A simple chemical conversion coating was adopted to deposit zinc calcium phosphate (ZCP) coating and strontium doped ZCP (SZCP) coating on AZ31 magnesium alloy to induce biocompatibility and reduce the degradation rate. The surface morphology, chemical composition and functional groups of the coating were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) studies and Attenuated Total Reflectance-Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy respectively. SZCP coating formed at 20 min deposition time produced crack free surface with a high degree of crystallinity with barrier property, which ultimately retards the dissolution of magnesium in Simulated Body Fluid (SBF). The corrosion resistance of AZ31 magnesium alloy was improved by SZCP coating as evident from hydrogen evolution test (HET). Cytotoxicity evaluation with L969 cells showed that Sr doped ZCP coatings showed less toxicity on resorbable magnesium alloy. © 2017 Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland.