makes for a striking feature in almost any light condition and is a perfect choice for the beginner gardener.

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Getting to know your Mother-in-law's tongue

Grow guide: They will grow faster in bright, natural light but will also fare well in moderate to low light. When planted outdoors, be aware of harsh direct sunlight as this will burn their leaves. Water plants directly onto the soil (avoiding the rosette centre) to prevent root rot.

Claim to fame: Hardy and packed with attitude, their sword-shaped leaves are bold and unapologetic with bright yellow borders from base to tip. Indigenous to SA, these plants are adaptable and easy to care for. You may even be lucky to see their elusive white flowers if you look after them well.

In the garden: This succulent is ideal as a potted attention-grabber, both on the patio and indoors. They will also fill large beds where they bring in height (up to 60cm) and texture. Plant them in rich soil with excellent drainage. Water infrequently and avoid frost-prone areas.

Pest patrol: Plants are generally low-maintenance and not prone to pests. Keep an eye out, however, for mealybugs and spider mites and ensure roots are never waterlogged. Feed with a balanced cactus fertiliser monthly during spring and summer to increase pest resistance.

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Did you know? Snake plants are known as CAM plants, which means they can remove carbon from the air at night and store it for later use.

Top tip: Dull leaf colours and thin foliage may indicate that your plant is not receiving enough light, whereas crispy, yellowing foliage is a sign that there is too much light or sun.